Apartment Security: How can I make my particular set of door and windows more secure, on a budget?
March 22, 2007 3:25 PM Subscribe
Apartment Security: How can I make my particular set of door and windows more secure, on a budget? Details inside re. my existing setup.
posted by sparrows to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
The front door of my NYC rental apartment is painted metal and seems to be hollow. Its hinges are attached straight into the plaster wall (no door frame). It has a peephole and one lock: a deadbolt with a latch on the inside and a standard (non-Medeco) keyhole on the outside. This deadbolt was not installed by me; my super claims only I have the key but I should assume otherwise for safety/logic's sake.
Anyone can get into the building, since everyone here lets strangers through the lobby door behind them (I can't change this; it's totally pervasive behavior in a 100+ person building).
My apt's other access points are three metal-frame, double-pane windows -- two regular size and a small one in the bathroom. All three windows share one long fire escape with other apts. All three face a well-lit, busy street; are several floors above street level; and are 5 feet or less from my head when I sleep. The two regular windows have standard latches but nothing else; the bathroom window has the same latch plus horizontal child-safety bars (usually meant to keep kids from falling out the window, but these are rusted enough that they'd take intense effort to unscrew from the window frame). Also, I probably will want to install an air conditioner in one of the windows.
POSSIBLE IMPROVEMENTS I SHOULD MAKE?
1) When I'm inside the apt, I can latch or block the door such that no key can open it from the outside;
2) The door has an external lock (ideally a Medeco or other non-bumpable kind) to which no one but me could have a key;
3) The windows have something more than latches but less than metal grates/bars.
Should I do these things and/or other things? How should I do them?
If possible, please include your guesses about what the things you recommend might cost -- and whether I could buy & install them without hiring a pro (my friends have good tools including drills and a Dremel with a huge range of bits). Thanks!