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Moving into a new apartment is an exciting adventure. You get to decorate however you like, meet new people, and explore a different city or town. However, having your own place also comes with a great deal of responsibility. Here are a few apartment safety tips to keep you safe and help you enjoy your new home to its fullest.
Lock Windows and Doors
This may seem like a no-brainer, but locking your doors and windows is one of your best defenses against burglars. Often, renters feel safe in their unit if the complex locks the building’s front door and may neglect to do their own. However, neighbors can let in guests or prop open the door, letting anyone into the building.
Additionally, lock all windows when you aren’t home, even if you live on the top floor. It’s shocking how easily criminals can find their way up there and break in.
Get to Know the Neighbors
More than 65% of burglars know their victims, while nearly 28% are strangers. Therefore, even if you know everyone in your building, you still shouldn’t consider your unit safe. Lock your apartment and find one neighbor you can trust to keep an eye on it during the day. Refrain from giving them keys or codes to your door, but do count on them to collect mail for you and to watch out for anyone who may be casing the building.
Make Sure Systems Work
In addition to getting to know your neighbors, one of the first things you should do upon moving into your apartment is to check all interior systems to ensure they work. Test the HVAC system, all electrical outlets and any ventilation units within your abode to make sure they function properly. If something doesn’t work or you notice a glitch, notify your landlord immediately.
Leaving faulty outlets and wiring could result in a fire, burns or electrocution. Moreover, improper ventilation and a malfunctioning HVAC system could result in carbon monoxide build-up, mold growth and a host of other problems. Protect your health and safety by addressing these issues right away.
Practice Fire Safety
In 2018, there were roughly 86,500 apartment fires. In them, 360 people died, marking a 25% increase from the previous year. Often, these blazes originate during everyday activities like cooking and heating. However, tenant negligence usually plays a major role in sparking these fires.
Prevent blazes in your unit by leaving clearance around space heaters, never leaving hot burners alone, being careful when cooking with oil, and keeping an eye on candles and other open flames. Be sure to test smoke detectors and know the emergency evacuation route in case a fire does occur.
Address Plumbing Issues
In an apartment, one unit’s plumbing typically connects with others to form larger systems. Therefore, if you’re having toilet or shower trouble, odds are someone else is, too. Even a commode with a weak flush or water backing up into your kitchen sink can be signs of a much larger issue. Reaching out to management as soon as possible prevents mold, mildew and permanent damage. Your plumbing will return to working order in no time.
Notify Management of Cracks
Cracks in the ceiling or walls of your unit may also signal problems with the building’s structural integrity. While it’s unlikely your upstairs neighbor will come crashing through, these cracks may lead to water damage, sagging ceilings and even insect infestations. It’s best to notify management, as these issues may require some heavy-duty maintanence.
Talk to Your Landlord About Apartment Safety
When you move into a new apartment, be on the lookout for issues that may pose potential threats to your safety. From burglars to mold, many things could damage your home and spell disaster for your entire building.
At the first sign of trouble, be sure to speak with your landlord or property manager. Express your concerns and ask them to improve safety and maintenance measures if need be. If you chose a quality apartment, they should be willing to work with you to solve any issues and make your stay a safe and enjoyable one.