1. Emergency Kit. Create an emergency kit inside a small backpack. Include a first aid kit, a wallet with cash and copies of your ID, a universal charging pad (good for cellphones, computers and iPads), bottled water, and a spare set of keys. Should any disaster or emergency occur, simply grab the backpack for a quick evacuation. You won’t lose precious time searching for a missing wallet or keys. Include an emergency escape ladder if you live on the second or third floor without close access to the fire escape.
2. Fire Extinguisher. In some states, landlords may be required to provide at least one fire extinguisher in the apartment kitchen and at least one smoke alarm in the apartment (check local regulations). If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, get one. Choose an extinguisher rated for Class A, B and C fires. Class A covers ordinary fires (e.g., paper or wood), Class B covers kitchen oil or grease fires, and Class C covers electrical fires. The bigger the extinguisher, the more fire-fighting power you will have; just be sure to select an extinguisher that you can easily lift and operate. Confirm that your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detector are in working order.
3. Doorstop alarm. This alarm does double duty, serving as a low-cost barrier to entry and early warning system. When placed behind a door, it acts as a doorstop to prevent the door from easily being opened or pushed inwards. A piercing alarm is also emitted, which will alert you to an intruder’s presence. In addition to the doorstop alarm, consider adding entrance alarms to all exterior doors and windows. These affordable alarms will alert you to an unexpected or unwanted entry, are perfect for apartments, and can also be used when traveling for added protection in a hotel room.
4. New Locks. Insist that your landlord change the locks when you move into a new apartment. The previous tenant may have given copies of his key to a friend or neighbor who could very well use this key to burglarize your apartment. Without new locks, you simply do not know who else may have easy access to your apartment. If your landlord won’t change the locks, pay a locksmith to do it yourself. Your safety is too important to leave up to chance. For added security, install a deadbolt.
5. Renters Insurance. Renters Insurance may not be able to put out a fire or prevent a burglar from entering your apartment, but it is an important financial safety net. Some renters think their landlord’s insurance will protect them; but a landlord’s policy typically covers the apartment’s physical structure, not your belongings. Renters can easily underestimate the value of their belongings. The average renter actually owns $30,000 worth of possessions. It may be helpful to complete a home inventory checklist, a detailed listing of your personal property, to help determine what your stuff is worth and, when you have insurance in place, to ease the recovery process should you ever need to make a claim.