When you go off to college and decide to live off campus, it is very likely that the neighborhood you find an apartment in is not necessarily the best or safest neighborhood around. This is largely due to the fact that you are looking for an inexpensive apartment that is close to campus and the cheapest apartments are usually in dicey neighborhoods. Once you move into your new apartment, there are some steps that you can and should take to stay safe in your apartment and your neighborhood. Get to know these steps to be sure that your off-campus living experience is the best one possible.
Have a Deadbolt and Chain Lock Installed
If your apartment only has a single lock on the door, you run the risk of a burglar being able to easily break or pick the lock to gain entry to your home. And in a questionable neighborhood, it is likely that a college student's apartment would be the target of such attacks.
As such, to protect yourself as well as your possessions, you should talk to your landlord about installing an additional deadbolt lock as well as a chain lock onto your door. A second deadbolt lock will make it much more difficult for a would-be intruder to get into your home as it will take a great deal more time to try to pick two locks rather than one. Deadbolts are also traditionally stronger than a standard doorknob lock.
If you landlord is okay with you getting locks but will not install them for you, be sure you hire a professional locksmith to install all of you additional door locks. This will ensure that they are effective as possible and that you do little to no damage to your landlord's property in the process.
Consider Installing Security Systems
Having a security system in your apartment is also an excellent deterrent for anyone who would think about breaking into your apartment. There are many different types of security systems that you can consider based on your wants and needs.
Wireless home security systems are excellent choices for apartment renters because they do not need to be permanently installed into the apartment's electrical system. These systems have sensors for doors and windows, a keypad to set and disarm the alarm and a base station that will send a signal to a security company and the police if they alarm is triggered. You can also link the wireless system to your smart phone so that you get an immediate alert if your system is triggered and you can set the alarm when you are on campus if you forgot to do so before leaving.
Other security systems may include video surveillance, keychain remotes, and motion sensors in case somehow sensors on doors or windows were bypassed when an intruder entered your apartment. Any of these different security systems will help keep you safe when you are home and will keep your home and possessions safe even when you are not there. The peace of mind this can provide you, even if you never experience a break-in, is well worth the time and money.
Now that you know a few of the ways that you can stay safe when you live in a cheap college apartment, you can be sure that you take these necessary steps to ensure that your off-campus living experience is fun and safe.