Although we never anticipate an unsafe situation to arise in our home, it’s always good to be prepared and aware of our surroundings to minimize the threat of a break in. Here are a few tips to help you safeguard yourself and housemates from break ins and other unsafe situations.
1. Lock the Door.
While this may seem obvious, it’s a task that’s often looked over when we are rushed or distracted. In a multiple-tenant living situation, be sure that all roommates lock the door after entry and exit and behind guests. If you notice that you or your housemates are frequently forgetting to lock the front door, you may consider investing in keyless entry door locks.
2. Do a walkthrough with your property manager before moving in.
Before you move in, ask your property manager to accompany you on a walkthrough to identify any conspicuous safety concerns with windows, doors, and lighting (i.e., broken window locks, faulty door lock, burnt out exterior lightbulbs, etc.). It’s better to be aware of these changes prior to moving in and to communicate openly with your property manager prior to move-in day. If you have already moved into a property, do a self-check of the home, make a list, and notify your property manager of safety problems you come across.
3. Check to ensure windows, patio doors, and sliding glass doors are locked and/or sealed.
Be sure to always lock sliding glass doors and all windows when not in use. Because side doors are not traditionally a primary source of entry or exit, they are often overlooked when securing a home, especially during the warmer months. You may also consider adding a dowel or shower curtain rod to the patio door track for added security.
4. Consider leaving a light or two on during the day.
Both the exterior and interior of your home should be well lit. If you are away from home during the daytime, you may consider leaving a light or two on in the main rooms of your house. In addition, close your curtains or shades when you’re away.
5. Be aware of your surroundings.
We are often so distracted by our cell phones and other personal devices that we forget to look up and notice our surroundings. Being mindful of your surroundings can be as important as locking doors and windows. In addition, make an effort to get to know your neighbors and consider joining your neighborhood community board on social media. In addition, familiarize yourself with local emergency phone numbers and neighborhood watch organizations.