Apartment Safety Checklist for Your Family

welcome mat

The world can be a dangerous place, but it shouldn’t feel that way in the comfort of your own home. That’s why, when you pick an apartment for your family, safety should be your number one priority. Even after you’ve moved into a new abode, there are still steps you can take to ensure that your entire clan is safe and sound when they’re within the four walls of your apartment building. Here are a few, applicable both before and after you make a big move:

  • Research the neighborhood. When you’re in the early stages of apartment hunting, that’s the time to check out the communities that surround your prospective new homes. There are a few ways to do this. You can go old-school and take a drive around the neighborhood after dark, seeing if there’s any type of security at that time. You can also ask around the building when you go to see the apartment. If you prefer to do your snooping online, Google the crime statistics and public school ratings in the neighborhood for a better idea of the community’s vibe.
  • Opt for the upper level. When possible, always choose an upper level apartment over the lower level. It decreases your risk of burglary (plus you might have a better view from your balcony).
  • Change the locks. If you’re new to a building or there have been break-ins nearby, don’t hesitate to change your locks. It’s an easy way to give yourself and your family peace of mind.
  • Don’t stow a spare nearby. On the same note, don’t hide a spare key under the welcome mat. If someone comes snooping around, that’s the first place he or she will look. Even phony rocks and locked boxes can be risky. Instead of keeping a spare near your door, give it to a trusted friend (or two). Then if you get locked out, your spare key will be just a phone call away—but still a safe distance from your home.
  • Scrutinize window latches. Window latches can be flimsy. They also may malfunction. So it’s important that you regularly check yours to make sure they’re still in working order. If they aren’t, replace them right away. Quality window locks are relatively inexpensive, and they could keep a potential burglar out (which would be worth a splurge anyway).
  • Invest in a safe. If you keep valuables in the apartment, you should buy a safe to protect them. Emergency cash, expensive jewelry, and sensitive documents (like your social security card or birth certificate) should all go in the safe. Buy a fireproof one, preferably, to keep your valuables extra protected.
  • Avoid secluded areas after dark. If your building has a parking garage or other closed-off area, try to stay away in the evening. Even isolated laundry rooms or workout areas can be dangerous, so if you must go at night, consider taking a buddy. At the very least, give your partner a heads up so that he knows where to look for you if you end up taking longer than expected.

How to feel safe and secure in your apartment [My Apartment Map]
The Apartment Security Guide for Renters [SafeWise]
Apartment Safety and Security [Taylor & Taylor]