Houston Apartment Association Take steps to reduce crime risk

September 2, 2018

Everyone worries about crime, and apartment residents are no exception.

Apartment living in Houston, however, offers some definite safety advantages. Many properties are equipped with controlled-access gates and fences, and many have cameras keeping an eye on parking lots and common areas. Burglars can have a tougher time with apartment units — there’s no backyard to hide in, and neighbors are in closer proximity.

Every exterior door to your apartment must be equipped with a “keyless bolting device.” That’s usually a deadbolt lock on your door that has a lever on the inside, but nothing on the outside. That means that — even if a bad guy has a key — he’s not coming in if you’re home unless you choose to let him in. That door is also required to have a wide-angle door viewer (“peephole”) so you can see who’s outside.

Every openable window must have a latch that allows you to lock it from the inside. Sliding glass doors must have a pin lock that can keep the door from being opened or lifted out of its track.

Locks and latches are of no value unless you use them. Get in the habit of using that keyless bolting device — it’s there for your safety.

Also, remember that double-cylinder deadbolts, which require a key from the inside as well as the outside, are prohibited on apartment doors by the Houston fire code.

Small steps help a lot. Don’t leave purses, packages or laptop computers on the seat of your car. Many car burglaries are “crimes of opportunity.” Crooks are less inclined to smash your car window if they don’t see anything they might want to steal. Help be the community’s eyes and ears — let the manager know if you see a parking lot light that’s broken or burned out.

Finally, more and more crime in our modern age is financial and invisible. Encrypt your wireless internet router, and avoid obvious passwords.

This article was provided by the Houston Apartment Association. For more information, visit www.haaonline.org.

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