There are some minimum safety standards that you should expect when you’re looking for your next apartment. If you’re going to be living in an apartment community with dozens or even hundreds of strangers, you shouldn’t take safety lightly.
Not all of these will apply to your situation, depending on crime statistics in your area and your personal needs, but here are some safety standards that are proven to reduce the risks to you and your personal property.
A gated community can be a big defense against unwanted visitors gaining access to your apartment, whether it’s a key-card system or one with a live security guard letting vehicles in and out of the parking lot. It may be inconvenient at times, but that extra minute to get in and out of your apartment complex can dramatically reduce crime.
Locked Building Access
At a minimum, your apartment building should be locked from the outside. Keyed entry points are a further measure for keeping out people who don’t belong in the building. This isn’t a foolproof method; people are notorious for letting strangers into buildings, so long as they’re not carrying a weapon. Nevertheless, it’s an added layer of protection for your apartment.
Visible security cameras have been shown to deter burglars and other criminals—even if they’re not plugged in. You might feel like Big Brother is watching you every time you enter the building, but so will potential thieves. Assuming the cameras are plugged in and recording, they will also give police a better opportunity to catch a criminal if they do burglarize your apartment.
A doorman is growing less common these days, but some apartment communities still use them. They get to know everyone in the building, at least by face if not by name. When it comes to safety standards, a human element like this can make a big difference. The doorman will check with any unfamiliar persons that try to enter the building, and send them on their way if they don’t belong there. In a best case scenario, an apartment complex will have the doorman behind a safety window, preventing access to the building entirely if someone doesn’t belong there.
Secure Laundry Room
When you’re searching for apartments, another safety standard to expect is an on-site laundry facility. A laundry room attack may sound like a stereotype, but they can and do happen. The laundry room should be inside the apartment building, it should be locked and it should be inaccessible from the street.
Fire Safety Standards
Fire safety standards for apartment buildings are subject to city, state and federal regulations. It’s unlikely that you’ll find an apartment building that lacks these features, but there are still some out there. Here are some things you should look for when it comes to fire safety:
- Clearly marked emergency exits
- Sprinkler system
- Accessible fire extinguishers in the hallways
- Clearly marked fire alarms
- Fire extinguishers, CO2 detectors and smoke detectors in the apartments
The size of the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms are important factors when searching for apartments. Don’t get sidetracked by other great features in apartment building and forget to look at safety standards. You’ll sleep better at night knowing the above features are in place.