The idea of living in a joint family system is slowly diminishing in Pakistan, for a myriad of reasons. But there’s one major factor contributing to this change: more millennials prefer a nuclear family to an extended set-up. This shift has resulted in more people choosing an apartment, as opposed to a house, as their abode. Why? The first and foremost reason is security. However, you can’t rely solely on the security infrastructure present in your apartment complex; people living in flats must also ensure their own safety and security to stay protected. For your convenience, we are sharing some of the inexpensive ways to stay safe in an apartment. Let’s take a look.
Ways to Stay Safe in an Apartment
You need to be extra cautious in choosing the right apartment for your family. Before making a decision, ask yourself these questions: What are the things you need to consider before you pick an apartment as your residence? And then, once you have chosen to live in a particular flat, what are the features you must introduce to have a top notch security system in place? Let’s check them out.
Before you Move in
Here are a few ways to make sure the apartment you are moving in is safe:
- Explore the neighbourhood
- Check out the apartment’s maintenance and upkeep
- Apartment’s parking space
- Check out the entryways
- Take a look at the safety grills and back doors
- Try to visit the area at night
Let us discuss each of them in detail.
Explore the neighbourhood
Is it a safe place to live in? Have there been any crime incidents lately? Is the apartment complex in a residential area? Do they have a police station nearby? What are the modes of transportation? Would it take longer to reach the neighbourhood at night time or at odd hours? In order to find answers to all of these questions, run a background check of the neighbourhood you’re planning to move to. As they say, the best way to explore a new place is to walk it, so try to visit the area and see for yourself what it’s like to live there.
Check out on the apartment’s maintenance and upkeep
Small things like peeling paint, fused bulbs or bad plumbing can be tell-tale signs of neglected property. If the builder or owner isn’t concerned about the more visible aspects of the apartment’s maintenance, it is less likely that he would pay any heed to the security of the building. You would end up seeing broken locks and windows – which means the owner has compromised on the flat’s security. It is also a good idea to talk to the neighbours to gauge the area’s security beforehand.
Apartment’s parking space
One of the key areas where one can easily experience a security lapse in an apartment complex is the parking space. These places are not very well-lit and due to lack of space and parked cars, it is quite likely that a thief might find a place to hide.
Parking spaces in an apartment building can become hideouts for thieves plotting a burglary. In good apartment complexes, proper security systems are in place to ensure the safety of residents. Speaking of security, one of the best ways to stay safe in an apartment is to ensure surveillance cameras are installed in place. In case, you don’t find any cameras in your building, you can request the authorities to install them.
Check out the entryways
Another security check: the entrance points – both of your apartment and of the apartment complex. See if there are security guards at entrances. In case you don’t see them you can always visit the security office and talk to the management to hire security personnel.
Remember, guarded entrances are the first step towards an effective security management system. You must also take a closer look at the apartment’s entrance before you purchase or rent the flat. What kind of locks are in place? Does it have an entrance code installed? Any peephole through which you can check who is out there before you allow them in. If the apartment offers these security features it is great, but if it doesn’t, then take a look at the different ways to stay safe in an apartment discussed below.
Take a look at the safety grills in windows, back doors
Before moving in, have a closer look at the windows, balcony area, back doors, front doors to identify any security loophole. In some flats, the balcony does not have grills in place or the windows have no safety grills or maybe there is a back door that raises questions over the apartment’s security. Check all these factors before you sign any deal.
Try to visit the area at night
If all of the above factors are ok and you have decided to move in the apartment, there is one last security check you must carry out before making that decision. Visit the neighbourhood at night. Imagine if you are returning from a wedding function at night, will it be safe to enter the building or not. Ask yourself these questions. If you think the area is a bit darker, secluded and scary to live, it is never too late to decline the offer made by the owner or landlord of that apartment.
Once you have moved in
You have chosen the perfect abode for your family to move in. Perfect. Here are some of the best apartment safety tips that can help you make your new home secure:
- Make sure the apartment is well-lit
- Change all the locks
- Install a security code on the entrance
- Smoke detectors can save you from fires
- Don’t let anyone know when you are on a vacation
- Cover your windows
- Door jammers work best
Let’s take an in-depth look at the security measures you can take to make your apartment safe.
Make sure the apartment is well-lit
If you have bought the apartment or are a renter, one of the best apartment tips is to keep the flat well-lit. Don’t hesitate to put an extra pair of bulbs at the entrance, in the hallway, balcony – even the dirty kitchen or laundry area.
Think like a thief. Yes, you read that right. If your flat is all dark at night, it might allow them to sneak into your apartment. The best way to keep your apartment safe is to beef up the lighting system. That is the first line of defense to keep burglars and intruders away.
Change all the locks
Ok, so once you are done with placing extra lights in your apartment, getting the locks changed is equally important. Why, you may ask? Whoever was living in that building before you would know every bit of detail about the locks and whatever security features were in place. The housekeeping staff, servants, the owner, the cleaning guy—all of these people might know how the locks work. Also, you don’t really know how many duplicate keys have been made. It is best to upgrade the locks to secure your apartment.
Install a security code
One of the best ways to stay safe in an apartment is to block all entry points for any intruder. What better way to do this than by installing a keypad access control system? Nobody can enter your apartment that way, except you! Placing a security alarm system is also a great way of keeping your apartment safe from burglars.
Smoke detectors can save you from fires
It is not just the thieves your apartment needs protection from. A fire in an apartment is equally unsafe. Make sure you have placed smoke detectors in apartment rooms so that you don’t have to face any injuries or any possible harm from any fire.
Don’t let anyone know when you are on a vacation
One of the simplest apartment safety tips is to keep your vacation a secret. Don’t let any of your household staff to know when you would be leaving or coming back. In case you have to inform your cleaning guy make sure you say that someone is always visiting the apartment in your absence or that guards have been asked to keep a vigil.
Cover your windows
Make sure your windows are properly covered. Place blinds or keep the curtains drawn at night. If you have large windows in the house and they are not covered, especially at night, it can affect your privacy and would help the burglars plan their next strategy to loot and plunder your apartment. A well-lit room at night with uncovered windows would throw you into a spotlight you wouldn’t want.
Door jammers work best
Yeah, door jammers. A simple chain fastener or door jammer can do the trick – it can block the burglar from entering the apartment. They are not that expensive and are a great security solution for apartment dwellers. You can place them to a door and it would act like a door stopper. If you only depend on the door locks chances are there are already duplicate keys to the door locks floating around.
So, these were some of the simplest and easily implementable security measures you can take to make your apartment secure from burglars and thieves. If you live in a bungalow, then take a look at these foolproof security measures you can implement on a budget.
If you have anything to add to the list above, do write to us at email@example.com and we would love to hear from you. For more updates on how to manage your security, make sure to subscribe to Zameen Blog, the best lifestyle blog in Pakistan.