Keeping Your Apartment Building Safe: A Community Effort
Apartment living offers all kinds of benefits to renters: greater flexibility, downtown locations, and vibrant communities. However, it also comes with its drawbacks. Did you know, for instance, that apartments are 85% more likely to be broken into than houses? However, this doesn’t mean you need to feel at risk living in your apartment building. It just means that it is especially important to take extra precautions to make sure your building is safe.
One of the major reasons that apartment buildings can be targeted more easily is simply because there is much more foot traffic coming in and out. Depending on how big of a building you live in, you may not even know all of your neighbors. However, you do share a common space, so it follows that you should work together to keep it safe. If you can come together as a community, this means there will be even more people looking out for you and helping to keep your homes safe.
Securing your entrance
Unfortunately, apartment buildings can often seem appealing to burglars who “piggy-back” into the building, following in residents or benefiting from a door that has been left propped open. The front door really is the first line of defense, so everyone living in your apartment building must be on the same page about keeping this area secure. The front door should always be locked. It also logically follows that you should never buzz in people, unless you know who they are. Don’t let anyone in if you don’t know them! Sometimes perpetrators will pose as deliverymen, so be cautious about demanding proper credentials if something seems to be awry.
Research shows that 30% of all apartment-building burglaries are perpetuated via a door or window that has been left open, so just being careful about locking them is a great way to reduce your risk. In this vein, you may want to consider calling a residential locksmith who can come to make sure that all door and window locks are working well, since a broken lock is just as good as an open door.
Know your neighbors
This is a very easy but very effective way to reduce burglary. If you know and recognize the people you live with, it will become very easy to notice when there are people in your building who do not belong there. By fostering a secure community, your neighbors’ eyes and ears will do an added service to you. Consider gathering with some of your neighbors, whether formally or informally, to discuss some security complaints and/or measures that you can work on together so that everyone in the building will benefit. This may be something you can approach your landlord about organizing or you may just want to talk to the other renters in your building directly. Starting these conversations will help to ensure that everyone is safe. When you know your neighbors and have established trust with them, you can also establish guidelines for reporting suspicious behavior.
Establish a safe community
Don’t underestimate the importance of your neighbors as you start to think about securing your apartment home. Establishing a safe community is one of the simplest and yet most effective ways to reduce burglary in apartment buildings. There is no reason to hesitate starting these conversations with your neighbors. You may even be surprised about what great ideas they have to bring to the table.