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Crime Prevention > Apartment Security

Don’t leave apartment security to the building manager or the police. TakeAction and follow these suggestions to make your building a safer place to live.

Securing Your Apartment

  • When the buzzer rings, always check the identity of the person(s) seeking entrance before releasing the latch on the lobby door. Remember that the front door of your residence is the front door to the apartment block. Never allow anyone into the apartment block that you do not know. Refer them to the manager or caretaker.
  • Keep the door to your suite locked at ALL times, even when you are at home.
  • Notify the manager when your suite will be empty for any extended period.
  • Make arrangements with a neighbour or the manager to receive deliveries if you will be away from your suite. Do not leave notes on the lobby callboard or your door indicating you are away.
  • Do not identify yourself on the callboard as being a female living alone. Use only first initials to identify yourself (e.g., J.S. Smith).
  • When moving into a new apartment, change the lock cylinders. Check with the manager first as permission is usually required.
  • Equip apartment doors with a wide-angle door viewer and a good quality deadbolt lock with at least a one-inch bolt.
  • Secure sliding balcony doors with jimmy bars. Place a length of wood in the bottom track of the doors, making it sure it fits snugly to prevent entry via these doors.
  • Install good quality locks on all windows, especially those opening onto balconies, patios or rooftops.


  • Do not enter an elevator if you are suspicious of the occupants(s). Wait for the next one.
  • When in an elevator, stand near the control panel. In a difficult situation, push as many buttons as possible, particularly the alarm. Do not touch the emergency stop, as it stops the elevator, perhaps between floors. If a telephone is available, lifting the receiver automatically activates the alarm.

Laundry Rooms and Apartment Lockers

  • Do not do laundry when you are likely to be alone. Try to arrange your laundry times with a trusted neighbour.
  • Do not store valuable property in your locker or storage area.
  • Report suspicious persons loitering in the vicinity of lockers to the manager or police.


  • Be alert to vehicles or persons following you into the garage or parking lot.
  • Do not expose yourself to unnecessary risk. Leave the parking area if you encounter suspicious circumstances, and notify the manager or the police.
  • Lock your vehicle and remove high value, portable items.

Going on Vacation

  • Inform the manager or a trusted neighbour of your departure and return dates. Leave a telephone number where you can be reached in an emergency.
  • Cancel all deliveries, including your mail, or arrange to have a neighbour pick up newspapers and mail on a regular basis.
  • Use clock timers to activate lights and radios and give the impression that someone is home.
  • Store valuables in a safety deposit box.

For Your Safety

  • Start an Apartment Watch program in your block. Concerned and informed neighbours are your best defense against crime.
  • If you find a door or window has been forced or broken while you were absent, do not enter your residence. The criminal may still be inside. Use a neighbour’s telephone to call the police.
  • Let your neighbours know if you have been a victim of a crime. They may have noticed a suspicious person or vehicle and may be able to supply valuable information to the police.

For more information about arson prevention, contact the Winnipeg Police Community Services Division at 204-986-6322 or via email

If you would like a Police Officer to provide a Power Point Presentation on this topic you can forward your request via one of three ways: Due to demand, we request you contact us at least six weeks prior to the event. Most presentations are one hour in duration and handouts are provided. The presentation is free of charge - room to be supplied by the organization requesting the presentation, with a minimum of 20 attendees.

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Last update: April 4, 2014

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