Resident security options

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  • When you move in, assess your entrance doors. Your most accessible doors are often the most vulnerable. Your entrance door locks should have been changed to include a Grade 1 (top-security) lock, and new keys should have been issued, as with every new resident.
  • Assess the security of your residence, paying special attention to the following:
    • Exterior doors: all should have adequate lighting and Grade 1 deadbolts. Make sure all locks are aligned properly with the door frame and are in good, operable condition. Replace any bulbs that have burnt out in exterior lights immediately.
    • Windows: all should be equipped with quality locking devices to prevent them from being opened from the outside. Make sure these aren’t rusty or difficult to operate.
    • Sliding glass doors: equip them with a locking device, or place a strong metal or wooden bar (like a very thick dowel rod) along the track.
  • Always get renter’s insurance to protect your property.
  • Ask about your landlord or management company’s key control system and their policies for notifying you before they enter your apartment.
  • Make sure you understand how your apartment’s buzzer system works. Before buzzing in a guest, know who you’re admitting into your building.
  • Always make sure lobby doors lock after you enter or exit them.
  • Check for outdoor security lighting. Well-lit areas are usually the safest areas.
  •  Bolt any window air conditioning units to the wall to prevent them from falling or being removed against your will.
  • If you live in a ground floor or garden apartment, installing strong locks on the windows or bars fastened to the masonry are good steps to improve your security.
  • Find out from a local official what your rights are as a tenant. Determine how much responsibility your landlord    has for providing your home with adequate security.
  • Don’t hesitate to talk to your landlord. He or she should be just as interested in your security as you are.  Inquire about equipping the building’s exterior doors with Grade 1 deadbolts.
  • Join or form an Apartment Watch. Like Neighborhood Watches, this is an organized group of tenants who keep a lookout for suspicious activity and report it to the police. Contact your local law enforcement agency for information on how to set one up.