Moving into a new apartment puts apartment security at the top of the to-do list, especially if crime is a particular concern in the new area.
But in the age of smartphones—where apps like AlfredCamera can turn your phone into a fully-functional apartment security camera for free—can you simply ‘do it yourself’ with affordable new alternatives?
Read on and discover the essential devices and tips you need to know.
5 Affordable Apartment Security Devices
Security for the apartment door is the most important aspect of the home to consider, since it is more than likely the sole access point, especially if the apartment is located anywhere other than the ground floor.
Below are five of the best apartment security devices that will significantly improve the security of the apartment door.
1. Security bar
Security bars, often known simply as ‘door bars’, lock doors from the inside to prevent forced entry from the other side.
People who live alone will probably find door bars most useful, since there is no way they’ll end up locking anyone outside once they set the bars in place.
2. Replacement locks
Door locks are an overlooked and affordable way of improving apartment security. A sturdy new lock provides peace of mind.
If replacing previous tenants, double check with the landlord or previous occupants that the locks have been replaced. If not, do this immediately.
An easy, economical way to increase the security of your apartment is simply to change out existing locks every few years, since they will become damaged and less effective over time. If a key is suspected to be stolen, replace the locks rather than cutting a new key.
Can I put an extra lock on my apartment door?
It is possible to put an extra lock on an apartment door. Adding an extra lock can provide additional peace of mind, and will make forced entry a longer process, if not more difficult to achieve. If renting, occupants must consult the landlord before adding a lock, as this could be in breach of contract as per the rental agreement. Not informing the landlord of structural changes risks the loss of the deposit at the end of the rental period.
3. Apartment security door
Although they sacrifice aesthetics, installing deadbolts and door barricades is a great way to prevent kick-ins and forced entry into the home.
These might be worth considering if the crime rate in your area is unusually high, or the apartment houses a number of especially valuable objects.
4. Door stop alarms
Door stop alarms are motion detection alarms placed near the inside of the door. If anyone attempts to unlock the door from the outside while armed, the alarm will go off.
The loud siren will alert occupants and neighbors, as well as deterring would-be burglars. The apartment security device will then instantly block the door to prevent it from opening, effectively protecting occupants should the burglar persist in trying to gain entry.
5. Apartment security cameras
Security cameras are probably the first thing that comes to mind when contemplating ways to improve apartment security, and with good reason. Security cameras can be placed around the apartment to closely monitor the movement of people within the building.
Motion detection can be used to notify occupants of movement at the door via their phone, while night vision will maintain visibility of the entryway even in the middle of the night. Check out our top picks for best apartment security cameras.
Love it! AlfredCamera Caught an intruder breaking into my apartment and didn’t know the motion detector was nearby. And app alerted me right away. Excellent app!AlfredCamera User
Just be sure to notify the landlord and obtain the consent of roommates beforehand.
Pro Tip: Placing Cameras in Apartments
Putting a security camera outside of an apartment that’s in a shared apartment building isn’t always a wise idea. It can easily violate the privacy of neighbors, and a secure apartment block may have CCTV up in communal spaces anyway.
Hardwiring and drilling, whether inside or outside the apartment, risk violating the terms of rental agreements, so always double check with the landlord before installation. To keep security deposits safe, consider positioning cameras in tabletop positions (like AlfredCam can), or use high-strength magnets or stickers to mount to walls without sustaining structural damage.
AlfredCamera: Do-It-Yourself Apartment Security Systems
AlfredCamera is a do-it-yourself home security camera that you can set up in minutes—zero technical expertise required. It’s currently being used by 70 million people across the globe.
Choose camera devices (old phones, tablets, computers, or the dedicated AlfredCam indoor security camera) and view the footage they capture on another device in real time.
This is one of the best Wi-Fi apps that I’ve ever used for motion detection to protect my apartment and my property.AlfredCamera User
Motion detection can notify you with push notifications should Alfred detect movement—use it to keep an eye on pets left in the apartment or deliveries at the door even when you aren’t home.
Ive been using this app for 3 years using an old android as the camera to monitor my dog and apartment for up to 16 hours at a time. I use it as a security camera too and it has never failed me. It helped me catch someone stalking me. Thank you Alfred!!!!! Saved our lives!!!!!AlfredCamera User
DIY a wireless apartment security system on a budget by using AlfredCamera to combine old phones, tablets, and even computers with AlfredCam, the dedicated indoor security camera. AlfredCamera is available on iOS and Android devices.
5 Ways to Add Security to Your Rental Property
Everyone deserves to feel secure when at home, regardless of where an apartment is located. As they say, home is where the heart is, so apartment safety should never be compromised.
Consider some simple tips to improve apartment security.
1. Contents Insurance
There are a number of options for ensuring the contents of your apartment. Though this won’t prevent theft, it is a logical way to protect valuables should the worst case scenario occur.
What’s covered by contents insurance and how much it costs will vary considerably. There are options to specify covering tech (which includes mobile phones, cameras, TVs, game consoles) and other specific ‘types’ of contents.
Most importantly, the insurance will have a maximum claim fee, so occupants need to have a clear idea of how much belongings are worth.
