Some Tips On Apartment Safety

  • Are the trees and bushes near the building entry way overgrown? Are the trees and bushes kept below window height?
  • Are garage doors kept locked or controlled by a key or some other system?
  • Are sliding glass doors to balconies secured by pins or a rod in the frame track?
  • Are there mirrors at bends in the hallways to prevent someone from waiting unseen?
  • Have any apartments been burglarized recently? If so, how did they get in and how has that problem been corrected?
  • Did you talk with some of your potential neighbors before moving in or signing a lease agreement about living in the apartment you are considering?

Before Moving In

  • Ask if the lock cores to your apartment will be changed before you move in. Will you be charged for this service or do you have to do it yourself?
  • Does the apartment door have a deadbolt lock and a peephole viewer? The peephole should only allow someone to look out, not in.
  • Does the campus safety shuttle provide a ride to or from this apartment destination?
  • Does the area look different at night? It is suggested that you visit the area at three different times.
  • Does the front door entry control system work properly? Are all exterior doors and locks in good working order?
  • Is the entryway, parking lot, hallways, stairwells and laundry room well lighted with no bulbs missing or burned out?
  • Is there any control over who can enter or exit the apartment building? If so, what is it?
  • Do bars protect all windows accessible from the ground level or fire escapes? Are all fire escapes alarmed, enclosed or positioned to prevent unauthorized access?
  • Do you have to give a copy of your key to the building manager or someone else responsible for emergency entry to the apartment? If so, how is this key protected?
  • If you must give a copy of your key to the building manger or superintendent for emergency use, is it ok to seal it in an envelope and sign your name across the flap onto the body of the envelope? Is the envelope, upon request, subject to your inspection?
  • Who has access to it and under what circumstances will this key be used? If you are not home do they notify you that someone had to go into your apartment?

After Moving In

  • Never leave your apartment door unlocked, even while taking out the trash. You may find someone waiting inside when you get back.
  • Make an effort to meet your neighbors. Learn to look out for each other’s interests. Know who belongs.
  • Do not get into an elevator with a stranger. When in an elevator stand next to the control panel to have direct access to the alarm button.
  • Never isolate yourself in a basement laundry room. If possible, arrange to do laundry with a neighbor.
  • Never open your apartment door to a stranger. Utility company employees can slip their IDs under the door. If in doubt, look up the company telephone number yourself (don’t rely on a number they give you) and call to verify the information. If all someone wants is to do is use your phone, tell them you will be happy to make a call for them to the police to obtain the help they need.
  • Do not prop outside doors open for any reason. If you find one propped open, close and secure it. If it happens too often, contact the building manager and see if it can be alarmed or somehow secured in another way to discourage propping it open.
  • Use only your first initial on your doorbell, mailbox and in the phone book.
  • Immediately report any security problems to the apartment manager. Follow up to make sure the problem has been corrected. Record notification with the date, time, place and when the problem will be corrected.
  • Purchase a timer to turn on lights automatically.