touchscreen panel for apartment alarm system


Whether you’re a resident or a property manager, security for apartments is surely one of your biggest concerns. You might be looking to increase security by installing an apartment alarm system.

In this post, we explain what an apartment alarm system is. Then, we go over what residents and property managers should look for in apartment alarm systems. Finally, we explain the best way to use an apartment alarm system.

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What is an apartment alarm system?

An apartment alarm system is a collection of hardware that notifies security or police if it detects intruders or other emergencies.

Apartment alarm systems might consist of:

  • Motion sensors
  • Smoke detectors
  • Apartment security cameras
  • Carbon monoxide detectors

Some alarm systems are building-wide, like smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. However, residents might choose to customize their apartments according to their own security needs — either on their own or by working with their property manager.


installing apartment smoke detector alarm


Can you set up an alarm system in an apartment?

Yes, generally you can set up an alarm system in an apartment. However, it does depend.

If you’re a renter, you must ensure you’re allowed to make these modifications under your lease. Further, you might have to remove the sensors and cameras you’ve installed when you move out of this apartment.

If you’re a property manager or owner, you can’t just set up an alarm system for a single unit. Instead, you must set up an apartment security system for the entire complex.


Apartment alarm systems for residents

If you’re interested in beefing up your apartment’s security without involving your property managers, plenty of manufacturers make alarm systems for renters specifically.

As has been noted, however, you must adhere to the rules outlined in your lease and install a system that doesn’t damage the property.

For that reason, you might look for an apartment alarm system that emphasizes DIY and ease of installation. Wireless alarm systems for apartments are especially easy to install.

However, you should know that many apartment alarm systems charge monthly monitoring fees. If you don’t want to deal with those, you can always ask your property manager to upgrade existing security systems instead of installing your own.


residents using apartment alarm system


Apartment alarm systems for property managers

If you’re a property manager, your security priorities are slightly different than a renter’s. You need to keep the security of the entire property in mind, instead of just securing one unit.

Take package management and security as an example.

If you’ve set up your property so residents have their packages left at their doors, you could install cameras on every door to safeguard those packages. But if you’re monitoring cameras on dozens — or hundreds — of doors, you can see how inefficient this solution is.

Instead, you might convince security-minded residents that a package room is the best solution. Under a package room system, delivery drivers deliver the entire building’s packages to one room — and you only have to install one security camera for that room, instead of dozens for each doorway.


Discover how the ButterflyMX package room upgrades package management:


5 best apartment alarm systems

So, you’ve decided you want to invest in an alarm system for your apartment. With hundreds of options on the market, how do you choose the best? We’ve narrowed it down to the top five systems available.

The five best apartment security systems include:

  1. ADT
  2. Ring
  3. SimpliSafe
  4. Abode
  5. Cove


1. ADT

ADT is one of America’s mainstays when it comes to securing people and property. Founded in 1874, ADT has over a century of security experience to back them up.

Some of ADT’s offerings include:

  • Fire alarms
  • Door sensors
  • Window sensors
  • Indoor cameras
  • Real-time monitoring with the help of monitoring centers

ADT stands for American District Telegraph. Consequently, in addition to security, ADT’s products also integrate and connect to the internet, making it easier to automate your property and create a smart apartment.

Many ADT devices require professional installation. As a result, they might not be the best option for residents looking for single-unit solutions. However, individual residents interested in increasing security with ADT products can consider ADT’s Self Setup line of products.


outdoor camera for apartment alarm system


2. Ring

Ring is a California-based security company that offers alarms, doorbells, and security cameras. The Ring security system is also bolstered by Ring’s social network, Neighbors, which helps Ring users increase neighborhood security by sharing and discussing footage.

Ring started as a company that catered to single-family homes. However, they’ve begun to expand into the multifamily market with products like Ring Doorbell for apartments.

Features of the Ring Doorbell for apartments include:

  • Security camera with one-way video and two-way audio
  • Motion detection zones that are adjustable
  • Knock detection
  • Wireless and battery-powered
  • Integration with Amazon Alexa


3. SimpliSafe

Founded in 2006, SimpliSafe offers security systems for apartment doors, windows, and more.

SimpliSafe offers collections of devices in packages that allow residents to mix and match, picking the configurations that work best for them. Plus, you’re allowed to add individual pieces of hardware to fit the needs of your property or unit.

SimpliSafe offers the following packages:

  • Haven, which emphasizes fire protection and monitoring.
  • Essentials, featuring smoke detection and a siren alarm.
  • Knox, for four or more bedrooms.
  • Hearth, for four or more bedrooms, plus additional sensors.
  • Foundation, for apartments and small homes.


Can I use SimpliSafe in an apartment?

Yes, you’re allowed to use SimpliSafe in an apartment. In some ways, SimpliSafe’s emphasis on ease of installation makes them an excellent choice for renters. Just make sure you’ve got the okay from your property manager before you start installing.


monitoring center apartment alarm system


4. Abode

The Abode smart home security system is for residents who want to use next-gen features to protect their apartments.

With Abode, you can choose to monitor security yourself or subscribe to their Pro Monitoring tier, which includes support from a professional monitoring center.

Abode’s features include:

  • Quick 30-minute setup.
  • Adhesive strips that make installation and removal easy.
  • App-based monitoring and administration.
  • CUE (Custom Engine) lets you customize your security system and create scenarios.


5. Cove

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., Cove offers sensors, alarms, and outdoor security cameras for renters and managers alike.

One of Cove’s innovations is integration with RapidSOS. With the help of RapidSOS, Cove stands ready to send law enforcement and security crucial data. This includes your existing health information and alarm data, during an emergency, which saves crucial time.

Cove’s security offerings include:

  • Motion sensors
  • Touchscreen panels
  • Glass breaking sensor
  • Flood sensors
  • Doorbell cameras


entrance intercom butterflymx


What’s the best way to use an apartment alarm system?

The best way to use an apartment alarm system is in tandem with a strong, feature-rich building access control system like ButterflyMX.

ButterflyMX increases the security of your property while making access simpler for residents, staff, and visitors alike. With ButterflyMX, staff can see an audit trail of every door release event, providing an extra layer of security for residents on top of existing security measures.

One of ButterflyMX’s most powerful security management tools is its versatile management dashboard. ButterflyMX simplifies security management on your property by offering dozens of integrations. Further, the system gives you one place where you can manage every device on your property — whether that’s an alarm, a sensor, or a smart lock on a door.

And, because the system is cloud-based, you can edit permissions and make changes from any smartphone, tablet, or laptop.



  • An apartment alarm system is a collection of alarms, cameras, and sensors that protect residents from intruders and disasters.
  • Residents interested in installing an apartment alarm system for their units should clear it with property management first.
  • Managers might be interested in installing a property-wide security system instead of focusing on protecting individual apartments.
  • The best door alarms for apartments are produced by ADT, SimpliSafe, Ring, Abode, and Cove.
  • Increase security for apartments by using an apartment alarm system alongside an integration-friendly access control system like ButterflyMX.


access control system

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Ferdison Cayetano

I’m a proptech enthusiast from New Jersey who’s looking forward to the innovations that will revolutionize real estate.

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