Most people don't realize there are some special dangers to apartment living. Apartment safety should be paramount to you because you will usually be living very close to many other people and you don't know them. And because you don't know them their activities around you can put you and your family in danger. There are several things you need to be aware of to make sure to safeguard yourself, your family, and especially your possessions.

Fire Safety

One of the greatest dangers you will have to face while living in an apartment is fire. This is probably the most inherent danger that takes lives and possessions. With the apartments being small and so many of them close together it is extremely easy for fire to spread quickly. There are some guidelines that you can follow that may be critical to your safety.

    Install smoke detectors in the kitchen, all bedrooms, the laundry area and hallways. Be sure to test them at least every six months and replace the batteries when necessary. These safety devices won't do you any good at all if they have a dead battery or are not in good working order.

    Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher that has been tested and approved for home use in your kitchen, laundry area and by your outside grill if you barbecue.

    Make sure you work out a good escape plan. Try to always include at least two ways to get out in case of a fire. If you don't have a fire escape, get some kind of rope ladder that will reach down far enough so you won't hurt yourself when you use it. You and your family should practice with these escape routes enough so they become routine. Make sure your apartment is safe and you have an easy escape route.

    If your apartment building has an elevator, don't use it during a fire. Wires have been known to melt together and cause the elevator to malfunction. Use stairs to get down from the upper levels of the building.

    Don't park in front or around fire hydrants. Make sure all fire lanes are kept clear also. If you see others park in these places make sure the apartment manager knows about it.

Other Protective Measures to Make the Apartment Safe

Unfortunately fires are not the only dangers to living in an apartment. Apartment safety means looking at other things that could save your life or the lives of family members.

    Install a carbon monoxide detector if you find you have a need for one. Make sure it is good working order.

    Install a sturdy screen guard on windows or a window stop to protect your children from falling out. Make sure the door stop on the patio door is working so they do not go out without you knowing it and possibly fall off the balcony.

    Keep your apartment number by the telephone so anyone there will know where they are should they have to call for help. During panic mode people have a tendency to forget where they are and what is actually going on.

    Make sure your apartment number is on your door and is clear enough for anyone to notice.

    Be sure each and every family member knows how to dial 911 in case of an actual emergency.

Protect Your Apartment From Intruders

There are people all around you in the apartment complex going and coming at all times of the day and night. You will never actually know when they come and go unless you watch them all the time. Criminals count on this type of anonymity so the tenants won't really know who they are. When you do look at the people around you who are living in your apartment complex you may get to know them and they may actually become involved in apartment safety just as you are. They will help you look after one another.

    You can consider forming an apartment watch that would enhance apartment safety for everyone. This is very similar to the neighborhood watch, just confined to your apartment complex. This group of people can be on the alert for anything that becomes suspicious and report the activity right away.

    You can install very good deadbolts on your door. And you can place a steel or wood rod in the bottom tray of your sliding glass door to keep it from sliding open. If you can get a dead bolt that has a knob on the inside and the key slot on the outside. This will help you should you have to get out of your apartment quickly. It's not fun looking around for a key or being in a panic mode and not being able to get the key in the slot.

    Good lighting should be in all common areas including stairways, corners of hallways, and the hallways themselves. If the apartment has a laundry room make sure it is well lighted also. If these areas are not, talk to your landlord and get the problem resolved.

    If your apartment complex has a common entry and exit area understand that this is for the tenants only, and their guests. If you see someone sliding in after the door is opened and just before it closes let someone know. You could have a thief or burglar. Do not open the door for strangers. Keep your apartment safe.

These are guidelines and certainly not all that you can think of. It is a great idea to use common sense when looking at your apartment safety. Make sure you are alert for all that is going on in and around your apartment. Remember, it is not just the apartment managers responsibility to provide adequate apartment safety for you; it is your responsibility also.