5 Apartment Security Tips for Renters

Apartment security is a very important topic in Chicago. With so many renters and owners living in apartment buildings, it's important to make sure you have the right security in your building. Here are five tips to help ensure your apartment remains secure.

Lock Doors and Windows

The first thing you want to make sure you always do is lock your door and windows. You don't want to make it easy for someone to break in. Most burglaries are the result of an unlocked window or door.

Even if all you're doing is leaving to get your mail or go enjoy the amenities, make sure you lock all doors and windows. It's also important to put a security bar in any sliding patio doors.

Upgrade your Locks

If your apartment building allows it, you can hire a professional locksmith to upgrade your locks. Instead of the typical knob lock and deadbolt, You can upgrade to a mortise lock or a double-cylinder deadbolt for more peace of mind.

Make sure you hire a professional locksmith to handle this job as you want it done right. It's also necessary to clear it with the landlord or manager first to ensure they know you plan to upgrade your lock.

Key in a locked apartment door

Add Timer Lights or Motion Sensor Lights

If you have an outdoor light, you can add a motion sensor light to it and make your outdoor area more secure. If a motion sensor light isn't possible, you can still set up an outdoor light on a timer to ensure it comes on and goes off at the right time.

Turning your outdoor light on at night can be a good way to deter burglars from breaking in. If you're going out of town, it can be a good idea to leave a few lights on timers to make it appear like you're still at home.

Install a Security System

Another upgrade you will need to get permission from the landlord for, but a great way to secure your apartment is a camera security system. If your landlord will allow it, you can have a security system installed to keep you safe. Many of today's systems are wireless, which make them easier to install in apartments without having to drill holes in walls.

Use a Safety Deposit Box

If you have valuable items and documents, don't store them in your apartment. Instead, store these items in a safety deposit box to ensure they remain safe. Even if you get robbed, you want to make sure things, such as your Social Security card or a precious heirloom from your grandmother remain safe.

There are several ways to make sure your apartment security keeps you safe. The building should have already taken some precautions, such as installing the proper lighting and maybe even providing a gated or secure entrance. Don't believe that a secure entrance or a doorman will keep criminals out, however. Take your own precautions to ensure your apartment remains safe.

4 Tips to Secure Sliding Glass Doors in Your Home

An experienced burglar can get into your home through your sliding glass door in less than a minute. With more than 8 million property crimes happening every year, you should be aware of the entry points a burglar can get in through.

Securing your sliding glass doors will help to ensure your home is harder to break into. Of course, this should be just one of the steps you take in your full home security plan.

While your front door and your windows may be very secure, your sliding glass door may be lacking in this area. Here are four great tips to secure your sliding glass doors.

Install Additional Locks

Having a professional locksmith install additional locks is one of the best ways to secure your sliding glass doors. Yes, they do come with locks, but they are usually very simple latches that burglars can easily bypass. A heavy-duty latch guard made with hardened steel can be installed on both the bottom and the top of the sliding glass door to ensure it’s secure.

Add Window Film

Another way burglars get in through the sliding glass door is by breaking it. It's usually not too difficult to break, but it can also be easily secured with window film. Sure, you want to let in the natural light, but you also want to keep thing safe. Having a professional install the film means you can get the performance you want while letting in plenty of light.

With the right window film, you can make your sliding glass door shatterproof. This makes it much more difficult for a burglar to get in.

Add a Rod in the Tracks

Maybe the easiest way to add security to your sliding glass doors is with a rod in the tracks. A metal rod adds security and makes it harder to open the door. If you have a door with a metal rod, use it and the door will become far more secure.

If your sliding glass door doesn't already have a metal rod, you can add a wooden dowel from a local hardware store. This is a great way to keep your door secure.

Add Door Sensors

Another easy way to add protection to your sliding glass door is by using a glass break sensor on your door. This can be installed as a part of your home security system and the alarm will sound if the door is broken.

