So you’ve just moved into a new apartment in a block of flats. You’ve decided to leave home for the first time, you are starting a new job in a new city, or you are simply downsizing from a house in order to get some peace and quiet. Whatever the reason for your move, you have settled on this apartment and now you want to finish off moving in.
One important thing to remember when moving into a new flat is to ensure the security if your new dwelling. People can easily get complacent with home security, especially when moving from a house to a flat as – believe it or not – different security rules can apply. A flat has fewer entry points than a house, making it more secure against thieves in some areas, but it lacks the extra security other areas. Read on for our top 7 tips on improving the security in your new apartment.
- Get the Latest CCTV System
The CCTV system in your block of flats may be on its last legs, or it may be outdated by several years. It can be easy for blocks of flats to become complacent with their CCTV security, particularly if it is not something they think about or have to worry about for any length of time. In order to help increase security, consider replacing your CCTV system with a newer, more secure model.
- Replace your Flat Front Door
Sometimes the front door of your flat is simply building issued and is not very sturdy, or it may have suffered some rough abuse at the hands of previous tenants. Either way, it may be a good idea for you to replace the front door of your flat in order to provide your new home with some extra security. If you feel like splashing out, you can also invest in a uPVC door which has an inbuilt locking system, meaning that you won’t also have to worry about buying separate locks for the door.
- Replace your Door Locks
Who else has your keys? When moving into an older flat, you can never really be sure. It is, therefore, important that you change the locks to your own flat as soon as possible so that you are now in possession of the only set of keys available to that flat. It is an essential part of moving into any new property, particularly if the local area isn’t too secure in and of itself.
- Never Open the Door to Strangers
It can be quite common for people living in blocks of flats to ‘buzz’ people into the building when they don’t actually know who the visitor is here for. Some postmen need to enter the building and will simply tap on all the buzzers, hoping that someone will buzz them in but this can be a real danger if you are letting someone you don’t know in. Never answer the ‘buzz’ unless you are expecting someone as this can greatly reduce the chances of your block of flats falling victim to robberies.
- Mortice Locks
A strong and sturdy way of increasing security in your home, in order to ensure that you are properly covered in accordance with your household insurance policy, the mortice lock you choose should be fitted to BS3621 standards. If you can’t afford a full security system for your apartment block, a mortice lock provides a great deterrent to any potential thieves. Certainly one to add to your list!
- Never Advertise your Absence
You might feel the need to let your local paper boy or postman know when you are going on holiday so that they can leave any post or parcels you receive during your absence elsewhere. Unless you have spoken to them beforehand in person, never advertise your absence. If you leave a note for the postman, it may not simply be the postman who happens to read that note.
If you have to let people know that you will be away, try to arrange something with your neighbours in regards to post and deliveries. If you know you are going on holiday soon, don’t order anything online or have it delivered to a relative’s home instead! It is better that you do not let anyone know when you are going on holiday if you can help it, particularly if you are not in a very good neighbourhood.
- Motion Sensor Alarms
Thieves like to be inconspicuous. The more fuss and more obvious they are when entering a property, the less likely they are to try anything. This is why a motion sensor is a remarkably useful addition to any property. If a light is set to turn on once it senses motion, the potential perpetrator will be illuminated, catching their profile in clear view of the CCTV cameras. Motion sensor alarms combined with a CCTV system that is up to date will help immensely in keeping your flat secure.
Other ways in which you can help increase the security of your flats is to set up a neighbourhood watch and to build better relationships with your neighbours. If you befriend or, at least, maintain a healthy relationship with your neighbours, they are more likely to alert you if anything is out of the ordinary. Likewise, you can alert them if you notice anything awry with their property. Every little helps when it comes to stopping crime in its tracks, you just have to be proactive in thinking about how you can increase your home security. Don’t leave it to the building manager, beef up your security before it is too late!
Article provided by Sara Bryant, working with Rentrifone to improve security and door entry systems across London.