Apartment Safety Tips if You Live in an Area With a High Crime Rate

June 26, 2024
Premises Liability

Living in an area with a high crime rate can be daunting, but taking proactive steps to ensure your apartment's safety can provide peace of mind and protect your home and loved ones. Simple measures such as installing sturdy locks, reinforcing windows, and being mindful of your surroundings can significantly enhance your security. Additionally, building a strong relationship with your neighbors and staying informed about local crime trends are essential strategies to create a safer living environment. Understanding these apartment safety tips can help you feel more secure, even in challenging areas.

If you find yourself worried about your apartment's safety in a high-crime area, it’s important to stay informed and take action. At Marks Law Group, we are committed to helping our clients feel secure and protected in their homes. Contact us today at 678-251-9309 for a consultation to discuss legal measures and safety strategies tailored to your needs. Let our premises liability attorneys with the guidance and support necessary to enhance your apartment’s security and ensure peace of mind.

Securing Your Apartment

One of the absolute best things that you can do if you know there is criminal activity going on around your home is to secure your doors and windows. When you move in, try and get the locks updated on every external door. This will ensure that any previous tenants who might have copies of keys can come back and reenter the property.

If your landlord will not allow you to change the locks, you can also install deadbolts on the inside of the door. These will allow you to bolt the doors shut each night before you go to bed without affecting the actual doorknob and lock.

Similar products are sold for windows that allow you to reinforce the locking mechanism. In addition, you may want to consider installing security bars on your windows. These will prevent people from being able to break the windows and enter that way.

Lighting and Visibility

An easy way to discourage crime that won't involve any permanent installations is adding lighting around your home. By keeping any potential entrances well-lit, you will not only discourage residential property crime but also allow cameras to more easily detect anything that does happen. 

a man trying to break into an apartment

If you do not want to keep lights on 24/7, you can also install motion sensor lights that will only turn on if someone gets too close to your house. Just the shock value of the lights turning on when they approach can do a lot to discourage would-be burglars from entering your home. 

Surveillance Measures

You may think that installing security cameras won't do anything in terms of the prevention of violent crimes however, that couldn't be further from the truth. In areas where cameras are posted and made obvious, crime statistics are lower since people are aware that they are on camera. 

In the case that someone still chooses to commit property crimes or violent crimes, the cameras allow you to have clear evidence of who did it. This evidence can be used in court and help to speed up the conviction process so you are compensated for any damages.

Building Access Control

This tip is likely not something that you can change once you have already moved it, but it is a good thing to look for while apartment hunting. 

If you can, choose to live in a building that requires key fobs, entry codes, or another apartment community security system to enter the building. This can make a huge difference in terms of how many unknown people enter the building and spend time there, reducing the risk that you becoming the victim of crime.

Even if your building does not have an access control system in place, make sure that you are staying aware and report any suspicious activity that you notice. This ensures that the apartment building owners are aware and can help if you want to hold them legally responsible in the future.

Neighborhood Watch Programs

Another great way to reduce neighborhood crime rates is by starting a neighborhood watch program. These are community-run programs that involve a rotating schedule in which different community members keep watch throughout the month.

Ideally, there are already community organizations in place that organize the neighborhood watch but if there are none, you can start your own.

You can start by asking your landlord or HOA to put out a notice saying that you are starting a group to gauge interest. The more people involved, the better so the schedule is easy to arrange and each member is only responsible for 1-2 nights per month. 

Personal Safety Measures

If there is known gang activity or other criminal activity in your area, you will want to make sure you are taking personal safety measures during the day and at night. When you are by yourself, make sure not to use earbuds or headphones so you can hear what is happening around you. 

You should also consider carrying personal safety devices with you at all times. Examples of this could be carrying pepper spray, a whistle, or an alarm. The whistle and alarm can help to alert bystanders to your location and danger so that someone can assist you and call authorities.

Pepper spray is especially good to carry if you are worried about someone attacking you. Not only is it a good deterrent, but it temporarily blinds the person that it is used on, giving you time to make a run for safety. 

Emergency Preparedness

A. Importance of having an emergency plan and knowing how to contact local law enforcement

Even if you take all the steps you possibly can to prevent being the victim of property crime, it can still happen. In these cases, you need to have an emergency plan to be prepared to deal with these situations. Make sure to have the number of your building's management and emergency numbers saved to your phone and written down. 

You may also want to stock a first aid kit to ensure that in the case of injury, you can treat it until emergency services arrive. Here is a short list of things that you should consider including:

  • Compress dressings
  • Various bandages
  • Adhesive cloth tape
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Sterile gauze 
  • First aid instructions

Reporting Safety Concerns

Anytime that you experience a safety concern, you should make sure to report it promptly to the local authorities. This helps law enforcement to know which areas have the highest crime rates so they can make their crime map & crime reports accurate. Having accurate crime mapping sites helps the government to decide where they need to place the most officers to reduce the average crime rate in that area. 

a picture of the outside of an apartment building

Reporting crimes can also help to make community members more aware of the crime issues and encourage them to join the community watch, install lights, and participate in community events to prevent crime.

If you are injured by someone committing a crime, you have a couple of different legal options. First and foremost, if you believe that the crime was the result of negligence by the owner of your rental property, you can file against them for compensation.

If nobody was at fault but you still incurred expenses as the crime victim, you may be eligible for the Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program. 

In the state of Georgia, there is a program called the Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program. This program is there to help out with any of the expenses that you might incur as the result of being the victim of a crime such as medical bills, mental health services, and funeral bills if necessary. 

Call Makrs Law Group if You Have Been Injured in Your Apartment

As an injury law firm dedicated to advocating for our clients' well-being, we understand the importance of preventing accidents and injuries before they occur.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to negligence or unsafe conditions in your apartment complex, don't hesitate to reach out to our experienced legal team for guidance and support. Your safety is our top priority, and we're here to help you pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you.