When I moved into my first apartment, I wasn't thinking about a possible break-in or how I could
make my place more secure. No, I was more preoccupied with decorating the apartment, setting up
the new place, getting my Internet and TV installed, and all the other things that come with moving
into a new apartment. While it's exciting to finally be in your own place, you can't forget about
the importance of safety and security when it comes to renting an apartment.
That first apartment I moved into was broken into when I was out of town. When I got home, my roommate's
television was gone as well as my laptop and some other household appliances. We did not have renters
insurance at the time so nothing was covered and there was nothing we could do about it. Ever since then,
I've purchased renters insurance for every one of my apartments. Besides getting renters insurance,
however, there are other precautions and steps you can take to make sure your apartment, your belongings,
and most importantly, you, are safe.
- Write only your last name or initials on your mailbox.
- Have a peephole on your door. Apartment doors should all
have peephole viewers. If you don’t have one, ask your landlord to install one.
- Report bad lighting or overgrown shrubbery to your landlord. You should never be
too picky when it comes to your safety. If a light bulb in or outside of your apartment
building is out, let your landlord know.
- Take in your newspaper and packages on a daily basis. You don't want burglars to think
you haven't been home for a while!
- Call 9-1-1 anytime you sense danger. This includes when you see a stranger loitering
around your apartment or acting strangely. Also report anyone sitting in a car for a
long period of time. It is better to have the situation checked out then risk your safety.
- Get to know the people in your building. It's always best to know who you're living with
and develop a relationship with them. Notify a trusted neighbor if you are going to be gone
for more than a couple of days. Also inform your management company and any security personnel
who work in your building of your absence.
- Lock your windows when you go to bed or leave the apartment. Unlocked windows are the easiest
way for criminals to enter a building.
- Check smoke alarms regularly. Your landlord must provide them for you but make sure they are
working properly. Change the batteries if necessary. Make sure your landlord also provides you
with a fire extinguisher.
- Leave valuables in the windows of your apartment. Place valuables in a secure place or in storage
- Leave notes for roommates or guests on your front or back door saying that you are gone but will
be home soon.
- Leave your apartment door unlocked, not even for a minute. Even if you're going to the basement to
do laundry or take out the garbage, lock the door behind you.
- Prop the lobby door open or allow others to do so.
While you don’t need to be paranoid about your safety, it's always best to be cautious. Keep these tips
in mind to protect you and your apartment!