I love that show, "Forensic Files." Every so often there's the case of a person who was found murdered in their apartment due to some forced entry. Which brings me to the topic of apartment security.
- Don't delay in doing a walk-through of the entire premises, including the laundry room (where a crime can occur after a creep spots a vulnerable-looking woman enter the unlocked room).
- Take note of any portals through which a burglar could make entry. This includes trees and trellises that lead to a window.
- Take note of where the lit and dark areas are.
Doors and Windows
- I can't begin to tell you how many episodes of "Forensic Files" deal with an intruder getting in through an unlocked door or window-and this includes during the day when the victim was home. Keep them locked!
- However, we all know that intruders will use force to break through a locked door or window (though if you're home, you'll have time to call 911 and perhaps make an escape through the back of the apartment-a plan you should already have in place since Day 1. If you're on the second floor, have a foldable ladder always ready to make your escape.). Sounds crazy, but it's good for fire escape too.
- Hopefully your landlord will permit you to replace what's probably a cheaply built door strike-plate with a strong one with two-inch screws, as this will make it very difficult to kick open. Press your landlord to allow deadbolts on all the doors, even if you must pay for them.
- Make sure the window locks are very difficult to get past, even if you must pay for revisions. Landlords typically won't do things like this; if the lock merely "works," that's usually good enough for them. This includes sliding glass doors.
- Put Charley bars or anti-slide devices in the tracks of sliding doors.
- No matter how mesmerizing the night crickets or ruffling leaves are, you must never go to sleep when the windows are unlocked.
- Make sure no valuables are visible through your windows.
- A landlord won't pay for a security system. Hang on every doorknob a sensor (available online and fits in your palm) that, when the door is opened, emits a loud beep.
- Install your own home security system. They are relatively inexpensive and some can be moved to another apartment.
- Use timed lighting devices to make it appear you're home when you're out.
- Every time you leave your apartment to get mail, empty rubbish or go to the laundry room, lock your door!