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Finding A Safe Apartment

Searching for a new apartment can be a joyful, exciting, and often frustrating experience.

Everyone has their own preferences for the type of features they want in an apartment. People look for apartments that are centrally located, those that have a pool, or a laundry room. Of course, everyone also considers the amount of the rent. In addition to these factors, the Safety Department would like everyone to consider personal safety and security features as well. No amount of money or any single attribute is worth risking one's personal safety, The correct security choices can often prevent victimization by burglary or a violent personal crimes.

Things to Consider

  • Have the locks been changed since the last resident? Does someone have a key to your home?
  • Does the apartment have effective auxiliary locking devices (deadbolt locks, etc.) on doors and windows?
  • Are the mailboxes, stairwells, laundry rooms, and parking lots well lit? Is the lighting maintained? What does the complex look like at night?
  • Are bushes and trees maintained so as not to obstruct the view or provide hiding places?
  • Most importantly, does management respond to crime problems in and around the complex?

In order to assist you with choosing a safe apartment, the Safety Department recommends You review "Your Apartment Should Be As Safe As Your Home" (an informative video available on loan from tile Safety Department) and complete a "Safe Apartment Questionnaire" for each complex you visit while home hunting. You should also contact the local police department's community relations/crime prevention section for area crime statistics and a home security survey.

For further information on this and other crime prevention programs, contact the Crime Prevention Office at X4933

Safe Apartment Questionnaire

Instructions: Complete a questionnaire each time you visit a prospective apartment complex. Some items can be casualty observed by simply touring the complex and visiting the apartment itself. We suggest you visit the complex at night also to check lighting levels. Other items are prompts to ask management. A section is also provided for any notes you may have. Do not be afraid to request management to correct any deficiencies prior to moving in. If deficiencies are to be corrected, ensure a notation is made on the contract prior to signing.

Complex Name:

  • Have the locks been changed since the last occupant?
  • Are the exterior doors of solid core construction?
  • Are deadbolt locks and 180 degree peepholes installed?
  • Are hinge pins exposed to the outside?
  • Have exterior door strike plates been reinforced?
  • Are sliding doors secured with auxiliary locks and/or pins?
  • Is there excessive slack in the tracks of sliding doors?

Window Features

  • Are air conditioning units secured from the inside?
  • Are windows secured with auxiliary locks and/or pins?
  • Are jalousie windows covered with a security screen or glued to the frames?


  • Is lighting adequate to identify people and illuminate hiding places?
  • Are parking areas, stairwells, and mailboxes well lit?
  • Is lighting maintained on a regular basis?


  • Are burglar alarms installed?
  • Are fire alarms/smoke detectors installed?


  • Are trees and shrubbery trimmed from doors and windows to eliminate hiding places? Walkways and parking lots?
  • Are apartment numbers conspicuously posted?
  • Are miscellaneous openings to the apartment securable?
  • Is there a security service or patrol?
  • Is the apartment within a neighborhood watch area?
  • Do I participate in Operation I.D.?


For further information concerning this or other programs, please contact the Crime Prevention Section at extension 4933.