While apartment owners and renters a like face an uphill task in securing their homes, the situation is stacked against the latter. The prospect of having to vacate the apartment at the end of the tenure, coupled with the high costs involved, often results in renters taking a lax view about securing the house. However, this could prove disastrous to life and property. Here are 10 tips to make your rental apartment safe and secure.
1. Choose well
While searching for a rental accommodation, go for a locality that is safe and good. Same applies to buildings. Good housing societies could mean increase in rentals but they often come with several advantages like 24×7 security and emergency support.
2 .Get to know your neighbourss
Remember the proverb, ‘Better is a neighbour who is near than a brother who is far away’? While living in an apartment complex, neighbours can be of help not only during emergencies but will also look out for you if you have senior citizens or children alone at home.
3. Install security systems
Modern day security systems like video door phones, burglar alarms, motion sensor monitors – help you to secure your home. The video door phone (VDP) prevents unwanted people from entering the house by eliminating the need to open the door. Some VDPs are equipped with internal memory for storing images. While installing security systems, go for the one that can be operated by senior citizens, is hassle free and easy to install.
The latest home security systems available are wireless and come with plug-and-play functionality. Equipped with ultramodern microprocessor technology, the systems can be armed or disarmed using your phone.
4 .Secure doors and windows
It is important to secure all possible points of entry into your residence. In case, the apartment has sliding windows, ask the owner to install box grills on the windows. A safety door and a peephole is a must. The safety door is helpful in case senior citizens or children are at home as it prevents strangers from entering the house.
5 .Get new door locks
If you are living in a rental apartment, chances are that previous tenants could possess a key to your apartment. Replace the locks and use a padlock from a reputed brand. Consider installing a deadbolt and chain lock in your door for safety. Nowadays, locks can be installed on sliding doors/windows too.
6. Safeguard your key
Never leave keys in doors or security gates as they can be stolen or used to open doors and gain entry. Some people have the habit of leaving the key to their main door, under the mat or in a flower pot, or over the ledge. Remember, it’s an open invite for burglars. Leave a duplicate with a family member or a trustworthy neighbour. Never carry identification tags on your key ring or holder.
7. Keep your mobile charged
Your mobile is the fastest way to connect with friends in case of an emergency. In case of senior citizens or children, tell them about whom to reach in case of an emergency. Keep a list of emergency contact names and numbers near the phone or feed it into the phone. Make sure your child understands the difference between a friend and a stranger.
8. Use a safe
Remember, burglars are just looking to grab valuables in plain sight and escape quickly. A safe not only secures your valuables but also makes it difficult for burglars to pick up and escape. Now-a-days, there are intelligent safes which raise an alarm on being tampered. For your daily valuables, choose security equipment which provides convenience as well as safety.
9 .Don’t keep too much cash
Make it a habit to avoid keeping large amounts of cash at home.
10 .Minimise the risk
Developing a safety culture at home, especially when senior citizens and children are involved, can go a long way in ensuring their safety. Small steps to build awareness about possible threats and emergency measures can help in safeguarding lives and property.
Employ a domestic help only after police verification. Crime records prove that majority of the offences have been committed by persons who were known to the victims. Do not allow relatives or friends of your domestic help to visit your house.
Reinforce safety rules before you leave your child alone at home. Remind your children never to leave home without permission. In case they have to, ask them to contact you before leaving the house.
Whatever be your motivation, do not announce that your child or parent is alone at home to strangers or on social media. Ask domestic helps and children to never allow strangers enter your house. Ask for identity cards in case any service person is coming to your house for checking and maintenance work. When a workman or a salesman is admitted, do not leave him/her alone.
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