As a landlord, one of the primary things you are guaranteeing your tenants is safe and secure dwellings. Depending on your location, layout, building size and other considerations, a combination of the following basic apartment building security measures should be implemented at your property. You can also look into insurance policies that will protect your assets in the event of damages from disasters or criminal activity.

Securing Your Buildings

Apartment buildings and complexes are easy targets for crime, and as a landlord, it is your responsibility to provide a safe environment. Therefore, you must take measured precautions to protect yourself against any liability should theft, robbery or an attack occur. To secure the outside of your building, ensure your property has the following:

  • Surveillance cameras, both visible and hidden
  • Adequate lighting around building’s entire perimeter
  • Additional locking devices on all entry doors and windows
  • Fencing and vehicle gates
  • Alarms and text message notification systems for emergencies

Landlords have the obligation to ensure the inside of the apartment building is safe as well. The most important security measure a landlord can take is thoroughly screening all tenants who apply to rent an apartment at your property. This means checking for criminal history, requiring rental references and verifying their source of income.

Disaster Prevention Plan

Depending on where your apartment building is located, you can also take measures to protect your property and tenants against the threats from natural disasters. Some of the precautions you can take include:

  • Salting driveways and walkways prior to frozen precipitation
  • Installing smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and storm-proof windows
  • Tying down lose furniture and patio décor
  • Clearing gutters, storm drains and lose debris
  • Providing fire extinguishers in each apartment and access to fire escapes
  • Placing sandbags near entry points
  • Fortifying all walls and doors with insulating concrete forms

To diminish the risk of injury, educate your tenants on what to do should the following events happen:

  • Hurricanes and other tropical storms: First and foremost, follow all evacuation orders. If tenants are allowed to stay, they should stock up on nonperishable food items and water, fill up the bathroom tub and sinks with water, stay indoors away from windows, and stay informed of any hurricane watches and warnings.
  • Tornadoes: Instruct residents to hunker down in the lowest, most centralized area in their homes and protect their bodies with mattresses, pillows and blankets. A bathtub is often a highly recommended hiding place, and some properties even have designated storm cellars. But the main thing is to stay away from windows, as they shatter easily in these intense storms.
  • Floods: Again, follow all evacuation orders that are issued. In the event tenants cannot leave the property, they should avoid walking through floodwaters, not attempt to drive, unplug all technology and move all valuables to the highest level of their apartment if possible.
  • Earthquakes: The biggest thing is to remain calm and stay secured in place until the earthquake is over. Inform residents to protect themselves against falling glass, décor and other items.
  • Winter storms: Instruct tenants to leave their faucets running at just a trickle to prevent pipes from freezing and to store all outdoor furniture and décor inside.
  • Wildfires: Residents must be prepared to evacuate at any time, so instruct them to have an emergency kit ready and to stay informed of the latest alerts.

Added Security with Insurance

No matter how many precautions you take, you can’t predict when a disaster is going to occur or when you’ll experience damage or stolen property. That’s why it’s important to cover all of your bases, and Muller Insurance is here to help you protect your assets. We recommend that landlords advise their tenants to cover their belongings with a renters insurance policy and consider plans for landlords that add to your level of apartment building security. For more information, call Muller Insurance today at 201-659-2403.

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