Believe it or not:
Unsecured upper story balconies are inviting more thieves to your home.
Simply put: if you don't apply useful balcony security solutions to your open balcony, your house is more likely to be targeted by burglars and broken into through the upper floors.
In addition to the possible break-ins, unsafe balconies are also prone to many other dangers like accidental falls, fire hazards, etc.
To get rid of these balcony security risks, we have summarized 11 useful balcony security tips to reinforce your balcony doors, windows and railings and theft-proof the open area of your apartment.
Let's get going.
- Importance of Balcony Security in Condos & High-Rise Buildings
- Top Tips to Secure Your Balconies from Burglary
With a balcony in your apartment, you are able to enjoy the fresh air and expansive view at home.
However, an unsecured balcony can pose dangers to your family, friends, pets and properties.
And here are some of the common balcony security hazards:
#1 Balcony Security Concern: Break-Ins & Burglaries
More burglars target balconies as the point of entry, especially the ground-floor and second-floor ones without balcony security gates.
Some intruders take advantage of the nearby landings or trees to climb up your balconies, while some even bring a ladder to access your balcony when they spot properties there.
When they scale your balconies successfully, burglars may jiggle your balcony sliding doors or push the doors off their tracks with jimmies to sneak into your house.
#2 Balcony Security Concern: Falls from Balcony
Aside from balcony break-ins, falls are another major safety concern of high-rise apartment balconies.
In most cases, the victims including toddlers ignored by negligent nannies, drunk individuals after parties, curious pets and people sitting on the railing for fun, fall from balconies without security features accidentally.
What's worse, some unsafe balconies with structural defects may even collapse when too many people step on the surface at one time.
And these are not rare cases.
A piece of research shows that there were 239 major balcony collapses reported throughout the news from 2001 to 2016, leading to severe injuries and even deaths.
Editor's Note: Planters attached to the balcony railings can be a potential danger as well. To learn how to secure planters baskets to balcony railings from dropping down, skip to Tip 4 in next part.
#3 Balcony Security Concern: Fire Hazards
Balcony security is also threatened by fire hazards, resulting from thrown-away cigarettes to heaters and barbecues.
Such fire hazards may end up scalding, falling burning items on the ground or even lighting up flammable objects, such as the balcony furniture and the curtains next to the balcony doors.
If your balconies are also not fitted with proper security features, then they are prone to the hazards listed above. To secure the expansive outdoor area of your house, now is as good a time as any to take practical actions.
The balcony security solutions to protect the expansive area of your apartment from break-ins and other security risks don't have to be complicated or pricey.
Here are 11 practical and inexpensive tips to secure your balcony and home:
Balcony Security Tip 1. Set Up Balcony Security Systems to Keep Tabs on Your Home
One of the best apartment balcony security solutions is to install a balcony security camera/system, as a report points out that houses without security systems are 300% more likely to be broken into.
With an outdoor balcony security camera like Reolink Argus 2 on watch, you are able to keep tabs on what is happening around your balconies.
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Here are some top reasons why we pick out this security camera for balcony:
#1. Motion-activated recording: A report points out that almost half (46%) of the homeowners switch off their balcony security systems at the time of break-ins to save energy.
With this motion-activated CCTV camera, you won't need to worry about wasting electricity since it only wakes up to record videos exactly when any motion is detected.
Moreover, you may power up this battery-powered security camera via a solar panel. Energy-saving and environmental-friendly.
#2. Starlight night vision: The cover of the night may bring security to burglars since it would be way harder to recognize their facial features even if they are caught on balcony security cameras, especially ones with low resolution.
But that won't be a concern any longer: featured with starlight night vision, this surveillance camera is able to capture true colors and vivid details even in low light conditions.
Check out the video sample of this balcony surveillance camera below.
A dog owner installs an Argus 2 high under the eave to overlook his yard and front door. And it captures how the dog owner dresses up his fluffy little friends with toilet paper. Looks so funny!
#3. Self-monitoring: To secure your balcony from break-ins, you don't have to seek help from professional monitoring services. You are able to watch live view on your smartphones or PCs via the free Reolink app or Client.
When the security camera detects suspicious motions around your home, it will wake up and send instant notifications to you and other admins like family members and close friends, allowing you to take in-time actions to deter the intruders.
#4. Customized voice alerts & 2-way audio: Aside from the push notifications, this balcony security camera also sounds sirens or customized voice alerts to scare off the burglars. Also, you can talk back and forth with the built-in 2-way audio. So, you won't risk your life to confront the thieves.
#5. Easy configuration: This balcony CCTV camera doesn't require a single cable in installation. So, you are able to set up this wire-free security camera without drilling holes or asking your landlords for permission.
When you move out, just simply take this standalone IP security camera with you and reinstall it to your new home.
#6. Compatible with Google Assistant: This feature allows you to control this balcony security camera easily with voice commands. And it may also integrate with other smart home devices like motion lights and work together to keep burglars away from your balconies.
Add-On Tip: If you live in condominium buildings or communities managed by HOA, it is best to consult the condo board before installing balcony security systems. Or else, you may go against the rules on the placement of surveillance equipment enacted by the board.
Click here to learn more if it is legal to put up balcony security systems in condos or HOA.
Balcony Security Tip 2. Place Surveillance Warning Signs in Your Property
Another feasible balcony security solution is to set up a surveillance warning sign in your yard.
