One of the top requests from renters is a safe location. And who can blame them, anytime you turn on the news or check your Twitter feed there is another story about crime in the city. While nothing is 100%, you can certainly take precautions to stay safe so you don’t have to lock yourself away in your apartment forever.
If you are a student, check with campus security to learn about programs set up to keep students safe. Many also have notices and alerts on their website and social media on campus crime. And these days, you are likely opted in for text alerts if there is a dangerous situation on campus. Be sure to know the number to campus security, and pay attention to the location of the emergency phones.
Man’s best friend can also keep you safe when out and about. If you have the time and money to devote to a dog, they are not only a great companion, but they can help sniff out danger as well as deter it. Just be sure your apartment allows dogs, and find out the costs before taking on the responsibility.
Be aware! It sounds simple, but we’re often distracted by stress, phones, music or daydreams. Pay attention to the dynamics of your neighborhood. What type of activity does it have in the day versus night? Make a plan of what you would do in an emergency. Is there a store or restaurant you can duck in if you feel uneasy? Is there a streetlight out, or a sidewalk under construction? Make sure you always have a safe route home.
Parking garages are always scary places in the movies, and there may be a reason for that. If you park in a garage at home or at work, find out if there are video cameras, and make sure you know where they are. Always park where it is well lit, and preferably close to where you need to be. As you are driving, pay attention to who is around. Trust your instincts. If something feels off, take another pass around the garage just to be sure.
What about in your apartment? If you live in a building with controlled access, always be sure to watch who you let in. Get to know who lives in your building. We get so busy these days we forget to get to know our neighbors, but it is important for your safety and the safety of those in your building to know who should be there, and who shouldn’t. Sometimes nosy neighbors are your best defense.
Lastly, check out some of the apps for safety, such as Watch Over Me. You can ask the app to watch you for a certain length of time, like 30 minutes, while you walk home. If you don’t check in, it can send an alert to your friends or family. It also has a great feature where you can shake the phone in an emergency, it will turn on a video camera and alert your contacts that something is wrong. Just make sure if you run in to a friend on the way home, you don’t forget to check in. You don’t want to worry mom unnecessarily.
Have an action plan. Know your surroundings. And stay safe!