If you are an apartment renter like me, you probably enjoy the convenience and easy maintenance that goes along with apartment living as opposed to taking care of a home and the yard that comes with it. That was always my opinion and I never gave safety a second thought since there were plenty of other tenants around and I’m in a decent area of town. Whenever I hear stories about burglaries they involve large homes packed with valuables or houses in bad areas that are prone to violence, but not apartments. As it turns out, apartment burglaries are much more common than most people think and I learned this lesson the hard way.
I live in a first floor apartment on the north side of Chicago just across the street from a large shopping center. There are open stairwells in each building with parking spots just outside the doors that I used to consider conveniences, but they were also easy escape mechanisms for burglars. I came home from work one afternoon to find my doorknob slightly bent and not functioning properly. As I slowly pushed my door open, I saw my empty TV stand, my coffee table with no iHome or Ipod on it and my vintage record player missing from its’ shelf. My apartment had been robbed in broad daylight with neighbors and apartment staff present the entire time! I later discovered that the apartment across from mine had also been broken into and a tenant from the floor above had seen men carrying items outside but had assumed that they were movers. It was so easy for intruders to crack open my simple door lock (none of the apartments in my complex have deadbolts) and to shuffle goods right out to a vehicle 20 feet away.
It wasn’t until this occurrence that I realized how much I truly value my possessions and the time I have dedicated to personalizing many of them. My iPod was engraved with my name and had playlists that I had created for every event in my life. My record player had been in my family for 40 years, which meant that quite a few memories were attached to it. I was lucky that I had my laptop in my possession that day because losing all of my work and personalization on that computer would have cost me countless hours of effort. Not only did I lose physical items, I lost my peace of mind. I didn’t feel safe in my own home.
In order to regain that peace of mind, I acquired a wireless security system that was professionally installed and came with features such as a high-decibel alarm to scare off intruders (and hopefully inform my neighbors that those folks walking out of my apartment with only electronics are not actually moving professionals)and a keychain remote to activate or deactivate the system with ease. I still have 5 months left on my lease so moving to another location wasn’t an option, but with the alarm system I can feel safe again. Being a renter has its’ convenience perks, but don’t take your safety for granted just because you live in an apartment. I highly recommend investing in a security system for your apartment so you don’t have to deal with a burglary situation like I did and you can always feel safe at home.