During college, a friend of mine walked into the living room of her apartment to an odd scene — a stranger asleep on the couch. Her guest wandered in the previous night thinking it was the apartment he was staying at. Since many units look the same, and the owner left the door unlocked, it was the perfect cocktail of mistakes.

The two shared a laugh about the situation. Though it ended light-heatedly, it taught both parties the importance of awareness — and locking doors.

You might feel like home security measures have gone out the window now that you left a house, but your game plan shouldn’t change. Burglary is still a possibility.

All About the Basics

Cover preparation basics. Lock up after yourself anytime you’re asleep or away. Make sure to secure windows, and doors, especially your balcony. Balcony and sliding glass doors are preferred targets for condo burglars.

Lock up your vehicle, even if it sits in a garage, and never leave valuable items in plain sight of a car or the windows to your home.

If you’ve recently moved into your unit, check with management if your locks have been re-done. Often times locks aren’t replaced when new tenants enter a unit, and you never know who the last owner gave keys to. Also, request an installation of extra locks or deadbolts if necessary.

Build a Community

Meet your neighbors, tenants in the hallways, and others around the complex. Build relationships with these people so they can work as your eyes and ears when you’re away from home. And do the same for them.

Building a relationship with your management and security teams can be extremely beneficial as well. They’ll be your go to’s if you ever have security concerns or need to report issues within the building, including: suspicious activity, burned out lights, or anything malfunctioning at the property.

Always be Aware

Learn the layout of your building, parking garage, stairwells, and fire exits so you’ll be prepared in case of emergencies. You’ll know where shelter is in the building if there’s ever a natural disaster or emergency situation. This will buy you time while the event is unfolding.

You can also request permission to build a safe room or fortified door. Doors are fire resistant and will protect in the event of a home intruder.

If your building requires a lock or door key and someone follows you, don’t feel bad not letting them in with you. If they are a resident, they will be happy that you’re taking the proper precautions for security.

Keep it the Same

Build relationships with those around, be aware, and look into setting up a home security system. It will be a valuable resource, even in apartments or condos. It will alert you, neighbors, and others in the building if a break-in or attempt ever occurs. And security signs and motion detector are always the best deterrent for burglars. 

As the phrase goes, “the more things change, the more they stay they same,”—  so goes home security. Your scenery is different, but any place you call home requires basic security measures.