While many adults today grew up in traditional family homes like farm, suburban, and townhouses, condo or apartment living has become more of the norm today. This has resulted in a big change in the style of living.
With condos or apartments, people now live in much closer quarters. It also means that since there is so much shared space, there will be much more people than you might be accustomed to finding their way onto the property. While who gets into the unit you are occupying is more under your control, you cannot restrict who else is granted access by your fellow condo owners or the property management company. That means just about anyone that gets past security can come as close as your front door unnoticed.
This prospect can be unnerving for many people. More so if you have moved to new city or building. Even if the area you have moved to has a reputation for being safe, you still need to be cautious in your behaviour as no neighbourhood can ever be 100% crime-free. Even for condos that are generally considered a safer environment than houses.
So whether you are a family with kids or a single person, safety should be a key concern. Here are a few tips you can use to make your condo or apartment living safer.
Before you choose an area and condo building in which to live, do your research. You can likely afford to stay in a hotel or short stay rental for a while as you look for a more permanent place to live. Explore the different neighbourhoods you are considering and get a feel for the area. Find out how easily accessible public transport is, retail shops and whatever other facilities you would want.
Look into the kind of security provided within the property. how do people get in and out? What kind of lighting is there on the inside and outside of the building? Is their internal parking for vehicles and how is it accessed? Are their security cameras and how are they monitored? Is there an intercom system for visitors?
You also need to consider the level of technology in use. Older buildings will likely just have a good door lock in place while newer structures will make use of passcodes and key cards. Expect that the more sophisticated the security system there is, the more expensive the cost of housing will likely be. Or another easier way is to look for a trust and reliable property management to handle the property’s condition.
Cover the Windows
Installing some kind of window covering is a good idea. Especially if your unit can be looked into from another building or structure. If someone can see into your home, they will not only learn what belongings you have but can also monitor your comings or goings. Make it a point to have either blinds or curtains installed right from the day you move into your condo or apartment. Ensuring privacy is a good safety measure to live by.
After you have considered the security in the area and in and around the building, you then have to consider what you can do inside the unit. If you are unsatisfied with your front door, consider adding a deadbolt or other lock, as is permitted by your landlord. A door with a keyhole is also a good way you can verify the identity of a visitor before even having to open the door.
You can also set up a smart security system that allows you to check in on what is happening in your condo while away. You can set up discreet or disguised cameras in different rooms and be able to tap into their feeds on a mobile device remotely through wifi.
It is also advisable to try and get to know your neighbours. Just like when living in a house, your neighbour can be helpful in times of emergency. Making friends with the people around you will make them more inclined to look out for your interests. If they notice anything unusual they will check up on you.
If you have or want to get a dog, this can also be a useful security measure. Many breeds are highly alert and will bark to draw your attention or as a warning to an intruder. Dogs are also a deterrent to intruders who would be fearful of getting bit. However, you need to check with the property management firm that pets like dogs are allowed before signing a lease.
Get a Safe
A safe makes sense wherever in the world or type of house you live in. When you have personal effects of high value, like jewellery or important personal documents, then a safe is a good investment. Most people have just a few high-value small items and an affordable safe is good enough. Keep the code and/or key secret and you should not have to worry. If you can, find a discreet place to stash it out of sight so visitors and guests do not know you have one. It may be even better if it can be fastened or mounted in place.
Alternatively, opt for a safety deposit box. Many banks offer this service at an affordable rate. The facilities tend to be modern and secure so your valuables should be well-protected. To access the safety deposit box in the vault may require passcodes, biometric checks, and/or key access by a representative of the bank and the customer. You may however be required to have an account with the bank, which is not a difficult issue to comply with.
Know The Layout
Be sure to take a full tour of the building you move into. It is important cause it is not just break-ins you have to worry about. a fire or other calamity may take place, making it important to know where the fire exits are and the position of safety equipment like fire extinguishers.
Also, get to learn the layout of the neighbourhood. If you can, get someone you trust to take you around the area. They can advise you about what routes are safest and areas you should be more cautious about.
Be sure to also save the phone number of the property management firm or juristic person in charge of the condo. If an emergency crops up, they may help resolve the issue effectively.