Apartment Safety Tips
1. Be Informed
- Call the Richfield Police to find out the calls for service to the address
- Find out if the Apartment community participates in the Crime Free Multi Housing Program
- Determine if the community offers controlled, functioning entry doors
2. Make Requests
- Make sure your lock has been changed since the last resident
- Ask for secondary locking devices on all windows and sliding glass doors
- Make sure your eye viewer is at least 180?
- Ask for a parking/garage that is in a well lit area
- Have a check in list signed before you move into a new apartment
- Don't let strangers into your building
- Get renters insurance
- Don't keep valuables in a storage locker
- Don't leave valuables in your vehicle (apartment parking lots are often an easy target for thieves)
- Close your blinds/shades after dusk to prevent window peeping
- Don't leave valuables unattended in the laundry room.
- Get to know your neighbors, read the local paper and report all suspicious activity by calling 9-1-1
Richfield Police offer a number of other tips for residents moving into apartments. Please contact us for more detailed information or to obtain the calls for service to your prospective address. Please call 612-861-9800 and ask for the Crime Prevention Unit.
Questions to ask when choosing an apartment . . .
How does the property look?
Criminals prefer to act anonymously and will look for properties where they won’t be noticed or identified. Good managers know this, and will make their properties visible to neighbors and police. Taken alone, few of the following crime prevention techniques will have a significant impact. Taken together, they will deter some criminals from wanting, or being allowed to move onto the property.
Good managers will implement the following types of crime prevention techniques: lighting for common areas, fence to secure entry points, well-maintained landscape, addresses are posted clearly, doors with deadbolt locks and peepholes, secured common areas (i.e., laundry/rec rooms)
How does the neighborhood look?
A clean, well-kept neighborhood is a positive indicator, but appearances can be deceiving. Be able to recognize warning signs that suggest the presence of criminal activity. Warning signs may include such things as graffiti, suspicious people, unusual smells, frequent short-stay visitors, and luxury cars in a working or middle-class neighborhood.
How responsible is the manager?
Responsible managers, conversely, will take the applicant screening process seriously, and will urge applicants to report all unusual activity. Don’t be put off by application fees or deposits, and don’t be insulted by detailed questions or requests to authorize background checks. If the manager is scrutinizing your application, you will have the peace of mind knowing that other renters are being screened equally as well, and that the risk of illegal activity occurring in the area is reduced.
Effective managers will run thorough background checks, conduct periodic inspections, encourage community gatherings, and will implement rental agreements that: ban subleasing, restrict how long visitors may stay, and prevent others (excluding rightful renters) from occupying the unit.
Your role as resident?
Now that you’ve scrutinized your future rental unit, neighborhood, and manager, you may wish to take a look at yourself. As a resident, you should: Help keep the premises clean and safe, follow all rules and agreements in the lease, respect your neighbors right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises, report suspicious activity to the police, and get to know your neighbors.
View your relationship with your manager, neighbors, and police as a partnership. Every one of us are allies, not adversaries, and we constitute a force more powerful than crime itself, as long as we are committed to that partnership and the responsibilities it entails.
Moving into or out of your apartment . . .
As you prepare to move in or out of your apartment, the Richfield Police and Richfield Apartment Managers Association want to remind you of some crime prevention tips. Criminals tend to steal when there is an opportunity. You need to eliminate that opportunity. The police and apartment management want you to be safe, so please read and follow these tips:
- Always have at least one person by your car, truck or trailer while loading or unloading your belongings.
- Don’t leave keys in cars. Lock all vehicle doors.
- Never leave the door to your apartment open or unlocked, even if there is someone there.
- Don’t leave the security door to your building open. This allows criminals easy access. Have someone watch the door and open it for you.
- Don’t leave unsecured valuables unattended. Use common sense.
For more information, including police calls for service to a particular complex and whether that manager is active in keeping their complex safe, please call us:
Dave Franke, 612-861-9855
Richfield Police Crime Prevention Unit
Crime Free Multi-Housing Program
Common Crimes in the Apartment Community and Tips to Prevent Them
- Car Break-Ins - Always lock your car. If you have a garage, use it. Don’t leave valuables in plain sight. Park in the most well lit and visible area possible.
- Laundry Room Thefts - Unattended clothing may be stolen. Money boxes should be emptied frequently and a sign posted that management does so. Report any suspicious people or activity that you may see or hear.
- Security Doors - Don’t prop open security doors. If you see someone you do not recognize trying to get into the building behind you, don’t hesitate to ask them who they are visiting. If the person actually lives there, take the opportunity to introduce yourself to your neighbor.
- Window Peeping - Though peeping incidents are usually no more than a nuisance, their intent may be to check out your belongings as well, for a future burglary perhaps. Keep lower level blinds closed after dark, and "peg" windows, or use secondary window locking devices if you like them partially open for ventilation.
- Get Involved - Knowing your neighbors, watching out for each other and reporting suspicious, unusual or criminal activity are the most effective ways of reducing crime in a neighborhood.
- Dial 9-1-1 - This is a response number, not just an emergency number. You may remain anonymous. Use 9-1-1 any time you need an immediate response from police, fire, or medical.
Remember: Keeping a neighborhood safe is everyone’s responsibility!!