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Staying Safe in Your Apartment
by Tatiana Ringenberg
photo of a burglar wearing a ski mask
Personally, when I go to bed each night I like to know that I'm safe. Like any other renter, I lock my doors and occasionally leave a light on just to be on the safe side, but is this enough? In today's society sadly the answer is often no, so what can you do to ensure that your own apartment is as safe as possible?

Before Moving In:
  • Check out local crime statistics. If you can, find out if there have been any major incidents in the apartment complex you're considering as well.
  • Check with the landlord and make sure that the building entrances are locked nightly.
  • Examine potential danger spots: What areas surrounding your apartment building, as well as in your apartment building, are not well lit? What areas are generally uninhabited?
  • See what type of locks are used (we all know the credit card trick, don't let yourself fall victim to it).
  • Check all locks inside of the apartment to make sure they're in working order.
After Moving In:
  • Keep track of keys at all times (consider changing them occasionally).
  • Stay in well-lit areas at night.
  • Do not stay outdoors at night for extended periods of time alone (especially if you are a woman).
  • Make sure all windows are closed and locked unless opened for a specific reason.
  • Know all emergency numbers for your area.
  • Consider getting to know your close neighbors. A neighbor who likes you is more likely to report suspicious activity.
  • Avoid opening your apartment door for unidentified people.

If you take all of these precautions, does it make you paranoid? No, just careful. It's like video game piracy: video game companies can slap all the protective software onto their games that they want but gamers will always find a way to get past them. You may think changing your locks and looking up crime rates is a bit much but it could just be the one thing too many that a criminal wants to deal with.

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