Apartment and Condo Security Tips

Life in an apartment or condominium complex can often appear safe and secure for most residents. With numerous neighbors, staff and possibly even security guards on patrol, why should anyone give a second thought when it comes to the risk of being burglarized? Well, as a 20-year veteran of the security industry, I am very suited to answer this grim question.

Last year, over 2.2 million burglaries were reported in the United States. Out of those reported burglaries, an alarming 70% took place within residences across America. And according to the National Crime Prevention Council, apartments and condos are 85% more likely to be burglarized than other types of housing.

Why are residents experiencing the brunt of these heartless crimes? Because various businesses, stores, and offices are making it more and more difficult for criminals to gain entry into their facilities by installing various security devices—alarm systems, cameras, protective glass film, door braces, and more. This causes burglars to turn their attention to much easier targets—residential houses, apartments, and condos.

An important lesson can be learned from these disturbing statistics, which is that the best defense against becoming a victim of burglary or home invasion is to increase the layers of security. 

The Security Onion: The More Layers The Better.

Layer 1 – Timers & Lighting:

  • You can also use timers to turn on a radio or television while you’re away
  • Ensure adequate lighting around your doorways, exterior hallways, stairwells and sidewalks.
  • Install a couple of light timers inside your apartment to give the appearance of occupancy even when you aren’t home.

Layer 2 – Alarm System:

  • Prominently display the alarm company signage. This will serve as an added deterrent for criminals.
  • Install an obscenely loud alarm system that contains glass break sensors, motion detectors, back-up cellular dialer, wireless panic buttons, and external strobe lights.
  • Keep in mind your alarm system won’t stop an intruder from entering your dwelling. But, in most cases, the blaring siren is usually enough to rattle the nerves of even the most determined thief.

Layer 3 – Doors:

  • Peepholes should have a wide-angle lens and be within viewing level.
  • It is critical to reinforce all exit door hinges with 3-inch steel screws. Doors should be constructed of solid wood or metal.

Layer 4 - Windows & Glass:

  • Insert a solid, wooden closet dowel or metal rod in the tracks of at-risk windows that slide horizontally (sideways), such as large patio sliders.
  • All accessible windows should be treated with a glass protection film. Although the burglar may eventually produce enough force to smash through, it would require numerous noise-producing efforts. Because a burglar knows that the more effort and noise he produces will result in a significantly higher risk of being seen or caught, he would rather flee and find an easier target than continue his attempts to break into a window protected by glass protection film.
  • Ground floor apartments and condos are more susceptible to burglaries than upper level units because the windows and sliding glass doors are easily accessible, offering burglars another option for entry. But even upper ground floor windows can be a security hazard if they are located near stairwells, outdoor hallways, high fences, trees, or balconies. Thoroughly assess your surroundings for these possible security hazards and take appropriate steps to protect your residence and yourself.

Layer 5 – Landscaping:

  • Be sure to cut back all landscaping near or around the perimeter of your home.
  • Landscaping is beautiful; however, it also serves as cover for the intruder to hide in the darkness. Thugs often hide in shrubs, waiting for you to exit your car in the driveway. In a matter of moments, they can grab you and lead you by gunpoint into your home.

Layer 6 – YOU!

  • Well, in this case the layer is not a product, device, or even a tangible for that matter. The layer is you—so don’t panic, have security ready to roll.
  • Take notice of your entrance and exit points within your dwelling. If you’re on the ground floor, is there a window accessible that you can escape through, allowing you to run to a neighbor’s apartment? Is there a utility closet you can hide in until help arrives, etc.?

It’s all about the layers, so much so that any attempt that a burglar makes should be met with not one or two but "several" layers of security protection. By doing so, your residence will require more effort and skill than most intruders are willing to put forth; thus, forcing them to promptly flee and move on to an easier target.

Jordan Frankel, commonly known as The Security Sensei develops revolutionary security products and solutions that protect both lives & property. Countless agencies and corporations such as NASDAQ, the US Military, and law enforcement entrust Mr. Frankel with their security and safety. Jordan Frankel is also frequent media guest addressing the personal and financial consequences associated with home invasions, burglaries and other serious threats. In addition, Mr. Frankel's security products & inventions have been featured on Oprah, FOX news and in countless publications. Jordan's ability to outsmart the proverbial bad guys - coupled with his commitment to making security an affordable reality for everyone is the key to Global Security Experts Inc success. Mr. Frankel (The Security Sensei) is available for media interviews by appointment only.

Mr. Frankel is a proud member of:

The American Society for Industrial Security.

The International Association for Counter Terrorism & Security.

The Society of Professional Locksmiths.