Your decision to choose a new apartment is usually an exciting one, but you should temper that excitement with the reality that your safety could be at risk if your property owner does not take the necessary security precautions.
According to statistics gathered by one security camera manufacturer, 3 out of 4 properties will experience a break-in within the next 20 years, and 87% of all reported burglaries will result in zero charges because of a lack of evidence. The FBI reports that over 7 million property crimes occurred in the U.S. in 2017, resulting in estimated losses of $15.3 billion.
To protect your property — and more importantly your health and safety — you should have high expectations for the security your apartment complex provides. Renters face the risk of violent crimes, many of which could be avoided if the complex practices the care necessary to secure their premises. When an incident does occur that could have potentially been avoided, injured crime victims can work with a security negligence lawyer in Atlanta to seek compensation for their medical bills and other losses.
Reduce your risk of being the victim of a violent crime in your new complex by investigating whether your property owner or management company can provide satisfactory answers to the following five security questions.
Does the Complex Hire Qualified Security Personnel to Patrol and Monitor the Premises?
Your security and safety should not be left to amateurs — or, worse, no one at all. Many apartment buildings and complexes hire a “door guy” or a front desk worker to monitor who comes in and out of the premises. These individuals can provide valuable services, but they are not a replacement for trained security personnel.
Ensure that any complex you rent has patrols and preferably access that is monitored by a security professional. If you want to go the extra mile, inquire about who is hired or contracted to perform security duties. Companies should have a thorough vetting process to ensure that security employees are qualified, don’t have a criminal background, and have a work history that doesn’t contain red flags.
Are There Digital Security Cameras Monitoring Complex Entrances, Stairs, and Apartment Hallways?
No one likes feeling like they’re being watched, but security footage can mean the difference between having documented evidence of a crime versus no physical evidence at all. Every complex deserves even surveillance coverage to protect its residents and increase the likelihood that a crime will be prosecuted.
Camera systems should record their data on a reliable system that stores records for at least 48 hours or more. Far too many systems capture footage that is later deleted within 12 hours or accidentally erase because of unreliable data storage.
Does the Complex Have Full Lighting of the Buildings, Stairwells, Hallways, and Grounds?
Lighting is incredibly important for health and safety. Not only do lights deter criminals and make it harder for them to hide, but they also reveal hazards like slippery walkways.
Apartment lights should be triggered by photocells, ideally. They activate the lights any time there is low ambient light outside, such as at night time or when there is cloudy weather. Systems set to timers can fail to account for seasonal daylight changes or weather, putting residents at risk.
Do the Apartments Have Deadbolts, Locking Windows, and Locking Sliding Doors?
A surprising number of break-ins happen because windows and doors have locks that are far below the industry standard.
Deadbolts are needed to prevent kick-ins. Windows and sliding doors should have bars that can prevent them from being slid open. Otherwise, simple locks will be easily broken and pose no obstacle to criminals.
Is There Controlled Access That Locks Automatically Behind Authorized Entrants?
Access points to your building or complex should be secure. They should allow access to residents and their guests and then close and lock automatically, with no actions needed by entrants.
Controlled access applies to vendors, as well. All complex employees and hired personnel should wear clearly marked uniforms. Residents should be given a list of approved vendors. Residents should also be completely clear on who is allowed to enter their property, when, and why so that no one can deceive them by claiming they are there for the management.
If You Are Hurt by a Violent Criminal, You Can Work with a Security Negligence Lawyer in Atlanta
Due diligence and pre-emptive research are great, but we can’t predict the future. Despite our best efforts — and sometimes because of misleading half-truths told by management — we can still find ourselves injured on our own properties by violent criminals.
Apartment complex owners, managers, and the security personnel they hire have an obligation to protect residents and their guests from known threats. When they ignore known threats, they breach their duty to exercise ordinary care, which defines an act of negligence. Any resulting injuries could be eligible for a personal injury claim on a security negligence basis.
Learn more about your options for filing a personal injury claim against your apartment complex and the companies that work for it during a free consultation with an experienced Atlanta security negligence lawyer.
Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with Rafi law Firm now when you call 404-948-3311 or contact us online today.