Apartment living comes with its perks and precautions. You have the opportunity to make new friends and meet new neighbors. You are also dealing with a more transitionary environment where it’s easy for ill-intended individuals to take advantage of the community. Luckily, we’ve got the ultimate apartment living safety guide to show you some fast and easy actions you can take to protect yourself and your valuables.
OCT 14, 2022
“Doing some research up front can keep you safe later.”
BEFORE YOU RENT
If you are in the market for an apartment, you have an excellent opportunity to do some research beforehand and assess the safety situation.
· Do an online convicted sexual predator search for your area and check the location of your potential new digs against the map. You can do this for free at the National Sex Offender Public Website of the U.S. Government.
· Check the Crime Statistics by Zip Code website to view the grade for the area that your new apartment is located.
· The apartment you rent should have at least two ways to exit in an emergency. Obviously, the front door is one exit. A bedroom window to a balcony or ground floor is preferable. This is not only in case a burglar enters your apartment, but also for fire safety in case the front door is blocked.
· The front door should have a peep hole and a security lock.
· Does your new apartment community have a neighborhood watch and/or crime reporting social media private group? If so, ask for access to review the info before you rent.
· Look around the outside of your apartment and walkways in the daytime. Are there dark corners, voids under stairwells or overgrown bushes where an attacker could hide?
· Go back and look around the apartment complex at night. Is it well lit? Is the security gate access abused or circumvented? Look at the license plates in the parking lot and see if they are locals or transients.
APARTMENT SECURITY & SELF DEFENSE
Now that you have your perfect place, it’s important to take a few easy steps that will reduce your risk of being a victim exponentially.
· Don’t become too predictable as you move through your day. Go get your mail at different times. Take your run at different times and don’t go the same way every time. Take your garbage down to the deposit bin site on different days.
Although certain things remain constant, like what time you go to work- mix it up where you can. For one, patterns make us complacent. When we fall into a routine, we pay less attention to our surroundings. Second, stalkers watch for patterns. They want to plan their attack or break-in at a time when you are most vulnerable.
· Carry a GPS locator on your keychain so that you can reach emergency help at any time. TheCare Go GPS Key Fob will send out an SOS signal with a person’s location to multiple emergency contacts. Care Go is a silent alarm, so it sends out the call for help discretely with just a simple pull and will not alert an active shooter or kidnapper that you have just called for HELP! The GPS Tracker will monitor your every move if your location changes during the emergency situation.
“Firearms are dangerous self-defense in an apartment setting because bullets pass through walls.”
· Walk through your apartment with the goal of finding at least one item in each room that you can use for self-defense. The kitchen is full of them, but what about your bathroom? What about your living room? The remote control is not going to beat someone unconscious so you can escape. Identify at least one self-defense weapon in each room.
· Use diversion safes to store your valuables and cash. The average robber spends less than12 minutes inside the home once he breaks entry. Diversion safes look and weigh EXACTLY like every day products but have a false bottom that reveals a secret compartment to hide jewelry, cash, and other valuables.
· Always ask to see a business card before opening the door. Unfortunately, many predators have the door opened for them to walk right in because the pose as a maintenance worker or pest control company. Verify with the apartment management that they have sent someone over to do work before allowing them to enter your home.
· Buy security stickers for your windows. Even if your apartment does not have a security system, these stickers will give the appearance to anyone casing your residence that it does.
· Purchase a fire ladder if you live on any floor above ground level. Keeping this on your balcony or under your bed will provide a safe way to escape a fire as well as an intruder.
· Keep a self-defense weapon that is “apartment safe” in your home. Firearms are very dangerous weapons for an apartment living situation. Bullets penetrate walls and there are a lot more people in a smaller area that could be injured or killed by a misfire or stray bullet.
The two best self-defense weapons for apartment living are the Sting Blade and the Sabre Pepper GelPistol. The StingBlade combines three valuable home security tools into one product. It’s powerful stun gun and folding blade are excellent self-defense tools. The super bright flashlight feature will light up your attacker.
The Sabre Pepper Gel Pistol is an excellent choice for apartment security because it is a pepper gel and safe to use indoors without affecting others in the space. The pistol-like frame provides greater accuracy on fire than cannister mace because it replicates the same motions as a firearm, but with a non-lethal and debilitating pepper gel. Simply spray your attacker’s eyes to incapacitate him, escape and call 911.
· Purchase solar powered security cameras for your patio or balcony. There are no monthly fees and most are under $100 these days. You will be able to monitor your security camera via your cell phone.
· Adopt a dog if you are allowed. This may not be a realistic solution if you travel a lot or work long hours, but it’s one of the best security measures you can take if you are able. Bonus karma points for helping a furry friend too! Predators don’t like unpredictability. It messes with their plan of attack. Dogs can be extremely unpredictable in a high stress situation. Most predators are looking for an easy target and move their focus to someone else if it looks like achieving their goal could be met with too much resistance.
Always place a doorstop alarm in the door when you are home alone. These inexpensive little devices are an excellent way to impede the attacker and be quickly alerted if someone breaches your door to enter your apartment.
· Get a P.O. Box if the community mail area feels unsafe or you have to visit at late hours regularly. The annual rate is mere peanuts compared to your safety as well as the security of your packages. Your management office may hold large packages, but it’s much safer to have them at the post office where they are never left unattended.
· Be an active participant in your apartment community or neighborhood. Meet your neighbors and exchange phone numbers incase of an emergency. Join any community watch groups on social media so that you are aware of any crimes that may have occurred quickly. Start a neighborhood watch program if your community doesn’t already have one.
Apartment living comes with its’ own set of safety challenges. The good news is that they are easy to remedy. Being thoughtful about your choice of property before you sign the lease can go along way towards the safety of yourself and your home. Once you have moved into your apartment, spend an afternoon securing your property and self-defense protection with a few simple actions to keep your space safe and secure.
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