Are you worried about the safety of your apartment? Installing a door alarm is a simple and effective way to increase your security. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the different types of door alarms for apartments available, how to choose the right one for your needs, and provide step-by-step instructions for installation. Don't wait until it's too late, take control of your safety today.
Can Door Alarms Be Used in Apartments?
In the past, door alarms were hardwired. You had to run wires to every door contact, sensor, and other alarm system component. This meant that you needed to modify your apartment to use such alarms.
Because of this, many landlords didn’t allow their tenants to install these systems in their apartments.
But now, with modern technology, you can install door alarms in your apartment with little or no wiring and without drilling into your doors or frames. It all depends on whether you own or rent the apartment.
Generally, you shouldn’t face any trouble if you install the alarms properly and abide by the building codes or terms of your lease.
In this guide, you’ll discover:
- The types of door alarms you can install in your apartment
- Affordable door alarms you can install in your apartment
- Valuable tips for installing them
- Factors to consider before choosing one
- How to ensure they work effectively
Types of Door Alarms for Apartments
There are several types of door alarms you can install in your apartment.
Wireless door alarms: Wireless door alarms connect to your home system using wireless technology.
Alarms using wireless technology are more sensitive and smaller than conventional alarms. They also provide reliable protection for hard-to-reach spots.
They can work as standalone systems or fit within an existing wired alarm system. However, since wireless door alarms use batteries, they won’t work once the batteries die.
Magnetic door alarms: They consist of magnets and sensors mounted on doors and frames.
When the door is closed, the magnet and sensor are aligned, and the circuit is closed. But when the door is opened, the magnet moves away from the sensor, thus breaking the circuit and triggering an alarm.
Motion sensor door alarms: Motion sensor alarms leverage infrared technology to detect intrusion. These alarms go off whenever they detect movement within their sensor’s range.
You can combine motion sensors with magnetic door alarms for extra security.
A major concern with motion sensor door alarms is that any moving object can trigger them. Fortunately, modern motion sensors have built-in pet detection features. This feature lets your pets move freely in your home without triggering false alarms.
Installing Door Alarms in Apartments
These days, installing door alarms is as easy as sticking a sensor to your doors with double-sided tape or adhesive. In other words, you can install an entire door alarm system in less than thirty minutes without making significant changes to your apartment.
Follow these tips when installing your door alarm:
- Determine the type of door alarm you need: We’ve discussed some of the different types of door alarms available on the market. Choose one that suits your needs and budget.
- Choose a good spot: Decide where you want to install the alarm. This should be your front door or any other door that leads outside your apartment. Also, ensure that the alarm is visible and easily accessible.
- Clean and prepare the surface: Clean the area where you plan to install the door alarm to ensure it is free from dirt, dust, and grease. This allows the sensor to stick firmly to the door or frame and minimize false alarms.
- Install the alarm: Follow your manufacturer’s instructions to install the alarm. For most wireless alarms, you only need to attach the alarm to your door or door frame using stickers or adhesive tape. Ensure the alarm is securely attached so intruders cannot easily remove or tamper with it.
- Consider professional installation: If you are not comfortable installing the door alarm yourself, consider hiring a professional to do it for you. Some manufacturers offer professional installation for their door alarms.
Take care not to damage your door or frame when installing your door alarm.
A damaged door or frame compromises your door’s integrity, making it easier for an intruder to enter your apartment. It will also interfere with the alarm’s normal operation, making it less effective.
When installing door alarms, ensure they don’t require long-term commitments from property owners or tenants. The prospect of signing a long-term contract makes many property owners think twice about allowing their tenants to install door alarms in their apartments.
Final tip: Do not install door alarms on the same side as the door hinge or any metal surface.
Ensuring Door Alarms are Effective in Apartments
You risk being unprotected when you don’t install your door alarms correctly. You may as well not use a door alarm at all.
After installing your door alarm, the next step is to test it to ensure everything works perfectly.
Open and close the door to see if the alarm goes off as expected. For motion sensors, walk past the door to see if it detects any intrusion.
Usually, you can check the status of your alarm system via a mobile app, control panel, or small LED. If you experience any issues, refer to the instruction manual or contact your manufacturer for assistance.
Check your batteries regularly and replace them as needed. Some alarms can notify you when the battery is running low so you can recharge or replace them.
Also, keep the alarm clean and free from dust and debris to ensure optimal performance.
Always check to see if the adhesive on the sensors is still strong enough to continue holding them, especially if you stay in a humid environment. When your adhesive weakens, it can cause your system to send false alarms. And your sensors may risk falling off.
Door Alarms and Apartment Safety Devices
Door alarms are effective security devices for your apartment. The cost of installing a door alarm for your apartment is only a tiny fraction of what you stand to lose in the event of a burglary.
For more robust protection, you can easily integrate wireless door alarms with other home security systems like:
Using Door Alarms to Prevent Theft in Apartments
Apartment tenants are more vulnerable to break-ins than homeowners. Since apartments often have shared entrances and multiple tenants, it’s easier for burglars to blend in and gain access to the building.
You need an effective door alarm to alert you and your neighbors if someone tries to break into your apartment. A loud alarm can scare away burglars and draw attention to your apartment, making break-ins less likely.
Consider door alarms with smartphone integration. With this feature, you can monitor your alarm remotely and receive alerts on your smartphone if your alarm goes off.
