Is your apartment secure?

Moving in to a new apartment is always exciting. From the decorating to simply the positioning and repositioning of your furniture to your satisfaction. But have you done the necessary to ensure that your apartment is safe and secure? Moneybags journalist Danielle Van Wyk investigates your security options.

“These days apartments have a good level of security from boundary walls, guards to electric fencing. However, security remains an issue particularly in South Africa. “While it seems unlikely that an apartment building would be the target of burglary or break-ins, it can still be a target,” states ADT South Africa (ADT).

The following are a few tips on the best ways to ensure your safety:

1. Before moving in:

“You should discuss security with your landlord before you move in. At the very least, make it a priority early in your tenancy. You’ll want to discuss any existing security measures, and find out how far you can go in adding security to the apartment,” ADT adds.

According to Safewise, you would also do well to research the local crime statistics, test the lighting both in and around the apartment and change the door locks, if able.

Many renters are also of the opinion that the landlord is responsible for the general safety upkeep of the apartment, and this is where they take their eye off the ball and only realise this when they’ve had a break in, for example. Legally, the safety of a rented home falls on the tenant, unless they are able to prove the home uninhabitable due to safety risks. But this doesn’t stop you from negotiating with your landlord for increased security measures, adds REmax Living.

2. Access control:

Your next step in making sure you are improving your home security should be access control.

“While most apartments already have a form of access control, it’s worryingly easy to get in to a complex even if you have no business being there. Combat this by investing in access control at your apartment’s front door. A security gate adds an additional layer of security, giving you the ability to vet access to your home if necessary. This can be taken further by mounting a CCTV camera above the gate. Integrated with your TV (or cellphone), this will give you advance warning when needed,” suggests ADT.

3. Inside your apartment:

While access control undoubtedly makes it harder for intruders to enter your home, it does not take away from your responsibility in ensuring that you secure the inside of your apartment too.

The size of your apartment will work to your benefit here: apartments are generally smaller than houses, so you can get by quite happily with a less sophisticated – and less expensive – option. You’ll want to start with a good security alarm. This will ensure that your home’s protected whether you’re there or not,” ADT explains.

Another useful addition that you may want to consider is a panic button. “Placed in each of the rooms of your apartment, these will give you a vital lifeline should someone gain access while you’re home alone,” ADT says.

4. When your lease has expired

What happens when you’ve gone to all the trouble of installing protection in your apartment, but your lease is nearly up, and you’re looking to move?

ADT identifies this as the problem that most discourages renters from taking steps to protect themselves, but it doesn’t need to be a problem at all. ADT among other security companies offer a full service for those moving home, making it easy for you to stay secure when you move.

Security in this country is a necessity and one that you would do well to care of, especially over the upcoming festive season when home theft tends to increase.