PERSONAL SAFETY - If you’re about to move into a new rental pad in the inner city, you may be feeling a little anxious - especially if you’ve only ever lived in the suburbs to date. While it’s true that crime rates tend to be higher in inner city areas, there are lots of things you can do to best ensure your safety - and protect your personal possessions. Use the guide below to stay safe in your new home and enjoy your exciting new life in the city.
Keeping Your Stuff Safe at Home
The first step is ensuring the personal possessions in your home are as safe as possible. This means making sure you have, at the very least, robust door and window locks. It is your landlord’s responsibility to take basic steps to protect the property from theft, so get in touch with them straight away if any of your doors or windows are unable to close and be properly secured.
You could also consider installing an alarm, cameras, or other security devices, although you may need to contact your landlord if fitting any of this equipment would mean, for example, drilling into walls or making similar alterations to the property.
Although it’s not a legal requirement, buying renters insurance is highly recommended and is an effective way to protect your stuff against theft or damage. A policy may be cheaper than you think, too, even if you’re renting in the inner city: renters insurance in Los Angeles is around $22 a month. This makes it an affordable means of covering your personal possessions should the worst happen.
Do Your Research
If you’re about to move into a rental property in the inner city, it’s time to hit the internet to do some research. Discovering as much as you can about your new location is one of the keys to keeping safe once you’re there. Find out about any areas that are best to avoid once the sun goes down (or even during the day) and any known crime hot spots. Forewarned is forearmed, after all, and the last thing you need is to inadvertently wander into a no-go part of the city.
It’s also a good idea to do a little research into local communities and forums in your soon-to-be new neighborhood, including any neighborhood watch schemes designed to help keep - and make everyone feel - safe.
When Traveling Around
There are lots of steps you can take to best ensure your safety when traveling around the city, such as:
- Only using reputable taxi companies. If using an app such as Uber or Lyft, be sure to double-check the driver’s vehicle information and name before getting into the vehicle.
- Not traveling alone at night.
- Remaining aware and vigilant regarding your surroundings at all times - and trusting your instincts.
- When using the subway, only use the busiest entrances and exits, and wait by (or in view of) the station agent if there are few people on the platform.
- Be wary of pickpockets, who may work in teams, with one or more members causing a distraction while another mines your pockets. Carry your belongings in crossbody bags or purses, where possible, to help guard against this.
Get into Good Security Habits
Once you’ve moved into your new inner-city rental home, it’s important to get into good habits to protect your things and yourself. Always locking your windows and door - even if you’re just popping out for a minute - is vital. Plus, avoid leaving clues for potential burglars that you have expensive stuff in your home; this means never leaving your garage door open, ensuring that things like expensive jewelry and electronic items aren’t visible from the windows, and not leaving a bicycle, motorbike, or pricey tools on display outside.
Be cautious, too, about what you post on Facebook - especially posts that can be seen by the general public. While your friends will no doubt love to know where you’re going, when, and for how long, burglars would also be keen to know exactly how long your home is going to be empty.
Finally, as tempting as it is, don’t leave the spare key to your home under the doormat or a nearby flowerpot; these are the first places a potential intruder will look. Instead, leave the key with a relative, friend, or trusted neighbor. Alternatively, consider installing a smart lock that uses biometrics or a code instead of a key.
Final Thoughts: Making Staying Safe as Easy as Possible
When living in the inner city, it’s important to take some sensible precautions to stay as safe as possible. By doing a little research before moving day, getting into good security habits, and following some simple steps, you can enjoy your new inner-city pad without compromising your peace of mind.