How to find the right security system for your apartment

Posted April 7th, 2022 by SimpliSafe

Many home security companies cater towards the homeowners. But, as population trends are shifting—the University of Michigan reporting in their U.S. Cities Factsheet estimates that 83% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas today, up from 64% in 1950. As a result, more and more people are naturally living in apartments. And, though it might not come to mind, security systems for renters in apartment buildings or condo-owners are just as important for homeowners who live in a house.

But, where to start? What are some security vulnerabilities that exist for apartments and condos (especially those that may not exist for houses), and what is the best way to protect an apartment with a security system?

Potential security risks for apartments

Some people might think that since an apartment is often in a large building or a condominium community with plenty of neighbors, that the apartment may not pose as much of a risk security-wise as a house would. But, that’s not always true. Apartments do present risks for renters or apartment-owners, from fires and floods, to gas leaks, robberies, intruders, package theft, and more.

Though some buildings may be considered safer than others—for instance, a building with a doorman—you can never be too careful. And, it’s often when people let their guard down that security breaches can happen.

Luckily, an apartment or condo security system can go a long way in ensuring the place you call home is safe.

What type of apartment security system do I need?

Though houses and apartments are no different when it comes to the need for protection, they do differ when it comes to the type of security system and equipment you’ll need, as well as what you’re allowed to have. More on that in a bit. 

To start, apartments would generally benefit from the following home security components:

  • Doorbell camera: If you live in a city and take a walk around the block, you might notice that a lot of buildings already have some type of intercom or doorbell system. But, plenty of people have taken the liberty to upgrade to a doorbell camera, to see just who is outside. Is it the delivery person, a friend of a neighbor’s, or someone who is not supposed to be there? 

Depending on the size and layout of the building, some people may opt to have the doorbell camera placed outside the main entrance to the apartment building, whereas those in a condominium community might put it right on their own door (learn more from our guide to home security camera placement).  

  • Outdoor cameras: Outdoor cameras are very good at monitoring apartment buildings when there are a lot of people coming and going through the day and night. Sometimes, a doorbell camera might be enough to monitor the front of the property; for instance, if your apartment building has recently had issues with package theft and you hope to catch the porch pirate in the act.

But, if you feel that your building needs the extra protection and a wider view range, an outdoor camera might be the way to go. They can also help protect the neighborhood. For example, if a neighbor has an intrusion but doesn’t have a camera, your outdoor camera footage could potentially be used to catch the culprit. 

  • Indoor cameras: Indoor cameras are also a great security component for renters and apartment owners. By placing indoor cameras near the main entrance way/foyer, hallways, and/or common areas of the apartment building, it can help protect the residents inside and make them feel more safe.

  • Entry sensors: Entry sensors might be more commonly seen in houses versus apartments (especially high-rise buildings), but they are actually very important to utilize depending on the apartment you live in.

There have been cases where intruders have broken in through second-floor balconies/windows, and alarm sensors strategically placed on other entryways into your apartment (windows, back doors, etc.), can help keep you safe by alerting the authorities when the alarm is breached. Of course, water sensors and smoke detectors can also help in the event of a flood or fire, too.

  • Motion sensors: Depending on the type of apartment building you live in, motion sensors can work just as well as alarm sensors in detecting movement from other humans, all with the goal of preventing a suspicious person from getting too close to your apartment.

For instance, if you live in a two-family townhouse, motion sensors placed strategically around the property can alert you if someone is there when they shouldn’t be. Add professional monitoring, and any one that the sensor picks up on that shouldn’t be there can be alerted to the authorities. 

Getting apartment security systems approved

When you own a house, you can call all the shots on what equipment you want to buy and where to place that equipment. Essentially, you don’t need to run it by any one else except for those who live in your household. But, in an apartment or condo building, you may need to get permission from the super, property manager, landlord, or HOA to install any type of wired or wireless security system

In general, you might find that your apartment building already has some level of security, which is nice. That being said, maybe you want to take it a step further by purchasing that doorbell camera or an indoor camera for your common area, or adding a home security system specifically for your unit. It’s always a good idea to talk to your landlord or HOA before making any decisions. After all, if you have concerns about security, they may have them, too (which means they could end up paying for it!). Typically, every apartment or condo community has their own guidelines about making changes to a unit or common area, so it’s always a good idea to ask before making any decisions.

The good news is this can all be mitigated by choosing the right equipment. Meet SimpliSafe today to learn how we can help you find the best security system for your apartment.