Apartment Safety Dos and Don’ts
Don’t be so excited about decorating your bedroom and getting your Internet hooked up that you forget about safety. Ready to Rent wants to make sure you’re taken care of, so here is some friendly advice to make your apartment a place where you’ll be safe.
Continued from cover. Our first tip is to purchase renter’s insurance, which is inexpensive, to protect your valuables. But even with insurance, you still need to take steps to protect yourself. Here are some other easy ways to make you, your rental and your belongings much safer.
• Write only your last name or initials on your mailbox. • Make sure the locks on all doors leading into your apartment have been changed since the last tenant was living there. • Apartment doors should have peepholes. If you don’t have one, ask your landlord to install one. • Stay alert when entering your apartment. Avoid talking on your cell phone or looking preoccupied when walking toward your building. Criminals look for a weak target and are more likely to pass up someone who appears focused, aware and strong. • Report bad lighting or overgrown shrubbery to your landlord. You are never being too picky when it comes to your safety. • Inventory the description, serial number and cost of your valuables. Keep a copy of your records online, in a fireproof locked box or in a safe deposit box in a bank. Take pictures of your most valuable items and attach those to your receipts to make any insurance claims run as smoothly as possible. • Keep a broom handle or other long stick in the track of sliding glass doors. This may deter a break-in. • Purchase light timers and set them so that your lights turn on while you’re away in the evening. • Take in your newspaper and packages daily. • Call 9-1-1 any time you sense danger. This includes when you see a stranger loitering around your apartment. It is better to have the situation checked out than risk your safety. • Get to know the people in your building. Attend a neighborhood watch meeting or visit just to say hello. • Notify a trusted neighbor if you are going to be gone for more than a couple of days. • 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 your smoke alarms to ensure they are working properly, and practice using fire extinguishers. Your landlord must supply these items for you. You should also install carbon monoxide detectors in bedrooms if your landlord
has not done so. Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every six months. • Leave valuables in the windows of your apartment or car. Place valuables in a secure place or in storage whenever possible. • Leave your clothing unattended in the laundry room. As much of a pain as it can be, you should always hang around when your clothing is washing or drying. Laundry can easily be stolen from unattended machines. • Prop the lobby door open or allow others to do so. • Leave your car or apartment door unlocked, not even for a minute.