Considering moving? Shopping around for a new home or apartment can be a daunting task. You probably have a wish list with details like number of bedrooms, square footage, location, number of bathrooms, etc. However, what you might be overlooking are the safety features of your potential future home. Safety should be a a #1 priority when looking for a new place, so keep these things in mind when going to that next open house!
If you’re looking into a new place, you’ll definitely want to find out if appliances are included. If they are—do some digging. Ask about everything. Make sure that all appliances are in working order, and be especially cautious with anything that could potentially start a fire or a gas leak if it’s not in working order, such as your stove. This goes for smoke & carbon monoxide detectors as well as thermostats, radiators, and heaters.
Have you looked into the neighborhood? Are there high rates of crime? Do you feel comfortable walking around at night? Are the streets well lit? These are all questions that should be answered before deciding to live somewhere. You want to live somewhere that you know your neighbors and can trust them. You don’t want to live somewhere that you feel unsafe walking outside after the sun goes down. Go online and research the neighborhood you’re looking into.
Has the landlord changed the locks since the last tenant moved out? If not, will they change them before you move in? You need your landlord to change the locks on the apartment. Some places might just rotate locks between units. This is dangerous, because it means that someone out there still might have a key to your lock. Make certain that your locks are brand new.
Check for signs of fire safety around the premises. As mentioned above, things like smoke alarms should be in good working order, but also make sure that there is a working fire extinguisher present and that there are no obvious fire hazards lurking around. Check that fire escapes are in good condition for apartments or homes in tall buildings. Windows that are painted shut, for instance, can be a fire hazard as well.