apartment safety


Apartment Safety: 16 Safety Tips for Your Multifamily Community

With the national rental vacancy rate climbing steadily for the past 23 months and the September 2023 vacancy rate standing at 6.3%, having the right apartment safety and community features in place to attract and retain residents is crucial.1 At the same time, nearly 40% of people in the U.S. feel less safe than they did just three years ago, up from 27%.2

As a result, it’s safe to assume that current and prospective residents want a safe, secure, and peaceful place to call home. Here are 16 apartment home security and property management tips to keep in mind for your multifamily community to ensure you deliver on this important expectation for your residents.

#1 Access Control Systems

Access to your apartment complex is the first line of defense. A sophisticated security system with access control allows you to extend entrance privileges for restricted areas to staff while requiring authorization for entry to residents. Look for apartment security systems that make it easy for the property owner or property manager to adjust or revoke privileges. Whether you opt for key fobs, intercom systems, or newer mobile apps, the key objective is to make the security system easy for residents to adopt and use.

#2 Security Gates

A physical barrier can control your apartment complex’s pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Similar to access control systems, these apartment security solutions may be operated via a fob, a smartphone, or a computer. Research shows that automatically controlled gates are safer than manually controlled ones.

#3 Video Cameras

By leveraging home security technology, connected cameras and wireless sensors can act as virtual sentries, automatically alerting management to any break-ins. Many professional monitoring systems, including surveillance cameras at the community front door or resident door ( i.e., a Ring security camera), can activate based on motion and keep a recording, helping residents feel safer.

#4 Security Personnel

Having a security guard team monitor the community is a solid deterrent to crime. Whether you choose foot patrols or vehicle patrols, the presence of professional monitoring (e.g., a security guard team) helps put residents at ease. Of course, training is essential.

#5 Good Lighting

Yes, nighttime lighting may act as a deterrent to crime. In a recent study conducted over three years in New York City, research demonstrated that adequate nighttime lighting could reduce crime.3 More importantly, bright lights make residents feel safer in community common areas such as parking lots, walkways, entrances, and fitness centers.

#6 Smart Locks

Residents have witnessed the adoption of smart locks in hotels and single-family homes around the country. Embracing a keyless apartment door security and entry system is the future of apartment living and translates into a boost of confidence for residents, knowing fewer copies of the keys to their home are circulating.

#7 Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Although it’s easy to strictly think of crime when considering apartment community safety, in-unit features such as quality smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are also critical towards fire safety and overall resident health and wellbeing. The newest smoke and carbon monoxide detection systems harness the power of intelligent sensors versus the traditional battery-powered options.

#8 Elevator Access Control

Sophisticated security systems today allow a property owner or property manager to only grant visitors access to the common areas or the residents’ floor, adding an extra layer of security.

#9 Emergency Exits & Procedures

Walking new residents through emergency procedures at lease signing is a great idea. Posting emergency exit signage and phone numbers throughout the community is also a must. A smart property manager will ensure every resident knows the emergency exit procedures, fire drill gathering points, what to do in an emergency, and even how to pack a “go bag” in the case of an evacuation.

#10 Community Watch Programs

An often-overlooked security measure is the power of the community. Alerting your next-door neighbor, for example, when out of town, gives them the heads up to notice and report suspicious activity. Consider keeping a resident directory works too for accessible communication between residents. Educational meetings and training sessions can also foster a sense of collective responsibility.

#11 Background Checks

You can improve security in your community by performing background checks and drug tests of community staff. Experts recommend that all staff wear a uniform or standard color to differentiate between staff and strangers. Regularly communicating staff changes with pictures to residents also helps.

#12 Sliding Doors and Windows

Sliding glass doors are notorious for being easy break-in entry points. Deploy unique locking mechanisms on doors to ensure additional security for residents. Additionally, all windows should lock securely.

#13 Deadbolts

Installing an apartment door security feature, like a deadbolt in every unit, lowers the risk of burglary. Don’t forget to regularly check that they are all working correctly and that residents know how to report a repair to your community’s maintenance team.

#14 Common Areas

Fitness centers, package storage rooms, and work areas require video cameras and a locking system. Of course, having security personnel monitor them can also reduce the risk of theft.

#15 Renter’s Insurance

Consider encouraging or requiring all residents to carry renter’s insurance as a “just in case” option. This helps residents purchase replacements while eliminating a negative perception of your community and reducing community liability.

#16 Smart Lockers

A 2023 Safewise survey showed that three out of every four Americans lost a package to thieves in the past year, a 5% increase from 2022, and a 2023 NBRI survey revealed that almost 70% of apartment residents have fallen victim to package theft.4,5 Further, a recent National Apartment Association survey showed residents now rank “secure package receiving options” as their most crucial amenity, while additional outside research supports that apartment package lockers can lift lease renewals by as much as 40%.6,7 These statistics demonstrate that parcel lockers can become both a safety competitive advantage and a retention tool.

Safety and security are a perennial concern for residents. Educating your community while also implementing security features assists with wooing and retaining residents.

Protect your residents’ special package deliveries with smart electronic lockers from Parcel Pending by Quadient. Speak to one of our package management experts today.


  1. Brumer-Smith, Liz. Is The Rental Market Finally Cooling?. realestate.usnews.com. November 6, 2023. https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/is-the-rental-market-finally-softening
  2. National Apartment Association. Improving the safety and security of multifamily residents and staff. www.naahq.org. December 1, 2022. https://www.naahq.org/improving-safety-and-security-multifamily-residents-and-staff
  3. Nickeas, Peter. Nighttime lighting reduces crime but it’s not a one-size-fits all solution, study shows. www.cnn.com. April 28, 2022. https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/28/us/lighting-study-new-york-study/index.html
  4. Edwards, Rebecca. Worst Metro Cities for Package Theft for 2023. www.safewise.com. November 15, 2023. https://www.safewise.com/blog/metro-areas-porch-theft/
  5. Parcel Pending. The War to Woo and Retain Residents: Key Findings from Parcel Pending’s 2023 Resident Survey Report. www.parcelpending.com. November 1, 2023. https://www.parcelpending.com/en-us/blog/the-war-to-woo-and-retain-residents-key-findings-from-parcel-pendings-2023-resident-survey-report/
  6. National Apartment Association. 5 Key Consumer Preferences of Renters. www.naahq.org. April 26, 2023. https://www.naahq.org/5-key-consumer-preferences-renters
  7. Parcel Pending. Cortland Uses Parcel Pending to Deliver Higher Resident Satisfaction. www.parcelpending.com. May 16, 2018. https://www.parcelpending.com/en-us/case-studies/cortland/