Cost-Effective Home Security Measures for Apartments

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This is a guest post by Madison Parker.

The holiday season is upon us and many apartment dwellers are heading out of town to go spend time with family and friends. Despite the apartment dweller’s best intentions to be as inconspicuous about leaving their home unattended as they think they can, a burglar knows that his odds are much greater that not only will there be nobody home at an apartment during the holidays, but that these domiciles will most likely not have any means of a home security system greater than mildly effective locks on the doors and windows. This is the time of year when an opportunistic burglar will make his move, but there are cost-effective measures that apartment dwellers can take to be extra secure without having to invest in a professionally installed home security system.

Electric Powered


Home security electronic device technology has progressed greatly in the past several decades and has allowed many useful devices to come into existence without the high cost that is attached to many useful technologies. These electronic devices can help you protect your apartment from burglars without burglarizing your bank account:

Non-Electric Powered


Locks are usually the first line of defense between an opportunistic burglar and your valuables but most individuals living in apartments often only upgrade their door-related home security to include door chain locks that are only useful when they are home and want to have extra protection from forced break-ins. Picking out an effective lock is an easy step to take, and there are many pick-proof locks out there that would require a very effective burglar to open – which most burglars are not.

  • Medeco – $50 to $200 – In its early years, the makers of these locks held a lock-picking competition to let the best in the business have a go at their lock technology with a prize of $50,000 to the person who could pick their locks. Many professionals tried, and eventually only a private investigator from New York was able to pick the lock. For a small investment in a lock like this you can rest assured that the lock that stumped many of the greatest lock pickers is there to defend your apartment’s valuables.


Getting to know your neighbors is one of the best defenses to a burglar in your apartment. If you let a trusted neighbor know that you are heading out of town for the holidays, they will be suspicious of any activity or strange noises that are happening in and around your apartment, and will be very likely to notify the proper authorities whenever they suspect that something is out of place.

Ultimately, it is the person who doesn’t have a plan against being burglarized that becomes a victim, and a small investment in any of the above listed devices or the investment of time with the neighbors could be the single most important thing you do in making sure your homes monetary and sentimentally valued items are kept safe.

Madison Parker is a home security expert whose advice is sought after by friends and strangers alike – Read more of her work on the blog Home Security Systems!

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  1. I really liked the post on apartment security systems. It is simplistic with a common-sense approach. Anti-pick locks, auto-dialers and door/window alarms are good stuff, and informing trusting neighbors is even a tougher method to beat when it comes to being both, thrifty and secure. However, a friend’s recent holiday vacation also made me think of another simple, but cost-effective, security system.

    This friend of mine is a real alarmist, but he’s also the biggest tight-wad known to man-kind, so it really surprised me when he told me how he was going to secure his apartment for 2 weeks. It’s a known fact that having a large dog makes any thief [at the very least] think twice before breaking in; although, skillful burglars know how to get around this hazard – fortunately most robbers are not! It’s also a known issue that most apartment communities discourage ownership of dogs, especially large ones.

    But my friend found a good way around that. He recorded the barking of a very large dog and integrated it with his surround sound system. Sensors on the windows and doors initiate the system to immediately play the CD at a very loud volume. From outside the door or windows, it sounds as real as if a dog was actually there waiting to tear you a new one.

    While at his parent’s home in a nearby suburb, he simply recorded the neighbor’s over zealous German Shepard while the dog was in its excited “hey, there’s a stranger” mode. My buddy told me that for the CD, five sensors, an adapter and switch it cost him about $40.00. You can purchase a pre-recorded CD, but why blow all the fun? I was really surprised he even spent even that much, but I was definitely convinced there was a nasty dog there that I wouldn’t want to tangle with.

    1. Hey Alan, that is a clever idea, having the “barking dog.” Apartments do frown on pets esp big dogs, our requires a large pet deposit. Thanks for sharing this!!

  2. How about other basics while you’re inside the apartment such as door barricandes or stoppers, windows locks, door/window alarms, and even a simple rod for sliding glass doors? When you’re away you could also put a radio or tv on a timer and play it loud enough to not be bothersome to neighbors but possibly loud enough to be heard by a burglar to make them think about entering.

  3. Great idea with the recording of the dog, love it. I’m sure that a home security system is not included because they are traditionally expensive, but luckily that is no longer the case. SimpliSafe has an extremely reasonably priced system, and monitoring is only $14.99 a month. Best of all, there are no contracts, so you can cancel whenever you like!

  4. Once summer I let my neighbor know I was leaving out of town for a few days and to keep a watch over my place… He heard a thump in my apartment and alerted the police… well turned out my picture frame that was on the wall was lose and it fell. Great advice and post….

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