Seventy-Eight Percent of Renters Feel Safe in Their Apartments survey reveals renters’ feelings toward crime prevention and safety


CHICAGO, October 5, 2006 – In conjunction with the National Crime Prevention Council’s (NCPC) National Crime Prevention Month in October, conducted a survey to gauge safety concerns of current renters. Results reveal that seventy-eight percent of respondents feel moderately to extremely safe in their apartments. The survey was conducted between September 14 and September 30, 2006.

In addition, the survey discovered that an overwhelming number of respondents (97%) state that the crime rate of a particular neighborhood plays a significant part in apartment selection. By selecting apartment locations in perceived “safe” neighborhoods, renters are more likely to feel at ease in their homes.

According to the NCPC, the organization best known for McGruff the Crime Dog®, apartments are eighty-five percent more likely to be victimized by burglaries than other types of housing. The survey, however, revealed that being a victim of a violent personal attack is the number one crime concern to renters (37%) followed closely by theft/burglary (33%). Although renters feel safe in their home, vigilance and prevention is necessary to avoid becoming a victim of property theft or other crimes.

Most renters are proactive about protecting themselves and employ one or more measures to prevent crime in their apartment. Renters identified installing deadbolts (44%) as the most common protective measure in their apartments. Twenty-five percent arm themselves with mace or pepper spray and twenty-three percent use light timers.

Apartment communities are also mindful of creating a safe environment for their residents. Fifty-nine percent of renters state that their management company/landlord has installed deadbolts or other heavy duty locks on apartment doors, twenty-five percent of renters live in gated communities and twenty-one percent live in communities where there is an organized neighborhood watch program. According to the NCPC, 20 million people participate in Neighborhood Watch.

The NCPC offers this safety checklist to avoid crime in apartment communities:

  • Inside the apartment: Renters should ensure that they have a deadbolt installed on entry doors.  A wooden rod should be inserted in tracks and pins in the overhead frame of sliding doors to prevent them from being lifted out.  Renters should know exactly who has copies of entry keys.
  • Around the building:  Renters should be comfortable with speaking to the landlord or building manager if there are suspicious persons on property.  Building managers should keep mailboxes, garbage receptacles, laundries, walkways, entrances, elevators, hallways, stairways and other public areas well lighted.  
  • Get to know the neighbors:  Renters and building managers are encouraged to join or organize an apartment or neighborhood watch group.  Building management and renters should work together to identify and solve potential crime hazards such as proper lighting and suspicious persons. 

As part of its monthly “What Renters Want” series, surveys renters on various topics. For more information on these surveys or to receive a copy of survey results, please contact Lisa DeVries at

About The National Crime Prevention Council
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) is a private, nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to be the nation’s leader in helping people keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe from crime.  NCPC manages public service advertising under the National Citizens’ Crime Prevention Campaign—symbolized by McGruff the Crime Dog® and his “Take A Bite Out Of Crime®” slogan—and acts as secretariat for the Crime Prevention Coalition of America, more than 300 national, federal, state, and local organizations representing thousands of constituents who are committed to preventing crime. NCPC is funded through a variety of government agencies, corporate and private foundations, and donations from private individuals. NCPC also participates in the Combined Federal Campaign (#0840 on the pledge card). For more information on crime prevention issues, visit

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