You can also add a door sensor to the actual door that will trigger the alarm if it's opened. With two sensors, you will have plenty of protection for your sliding glass door. You need both sensors to fully protect the door as one will sense the sound of broken glass, while the other will sense the door actually opening.

Use these four tips to make sure your sliding glass doors are all secured properly. Hiring the help of a professional locksmith and a home security professional will help to ensure you don't have to worry about burglars getting in through your sliding glass door.

Why You Shouldn’t Break Into Your Own Car or Home

You've locked your keys in your car or lost the key to your house. You feel a bit desperate and you just want to get into your car or home. When this happens, call a Chicago locksmith before you try to break into your car or home.

Breaking into your car or home is dangerous. It can cause suspicion, damage and many other issues. Here are some of the main reasons you should never try to break into your own car or home.

Injury

If you try to break into your car, it could lead to serious injury. Maybe you think a broken window isn't that big of a deal to fix and you really want into the car. However, when you break that window, the process backfires and you end up cut badly. Even if you don't decide to break the window, trying to break into your own car could lead to injury.

The same goes for your home. Often, breaking into your own home means you're trying to climb into a window, which can be dangerous. You could fall on something inside or outside or hurt yourself in the process. Or, even if you think it goes smoothly you could later cut yourself on the glass you didn’t see in the creases of your car seat.

A Professional Locksmith Unlocking a Car Door

Damage your Car or Home

One of the main reasons you should never try to break into your own car or home is the damage you can cause. Often, calling a Chicago locksmith is cheaper than replacing a window or other damage you could cause. You may bend a door the wrong way; break a lock on a home window or something else. If you damage the mechanism that locks the window or door, you could spend much more to fix it instead of just calling a locksmith to help you into your vehicle or home.

Cause Legal Issues

If a police vehicle drives by during your attempted break-in, they won't know you own the home or car. They will likely suspect you are a thief and could arrest you for trying to break into your own car or home. Worst case scenario, they question you and the stress of the situation gets to you. This causes you to fight with the police, which could lead to legal issues.

You Could Make Yourself a Target of Crime

When you're desperate to get into your vehicle or home, you may not notice the person that has been watching you and comes up behind you with a gun. The next thing you know, you've become a victim of a crime because you were too busy trying to break into your car or home. Even worse, the thief could break into your car for you and take off with it.

If you're in an unsafe area or it's late at night, don't risk it. Call a Chicago locksmith instead and let a professional handle the job.

There are many things that could happen if you try to break into your own car or home. Most of them are not good. It's better to trust a professional locksmith and it will cost much less than the damage or injury you could cause trying to do it yourself.

Top Items You Should Keep In a Household Safe

You may already have a safety deposit box at your bank for valuable items, but should you put all of your eggs in one basket? The problem with your bank’s safety deposit box is that these are usually not insured while your home’s safe would likely be covered under your homeowner’s insurance. Plus, keeping cash in a safe means that your cash wouldn’t be insured either.

That’s why a household safe is the best way to go for things like cash, valuables, important documents, and family photos. You can’t access your bank safety deposit box outside of business hours or in the event of death without proper court papers from your estate representative. If you’re wondering what items make the most sense to keep at home, take a look below for your guide on what to keep in a household safe.

Social Security Cards, Passports and Birth Certificates

One of the first things you’ll likely want to secure into your household safe is your important identification. This includes your original social security cards, original birth certificates, and your passports. These are all items that are hard to replace and something you’ll need to travel, get social security benefits, or apply for things like marriage certificates. Make sure to keep these important items safe that identify you and your family, while being hard to replace if they were to get destroyed or lost.

Insurance, Financials, and Contact Info

Next, you’ll want to secure your financial house, your insurance paperwork, and contact information. Put your homeowners insurance and any other policies in here so that in the event of an emergency, you’ll be able to more easily contact your agent and file a claim. Financial paperwork like taxes, debts, stocks and bonds, deeds and titles, and investments, retirement plan, and bank accounts should all go in the safe.

