Apartment safety may begin with renter’s insurance, but it certainly doesn’t end there, as recently reported in Apartments.com. To protect yourself and your belongings, experts recommend the following simple guidelines:
- 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.
- Ask your landlord to install a peephole in your front door.
- Stay alert when entering your apartment. Avoid talking on your cell phone or looking preoccupied when walking toward your building.
- Report bad lighting or overgrown shrubbery to your landlord.
- 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, to deter break-ins.
- Purchase light timers and set them so that your lights turn on while you’re away in the evening.
- Take in your newspapers and packages daily.
- Call 9-1-1 any time you sense danger.
- Get to know the people in your building. Attend a neighborhood watch meeting.
- 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. Replace the batteries in your smoke detector 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.
- Prop the lobby door open or allow others to do so.
- Leave your car or apartment door unlocked, not even for a minute.