As a tenant, you should feel right at home in a safe and secure unit. Naturally, we tend to take security for granted and assume the property manager automatically provides our safety needs in an apartment complex. However, it would be naive of us to neglect safety measures when looking for an apartment to rent. Here are eight safety measures you should consider before renting an apartment.
Ensure Windows Close Fully, and the Locks Work
A good window should effectively keep intruders from accessing your home. All windows are potential entry points and should consider. Before signing the lease, make sure all locks function correctly and cannot be opened from the outside. The blinds should also cover fully; a burglar will most likely stake your apartment before breaking in.
Evaluate the Door
You should also assess the security provided by your door. If a bugler was to kick your door open, it’s the wooden frames that will likely fracture and not the door bolt. Ask the landlord to reinforce the door frame with a steel frame. This will make it difficult for intruders to kick in.
Sliding glass doors can also be a potential risk. Most sliding glass doors have weaker locks than regular doors. Take your time to evaluate if the sliding glass door needs extra reinforcement. If it can be lifted off its tracks, then you need to screw it into the frame to decrease the space between the sliding glass door and its top frame.
Also, consider changing the locks when you move into a new apartment. The previous tenant could still have a key or could have handed out a copy to a friend.
Survey the Common Areas
Only residents should have access to the apartment’s common areas like the pool, laundry area, storage rooms, or workout area. Be sure to survey the entrances and exits of the common area. A safe and secure common area in an apartment building should only be accessible with a resident’s key.
Ideally, almost all apartment buildings provide parking space for their tenants. Check for security cameras on parking lots or at their entrance and exits. It is common for vehicle break-ins to take place in parking garages, so ensure it is gated and pedestrian doors are well secure.
When looking for an apartment, make sure that the hallways, laundry area, parking area, elevators, and stairs are well lit at night and during the day. If there is not enough lighting, talk to the property manager about installing more lights. A well-lit apartment will deter buglers and also help prevent accidents from occurring on the property.
It might also be wise to return to the apartment at night to ensure there is proper lighting in the area.
Fire Safety Measures
The best way to prevent a fire from starting in the first place is by installing a smoke alarm. An apartment complex must have sufficient and working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Your apartment should also have a fire escape route, but it should be high enough to prevent buglers from accessing it.
An apartment with an innovative elevator door smoke-containing system will also come in handy in case of a fire outbreak. This will prevent smoke and toxic gas from spreading across all floors of the apartment complex.
Research on Local Crime
Before you sign the lease and call that place your home, it’s essential to research the area’s crime rate. Talk to the residents, police, or local business owners about the apartment’s security and the neighborhood.
Try visiting the place during the day, during the evening and the weekend. The area may seem safe during the day but not so much at night, or it may seem quiet on a weekday but turn out to be a party central on the weekends.
Pay Attention to General Upkeep.
Peeling paint, broken fence, or burnt-out light bulb might seem like minor things that can easily be fixed, but it also shows the signs of a less attentive property manager. The last thing you will need is to wait out weeks for a major security concern like a broken lock to be fixed.
Choosing a suitable unit for yourself is an emotional decision that you should not compromise. Even more, you should never compromise on your safety and the safety of those you love. Consider those eight tips before moving into a new unit, and you will live in a safe and happy home.