Finding a Safe Off-Campus Apartment
See also: Off-Campus Housing
What To Look For:
- Exterior Doors: All exterior doors should be either metal or solid wood. Strong door hinges that are hidden and non-removable are preferred. Every entry should have a good light outside and a wide angle peep-hole for checking on visitors.
- Locks: A good quality dead bold lock is a must. The bolt must extend at least 1 inch into the door jam. Double cylinder locks, both sides use a key, are preferred over single cylinder locks. A good chain lock adds an extra level of security to the door.
- Windows: Don’t rely on the basic thumb window lock. You should have a keyed window lock system if possible. Every window should at least have some type of lock. If the windows do not lock speak with the landlord about drilling pin anchor into the jams through the window for security.
- Lighting: Lighting can be the most cost effective deterrent to burglary. Leaving an inside light on when you are gone gives the impression that someone is home. Use outdoor lighting to eliminate hiding places near the garage, rear porch, and side entries.
- Landscaping: Make sure your landlord takes care of overgrown bushes and trees that can hide a burglar trying to enter the house.
Burglars Do More Than Steal
- Burglars can commit rapes, robberies, and assaults if they are surprised by someone coming home or pick a home that is occupied.
- If some thing looks questionable, a slit screen, broken window or an open door, don’t go in. Call the police from a neighbor’s house or public or cellular phone.
- If you think you hear someone breaking in, leave safely if you can then call the police. If you can’t, lock yourself in a room with a phone and call the police. Le the police know you are still in the house.
- Never attempt to apprehend an intruder in your home. You don’t know what he is capable of or if he is alone.
Prevention Tips For Your Apartment
- Always lock the doors to your apartment when you are not home.
- Leave outside lights on if you will be returning after dark. Leave an inside light on to make it appear that someone is home.
- Take all you valuables home with you over breaks. Stop the daily paper and mail. Leave a number where you can be reached with a trusted neighbor or land lord incase of a emergency.
- Never leave a message on your answering machine saying that you are not home.