Tips to Help With New Studio Safety Concerns?

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Q: I'm moving into a small studio apartment in a couple of weeks. Although I'm looking forward to living alone, I'm concerned about safety issues for a single young woman living by herself. The apartment is ground level and the door opens onto a small patio alongside the parking lot... so I'm not going to be secured in a high-rise building. Anyone off the street can come to my door or windows.

There are three windows in the living/sleeping area and one small window in the kitchen that faces the rear of the building. There is no screen door or deadbolt lock. Each building in the complex has one studio apartment, and the others are 1-2 bedroom layouts.

As a renter there's only so much modification I can get away with. I'm looking for ideas and solutions that do not involve physically altering any structural elements. Just to be clear, I'm not worried about someone breaking in while I'm away at work. My stuff can be replaced! I'm terribly worried about someone coming into the apartment while I'm at home, or asleep. The neighborhood isn't bad, but it's a low to moderate income area. Any thoughts, ideas, or comforting words would be greatly appreciated!

Sent by Tabitha

Editor: Please share advice and tips with Tabitha in the comments below - thanks!

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.