With that in mind, original artwork, historic furniture, couture clothing, luxury bags made of exotic leathers, fine jewelry and watches require specialized insurance.
Insurance claims can be tedious, long, and loophole-laden, so consulting a lawyer before signing a contract is a wise consideration if the contents in question are of unusually high value. Security camera footage can be a big help in succeeding in a claim.
Proof of purchase and ownership (i.e. receipts, authenticity certificates) is also usually required, as is filing a police report in the event of a crime.
AlfredCamera has been helping users provide invaluable footage to police and insurance companies for years. Download it today and experience a simple, effective way to improve your apartment security. AlfredCamera is available for iOS and Android devices.
Motion detector lights are a great way to illuminate your property only when light is actually needed. Consult with the landlord before making any changes to the apartment or residential areas. Most landlords won’t allow external installation of lighting, and if they agree to the suggestion, they are obligated to make it happen rather than the renter.
Likewise, the landlord is obligated to stay on top of any fixes needed in the building, so if disrepaired lighting is outside, in hallways, or in communal areas, have them replace it.
If they continually refuse, contact the local council or seek legal advice since they are in breach of contract.
3. Alarm Security System
Apartment security systems (i.e. alarms) are available with a range of different features dependent on your budget. The cheapest option is simply an audible alarm (a great way to accidentally wake the neighbors at 4am).
More expensive options might include features like auto-dialing, pre-recorded messages, center monitoring, and self-monitoring.
Recommended reading: Security Cameras vs Alarm Systems: What’s the Difference and Which Do I Need?
4. Curtains and Blinds
If anything’s going to attract a burglar to an apartment, it’s going to be their existing knowledge of what’s in it.
In the chaos of a move, curtains and blinds can be overlooked. What starts as a couple of days turns into weeks, and, soon enough, occupants are sleeping with no covers over the windows.
Prioritize obtaining some kind of cover for the windows as soon as possible, especially if the apartment is a ground or near-ground level. Even with curtains and blinds, be conscious of keeping valuables away from the windows, where they can be easily snatched.
Are second floor apartments safer?
Anecdotally, it’s considered that a second floor apartment may be safer than a ground floor apartment, but there’s no real evidence to support this claim. The logic behind this is that break-ins are sometimes spontaneous; a ground floor apartment is presumably easier to access in a speedy and discreet fashion than a penthouse several stories high.
However, break-ins aren’t the only risk to personal safety that exists in an apartment. If a fire broke out in the apartment block, it might take longer to evacuate the building for those living on the upper floors than those on the ground floor, thereby putting them at greater risk.
5. Check Local Crime Stats
Sometimes a move has to happen at breakneck pace, leaving little time for security concerns in the new area to be fully explored.
Apartment safety, and the extent to which it needs to be considered, is dependent on the crime rate.
Crime Mapping offers an excellent crime map service for US-based residents, compiling data from law enforcement agencies to detail where crimes have occurred, the nature of the crime, and when it happened. This allows locals to gain a better idea of the security risks they are dealing with.
Apartment Security Cost
Calculating apartment security costs depends on what you deem necessary for security purposes. Get an idea below of how much some of the essentials to consider can cost on average.
|Contents Insurance||$57-$242 a month|
|Security System||$100-$500 + monthly fees|
|Security Camera (AlfredCam)||$29.99|
|Security subscription (AlfredCamera)||$29.99 a year|
How much are most security deposits for apartments?
Security deposits for apartments are generally the equivalent of a month’s rent (4 or 5 weeks rent). This shouldn’t be confused with a holding deposit, which is what is paid to ‘secure’ a rental before signing a contract.
It also isn’t the same as being asked to pay a month’s rent in advance, which is sometimes requested additionally. Always be clear on what sum is required for the security deposit versus other expenses prior to signing a rental agreement.
Can you put up a security system in your apartment?
You can put a security system in your apartment. Installing a security system in an apartment will depend on whether the occupant is renting or not. If renting, review the rental agreement or discuss with the landlord first to determine if installation is authorized.
How can I keep my apartment safe without a security system?
Keep your apartment safe without a security system by considering some apartment security essentials: namely, contents insurance, keeping windows and doors locked, and surveillance.
Use AlfredCamera to create a powerful surveillance system on a budget; users can add as many viewing devices to the app as they wish.
How do I secure my new apartment?
Security for apartment doors is the most important way to secure a new apartment, since, for many apartments, it’s the only viable entry point to the property. Security cameras, door bars and deadbolts, and replacing old locks are key ways to secure the door.
Is an apartment more secure than a house?
Single-occupant houses, particularly those that are isolated, are regarded as the easiest target for burglaries. But some apartments are more at-risk than houses – especially those on the ground floor. This is because individual houses are more visible than an apartment building.
Being conscious and proactive around apartment security measures should therefore be of great importance to both landlord and tenant alike.
Safety and happiness are paramount, not least of all in the place a person calls home. That’s why it’s important to take apartment security seriously, and to do whatever’s within reason to protect both occupants and personal belongings.
This is now more affordable than ever, whether that’s through simple checks of locks and lighting, or through easy-to-use devices and applications like AlfredCamera.
Recommended reading: 5 Proven DIY Home Security Hacks You Need To Know