Richland Police Offer Safety Tips for Apartment Living - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Richland Police Offer Safety Tips for Apartment Living

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RICHLAND, WA - Richland Police want to make sure people living in apartments are doing so safely. Here's a list of apartment safety tips from the Richland Police Department:

1. Chain locks offer little protection and cheap locks can be disabled easily. If the apartment does not have a good deadbolt lock on the door, ask permission of the apartment manager to put one on the door. Do be certain that the management has a key if they need to gain access into your apartment.

2. Never leave your apartment door unlocked. This includes when you leave to get the mail or take out the trash. Someone lurking in the breezeway could gain access quickly.

3. Most apartment complexes have peepholes already installed on the door. If not, ask if you can install one for your added safety.

4. Never open your door to a stranger. Require all utility/repair men to provide identification before opening the door and allowing entry into your apartment. If there is no peephole, have the repairman slip the ID under the door so you can check it out. If still uncertain, look up the telephone number, (do not accept one they give you) and call to verify the information.

5. When away from home, use timers for radios, televisions and lights so that the home looks occupied. If you will be away for a while, get a buddy system going with a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on each other's home.

6. It is a good idea to buddy up with a neighbor to do laundry. Many complexes keep these doors locked allowing keys only to tenants. Unfortunately this is not always the case and laundry rooms can pose danger if kept unlocked allowing transients and criminals access.

7. Do not hesitate to call the police immediately if you see suspicious activity. Then take steps to report it to the Apartment Manager. If you report it to the manager first it may be too late for would be criminals to be caught in the act. The police cannot do anything after the fact if the apartment manager is slow about calling the police or waits until the next day to reports the incident.

8. Law Enforcement and Crime Prevention officials advise keeping a light on at night. As a general rule apartment complex property is well lit up. If you notice that a light is out, notify the management. It could take days before the management becomes aware. A well-lit area is the best way to prevent vandalism.

9. Because of the large amount of vehicles in one area, complex parking lots are a target for vandalism. To avoid damage to your car, do not leave valuable items within visibility. Do keep doors locked and park in well lighted areas if possible.

10. Use only your first initial on the door, mailbox, and in the phone book. While you do not want to be paranoid, you do want to exercise caution.

Following these security measures will minimize potential danger to your person and your valuables.

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