Even though you spend plenty of time studying in your dorm room, you may need to leave your apartment during the school year. College campuses might shut down due to new COVID-19 outbreaks or you could decide to study abroad for a semester.
Check out everything you should know about securing your apartment for an extended leave so you don't unknowingly leave your belongings at risk while you're away.
1. Read Through Your Emails
On-campus and off-campus apartment communities will email residents if the maintenance team plans to enter units for regular inspections. They might stop by to replace your air filters or check your smoke detectors while you're gone.
Read through your emails so you know exactly who might enter your apartment without your supervision. If there's no maintenance email and you come home to an apartment with misplaced belongings, you'll know someone broke in.
2. Cancel Any Last-Minute Orders
Make sure you don't have any online orders arriving while you're away. Ask a friend to take your deliveries inside until you're back or cancel the orders before leaving. A recent poll found that 43% of respondents had a package stolen from their front steps during 2020.
Someone will likely steal your deliveries if they sit on your porch for days or weeks. The porch pirates might also break into your apartment if they find out you ordered something expensive because they'll assume you have other valuables inside.
3. Check Every Lock
Your front door may have a deadbolt, but it's not the only way a determined thief could sneak inside. As you head out the door, double-check window and door locks to ensure you bolted them shut. It's an essential part of securing your apartment for an extended leave, even if you're on the second floor. You never know who'll want to break in if they notice you've been gone a while.
4. Close Your Blinds
Curious criminals often keep tabs on potential homes before breaking in. They'll look for lights turning on and off or watch where people spend the most time in a house based on their shadows. It's more difficult for them to tell if someone's home if you close your blinds before a trip.
Shuttered blinds hide expensive belongings that thieves might easily see from outside your window. You might own a custom desktop computer or use equipment for your YouTube channel that would sell for a high price. Closing your blinds only takes a moment, but it's a powerful way to secure your apartment.
5. Bring Outdoor Belongings Inside
You never know if someone will swipe your porch decor because they know you've left town. Bring everything inside if you plan to go for more than a weekend. Everything will remain safe inside your apartment and also benefit from protection against weather systems that might damage them.
6. Save Your Social Media Posts
Don't post that you're away even if you take some great photos. Internet sleuths with bad intentions could use your pictures to target your apartment. Save them for after your trip to leave your apartment at a lesser risk for burglaries.
7. Unplug All Electronics
It's always wise to unplug your electronic devices before an extended leave. If there's a power surge due to a storm, it could spark an electrical fire and burn the unit or building down. Unplug things like TVs, computers, and stand-alone appliances so you don't have to worry about fires while you're away.
8. Locate Any Spare Keys
Do you have an extra key under your welcome mat or porch decor? Remember to bring it inside before your trip. Determined burglars will overturn things to find an easy way into your apartment. You can always put your key back outside once you return.
Secure Your Apartment Before Your Trip
Securing your apartment for an extended leave doesn't take much time, but it does require planning. Consider safety risks like window locks, open blinds, and even posting on social media to avoid property damage or lost belongings.