Locate a Safe Place to Live
No matter how cool an apartment is, you should make your personal security the top concern. Use this checklist when looking for a place to live:
Rate the neighborhood
• Do you feel comfortable and safe?
• How does the neighborhood change after dark and on weekends?
• Who are the tenants in nearby apartments or adjacent buildings? How do they rate the safety of the neighborhood?
• How do the police rate the neighborhood or the building itself?
• Where will you park? Be sure you won’t have to walk long distances in the dark by yourself.
Evaluate the apartment
• Is the building safe? Does it have secure doors and well-lighted entrances, walkways, and landings?
• Are the doors to your apartment solid-core doors on steel frames with deadbolt locks? Do the doors have peepholes?
• Does the apartment have a working smoke detector?
• Are windows operable? Do they have sturdy locks?
• Ask your landlord to demonstrate the use of any fire escapes. Plan your escape route before an emergency arises.
• Is the apartment up to code? Check for things like visible mold, few windows, ratty locks, and other signs that it’s not. Have you checked the Manhattan renter’s guide to see what safety measures the city requires?
Evaluate your roommate
• Do your roommates have the same concern for safety as you?
• Have you set ground rules about inviting guests, making copies of keys, locking doors, and other topics?
Know your rights
If you have landlord problems or need help interpreting the legalspeak of apartment codes, contact K-State’s Consumer and Tenant Affairs at 532-6541.
Protect your apartment
Does your apartment pass the security test? Here are some easy ways to make your life safer:
• Don’t rely on security chains. They won’t keep out criminals, so demand deadbolt locks on solid-core doors.
• Use a sturdy piece of wood or metal to block the track of your sliding glass door. Sliding doors are easy to break into.
• Because standard window locks are easy to pop loose, ask your landlord to strengthen them with bolts.
• Find out when the locks on your apartment were last changed.
• Hang curtains, blinds, or shades and close them at night.
• Put only your apartment number and your last name on your mailbox.
• Use a timer to turn on lights every evening when you’re away for a long period of time.
• Post emergency numbers and your address on your telephones. Many people forget their addresses during emergencies.