In addition to door alarms, use these tips to deter burglars and prevent break-ins in your apartment:
- Keep your doors locked
- Reinforce your door frames
- Use deadbolts
- Install a peephole or smart doorbell camera
- Keep your porch and surrounding areas well-lit
- Trim your shrubs and trees
Choosing the Best Door Alarm for your Apartment
Each door alarm has its unique features and benefits. Look out for these factors when choosing a door alarm for your apartment.
- Building size: The size of your apartment and the number of rooms where you want alarms installed will determine the hardware you’ll need. The costs of installing door alarms in a large apartment with many rooms will add up quickly compared to a small apartment with fewer rooms.
- Area of vulnerability: You must determine your apartment's most vulnerable entry points. Most times, the easiest entry point for burglars is your front door. Alarm systems like SecurityMan Security Bar Door and Window Bar Alarm are suitable for front doors, whether stationary or sliding.
- Cost: The type of door alarm you should install will depend on the size of your apartment and the features you want. You can pay as low as $14 for a single sensor like the EMDMARK Door Stop Alarm system. However, prices vary depending on whether the sensor is a standalone or part of a more advanced security system.
- Ease of installation: Consider if the door alarm is DIY or requires professional installation. If it’s a DIY system, can you follow the instructions to install it correctly? If yes, do you have the necessary tools for the installation?
- Accessibility: Many people want an alarm system they can arm and disarm remotely. In other words, even if they are far away from home, they want to be able to control their alarm from their smartphones or tablets.
- Pet protection: Consider a pet-friendly door alarm if you have a pet in your apartment. Such an alarm should be able to differentiate between an intruder and a pet to avoid triggering the alarm when the pet is walking around your apartment.
Some door alarms allow you to adjust sensitivity levels to minimize false alarm triggers and make your device detect only serious threats.
- Post-installation management: Consider the technical skills required to operate and maintain the system. DIY systems are easy to use and maintain.
Also, consider how you’ll monitor the system.
- Are you always at home to monitor your alarms?
- Does the system have a remote monitoring feature if you’re away from home?
You may need a third-party monitoring service if you’re not always at home or don’t want to monitor the alarms yourself.
Affordable Door Alarm Options for Apartments
Although there are many affordable door alarm options for your apartment, never sacrifice quality for affordability. Consider any of the following options based on your needs and budget.
SecurityMan Security Bar Door and Window Bar Alarm
SecurityMan Security Bar Door and Window Bar Alarm is a metal bar that helps to prevent an intruder from your apartment.
You can adjust the metal bar to fit different doorknob heights or use it to track a sliding door. All you need to do is switch out the end pieces. The bar has a sensor that you can attach to detect movements and trigger the alarm. The sensor is so sensitive that it sets off the alarm when anyone tries to push the door open.
- Prevents doors from being pushed open
- Has a rubber-grip foot
- Works on sliding doors
YoLink Smart Window Door Sensor
YoLink Smart Window Door Sensor communicates using LoRa technology—with a range of up to one-quarter of a mile. It comes with an Ethernet cable for plugging the hub directly into your wireless router.
With its mobile app, you can receive alerts if any monitored door is left open for a specific duration.
- Peel-and-stick sensors for easy installation
- Hub uses long-range radio signals
- Syncs with YoLink app, IFTTT app, or Alexa
GE Personal Security Window and Door Alarm, 12-Pack
GE Personal Security Window and Door Alarm sensors come with batteries preinstalled to enable you to align the two parts of the sensors on doors.
A small switch on the side of each sensor turns the unit on or off and allows you to select your preferred sound option: Chime or Alarm.
The chime is a minimal doorbell sound that is easy to hear from adjoining rooms, while the alarm is a 120-decibel loud noise.
- Easy to install
- Very loud alarm
- Optional chiming sound
Lewis N. Clark Travel Door Alarm
Lewis N. Clark Travel Door Alarm, which looks more like a big keychain fob, has a contact sensor that works in a slightly different manner when compared to most door alarms.
It uses a cord that connects to the top of the sensors, where you’ll find two steel prongs. Once the two prongs are in contact, the alarm remains silent. However, once they pull apart, the siren goes off.
- Portable enough to carry with you
- Loud siren scares off intruders
- Comes with a pinhole flashlight
Emdmak Door Stop Alarm With 120 dB Siren
Emdmak Door Stop Alarm With 120 dB Siren is a small, lightweight door alarm that is super easy to use—just wedge it underneath your door.
The device offers different levels of sensitivity: Low, Medium, and High.
Knocking on the door won’t set off the alarm, but as soon as an intruder turns the knob and pushes the door a tiny fraction of an inch, the loud door alarm will trigger. The sound is high enough to scare any intruder away from your property.
- Easy to use—just wedge under the door
- Deafening siren to deter criminals
- Nonskid rubber base to keep the door from opening
Enhance Your Apartment Security with Door Alarms
An efficient door alarm system in your apartment makes you less likely to suffer burglaries.
To further make your apartment an unlikely intruder target, integrate your door alarm with other security devices.
But first, check with your landlord or property management company before installing a door alarm. Some buildings may restrict what security devices you use or require approval before installation.
Also, ensure your door alarm is compatible with your apartment's doors and door frames.