Nearly 60% convicted burglars admit that they will give up breaking into your home when they see security cameras or surveillance signs there.
And that's easy to explain: they don't want to get caught on the cameras.
Balcony Security Tip 3. Lock Up Balcony Doors & Windows Before You Leave
Is it safe to leave a balcony door open?
A home burglary report shows that nearly 30% of burglars enter a house through unlocked windows and doors.
To protect your ground-floor balcony from burglaries and theft, it is best to keep your balcony doors and windows locked when you are away from home.
How to secure balcony railing?
A practical way to secure balcony railings is to make it difficult to climb over and sit on for both curious kids and unwelcome intruders.
And here are some possible solutions:
• Stop using horizontal railings (easy to put feet on and clamber)
• Cover the horizontal rails with balcony security mesh (if you live in rental properties or can't replace the original railings)
• Make sure the railings are over 1.1 meters in height
• Keep the top of balcony railings thin and almost impossible to sit on
• Add balcony security nets to secure the open spaces of ground-floor balconies
• Move balcony furniture away from the railings
If you are planning to grow flowers in hanging planters on your balcony railings, make sure that you fasten the planter basket tight by:
• Attaching them to the railing with screws or nylon cable ties
• Using straddle planters instead
• Applying L-shape metal brackets to hang planters on the railings
How can I protect my first-floor balcony and sliding glass door from burglars?
Generally speaking, most balcony doors are not as tamper-proof or secure as doors made of steel and solid wood.
What's worse, balcony sliding doors are vulnerable to breaking and lifting from their tracks.
So, it is best to install balcony security gates/screens outside the sliding glass doors to reinforce and protect your balcony doors from burglary.
In addition, we have rounded up some other feasible solutions to make your apartment balcony sliding doors more secure:
• Apply glass protection film on balcony glass doors (burglars won't be able to see through or break the glass easily)
• Add a keyed patio lock
• Put locking-bars on the sliding door tracks
• Place dowels behind swinging balcony doors
• Install anti-lift devices to stop burglars from lifting up sliding glass doors or forcing them to open horizontally
• Point indoor security cameras to balcony security gates
• Install balcony security alarm sensors next to the balcony sliding doors
• Check if the hinge of the door faces the external of your house. If yes, replace the standard screws with Allen head or Torx head screws
• Change the loose strike plate with heavy-duty ones
Bonus: Check out this post and learn more useful tips to secure front doors in the apartment.
Even if you have taken efforts to install balcony security gates, your balcony may be still prone to break-ins, especially if there are unsecured windows next to the balcony.
To protect balcony windows from burglaries, take the following solutions into account:
• Install balcony security grills to the windows nearby
• Apply curtains or shades to avoid peeping eyes
• Add qualified and heavy locks for balcony windows
• Put dowels or locking bars at the window tracks
Showdown: Click here to find more effective ways to secure home windows.
Balcony Security Tip 7. Install Motion Lights to Light Up Your Balconies
Another practical ground-floor balcony security tip is to set up balcony security motion lights there.
Once any unwelcome intruder climbs onto your balcony, these motion lights will be triggered and shed light on the balcony so as to deter the burglars.
Moreover, you can also turn the security lights on manually when the night falls. A well-lit balcony symbolizes that the room is occupied, making it less prone to be burglarized.
Balcony Security Tip 8. Don't Use Your Balcony as a Storage Space
You may use your balconies as a storage space, since there is no much space indoors.
However, this can cast a potential threat to ground-floor balcony security.
And here is an example:
A homeowner stored his bike in an open balcony of his house. Later, he found his bike missed and a ladder next to his balcony.
Everything is clear – someone climbed to the upper story with the ladder and stole the bike stored on the balcony.
So, to avoid getting your properties targeted by thieves, tide up your balcony and put your belongings indoors only.
Balcony Security Tip 9. Keep Shrubs and Trees Near Your Balconies Trimmed
Another practical balcony security idea is to trim the trees and bushes near the balconies or other landings of your house from time to time.
Mind that the garden landscape may provide hiding places for burglars or even natural ladders to access your second-floor balconies or windows.
To burglar proof your ground-floor balcony, it is best to walk around your house and check if there are any tree limbs next to the balcony. If yes, remove them as soon as possible.
Balcony Security Tip 10. Be Careful About Personal Information Leakage from Balconies
Have you ever made phone calls on the balcony?
Most of you do, right?
And that can bring troubles to you as well, especially when you live in a ground-floor or second-floor apartment.
Your confidential conversations with landlords or financial advisors can be eavesdropped by passers-by and would-be burglars as well.
To protect your second-floor balcony from being robbed, it is best to conduct private talks concerning money, properties and personal schedules indoors rather than in the balcony.
Balcony Security Tip 11. Get to Know Your Neighbors
In addition to securing your own home, it is of great importance to get to know your neighbors and share the balcony security tips with them.
Once trust is established among neighbors, you and your neighbors may watch out for your properties in turn and inform each other when suspicious events are spotted.
Hold Up: Click here to learn how to secure your home when you are on a vacation.
What Have I Missed?
Do you have any balcony security concern that I have not mentioned above? Are there other practical ways to secure balconies from burglaries, break-ins, fires and other accidents? Leave your comment below and we will add your insights to the post as well!