Living in an apartment complex is the most convenient option for many urban dwellers. The advantages of staying in an apartment society are many:
- Access to utilities such as Gym, Swimming pool, Play areas, Walker’s park, etc
- Additional facilities such as 24-hour uninterrupted water and power supply
- Community living; Hobby classes, festival celebrations
- Ease of hiring domestic staff
Of all the reasons mentioned, the foremost reason for choosing apartment dwelling is security. With decline of joint family living, which was a more secure living option than living as nuclear families, most are today resorting to apartments to find secure homes.
However instead of relying solely on the Security Infrastructure present in your Apartment Complex, there are many things which apartment residents need to be cognizant about to ensure their safety to make Apartment living more secure, and it all starts with the decision to move into an Apartment Complex.
Before You Move In
1. Assess and explore the vicinity
Before moving into any apartment make sure you get the basics right. Is the apartment located in a residential area? Are there enough modes of transport to reach to other places?
In case you do not have your own vehicle then you should for places nearby bus routes, schools, grocery markets so that you do not have to walk a long distance to reach home at night or any other odd hours.
Is the neighborhood frequently in the news for crimes? Is there a local police station nearby?
These are a few of the questions to be included in your background check.
2. Take your time to look around the complex
You are fascinated by the architectural brilliance of this high-rise building. It looks like the perfect home of your dreams.
But wait! Take your time to explore the complex entirely.
Before you move into the apartment check if the basic security features have been provided or not.
- A working peephole that is properly positioned so that you can use it easily.
- All the doors and windows should have perfectly working locks and latches.
- The windows should be securely barred to prevent forced entry
Other things to consider will be if the apartment is properly bounded off by secure compound walls? Is there sufficient lighting in every nook and corner? Are fire exits provided in case of an emergency?
Are the stairs and balconies safe with hand rails for the elderly and children?
3. Visit the Society Office
After exploring your apartment complex, it’s always prudent to finish off your check by paying a visit to the association office. Management committee members of all medium to large sized apartment complexes appoint a manager to oversee the daily operations. (In case the builder is still maintaining the facilities, then talk to the facility manager)
Engage in a chat with the manager and all your doubts will be put to rest. Enquire about the general facilities in place, the appointment of domestic staff, a method of waste disposal, security facilities, any previous emergencies which has happened and how they were mitigated, etc.
A good rapport with the association members is essential for a hassle-free stay at any apartment.
(If you are moving into an already constructed Apartment Complex – for rent or considering to buy a resale property, this interaction can be extremely useful. In case you are moving into a newly constructed building, then this visit is mostly to develop rapport with society staff).
After You Move In
1) Invest in a Security Management System
A Security management system like GateKeeper brings existing security infrastructure like Security Guards, Biometric Trackers, CCTV to the true help of the Apartment Residents. It fills in all existing loopholes in existing apartment complex security setup.
2) Install a security alarm system
With security guards and security management system in place, you do not need any other security measures. However, in case you are leaving your apartment locked up for a long time, then it doesn’t hurt to install a home security system for added safety.
In the untoward instance of a burglar gaining access to your apartment, let him be unprepared for the digital security alarms that you have cautiously installed.
There are several do-it-yourself alarm systems available in the market. Features to look out for are door and window sensors, remote control to arm/disarm the system and cellular connection facilities.
A few vendors who specialize in providing home security solutions are Zicom, Godrej, Bosch, Honeywell. They provide you with:
- Video door phones,
- Access control system,
- Fingerprints locks,
- Home and baby watch,
- Fire alarm system, and
- Intruder detection system
3) Back to Basics
The electronic gadgets are ideal home security backup in today’s digital world. But there are certain security systems that do not require technology.
These mechanical methods are part of basic home security and should be ensured of before or immediately after moving into an apartment.
Have a grill door outside your main door to be able to interact with and see who is outside without you having to open your door to strangers.
A steel grill door with a slit for accepting couriers allows you to take deliveries without having to open your doors fully. This is especially useful if the home has senior citizens alone during the daytime.
Consider installing a chain latch on the door or the grill door outside your main door.
4) Interact with the Security Guards
Now that you’ve moved in securely, it’s a good idea to talk to the security people stationed at your apartment entrance and exit.
Not many acknowledge their presence though they work day and night to ensure our safety. Interact with them and make them feel a part of the community. Involve them in community events. Knowing each security person by name is also good.
The security personnel has first-hand information about visitors entering the premises of such closed communities. They are ever vigilant to notice any abnormal activity nearby and are the first to alert the association if the need be.
5) Know your Neighbours
Do not stay secluded in your home. Engage in all the community group activities. It’s a good way to break the ice.
Your neighbors in the tower block are your new extended family members. Apart from offering friendly banter, they are your immediate support system whenever you need urgent help. Also, they are the best people to look out for any untoward activity regarding your apartment, when you are not around.
Conclusion: Inquire, Evaluate, and Ensure
To sum it all in three simple words.
Inquire thoroughly about the vicinity into which you plan to move in. Leave no stone turned while making the basic inquiry.
Evaluate the risks versus benefits of changing your residence to the new locality. Talk to your spouse, children, and parents and get their viewpoints too. Ultimately you need to stay in a place where your family also loves to shift to.
Finally, Ensure that all security arrangements are in place. Your friends may ridicule you for being too obsessed with the safety plans. But it’s better to be safe than to be sorry.