How Safe Is My Neighborhood? 4 Ways to Keep Your Tenants Safe

  

 

As Americans, we talk a lot about crime rates and neighborhood safety.

The good news is that–as a whole–crime rates around the country have dropped significantly since the 1990s. Even the most crime-ridden cities have seen a marked decrease in the number of violent crimes.

While these statistics sound good, you might still be left wondering, “How safe is my neighborhood?” How can you be sure that the area you’re moving to is safe for you and your family?

In this post, we’ll reveal how to tell if a neighborhood is safe–and what residents can do to make it even safer.

1. Stay Informed

Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, it never hurts to stay on top of what’s happening in the neighborhood.

Spotcrime.com is a useful site that pinpoints specific crimes in your community. You should also check with the National Sex Offender Public Registry to see if there are any offenders living in your neighborhood.

You might also check with the local police department or community center to see if they’ve noticed any trends in neighborhood crime. Have there been any recent reports of car theft, burglaries, or vandalism?

The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be.

2. Install Security Features

If you rent out properties to tenants, there are numerous things you can do to make them safer.

  • Encourage tenants to keep their doors and windows locked.
  • Install a home security system in every unit.
  • Install motion sensor lights around the property.
  • Keep trees and bushes neatly trimmed and maintained.
  • Immediately repair any faulty or damaged doors and windows.

By keeping your properties in prime condition and adding a few security features, you can do a lot to keep your tenant safe.

3. Start a Neighborhood Watch

Want an efficient and inexpensive way to make your neighborhood safer? Start a neighborhood watch!

Host a meeting to gauge community interest, including local law enforcement. In addition to putting up signs around the community, you might also suggest:

  • Assigning “window watchers” around the neighborhood.
  • Translating crime and drug prevention materials into locally spoken languages.
  • Sponsoring “clean up” days for abandoned or overgrown lots.

By getting everyone in the community involved, you can work together to make the neighborhood a safer place.

4. Replace the Locks

A final way to improve the safety of your residence or business is to regularly change the locks.

Check the landlord-tenant laws in your state to see what’s required when new tenants move in. If the deadbolt or door lock experienced any damage before they moved in, you’re responsible for replacing the lock.

Although you may not be thrilled at the added expense, it’s in everyone’s best interests. A professional locksmith can advise you on your best options for changing or rekeying locks on your property.

How Safe Is My Neighborhood?

We all want to feel safe and secure in our homes.

Rather than sitting there and asking, “How safe is my neighborhood?”, take these steps to make it safer for everyone.

Our blog is filled with more helpful tips for improving the safety of your home, business, or neighborhood.

If you need the services of a professional locksmith, don’t hesitate to contact us today.  

How Locksmith Services Can Improve Your Home Locking Systems

 

 

Locksmith Services: Improve Your Home Locking Systems

Improving your home locking systems is important if you want to upgrade your security. Here is how professional locksmith services can help with that. 

Every year, an estimated 3.7 million home burglaries occur across the United States. A faulty lock on one of your home’s exterior doors could provide a potential entryway to would-be burglars.

Luckily, there are options for homeowners who want to enhance their home security. Let’s take a look at how locksmith services can improve the locking systems in your home.

Replace Low-Security Locks

If you walk into just about any hardware store, you will find plenty of locks that you can install on your home’s doors. Some folks may wonder why they would need to hire a locksmith if they could simply buy the tools and complete the jobs themselves.

Traditional Locks

The problem with locks from hardware stores is that these are usually pin and tumbler locks. In most cases, a potential burglar could easily get past these low-security locks with a bump key. A bump key is a key that is specially designed to pick traditional locks.

If you bought your home recently, it’s likely that your home’s locks are pin and tumbler style. By hiring a locksmith, you can have these locks changed out for a higher security option.

High-Security Locks

When you work with a locksmith, they will have a variety of lock options at different levels of security. This way, you can choose which locking mechanism is best for your home.

Furthermore, high-security locks are immediately recognizable, as they look different than traditional pin and tumbler locks. When a potential criminal notices that you have a high-security lock, they will be immediately dissuaded from attempting a break-in. Simply put, burglars prefer to choose homes that are easier targets.

Double Cylinder Locks

For convenience, many homeowners have a deadbolt that locks with a key from the outside and locks with a thumb knob from the inside. While you might think this makes life easier for you, it could also make life easier for potential burglars.

For instance, so your door has a window in it. If your deadbolt only has a thumb knob on the inside, then a burglar could simply break out the glass in the window, stick their hand through, and unlock the door.

A much better option is a double cylinder deadbolt. These deadbolts require a key to open from both the inside and the outside. This adds an extra layer of security.

Address Faulty Installation

If your deadbolts were installed by an amateur, you run the risk that they were installed incorrectly. A faulty installation can make it easier for burglars to compromise your lock. By contrast, a locksmith will know how to ensure that the lock has been installed correctly and securely.

Get the Locksmith Services You Need Today

With these advantages in mind, it’s easy to see how locksmith services can improve the locking solutions in your home. This will make you, your family, and your property more secure.

If you need a locksmith, contact us. Our experts will work with you to identify the services you need to make your home secure.

Apartment Intercom Options To Consider

Technology continues to afford us more and more options around our ability to communicate safely and comfortably from inside an apartment. Whether we live in a small place or large, live alone or with a family or friends, we all have some level of interest and need around our ability to communicate from within our apartment. 

There are also some obvious safety benefits to using modern communication technology for apartments as well. 

When considering enhanced intercom communicaiton for your apartment, you’ll want to consider three main options:

1. Wireless: Is your apartment set up best for a wireless system, based on the options you have available for a wired system, the distance the communication needs to travel, etc. 

