Public Safety

UC Police share tips on finding a safe apartment

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017

As students begin apartment hunting, common concerns are location, rent and the quality of the space. However, students should also be checking the safety and security of the apartment before they commit.

University of Cincinnati Police Division Lt. David Brinker prioritizes the complex's parking.

"My number one security feature for housing would be a complex with secured parking," he said.

Sgt. Cliff Maxwell recommends students choose a newer building to live in.

"I suggest looking into new buildings first. Everything's new, everything's secure,"€ he said, adding that new buildings typically have the most current door and window locks.

Both also recommend students look for apartments with motion sensors, good exterior lighting and fire sprinklers.

In addition, they suggest students pick a building that has glass blocks in basement windows, as apartment building break-ins often happen through basement windows. Front door access is also important so students do not have to walk down an alley to enter their building.

A less-known tip is to pay attention to the shrubbery outside the building to see if it is maintained. Overgrown shrubbery makes the building less visible, which can be attractive to criminals, Brinker said.

Maxwell also recommends that students live on the upper levels on the apartment building, not the basement or first floor.

The University of Cincinnati's Off-Campus Housing page includes an apartment checklist, which encourages students to make sure windows and locks work properly and that smoke detectors are functional. In addition, students should ask the landlord about security in the building and in the area and get feedback from current residents, if possible.

To see more of the checklist, go to

In addition, students should utilize the city of Cincinnati's Safe Student Housing Program to ensure their rental property has passed a city fire inspection. For more information, go to

Written by Kelly Cantwell - Assistant Public Information Officer