Apartment Living and Home Security – Simple Steps For Safety

There are so many advantages to apartment living. For one, homeowners have to be their own supers–if there’s a leaky faucet, a problem with the electricity, or a broken dishwasher, no one is going to fix them except for yourself! But in an apartment building, you get the advantage of renting (or owning) a space, not a structure. It’s a great choice for young professionals, and in many urban areas, it’s the ONLY choice for just about everyone. The safety of a secure-looking building is also a major asset for those living alone, as you’re often fortunate enough to have a doorman or at the least, other people coming and going from the building who you recognize so you’re not arriving home late to a dark and empty house.

But for all of the security and help that apartment-living provides, there are a lot of important things that apartment-dwellers still need to look out for. First, don’t ever let the fact that you’re inside of a secure apartment building allow you to completely drop your guard. Especially if it’s a large building, you are not going to be familiar with all of the people in the building. While it’s very neighborly for you to hold the door open for a trusted neighbor you know well and are familiar with, it’s completely another thing to just let anyone standing on the stoop in who happens to be fumbling with keys. Be smart. The best criminals know how to prey on human kindness, so don’t assume that someone looking to break into your apartment building is going to immediately look suspicious. They might be counting on the fact that you can’t remember all the faces of your neighbors. Home security starts with you at the door to the building, keeping an eye out and only helping neighbors with the door who you know and can verify. If you happen to have a car with an alarm, keep those keys in your hand while you’re walking up to the building. If someone happens to make a move to grab you, it’s very easy to activate your car alarm. The burglar might even mistake it for a home alarm and run away, fearing the police are about to be called.

Likewise, there are certain spaces in your building where you should be more on-guard. Don’t be talking on your cell phone while juggling a bag of groceries the minute you’re in the door. You wouldn’t be doing that out in the middle of the street by yourself, would you? It’s important to not look distracted and vulnerable in the common areas of your building, just as it is important to not be rifling through your purse or distractedly chatting away loudly on your iPhone out in the street. It’s no exaggeration that a little bit of street smarts can go a long way to your safety. Once inside the building, save all of the multi-tasking until you’re safely in your own apartment. One of the biggest mistakes that apartment-dwellers make is setting down all of their valuables on the floor and turning their back to them while they pick up their mail if there’s a mail room in the building. Crooks are waiting for moments like that to rob you, so be aware of all your belongings when in the common areas of your building.

It’s also very important, if your building has a laundry room, to be very cautious at the hours you decide to utilize the services. In a smaller building or converted triple-decker where you know all of the tenants, it’s one thing to decide to do laundry by yourself at two in the morning. In a large apartment building, especially in an urban area or when the laundry room is close to a door that could easily be broken into, it’s quite another. Laundry machines are also extremely loud and cell phones often don’t work in basements, so don’t put yourself in what is usually a safe position, but with a couple of variables changed could turn into something very dangerous. It’s also important to talk to your building manager or superintendent to make sure that the doors are securely shut from the alleys. The home security of the entire building doesn’t just depend on that main entrance–it also directly relates to the other ground-level doors and windows that criminals are known for using for entry.