I know that when we start looking for a new home, we all have different criteria. Some might like a big kitchen, some might insist on a private garden, some people want a garage, or a bath big enough to share with your friends, but there’s one thing which you really need to think about – safety and security. Just think that you’re going to have to live in this place, not just on the inside, but in the neighborhood too. This will be your home and home is where you should be able to feel safe, secure and cozy. With that in mind, keep a watchful eye when you first set eyes on any potential new homes and definitely use safety and security features as one of the criteria which helps you to make the final decision – you’ll not only be able to live safely but your pocket can feel the benefit too, renters insurance is cheaper on homes which have good security features.
For most people renter’s insurance is the one of the cheapest insurances you can buy. Most typical renter’s insurance policies are around $10-25/month.
So what sort of things are we specifically talking about?
Renting Safety Tips – What to Watch Out For
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- Smoke alarms – it doesn’t matter how old the property is, or the location, it should be fitted with a working smoke alarm. Smoke alarms aren’t expensive, they’re not difficult to fit but they do save lives. They are the best type of early warning system that there is a fire or that a fire is imminent, and every home should have one. I find that smoke alarms are also a great way of telling the family when dinner is ready!
- Sprinkler systems – are also a great safety feature, if there is a built in sprinkler system in the apartment you do have a much better chance of survival if there is a fire and you are less likely to have your belongings turned into a pile of ash.
- Security – the easiest way to enter any building is through the door, and you should be satisfied that the door is sturdy with good locks fitted. Exterior doors should be fitted with deadbolt locks and there should be locks on all of the windows. Sliding doors are sometimes vulnerable, but if there is a sliding door you can simply put a broom handle or something similar along the inside of the runner to make it impossible to open from the outside. In some, shall we saw less desirable areas, it’s also a good idea to have bars on the windows. Every thing you do to make your home more secure decreases your chances of being the victim of a burglary, thieves like an easy life and will move on to another property.
- Keys – if you think about it, your property has probably had loads of different tenants over the years, and everybody will have had a key. Check with your landlord his policy on making sure that keys are returned, or better still, insist that the locks are changed. You don’t want anyone letting themselves in who you don’t know do you?
- Burglar alarms – can also be a great deterrent, even unconnected ones. Who’s going to take that chance? If you do have an advanced alarm which is wired to a security firm or the local police you might see a substantial saving in your rental insurance premiums.
- Outside security – this isn’t something which you can do anything about, but you do need to know whether there are any security measures in place. Surveillance cameras on outside areas are increasingly popular, as well as security patrols and lighting. The more security measures that there are on the outside of your home, the less chance you have of becoming a victim of burglary, it’s as simple as that.
If you’re paying for a rental property to make it into your home, then your landlord has the responsibility of keeping the property as safe as possible however he can, but there are things you can do yourself too wherever you live.
- Always make sure that windows and doors are securely locked whenever you leave the property (even to pop to the store for 5 minutes) and at night.
- Never leave anything valuable in view, a laptop on a table near a window can be just too tempting, for example.
- Regularly check the smoke alarm to make sure that it is working, either burn some toast or alternatively there should be a button you can press to make sure that you don’t need new batteries.
- Keep an eye out for your neighbors property, and they’ll keep an eye out for you. Help each other out and that way everyone can live safely.