If entry into your apartment building is controlled via an intercom system, it’s important to practice basic apartment safety, especially if you’re living alone. This article will focus on four different ways you can be safe and secure while operating your intercom.
Try to Verify Who It Is before Opening the Door
Never open the door to your building for a buzz alone; if possible, look out a window or peephole, or otherwise visually identify the person buzzing you before allowing them to enter. This only applies to people you cannot verify by vocal sound alone, such as family members or loved ones.
However, don’t just assume because you’re expecting someone that the person buzzing your intercom is that person; it could very well be someone trying to gain entrance into the building by buzzing everyone and counting on the fact that at least one of them will be expecting a guest.
Don’t Open for Just Any Reason
If your intercom buzzes and the person on the other end doesn’t have a good reason for buzzing you, don’t open the door. Know your building’s rules about package and food deliveries so you won’t be fooled by false claims.
Don’t be persuaded by things like “Just let me in, it’s cold out here”, or “I’m picking something up/dropping something off”.
Beware of Scam Artists
A popular technique to gain entrance is for the person to claim that they’re there to visit someone, and either buzzed the wrong number or don’t know the correct number to buzz. In both cases, they will ask you to open the door for them, but under no circumstances should you do this; instead, tell them to call their friend for the correct apartment number. Any resistance or further buzzing beyond this point should be ignored, and authorities should be contacted if the unwelcome buzzing continues.
Don’t Open for Guests Who Aren’t Yours
You don’t know what’s going on in your neighbor’s lives, and allowing in people who say they’re there to see their friend might be a terrible thing to do. When in doubt, ask yourself this question: “If they’re here to see _______, why did they buzz me?”
Don’t be swayed by statements like, “I’m dating him/her, and I want it to be a surprise”, or “I don’t know his/her number. Just let me in!” Again, if they’re not your guests and you don’t know them, don’t open the door. In cases where the person becomes angry and won’t leave you alone, contact the authorities.
Living in an apartment controlled by intercom, especially alone, can be hazardous if not handled carefully. Hopefully this article has helped you avoid dangerous situations in the future.
Jordan Gaither: I’m a Communications major by trade, an artist by choice, a welder by day and a dancer by night (Okay, I made that last part up). Having lived in a succession of cramped, oddly-shaped apartments, I have a wealth of personal experience in apartment living, as well as arranging and decorating to maximize effect and livable space.