2. Wired: Wired systems may be less expensive, particularly if you have the opportunity to install them during new construction. If you have a specific need, and are able to use a wired system, this may be a better option. But if your needs are more flexible, a wireless option will afford you the flexibility you may desire. 

3. Video intercoms: These are becoming the most popular options, and allow you to communicate both with voice and video. This adds a level of security and comfort many find desirable. Not all apartments are designed in a way that will allow them, but for those who do, this may be a worth consideration. Another advantage of these systems is they may allow for remote monitoring as well. 

When considering your options for intercom communication, you’ll want to assess your primary goals, your budget, your building and space requirements – and then make the best decision based on the available options. 

 

 

The 3 Most Common Lock Problems and How to Fix Them

Proper care and maintenance of your door locks can prevent lock replacement further down the road. That said, checking on door locks isn’t always at the top of everyone’s to-do list, and lock problems can slip through the cracks and build up over time.

Call a professional locksmith or replace the lockset completely for serious lock issues. However, smaller problems can be caught and repaired by the homeowner at little cost.

Here are three of the most common lock problems and how to fix them.

1. The door key doesn’t work.

First, make sure that you are using the correct key for the door. Once you do get the door open, try the key again. If the key works quickly and efficiently, then the issue is a deadbolt that is not properly interacting with the strike plate. If the key does not work easily, spray a small amount of graphite onto the key and into the lock. Try the key several times in the lock until it works.

What if the key turns but doesn’t unlock the lock? In this situation, take the lock apart to check that the tang or cam is engaging correctly with the bolt. Make sure to replace any broken parts before reassembling the lock.

What if the key is new? A new key that won’t slide easily into the lock may have some rough edges that should be filed down. To locate the rough spots, hold the key over a candle until it blackens with soot. Turn the key gently in the lock and remove it. The soot will be removed from the rough areas, so file those spots down, and your key should work fine.

2. The door lock works slowly.

Exterior and interior locks can get dirty with use and exposure to the elements over time, but there are some simple remedies to try before you purchase a replacement lock.

Start by inserting graphite into the keyhole. Use the lock mechanism repeatedly to work the graphite in.

Gummy, dirt deposits can also be removed with lock de-icers. If these methods don’t work, disassemble the lock and examine it to see if anything is broken or jammed within it. It’s possible that you can replace the part without having to buy a whole new lockset.

3. The key is broken off in the lock.

Using a set of pliers, attempt to grip the key and pull it straight out. If you are unable to access the key, use a cut coping saw blade to remove it. Point the blade’s teeth outward, insert the saw blade into the keyway, and pull the key part out.

In a worst-case scenario, remove the cylinder. Insert a stiff, hard wire at the back of the cylinder, then push the key out. You can also bring the cylinder to a locksmith if more assistance is necessary.

Always call a professional locksmith for serious lock concerns, but for smaller, more common lock problems, you can try to do it yourself first.

What to Put in Your Home or Business Safe

Having a safe for your home or business is key to protecting essential items necessary for your peace of mind or your company’s well-being. But many people choose to use safe deposit boxes in banks, thinking that method is more secure. However, items in a home or business safe will be covered under homeowner’s or company insurance policies, a benefit you won’t receive from a bank.

What exactly should a homeowner or business owner keep in a safe? Here’s a quick list of the more important items to have securely stored in a safe box.

For the Homeowner’s Safe

In the case of a natural disaster or a fire, homeowners can make a tragic situation more tenable by having their most valuable possessions locked in a safe. Keep these personal items secured in your safe:

Current insurance policies and agent contact information.

This information is critical to have on hand in case of an accident.

Personal, legal documents.

Have passports, original birth certificates, and original Social Security cards for all family members in the safe. These items are frustrating, stressful, and expensive to replace.

Family photo albums.

Even if you scan your photos and make digital copies of them, you will feel much better knowing that copies of irreplaceable family memories are safely preserved.

Copies of relevant legal and investment documents.

You will need this information should you have to suddenly access funds, or to make sure that power of attorney statements and wills are enacted in the manner you deemed fit.

Medical information.

You will want a list of family doctors, prescriptions, and pharmacy contact information so that you can get new medical supplies if needed.

Safety deposit box keys.

Copies of these keys will be needed to allow you access to your safety deposit box in an emergency situation.
Information on outstanding debts, payment due dates, and contact information. It’s critical that you know the state of your debt and protect your credit, even in an emergency.

For the Business Owner’s Safe

Similar to a homeowner’s situation, a smart business owner will prepare for any situation or circumstance by protecting the information and possessions most important to the business, employees, and customers. After all, companies want to be trustworthy and reliable to clientele. These are the items that should be in a business owner’s safe.

Credit card information.

In the case of emergency, the business may need access to its lines of credit to get back on its feet as soon as possible.

Confidential information about services and products.

Copies of any information about the company’s goods or services should be kept in the safe for the good of the business. This scenario may also apply to customers’ information from orders to financial dealings.

Contracts.

Whether contracts apply to employees or customers, or both, you will want copies safely preserved in case of a natural disaster.
Stock and bond certificates. A business owner may need quick access to this information in stressful circumstances, so having it on hand in the safe is a good idea.

Financial documents.

Any and all financial documents about the efficacy and heart of the company should be kept in the safe.

Electronics.

Any electronics such as laptops or tablets which contain sensitive company or customer information belong in the safe to keep this information out of the wrong hands.

Whether you are a homeowner or business owner, keeping vital information in a safe is the smartest move you can make.