I remember the first apartment I lived in on my own. That first night, after the moving company left and the moving boxes were unpacked, I went to bed and, despite my exhaustion, remained sleepless all night. Every creak in that quiet apartment seemed deafening. I thought that living on my own wouldn’t be much different than living with a roommate. At least for that first night, I was mistaken.

An easy way to really enjoy living on your own is to take steps to feel secure in the apartment. Whether you’re renting or bought the property, follow these tips to keep you and your stuff safe and sound.

Change the locks
Make sure all locks are changed before moving day. You should be the only one with a set of keys and the locks should be brand new.

Lose the boxes
Unpack and get rid of those moving boxes as soon as possible, or at least tuck them into a closet away from the windows. Moving supplies strewn all over a home are a big draw for those looking to do a home invasion.

Lots of smoke/carbon monoxide detectors
You should have one mounted in every room of the apartment. Make sure to change the batteries every six months and test the units once a month.

Practice fire safety
If you live in an apartment building, be sure to locate the closest fire extinguishers in the public hallway. All buildings are required to have them, so if you do not see any, contact the building's management and let them know they’re breaking the fire code. Keep a small extinguisher in the kitchen as well. Make sure you know how it works; don’t wait until the stove is in flames to read the directions.

Bolt it
Install deadbolts on exterior doors and keep the door bolted when at home, especially when sleeping.

Secure the windows that face fire escapes
Those gates that cover the entire window might be ugly, but they are sure to keep intruders out. You can also place keyed locks on these windows, but that will not keep someone from breaking the glass and entering if they really want to get in. Under no circumstances should you put an air conditioner in a window facing a fire escape.

Secure sliding doors
Buy and install anti-lift or anti-slide devices on all sliding doors, especially if the apartment is on the ground floor.

Watch the portable electronics
Keep your laptop, cell phone, Kindle and other portable electronic devices out of sight. If a thief spies these items through a window, he/she can gain entry and walk away with your stuff in a matter of moments.

Get renter’s insurance
It’s amazing how many people don’t think that this type of insurance is necessary. Even if your stuff is not expensive, you still need to be covered in case a leak from your apartment destroys a neighbor’s expensive furnishings.

Light it up
Your parking spot should be well lit at night. If you’re not comfortable going to or from your car when it is dark outside speak to the building’s management about available options, such as the installation of better lighting or moving to a parking space in a better lit area.