Alarm systems are a valuable investment whether or not you own your home. While living in an apartment may seem transient, it’s a good idea to protect your belongings while you are living there to prevent significant damage or loss. Burglars do not distinguish between renters and homeowners, so renters are just as likely to be victims of property crime as homeowners. If you’re questioning why you should install an alarm system for your apartment, consider these key points and features available that make it easier today to protect your belongings, regardless of whether you own the property or not.
Why do I need an alarm system if it’s not my home?
Even though the physical structure is not your property, basically everything inside of it is. Though intruders may damage windows, doors or wiring that your landlord will have to repair, their main target will be the valuables inside the apartment, which are yours. The best way to protect yourself and your possessions is to install one of the top-rated alarm systems for apartments.
Renters insurance will refund much of any property lost in the event of a theft, but wouldn’t it be better if the theft never happened in the first place? Also, while a reimbursement covers the monetary worth of the items stolen, it can’t replace the actual items. Family heirlooms, irreplaceable objects and possessions with sentimental value can’t be replaced with a check from your insurance company.
What if I move?
It’s likely that you won’t be renting the same apartment forever. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth it to protect your property while you’re there. Plus, an alarm system doesn’t need to be a lifelong commitment, and it can be as mobile as you are. If you know what you’re looking for when you purchase an alarm system, you’ll be able to take it with you when you leave without any costly relocation fees. You can also find an alarm system company that can provide a month-to-month or year-long contract; most monitoring contracts typically last three years. It’s also an option to forgo a monitoring contract all together and monitor the system yourself. The equipment can be purchased outright, wirelessly installed, and monitored from your mobile phone or computer. This eliminates the need for a contract, and allows you to take your system with you when you move.
Where do I start?
Speak to the property owner
First, talk to your landlord. There may some agreement he or she will agree to where you split the cost of the alarm system due to the added benefits it brings to both his or her property and your belongings. Even if this is not the case, it’s important for your landlord or apartment management to know you have an active alarm system in your home in the event that they need to enter your apartment. This will give them the foresight to contact you before entering so that you can disable the alarm or set up a special code for a maintenance worker or management employee to enter.
In a rental situation, it’s a good idea to choose a wireless alarm system, not only for the mobility and monitoring options it offers, but also to prevent any damage to your apartment’s walls or internal wiring. If you install a wired alarm system, it’s probable that you will lose your security deposit due to invasive installation methods. A wireless alarm system often consists of a control panel that connects to your internet connection, along with a series of sensors that wirelessly communicate with the central control panel. When a sensor is triggered, the alarm system contacts you wirelessly through a cellular channel.
Choose your features
You’ll want to make sure that your wireless alarm system contains the essential door sensors for each entry into your apartment, and even window sensors if you live on the ground floor or if your windows can be accessed easily with a ladder or from your patio or balcony. From there, you can add motion sensors if your apartment includes open indoor spaces, and cameras if you’d like to monitor the activity outside of your door or in areas that contain valuable items.
Wireless security cameras can also be enabled to speak to your control panel without any hard wiring, and prove extremely helpful in monitoring your apartment when you’re away or in catching the intruder after a crime has occurred. Packages and bicycles can easily be stolen from outside of an apartment, and, while your door and indoor motion sensors will not be triggered in these cases, a wireless security camera will.
You can also choose to add environmental sensors such as smoke, carbon monoxide, humidity, heat and cold. These added detectors can be a selling point if you’re trying to negotiate having your landlord pay for your alarm system, as their investment could be significantly damaged in the case of a flood, frozen pipes or a fire.
There are also a number of home automation options that can be added to your wireless alarm system, including remote thermostat control, keyless entry and lighting control.
Get a flexible contract
Once you’ve chosen an alarm system for apartments, talk to a monitoring company about what contracts they offer. Since your time in your apartment may be limited, look for flexible contracts, or no contract at all. Your wireless alarm system should enable you to monitor your system from your smartphone, alerting you in real time when your alarm is activated and giving you the option to contact the police.
Remember, the costs of a burglary greatly outweigh the cost of an alarm system, especially if you choose to forgo a monthly monitoring contract. The FBI reports that the average burglary ends with over $2,000 in lost and damaged property. Don’t let the transitory nature of your living situation prevent you from protecting your belonging and preventing major damage. Contact a top-rated company to learn about the alarm systems for apartments that they offer.