By Alex Beaver
This article was originally published on Olympia Management’s blog here.
Apartment living definitely comes with a set of advantages, such as community amenities, free maintenance, and overall affordability. Living in a community with others also comes with a few additional responsibilities — for example, being mindful of noise and taking a few extra steps to maintain safety, both for oneself and one’s neighbors. Safety hazards can come from many different sides, whether from intruders or from careless behavior — and in an apartment setting, your actions can affect the well-being of more people than just you or your family. If you’re moving into an apartment, the following seven apartment safety tips for renters will help ensure a comfortable, safe living experience in your new home.
1. Don’t Leave Doors Unlocked.
The vast majority of burglaries occur simply because doors were left unlocked. No matter how friendly or mindful your neighbors seem to be, thieves always look for the easiest entrances. For additional safety, keep your doors locked even when you’re inside.
2. Leave Lights On When You Leave.
If you go out for the evening (or for a few days), a light in the window suggests that someone is home. Thieves and burglars don’t like light, and if they think you might be home, they’re more likely to try someplace else.
3. Check Carbon Monoxide And Smoke Detectors Regularly.
Most cities now require smoke and CO detectors in every unit — and even if not, a good apartment manager should have them installed. Test your smoke/CO detectors at least once a month, and change the batteries at least once a year.
4. Have A “Fire Escape” Plan.
In case of fire, your family and you should have a pre-determined plan of action for getting out of the apartment safely. If you live in a multi-story apartment building, ask your landlord about fire escapes or exit routes.
5. Avoid “Daisy Chaining” Electrical Connections.
In today’s age of gadgets and electronics, it seems like there is a constant need for more electrical outlets, and renters get tempted to plug in multiple power strips and extension cords to get electricity where they want it. These “daisy chains” can be fire hazards, however. To stay safe, use only power strips and surge protectors with a high joule rate, and avoid plugging one extension cords or power strip into another. If necessary, talk to your landlord or apartment manager about installing additional outlets.
6. Buy Renter’s Insurance.
Many landlords require this anyway, but anytime you rent, you should have renter’s insurance. Your apartment community’s insurance won’t cover your belongings in the event of damage or disaster — it only covers the unit itself. Renter’s insurance is typically cheap and it will protect your belongings against theft and damage.
At Olympia Management, we are committed to helping all our tenants live comfortably and safely. To learn more, give us a call at 256-894-2382.