Home Security Tips for Florida Renters
Home security is no laughing matter, especially when you rent your home. While there will always be challenges to keeping yourself safe, rental homes and apartments present unique ones you should be prepared to tackle at some point during your stay. What are these challenges? Let’s go over some potential things to know as we run down a list of six home security tips for Florida renters.
Change the Locks
The first line of defense against any intruder is the lock on your front door. However, this won’t always work as well as you’d hope it would. With any rental property, the chance that you’re the first and only person to live there is extremely slim. While it might seem like a fairly obvious safety precaution, landlords rarely care enough to switch the locks after a tenant moves out. This is often true even if the previous tenant was evicted. That means a former occupant could show up at your home and let themselves in. You can prevent this from happening by changing the locks. Your only stumbling block might be the landlord. Most require you to go through management for a lock change. That’s all right, though, since they’ll have to pay for it.
Consider Security Equipment You Can DIY Install
Security equipment is what most think of when it comes to home protection, but few know where to begin. However, if you have a little technical skill, you can actually put in a system by yourself from scratch. Not only do you get to dodge a costly installation fee, but you’ll also get a more personalized security system that’s harder to crack. Some security equipment can be installed using adhesive or a few screws that would leave easily repairable holes, which is much more attractive to renters than equipment requiring wiring or drilling. Those are often prohibited in rental agreements.
Adequate home security is the best kind of insurance, but if that fails for any reason, you’ll want a second line of defense. That’s where a renters insurance policy comes into play. If you don’t already have this protection, you should seriously consider acquiring it. Just as homeowners need insurance for the property they purchase, renters insurance is a necessary part of living in a rental home. It provides you with a way to recover your losses in the event your security system doesn’t prevent a problem. Since this is Florida, it will safeguard your possessions from hurricanes as well as burglaries.
Use Motion-Activated Lights
Using motion-activated lights is a good method to deter burglars. Lights that turn on at night at the first sign of motion are an easy way to make the area safer and actively discourage people from trying to break in. Most who do this tend to look for unoccupied homes. Many stores sell lights like these that can be stuck on with adhesive, meaning they are easy to install just about anywhere and won’t jeopardize your deposit.
Talk to the Neighbors
While you might already be doing this, it is important to think about your neighborhood when planning for home security. This means learning who is and isn’t supposed to be there, and while you shouldn’t be jumping at every unfamiliar face you see taking a walk, familiarity with your neighbors can be helpful in identifying someone who’s skulking around outside your home. A close-knit neighborhood is also more likely to yield witnesses who are willing to report on what they see if something nefarious happens. People tend to protect their friends.
Add Safety Locks to Windows
Most windows already have a simple locking mechanism as part of their construction, but the emphasis is on “simple.” It’s notoriously easy for someone to unlock most windows found in homes and apartments, making them a prime way to enter a residence even if all the other access points are locked down tight. To prevent this from happening, you can use something like a child safety lock that prevents the window from being opened from the outside. These tend to be easy to install. Depending on your windows and a few other factors, it may even be up to your landlord to foot the bill.
Home security is a tricky proposition, but there are many ways to simplify it. Take a look at these tips and see which ones work best for you and your family. It’s better to take precautions to improve your home security than to deal with the repercussions of a home invasion.