Anything that covers your financial house should be protected so that you can protect your credit, keep tabs on your finances, not have to try to replace these important items. Having contact information for your insurance agents, outstanding debts, emergency contacts, and family members will make emergencies much less stressful as you’ll have the information and documents all protected.

Legal Documents

Speaking of documents, you’ll want to make sure you’ve added legal documents to your safe, such as any power of attorneys, your will, and marriage and death certificates. Legal documents like these should always be kept to ensure you protect yourself and that they can be found in the event of an emergency that requires your living will or information on your power of attorney.

Digital copy of family photos

Don’t forget sentimental items when you set up your safe. Keep digital media in here for your family photos, an inventory of the house, and files that you want to keep from a criminal. You can also keep family heirlooms and other irreplaceable, sentimental items in here.

Cash and firearms

Don’t forget to keep some cash in your safe since you don’t want to keep this in your safety deposit box. This is for an emergency situation in which you don’t want to worry about ATM limits, but also not keeping too much and risking theft. You’ll also want to keep your firearms in a safe since those are often targeted items and are rarely recovered. These are also important to keep in a safe when not in use for the safety of your family.

Lastly, make sure you’ve put items in your safe into waterproof bags to ensure their protection against water damage. Keeping these items in a waterproof, fireproof, and criminal proof household safe will put your mind at ease that your most important family possessions are protected in the event of an emergency. 

Make sure you contact The Professional Locksmith for any Chicago Safe Installation needs!

Animated person leaning on a safe giving the "OK" sign

5 Security Tips for Moving into a New Home

Moving into a new home comes with a lot of new responsibilities, but the first one should be your home’s security. Having a secure home means having a more secure life and not worrying about your family’s safety. You want to protect this investment you’ve made, your valuables inside the home, and the people you share the home with which is why you need to learn a few security tips for the move in.

With burglaries occurring mostly in residential properties more than any other type in the US, it’s important to be ready before anything can happen. Use these five tips for securing your new home.

Are you Safe in your own home? Simple drawing

Secure your doors and windows

Start by securing doors and windows since many times burglaries happen through these access points. You’ll want to inspect your doors to ensure strong frames and protected hinges. If the wood is hollow or you have a mail slot in the door, you may want to consider a replacement door since it may be easy to break down or reach through and unlock.

Install a latch guard, peephole, or additional deadbolt on your front door and then work on replacing the window latches with locks or key-operated levers. Swapping out tempered or laminated glass to a stronger material will help with home security as well.

Get to know the neighbors

One of the easiest ways to stay safer is to meet your neighbors and build a relationship that will motivate one another to keep an eye out on the neighborhood. Your neighbors can help keep an eye on your home when you’re away to look for suspicious activity, but only if they know you and your routines. You can do the same for them to help keep the neighborhood a little bit safer.

Install a security system

You’ll definitely want to work with a professional in your area to install a security system. They will be able to help you put cameras up and point them in the perfect places to monitor, set you up with a motion sensor, and make suggestions on the type of security measures to have for your home.

Light up landscaping and add signs

Head out to the front and back lawn to work on lighting up the house better at night with landscape lighting. Many times a lit-up home with landscape lighting throughout is not going to be a theft target like a darker home with hiding spots would.

You can install motion sensor lighting if you don’t want to leave it on all night. Then put signs up around the house to show that you have a security system inside so that any burglars trying to break in during the day while you’re away will want to go elsewhere knowing that an alarm may go off.

Attempt to break-in yourself

Lastly, stay safe by trying to break into your home to look for vulnerabilities. You can even ask a friend to try to break in to see if they find places around the home that you may not have thought to secure. It will help you to determine what you can see through the curtains from inside, what valuables you’ve left unattended outside, and what areas are easy to access or hiding spots.

Don’t be a victim of a burglary in your new home due to neglecting some safety precautions. Use these tips to secure up your new home so that you can breathe easier during the day and throughout the night.