We all know the saying safety first, but sometimes safety doesn't fit our schedule or can be inconvenient. However, staying safe and protected requires proper attention and vigilance. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, people living in apartments are 85% more likely to become victims of burglary than those who live in other types of housing. Here are five different ways in which exerting some extra effort can make all the difference.
Report all problems to the landlord. It may be inconvenient to reach out to your landlord about specific security issues in your apartment, but your landlord is responsible for keeping your apartment in a suitable living condition. Some concerns to report to the landlord include suspicious or bothersome neighbors, faulty locks and burned out light bulbs.
If the apartment building is not receiving proper maintenance and looks run down, that could encourage crime and thieves. Speak to your landlord about the upkeep of the building and your apartment conditions as soon as possible if there is a problem. Your landlord has 24 hours to fix major issues with your apartment, and you should follow up to make sure they get done. If you are having trouble getting ahold of your landlord, or if your landlord is not responding to maintenance issues, look up tenant and landlord laws to understand your rights. Laws vary by state, but can be found online with a quick Internet search.
Ask questions until you feel comfortable. Whenever you are looking for a new apartment, learn as much about the area as possible. Never move into a new apartment without first seeing it in person, and take a look around the area both during the day and at night. Have questions prepared for your landlord and neighbors. Some questions to consider are:
- Have there been major crimes in the neighborhood over the past few years?
- What security measures are in place for the building and its residents?
- Do you have doormen or surveillance cameras?
- Do the units have security system installed?
- Do you change the lock whenever a new tenant moves in?
- What is the emergency evacuation plan?
If you receive vague answers that don’t specify the safety precautions taken or crime rates, keep asking or go to someone else. If you feel uneasy or have unanswered questions, start looking for a new place.
Know who lives around you.Although it may seem like a hassle to go through screening and background checks for an apartment, it is a good sign if your new apartment requires it. Going through inspection means other residents of the building also experienced the same process, and is more likely to weed out suspicious and potentially threatening neighbors.
Another safety measure that comes in handy no matter where you live is to know your neighbors. Before moving in, speak to some of them to learn more about the apartment and other residents. Establishing a relationship with neighbors creates a mutually beneficial environment where all can look out for suspicious activity for one another. If your apartment does not have one, start an Apartment Watch with your neighbors to increase the security in the building.
Use a home security system. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are a must for any apartment. The next step in securing your homewould be a fully monitored home security system. Not only does it sound an alarm when someone breaks in, you and emergency responders are notified right away to minimize the time an intruder has in your home. Many people dismiss the idea of having a home security system because they assume they won’t need it or it isn’t worth the cost. However, the average burglary results in a loss of over $2,000 according to statistics from the FBI.
Home security systems now have additional features, such as reminders to arm and disarm your system. You can even install your own video cameras or image sensors, which take pictures when motion is detected so you know exactly who is in your home. These extra measures, as well as a quick alert and response, could help catch the criminal. Today, home security systems and alarm monitoring are more affordable than ever. Look into different options for home security as well as talk to your neighbors and landlord about security options.
Install additional safety devices. Simple devices can go a long way in increasing your home’s security. Look for apartments that have peepholes installed in the doors. Being able to check who is at the door will keep unwanted visitors out. If you do not have one, installing one takes less than half an hour and usually costs around $20. Once you have a peephole, put a flap over your end so outside visitors cannot see into your home.
For sliding windows and doors, you should use blocking devices so intruders cannot enter from the outside. Wooden dowels can be used for windows and doors that slide horizontally. For windows that slide up and down, use through-the-frame pins to keep them from opening. Because these points of entry only have latches instead of locks, blocking devices are vital in keeping intruders out.
Safety is always going to be an area where people need exercise caution and put in more time. Even if it is inconvenient, it is essential to always lock your door, and to never go anywhere you don’t feel safe. Taking the necessary preventative measures will help to keep you safe in your home, as well as give you peace of mind knowing you are protected.
This was a guest post by Stephanie Yang from SafeMart.com.
SafeMart® has redefined home security. Delivering revolutionary protection and peace of mind, SafeMart delights customers across the country. The company leads the industry with its interactive Plug & Protect® wireless alarm system that empowers customers with cutting edge protection and control. SafeMart provides unbeatable value and exceptional service with its award-winning LiveWatch alarm monitoring service. The company (a division of LiveWatch Security, LLC) is the most recommended security company in America. Recently, it was named the #1 Wireless Security Company in America, #1 Alarm Monitoring Company in America and won a national award for e-Commerce Customer Service.