Loyola University Chicago

Campus Safety

Off-campus Housing Safety

Things you might consider before and after choosing an apartment. This list is not exhaustive but is intended as a guide to assist with finding a safer living environment.

  • Shrubbery and trees close to the apartment building parking lot(s) and walkways should be well trimmed so they do not block out light or serve as a hiding place.

  • Bushes and shrubbery near ground level windows should also be well trimmed.

  • Exterior lighting around the apartment building is important. Notify the building manager or superintendent when exterior lights are not working.

  • Building fire escapes should be well lit, particularly at ground level.

  • If the lobby exterior door is suppose to be locked, help keep it locked. Never prop this door open. If the door is propped open, unprop it.

  • At your mailbox, list only your last name and initial. Women in particular should list their name the same way in the building directory and telephone book.

  • Whenever possible, avoid riding in the elevator alone with strangers. Don't hesitate to get off an elevator when you feel uncomfortable or threatened.

  • Landlords are required to maintain reasonable security measures for their property.  This can include locks (on doors AND windows), security lighting and peepholes.  If you have a problem with something, you need to notify your landlord IN WRITING (certified mail is best) and then give them two weeks to correct the problem.

  • When using an apartment building's laundry room, don't go there alone. Also, don't leave your clothes in the laundry room unattended.

  • For your apartment door, a solid core wood or steel door is preferable.

  • The door should not have glass near the door lock.

  • It is advisable to have a peephole viewer on your apartment door.

  • Whenever a new tenant moves into an apartment, the door locks should be rekeyed. They should also be rekeyed whenever the door lock key is lost or stolen.

  • Your apartment key should be on a separate ring from your car key. You may possibly use a detachable key ring. Never place anything on a key ring that indicates your apartment or address.

  • Never attempt to hide your apartment key outside the apartment. Burglars know the hiding places.

  • For sliding glass doors, install a horizontal locking bar. A broom handle in the track at the bottom of the door can serve the same purpose.

  • If the sliding glass doors can be lifted from its track, install two screws backed with a stack of washers at the top of the track. The screws should protrude downward just enough that the top of the door clears them.

  • Secure all windows. Windows are often left unlocked or the locking hardware is easily defeated.

  • If your apartment has first floor windows near a fire escape, double-hung wooden windows are the most troublesome. To secure them, drill a hole at a slight angle through the inside sash and one-half way through the outside sash. Insert a heavy nail or pin into this hole.

  • When leaving your apartment, even for a short time, be sure to lock up. Lock both windows and doors and turn off all heat producing appliances.

  • When leaving your apartment, turn a radio on low and take the newspaper in. Buy one or two inexpensive timers and program them to have lights in your apartment turn on and off during hours of darkness.

  • If you will be away from your apartment for more then one night, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to check on your place from time to time. Also arrange to have them pick up your mail and newspapers.

  • Record the description, serial number and cost of your valuables. Engrave appropriate items of value. If you have a camcorder, videotape each room with special emphasis upon items of value. If you don't have access to one, use a still camera to preserve a visual record of your valuables.

  • Minimize the amount of expensive jewelry and cash you keep in your apartment. Rent a safety deposit box in a bank or open a bank account as an alternative.

  • If you receive obscene or annoying telephone calls at your apartment, say nothing and hang up. Keep a record of such calls. If you are physically threatened, contact the Chicago Police at 311 and the Department of Campus Safety at 508-6039.

  • NEVER answer personal questions from an unknown caller over the telephone. Don't give out your date of birth, social security number or PIN number to callers. Banks don't need your PIN number to access your account.

  • Be cautious about maintenance or service personnel attempting to gain entry into your apartment. Don't be pressured into opening your apartment door until you have verified the service call with the apartment manager or superintendent. Always request identification and have them slip it under the door. When in doubt, leave them out.

  • One of the best deterrents of apartment crime can be your neighbors. Get to know other tenants and join your Neighborhood Watch program. Report suspicious people and activity to the police.