We haven't been watching too many episodes of Criminal Minds, these are just good safety tips to consider when renting or looking at renting an apartment. With the Tri-Cities having a bit of a housing shortage when it comes to homes, renting becoming an option for many.

The folks at Safewise.com have come up with a safety list of 7 things, based upon crime statistics and other data, that will greatly increase your safety.

When considering a new apartment, or a condo, consider these:

  1.  What about safety and security lighting? Check out laundry, parking and storage areas, as well as walking paths. Are they well lit? Is there 24-7 lighting that actually works? Statistics show well-lit areas are far less likely to the the target of criminal activity.
  2. Is there an on-site manager? Again, studies show managers who live on-site have far better safety and lower crime rate marks. Those who simply occupy the office during the day are not able to help provide security and address needs on weekends. The presence of an on-site manager who walks and checks the grounds deters many criminals, say experts.
  3. Building Entrances.  Is there a master key required to access the building, or buzzer system or other deterrent?  Statistic show while some view it as an inconvenience, buildings that require a first-line entry before getting to the apartment units have far lower crime rates.
  4. Windows and locks. Amazingly, some apartments don't have adequate locks or even locks at all. Make sure they have (if they're a sideways slider) security bars that are in the window channel, preventing them from being opened even if unlocked. Also make sure existing blinds are tight enough when closed to prevent people from seeing in from the outside.
  5. Onsite lockers or storage. Many apartments have storage units assigned to each apartment. They can be a magnet for criminals, who find them far easier to access than breaking into a unit. Make sure yours is secured with a chain, padlock, or other difficult security system.
  6. Check out crime rates in the area.  A quick visit with police, or even several websites such as neighborhoodscout.com can tell you crime rates for the area. Check at least two sources to get a better picture. Compare crime rates with other areas you may be considering moving to.
  7. Onsite parking.  Is there a garage or carport next to the building, or are you having to park on the street?  Apartments with parking closer to the building have far lower car prowl issues than those where you have to park some distance away. The further you are from your vehicle, the better chance it has of being broken into.