A secure apartment building ensures the safety of families that rent on the property and reduces the likelihood of legal issues that may result from damage or injury. A safe apartment home creates happy tenants and offers the property manager or owner peace of mind that the building and its inhabitants are safe at any time of the day or night.
Your apartment building security features may depend on the size and location of your property, as well as the needs of your tenants. Is your building popular with families? Controlled access might be the way to go. Do you have young, urban professionals living your building? You might utilize creative security elements like secured bicycle parking.
At a minimum, high-security locks, as well as rekeying existing locks should be on your radar as an apartment building manager or owner.
Apartment Security Then and Now
An article published more than 30 years ago by the New York Times offers a fascinating look at how apartment building owners once approached building security. At the time, New York was battling a drug epidemic and a high rate of violence, and many property owners felt the need to install everything and the kitchen sink for security.
“Such elaborate security systems symbolize the anxieties of apartment dwellers in a city where crime is both a reality and a perception. For residents, the lights, cameras and guards are simply another aspect of the high monetary and psychic costs that must be borne in order to live in the city.”
The evolution of security systems regarding their intrusiveness, cost, and usefulness in small towns outside Philadelphia like Malvern, West Chester, and Downingtown has brought us an incredible number of affordable options for security. From access control systems to wireless surveillance cameras, residents of even the smallest apartment buildings with just a handful of units can enjoy advanced security options.
An Effective Security Net Starts With High-Quality Locks
Some of the most effective and straightforward security options for property owners are high-quality locks, as well as locks that are routinely rekeyed each time a tenant moves out of his or her apartment. Many crimes committed today that involve burglary or theft are “crimes of opportunity,” which means a weak or non-existent lock can turn your apartment building into a valuable target for criminals and thieves.
When a thief sees a lock that’s impossible to break quickly, he may have no other option than to bash a door in or break a window somewhere. Many thieves won’t bother with those activities since the noise and extra time means they’re at much greater risk of getting caught. A thief wants to see an old lock that takes just a few seconds to open with some basic tools. High security locks slow thieves down and inspire many thieves to look elsewhere for easy targets.
The most recent crime stats from the FBI reveal an extraordinary number of property crimes committed in the country:
“There were an estimated 8,277,829 property crimes (burglaries, larceny-thefts, and motor vehicle thefts) reported by law enforcement. Financial losses suffered by victims of these crimes were calculated at approximately $14.3 billion.”
It makes you wonder: how many of those crimes wouldn’t have occurred if the property owner had installed high security locks? According to Consumer Reports, good, high-security locks resist “picking, kicking-in, and drilling.” Discuss your lock options with Great Valley Lockshop and ensure your apartment building benefits from the safety and security of tough locks.
Rekeying Your Apartment Building Locks Regularly
If you’ve owned your apartment building for a few years, have you kept a record of the number of tenants you’ve had since you bought or built the property? Over time, it’s natural for tenants to make copies of their apartment keys on their own because they want to give a key to a pet sitter or leave a key with a family member during a vacation.
Even if you believe your renters are honest and forthright, keys invariably end up in the hands of non-tenants and people who have no connection to your apartment building. The only way to maintain excellent security is to rekey each apartment’s front door whenever a tenant moves out.
Types of locks you may consider when rekeying or installing new locks on apartment doors include deadbolts and knob locks. You may consider lever handle locks for interior doors, as well as cam locks for the mailboxes in the lobby.
The combination of high quality locks and regular rekeying is the best recipe for keeping your apartment secure. The National Crime Prevention Council reveals:
“Installing quality locks is the first line of defense against home burglaries since they can protect you against physical attack.”
It’s never a pleasant thing to think about being attacked or burglarized, but as a property owner, you have a duty to your tenants to ensure a safe renting experience. High security locks from respected manufacturers can help you give your tenants peace of mind, and excellent security can even act as a selling point for finding new tenants when a unit becomes available.
Create a Safe & Secure Apartment Building
Do you own an apartment building in West Chester? Are you a property owner in King of Prussia? Have you decided to build a new apartment building in Kennett Square? Call Great Valley Lockshop at 610-644-5334, and we’ll discuss our full suite of commercial security options, as well as provide a free estimate for your property.