Thomas Jefferson University

Safe Building Features Checklist

Whether you are living on- or off-campus, it is important to be responsible for your own safety. You should have renters insurance and should make certain that your landlord has properly insured the building where you are renting as well. In addition to the list below, check out this checklist from ADT Security with more helpful advice.

The following safety standards should be considered when renting off-campus:

  • Surrounding area
    • Is the street well lit?
    • Does the building have lighting near the entrances?
    • Are the lights in working order?
  • Entrance area
    • Does the exterior door have a solid core?
    • Does the door fit tightly in the frame?
    • Is the front door self-closing and self-locking?
    • Is the building monitored by desk staff or a security officer?
  • Within the building.
    • Is your apartment door secure, solid and fit tightly in the frame?
    • Is there a chain lock on your door?
    • Are the locks in working order?
    • Is there a peephole in your door?
    • Are the hallways well-lit?
    • Are mailboxes appropriately placed to prevent tampering?
  • Apartment Windows
    • Are all windows intact?
    • Do the window locks work properly?
    • Are there bars on the windows and if so, are they secure?
    • Is there a means of egress through a window in case of a fire?
  • Fire Safety
    • Are all fire exits labeled and accessible?
    • Are all fire exit doors protected from unauthorized entry?
    • Are there smoke detectors in the building/apartment?
    • Are their fire extinguishers in the building/apartment?
    • Are their sprinklers in the building/apartment?
  • Property Management Practices
    • Does the company you are renting from practice an effective key control system?
    • How are duplicate keys made?
    • Does the landlord or property manager do background checks on all employees who have access to your apartment?
    • Are apartment doors re-keyed between tenancies?
    • Are you notified if the landlord/property manager/maintenance needs to enter your unit?

You should speak with your current or future landlord about your safety concerns.  If your landlord is unresponsive, please note that the Philadelphia Police Department will do a safety check of your apartment upon request.  This service is free and can be arranged by contacting the Crime Prevention Officer of your district (the area immediately surrounding Jefferson' campus is the 6th district.  The number to call is (215) 686-3060. 

The City of Philadelphia is a wonderful place to live and continue your academic pursuits, but you should take every measure possible to ensure that your new home will be a safe one.