Part of your move-in ritual should be making sure that your new place is up to snuff safety wise—and you should perform apartment maintenance twice a year. We know you feel like you have a hundred things to do—one more just might make your brain explode. But what’s more important: your safety or shelf-paper? 

March is National Maintenance Month and this apartment maintenance checklist shouldn’t take more than a half-hour to assess. Use’s apartment safety tips to make sure your home is up-to-par.

Apartment Maintenance Checklist:

1. Smoke Detectors
Put new batteries in today and change them on the days that you turn your clocks back or forward. That’s October and March for those of you in Arizona. Hopefully, you will never have to use them. But we can tell you what will happen if you don’t change them. One night (this only happens at night for some reason), the batteries will get low and the alarm will start chirping at you. You will go to the kitchen, will find you have no batteries, and will be up all night. Chirp. Chirp. Chirp. Annoyed yet? By the way, don’t try to dismantle it; we’ve tried—the chirp is mighty and cannot be silenced.

2. Exterior Lights
Do a run from your car to your apartment door, and look for any lights that may be out. This is especially important in secured underground parking and in outdoor areas. Make sure your porch lights also work. If you see any that need to be replaced, let your landlord know.

3. Locks and Doors
You can request that the locks be changed before you move in. This is not always a legal requirement for the landlord, so make sure you request it when you sign your lease. If you are on the first floor and have a sliding glass door, you are going to want to secure it. One way is to use a yardstick that can fit on the interior side of the groove. It will add a little extra security if you forget to lock it.

4. Disaster Kit
One of the greatest things about America is the diversity of its natural disasters. Whether you have a Miami Hurricane, Topeka Tornado, or San Andreas Floorshaker, you need to be prepared. Yes, it is a pain and can be more than you want to pay, but having a Disaster Emergency Kit will pay dividends in the event of one of these events strikes your neck of the woods. This is serious stuff and you should have enough food, water and any other essential for three days for each member of your household.

Your Disaster Emergency Kit should include:

  • Flashlight and Extra Batteries
  • Canned Goods and a Can Opener
  • Bottled Water 1 Gallon per person
  • Plastic Eating Utensils
  • Hunting Knife
  • Back-up Medications
  • Blankets

You can also purchase a kit at any hardware store or online. We suggest you do it in person, so you can feel the weight and know which one is right for you. Remember you may have to carry this.