Home Security: 5 Tips for Staying Safe in Your Apartment

Safety is often sold by apartment rental companies as a major building amenity to appeal to a wide range of potential tenants. Indeed, luxury apartment buildings and complexes tend to have the most comprehensive security services, such as ‘round-the-clock security staff and front desk personnel. However, if you cannot afford to live in the lap of luxury, you may find yourself left wondering if you have to compromise on staying safe in order to live in an affordable building or a good area of the city.

In Baltimore, this may be of particular concern to folks just moving into the area because it has acquired notoriety in movies and television shows as an unsafe city to live in. The reality is, living in Baltimore simply requires gauging how and when to adopt the right security parameters, much like any other large city with a diverse population. Knowing which security measures are reasonable and appropriate for your apartment and building is just as important as choosing where to live, so here, we provide you with five tips to help you navigate your way to staying safe and secure in your apartment.

 

Do Your Research First

As a preventative measure, ask friends who already live in the Baltimore area about the neighborhoods and crime rates. If you don’t have buddies as a resource, check websites and blogs written by locals. However, don’t let the information cloud your judgment, as it can often give an overwhelming perception given its reporting of singular issues.

 

Pick Neighborhoods Where You Would Feel Comfortable

There is a lot of room to define what is “safe” beyond crime statistics, and it ultimately depends on how you feel when you are in your setting period. Check some blogs and discussion forums, such as City-Data, where you will find debate as well as consistency among people who are local to the area. For Baltimore, young professionals tend to name Fells, Hamden, Federal Hill, Canton, Mount Vernon, and Charles Village as safe and thriving areas where they live and socialize.

 

Image Credit: JermJus

 

Choose an Apartment Building That Has the Right Security Amenities

As in the case where you are deciding what neighborhood to live in, this will depend on what makes you feel most comfortable. If you are in a neighborhood that is not in a high-crime area, the standard features are electronic or key-controlled access to the building and staff at the front desk, anywhere from a good portion of 24 hours to ‘round-the-clock. In most instances, the staff person will require both sign-in and identification for building visitors.

Check the Lock System on Your Apartment Doors and Windows

Regardless of how you feel, these should always be properly functioning features of any apartment. It usually goes without saying, but it is always safest to keep everything locked, even if you are at home. It is common in Baltimore to have a deadbolt and lock on the knob on the front door or a key card access system. More advanced apartment security systems tend to be a feature of luxury buildings.

Know Who Can Get In and Out of Your Apartment

It is not just you (and your roommates, if you have them) who can get in and out of your dwelling, as apartment staff will always have access to your unit. As an extra layer of safety, it proves helpful to know your rights about who can enter your apartment and when. In Baltimore, landlords must give 24 hours’ notice when they plan to enter your unit, regardless of the reason for the visit.

 

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Jennifer is in her first year with MyNewPlace.  She is excited to be a writer for the company while she finishes her Ph.D. in Anthropology, which she expects to receive from American University this May. ...