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“All Citizens are Equal before Law and are Entitled to Equal Protection of Law”-Article 27 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Issue No: 180
July 31, 2010

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Apartment Security
Crime prevention and personal safety

You hear about it on TV. You read about it in the newspaper. It's no secret that crime is a major problem in our country today, and criminals are finding it easier to commit crimes all the time. Weapons are readily available, our cities police forces have more work than they can handle. Even if criminals are caught, they know they won't be spending long in our nation's overcrowded jails. Well there is an effective answer. Take responsibility for your own safety and security.

Apartment security should begin from the moment you start to look at potential apartments. Here are some questions to ask yourself when you are inspecting for the first time:
* Are all entrances key-controlled?
* Is the lighting adequate especially at entrances and in any parking lot?
* Do the apartments all have deadbolt locks and viewers?
* Does the manager seem responsible and concerned about security?
* Will the manager allow you to change or rekey the locks?

While living in an apartment, there are several things that you and your children should be aware of:

Use only the initial of your first name with your surname on the nameplate or intercom board or even a male name (M. Smith instead of Ms Smith or Mary Smith).
* Report all suspicious activity to the building manager.
* Don't hold the door open for strangers or buzz them in if they ring your apartment. Tell them to buzz the manager. Never announce that you are home alone. Make sure you tell your children about this.
* Report all burnt light bulbs in the building, insisting that they be replaced immediately.
* Don't rely on door chains; they can be forced or opened with special tools.
* If you lose your keys along with identification, change your locks immediately.
* Burglars' main entry point for apartments is the patio door, especially for first or second floor apartments. Secure these doors with a stop bar constructed by cutting a piece of wood just shorter than the width of one of the doors and placed on the inside track with the door closed. Or drill a hole in the frame and insert a double-headed nail. Windows should be secured in a similar fashion.
* Storage lockers should not be used to store valuables.
* Make sure that the manager does not store ladders outside the building.
* If you find someone in your apartment, stay out of their way and GET OUT as soon as possible. Then call the police. If, upon arrival, you find your door broken into, do not enter your apartment. A trapped person can become very dangerous.
* Don't keep large amounts of cash in your apartment.
* Seek to befriend your neighbours; get to know other tenants establishing an informal buddy system.
* If you see any suspicious persons in the parking lot, drive away. Don't park.
* Keep the phone number of the police by the telephone.
* Don't get into an elevator if you have bad "vibes" about other occupants. When in the elevator, stay next to the control panel and know where the alarm button is.

- Compiled by Law Desk.


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