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!
Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.
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