21st Century Dad
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Apartment Safety In The City

December 7th, 2011 . by 21st Century Dad

Today’s guest post is by Nisha Sharma. Nisha is an editor at FireSafetyStore.co.uk. She is a mother of one who loves to write, especially about parenting advice, baby products and family advice, because it’s always good to hear the point of view from someone with experience. 

lock and key

Photo by DeWitt Clinton

Apartments differ from family homes because in apartment buildings you share essential spaces with the other tenants in the building. You do not have complete control over your surroundings in an apartment. On the plus side, you do not bear sole responsibility for the entire premises. In a city apartment building, many people have an interest in keeping the common areas, such as lobbies and laundry rooms safe.
Protecting yourself while living in an apartment in the city should be an element of your daily routine. The steps you take to address your safety concerns are most effective when you do not let them interfere with the things you need and want to do while living in the city. The most important thing to remember is that there is no one-time fix to resolve all of your safety issues. Your safety depends on you staying alert, practicing common sense, like keeping fire extinguishers etc. and taking responsibility for the condition of your environment.

Know Your Surroundings

Look around and take note of the people and things close to your apartment. Your goal is to be able to know when something is out of place. If something is out of place, it may indicate you are in danger. As an example, if there is a utility closet in your building that you pass on the way to your apartment; take note of whether the door is usually closed and locked. An unattended storage room or utility closet gives criminals a place to hide.

Know Your Neighbours

Know the people who should be in your area so that you will be able to identify quickly those who should not be near you. You do not have to form deep friendships with your neighbours but you should be able to identify them by face. Ideally, you should exchange emergency contact information with a neighbour next door or across the hallway. If something happens to you, they can contact someone on your behalf. If something happens to your apartment while you are out, a neighbour will be able to reach you so that you can take action.

Lock Your Doors

Change the locks on your front door, if your lease allows. Hire a licensed locksmith to install the locks. Select the best quality lock that you can afford. Lock your door, even if you only expect that you will be away for only a few minutes, such as when you take out the garbage or go to the mailbox to pick up your mail. If you install a slam lock, you will know that the door is locked, even if you are in a rush or if your mind is elsewhere. Keep your door locked while you are in your apartment.

In the common areas, do your part to keep yourself as well as your neighbors safe. Do not prop open security doors while you carry packages in from your car. Anyone can slip into the building undetected in the moments when you are away from the door. Do not hold doors open for people you do not recognize. It is prudent, not rude, to require all visitors and residents to follow established security procedures. If your apartment complex has an open structure, without a central security door, stay alert to recognize if a stranger is behaving suspiciously.

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