If you’re in the process of moving into a rental home, you need to consider how you’ll keep yourself safe from unwanted guests. Remember: unlike living in your own home, you don’t have the luxury of being able to install expensive security grills. The renter has to get a little creative with security to compensate for the lack of control.
Keep the following eight security tips in mind before and after you move into your new rental.
Monitor crime statistics
If you’ve just moved to a new city, chances are you aren’t aware of the reputation certain suburbs and districts hold. So if you’re not careful, you could unwittingly find yourself stuck in the centre of the city’s most crime-infested area.
Thankfully, each Australian state government publishes in-depth crime statistics that paint a pretty clear picture of where the hot spots are. Also, do a quick search online on your future suburb so you can gauge what other residents think of the area.
Scope out the security
When you’re inspecting a property, pay close attention to the security arrangements in place. Inspect the sturdiness of the relevant locks and observe whether residents tend to leave communal doors open. Extras like chain locks, peepholes, key codes, and cameras can go a long way at keeping you safe.
Look for bars on lower floor windows and check the quality of the locks. Any windows directly next to doors are a no-no as the bad guys can smash them, unlock the door, and let themselves in.
Make an emergency exit plan
In the nightmare scenario that an unwanted intruder should find their way into your home, you need to have an escape plan in place. Work out in advance the most efficient way to escape, factoring in an alternative route should your primary option be blocked. If you’re living in an especially seedy area, there’s no harm keeping a baseball bat under your bed.
Formulate a similar plan to follow in the event of a fire, bearing in mind smoke and intense heat may inhibit your preferred path.
Strengthen your locks
As a renter, you don’t want to spend big on security solutions that won’t follow you to your next home. Many locks and bolts, however, are relatively cost-effective and provide substantial protection against unwanted guests. Install them yourself to save money.
Another excellent option is the security bar, which provides a high level of protection and won’t damage the door upon installation. A.K.A. door jammers, these devices are perfect for apartments and can even be fitted on the balcony door.
Befriend your neighbours
You don’t have to be best mates, but the simple act of exchanging pleasantries with your neighbours can go a long way. A friendly neighbour will act as your eyes and ears when you’re not home, and will readily alert you of any suspicious activity they may have witnessed in the area.
Of course, it would be polite to return the favour by monitoring their property the best you can. Not sure who you’re neighbours are? Knock on their door and introduce yourself—it’s a mutually beneficial relationship, after all.
Buy a safe
A heavy steel safe is a sure-fire way to protect your valuables as virtually no would-be crook will be willing to lug such a bulky device away. Nonetheless, bolting your safe to the wall is the only way to ensure it’s entirely burglary proof, so have a chat with your landlord to see if they’re on board with the idea.
As a neat bonus, a safe is also a great way to keep the nimble fingers of flatmates and untrustworthy guests at bay.
Install a home security system
As a renter, you won’t want to get a professional home security installation done because you’ll just have to uninstall it all when it comes time to move again. Fortunately, however, many modern home security systems are now completely wireless; you can install them yourself by sticking them on with glue.
A high-tech wireless alarm system allows you to monitor your home remotely through a smartphone and provides automatic alerts when it detects suspicious activity.
Take out renters insurance
If you’ve done all the above and you’re still worried about being robbed, then consider investing in renters insurance. Most Australian insurance brokers offer the product, which covers your personal possessions such as computers, jewellery, and furniture in the event of theft or fire.
A yearly policy with a competitive provider won’t break the bank and will provide invaluable peace of mind.
There’s no need to live your life in fear as a tenant because there’s plenty of things you can do to secure your rental home. Keep today’s tips in mind and stop stressing about unwanted intruders once and for all.