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How to Make Your Home Safe

A person entering a code in an electronic door lock

Locking your doors and shutting your windows when you leave is second nature. You probably look the peephole on the front door before opening it, and you might have even upgraded to smart home camera system. With all of that, is your home in the apartments for rent in Los Angeles as safe as it can be?

It’s a question people find themselves asking about homes across the country. While most people practice these safety routines and amp up their security, nearly everyone wonders what they can do to make their home safer. As it turns out, there are nine steps you can take to turn your home into the closest thing to Fort Knox. According to the experts, here’s what they are.

1. It All Starts with the Front Door

Your front door is the gate to your castle. In most cases, it is the main entrance and exit that you and guests will use. When it shuts and locks, it needs to be as secure as possible. So, a hollow core door isn’t going to cut it.

Experts recommend hardwood or steel only. This ads weight, making it challenging to move when locked, but also prevents simple break-ins with something like a crowbar. To secure that lock further, security pros suggest a heavy-duty, four-screw deadbolt strike plate to prevent the door from being kicked in.

You can pick up a strike plate from your local hardware store, including three-inch screws for a strong hold on the door. For under $100, you can also pick up a doorway reinforcement kit for maximum peace of mind. These kits reinforce every weak spot a door could possibly have.

2. The Timer Trick

While movies and TV make people think burglaries happen under the cover of darkness, most actually happen in broad daylight. Why? It’s easier to rob a home when no one is inside it. While you’re at work, school, or picking up groceries, Mr. Thief has the perfect opportunity to steal your belongings.

The second most popular time to burglarize a home is in the evening, with thieves targeting any humble abode that looks dimly lit or simply has no lights on. Regardless of the time of day, you can throw these criminals off your trail with the use of timers.

From old-fashioned TVs to smart home hubs, you can set a specific time for your electronics to turn themselves on and back off again. If that isn’t an option, you can even pick up a fake TV for under $50 that simulates the flickering lights of a show playing. The more you can have running without drastically increasing your utility bill, the better.

3. Fixing the Sliders

Sliding doors and windows are easier to force open than you might think, even when locked. There are two simple ways around this. First, you can rely on a sensor alarm that alerts you via phone when either is opened. Second, you can place a shower curtain rod on the track to prevent either from opening an inch.

4. Proper Signage

Burglars are on the hunt for the easiest target possible. No one wants to face off against a high-tech security system that alerts the authorities or risk getting mauled by a large dog. While you might not have either, you can always fake it with the right signs.

A simple “beware of dog” sign can be all it takes to make a thief think twice. Place a dog bowl by the side door, install a couple fake security cameras, or even put a home security sign in the yard whether you’re paying for one or not. As long as it looks like breaking in will be more of a hassle than it’s worth, you have one less thing to worry about.

5. Lights, Lots of Lights

While it helps to have lights on inside of your home, having outside lights is equally as vital. Motion-sensing units by entrances, a lamppost, or some accentuating lights can all do the trick. In combination with your interior lights, those looking to break in during the evening will wonder if someone is inside to make their task overly complicated.

6. Vacation Don’ts

There are two things people neglect when going away for a few days. The first is their mail. A pile of newspapers and letters from days passed is an open invitation that says, “Hey! I’m not at home and won’t be for a while!” The best thing to do is have a friend or neighbor pick up and hang onto your mail in the meantime.

Second, people love posting vacation pics on social media. That’s another way burglars discover that individuals aren’t home, and it only takes seconds to look up your address by using your name. Take all the pictures you want, but post them after you return home to stay safe.

7. Hidden Stash

The goal of a burglary is to grab the most valuable, expensive items and get out as quickly as possible. They check dresser drawers, medicine cabinets, bedside tables, and under the bed. The more creative your hiding spaces, the less likely you are to lose your most valuable items.

One neat trick that experts suggest is to hang on to an old, worthless laptop. Leave it sitting somewhere near the front door in plain sight. Chances are, the burglar will think it is worth a ton and leave with just your old piece of junk.

8. Be Aware

Being aware of your surroundings is paramount to your safety, and it’s a simple thing to practice. Notice anyone new walking down the street or hanging out around your apartment building? Has anyone been following you or a neighbor inconspicuously? Is there a new car the drives by every day all of a sudden in your community?

Noticing these changes can make all the difference in the world. There’s no need to be paranoid about everyone on the street, but it helps to be mindful enough of your surrounding that you notice when something is out of place.

9. Bargain

Before you move into an apartment, check out the usual areas of break and entry. Are the locks in good shape? Does all of the lighting work properly? Are there locks on the windows? What kind of door will you have?

If something isn’t up to snuff, ask your landlord to make minor security improvements before signing the lease. It also helps to ask if they will replace the deadbolt lock since others may still have a key, and to ask permission to bolt a safe to the floor of your closet (making it impossible to pick up and carry away).

Apartment for Rent, Los Angeles

When it comes to renting an apartment, knowing your home is safe and secure is important to your wellbeing. At Eight & Grand, our 24-hour attended lobby prevents anyone from making their way to your front door without your say-so. Keyless entry doors eliminate the ability to pick a lock or copy a lost key, and burglars without Olympian training aren’t about to scale our private balconies. Whether you’re at home or on-the-go, you can rest easy knowing your belongings are safe and sound.

With one less worry on your mind, you can relax in the soaking tub or whip up a delicious meal on your quartz kitchen countertop. Get a workout in at the on-site state-of-the-art fitness center, kick your feet up by the resort-style rooftop pool, enjoy a movie in the private screening room or pamper your pooch in the pet spa and dog run.

Shop in the Whole Foods Market on the ground floor, realign your chi in the calming zen garden, or entertain guests in the landscaped terraces where you can find a second pool. With the finest in modern amenities and finishes, you can let your worries melt away as you enjoy an elevated sense of living.

Welcome to city living done right. Welcome to Eight & Grand.