Friday, March 4, 2011

Renters Thoughts on Apartment Crime

Recently, conducted a poll to current renters about their thoughts on crime prevention.

It’s really no surprise that 97% of the people that took the survey said that when they look for an apartment, crime rate plays a significant part in where they choose to live. By selecting apartment locations in perceived “safe” neighborhoods, renters are more likely to feel at ease in their homes.

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, the organization best known for McGruff the Crime Dog®, apartments are eighty-five percent more likely to be victimized by burglaries than other types of housing. The survey, however, revealed that 78% of renters feel extremely to moderately safe in their apartment and that being a victim of a violent personal attack is the number one crime concern to renters (37%) followed closely by theft/burglary (33%). Even though you may feel safe, you still need to practice vigilance and prevention to avoid becoming a victim of property theft or other crimes.

Most renters are proactive about protecting themselves and employ one or more measures to prevent crime in their apartment. Renters identified installing deadbolts (44%) as the most common protective measure in their apartments. Twenty-five percent arm themselves with mace or pepper spray and twenty-three percent use light timers.
The National Crime Prevention Council offers this safety checklist to avoid crime in apartment communities:

Inside the apartment: Renters should make sure that they have a deadbolt installed on entry doors. A wooden rod should be inserted in tracks and pins in the overhead frame of sliding doors to prevent them from being lifted out. Renters should know exactly who has copies of entry keys, if your landlord will not, or can not, tell you who has copies of keys, you can request that your locks be re-keyed. Around the building: Renters should be comfortable with speaking to the landlord or building manager if there are suspicious persons on the property. Building managers should keep mailboxes, garbage receptacles, laundries, walkways, entrances, elevators, hallways, stairways and other public areas well lit.

Get to know the neighbors: Renters and building managers are encouraged to join or organize an apartment or neighborhood watch group. Building management and renters should work together to identify and solve potential crime hazards such as proper lighting and suspicious persons.

Apartment communities are also mindful of creating a safe environment for their residents. Fifty-nine percent of renters state that their management company/landlord has installed deadbolts or other heavy duty locks on apartment doors, twenty-five percent of renters live in gated communities and twenty-one percent live in communities where there is an organized neighborhood watch program. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, 20 million people participate in Neighborhood Watch programs in the United States. If you live in an apartment building that does not currently have a Neighborhood Watch program, speak up! Talk to your landlord and other tenants about starting one today. For more information on how to start a Neighborhood Watch program, visit the National Crime Prevention Council website at

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