11 Ways to Increase the Security of Your Apartment to Feel Safe and Sound

Lauren Wellbank
Written by Lauren Wellbank
Updated April 27, 2022
Woman opening apartment entrance door
Photo: Maskot / Adobe Stock

Give your rental a security glow-up using these safety add-ons

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Most apartment buildings and complexes come outfitted with plenty of security features—like interior hallway lights and exterior security cameras—but you can add a few extra safety options to give your home an added layer of protection (and to give yousome increased peace of mind). 

Check out our list of ways to elevate your home security that won’t bring your landlord knocking on your door.

1. Install a Security System

These days, there are plenty of home security system options that you can install on your own to manage the safety of your apartment. Stick-up cameras, video doorbells, and even exterior motion lights for ground-floor apartments with garden access are all great ways to incorporate smart home security features that give your space an added layer of protection. 

2. Upgrade Your Locks

You’ll want to double check with your building manager first, but some apartments will allow tenants to change their unit’s locks (as long as the front office has a copy for emergencies) or add a swing lock. This information is usually provided in your lease, but if your paperwork doesn’t cover changing or addings locks, ask your landlord or building manager to ensure you don’t violate any community rules. 

If you’re planning to upgrade your apartment locks, consider adding a smart lock that will allow you to lock your door remotely. These modern tools are perfect for hectic mornings when you can’t remember if you've secured your apartment before dashing off to work.

3. Keep Your Windows Secure

If you have sash windows (or windows where the bottom pane slides up behind the top pane) you can boost your home’s security by placing a wooden dowel between the bottom sash and the top of the window frame. This security measure will create a physical barrier that will prevent someone from sliding your unlocked window up. Most home improvement stores sell wooden dowels that can help increase window security

4. Add a Barrier to Sliders

Kitchen with sliding glass doors
Photo: FOTOGRAFIA INC. / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Sliding doors are a great apartment feature because they let in a ton of natural light and fresh air, making your space feel large and welcoming. Unfortunately, they can also make an enticing access point for potential burglars. Like sash windows, you can use a wooden dowel to create a physical blockade and prevent your slider from opening when it’s not in use.

In addition to using a dowel, you can also purchase a variety of stick-on barriers that can prevent both sides of the slider from opening. Check your local home improvement store and see what options would work best for your doors.

5. Report Broken or Damaged Lighting

An easy security measure is to ensure all of the exterior lighting in the common areas of your apartment complex are working. You should report any lights that appear to be damaged or burnt out to your landlord or building management. Bright or otherwise well-lit areas are safer because they make it easier for you to see where you’re going and they make it harder for potential burglars to enter the building undetected.

6. Follow the Buzz-In Rules 

Larger complexes that feature multiple apartment units often have a call system that allows tenants to “buzz” visitors into the building. These systems normally act like doorbells, with a button for each unit. 

A good rule of thumb is to never let someone into your building unless you’ve invited them or are expecting them. This rule includes both by buzzing in visitors who can’t locate the unit they are looking for and holding the door for strangers. This is likely the only circumstance in which it’s okay to refuse to hold the door for someone else! 

7. Install a Peephole

Woman in her apartment looking through door peephole
Photo: Valeriy_G / iStock / Getty Images Plus

If your front door doesn’t already have a small access window called a peephole, ask your landlord if you can install one. This handy feature will allow you to screen anyone who knocks without having to open the door first. Don’t forget to get your apartment management’s approval for this change before adding it yourself.

8. Meet Your Neighbors

Getting to know your neighbors and their routines will help you feel more comfortable about who’s coming and going from your complex, and help you create relationships with those living around you. Developing even a passing acquaintance with your neighbors can make them more likely to keep an eye on your home and alert you if they notice suspicious activity. 

9. Reinforce Your Door

If you’d like to install more front- or back-door security, there are other temporary door reinforcement options that you can use as a secondary line of defense. Check your local home improvement store for door jams or other physical barriers that you can install on the interior of your apartment’s door. 

10. Call in the Pros

If your complex allows it, call in a professional security company to evaluate your apartment’s safety and offer tips or services. Hiring a local home security service pro assess your home and provide recommendations on access points that need a security boost is a great way to instill confidence in the safety of your space. 

Additionally, a professional company will have signs that you can display in your apartment’s windows, sliders, and even on your door, letting potential vandals know that your home is fortified.

11. Don’t Forget About Renters Insurance

Okay, so an insurance policy doesn’t protect you from loss so much as it helps you recover from it, but it’s still an important safety feature that gives you more peace of mind. Renters insurance policies cover the cost of replacing any stolen or damaged items, and they typically cover many different types of losses. For example, if your apartment is involved in a fire emergency, a renter’s insurance policy can help you replace any items that were damaged by smoke or lost to the flames.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.