When you select an apartment, make sure that you are comfortable with the level of security and safety. If you don’t feel confident about the safety of the apartment and the surrounding area, don’t take the place.
1. The Building Itself
Pick a new or an up-to-date building. New or modern buildings come equipped with a sophisticated security system. If you have to live in an older structure (due to its closer proximity to your workplace, for example) you should check whether the building and its facilities and equipment are well maintained. Look around inside and outside the building to ensure that locks on doors and windows work properly. Also check the functioning of appliances and utilities. Check that the parking lot is secure and well lit at night.
2. 24-Hour Security Personnel
Although less important in newer apartment complexes with sophisticated security systems (requiring a key or key fob to enter the building, and security cameras displaying, in the manager’s office, the activity on every floor’s hall), you’ll want to select an apartment with 24-hour security personnel on duty, at least a concierge service on duty around the clock, to keep an eye of people coming into and going out of the building. They also control and manage people to follow the safety procedures. Having a 24-hour security personnel is important because you can contact them at any time you feel concerned about the apartment safety. If the apartment doesn’t have 24-hour security personnel, find out whether the place is located near a police station or is within a police patrol.
3. Video Camera Surveillance
Check if the building has video camera surveillance. It’s usually not an issue with modern buildings, since they have this equipment installed in elevators, hallways, common areas and parking lots. With older buildings that don’t have 24-hour security personnel, it’s imperative to have video cameras installed, to track whoever is coming into and getting out of the apartment.
Does the apartment also have an intercom to make it possible for you to screen visitors at the main entrance before letting them into the building and your unit? An intercom is necessary to prevent unwelcome access. Usually, modern apartments have this facility (intercom), linked to your TV so that you can see and communicate with any visitor or stranger at the main entrance before letting him in to the building and your unit.
5. Neighborhood Situation
Seek an apartment with a surrounding area that looks clean and tidy, indicating security issue under control. Also ensure that the neighborhood is well lit at night.
Finally, as a tenant, you must also be responsible for your own safety. For instance, when you go out of your apartment, even if only for a minute, close and lock your windows and doors. Also, don’t let a visit you don’t fully trust into your apartment.
In short, don’t give any chance for an intruder to get inside.