10 Ways to Reduce Crime in Your Multifamily Community

As a property owner/manager, it’s important to you to keep your community safe.  Not all crime is preventable, but there are many steps you can take to reduce the risks of crime on your property.

What you can do

1. Have Electronic Security Systems And Security Personnel

Having a visible security system is an important way to deter criminal activity.  The knowledge that the security system is there is often a greater deterrence than the system itself.  For large apartment communities, having a security guard on patrol is a good idea.  The larger your property is, the more likely there will be fights, and other disturbances due to guests that come to the property.  This increases the need for having an immediate responder to emergencies.

2. Don’t Have Too Much Plant Life

Don’t make it easy for a burglar to hide or have a covered approach on your property.  Don’t have rows of ferns, bushes, or other large plants that are larger than a person.

3. Keep The Outside Well Lit

Residents want to feel safe when getting into and out of the property.  Having the outside well lit throughout the community will further decrease the ability for a criminal to hide in a dark space as residents approach the property.

4. Use Deadbolts And Solid Doors

This is an inexpensive yet effective way to keep tenants safe.  Some property owners will even create a secondary deadbolt that can only be locked and unlocked on the inside.  This way, even if a criminal tries to pick the first lock, there’s a second that is neither visible nor unlockable with a pick.

5. Make The Street Number Highly Visible

When there is an emergency, you want it to be as easy as possible for police to get to the scene.  If your street number is not highly visible, police could end up passing up and down the street before they locate you and provide assistance.

6. Reinforce/Bar Windows On The First Floor

This may not always be the best course of action to take for your property, particularly for aesthetics.  That said, most break-ins happen on the first floor because they are the easiest to access.  Covered windows simply are less likely to have break-ins and are more secure.  Depending on the neighborhood that your property is located in, this is a worthy consideration.

7. Email Alert Systems

When you create an account with theRRD, you get email alerts when something is happening in your neighborhood.  Police can warn you about criminal activity, inform of missing persons in the area, and more.  This enables you to take proper precautions and warn your residents about occurrences.

Advice to give to your tenants

8. Start A Neighborhood Watch Program With Your Residents

Nobody is better equipped to protect the neighborhood than its members.  If there are neighboring properties on the street, you should exchange each-other’s contact info and watch out for one another.  Just having the neighborhood watch sign can be a significant deterrence to burglars.

9. Draw Blinds

Many burglars go “window shopping,” targeting the units with the highest value items.  Keeping the blinds closed at night will prevent burglars from seeing what’s inside the unit.

10. Use Light Switch Timers

Light switch timers are an inexpensive way for tenants to make it look like they are still inside the unit even though they are away.  Criminals are far less likely to break into a unit they believe is currently occupied.

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