General Question

ChaosCross's avatar

Is it safer to live at the top of an apartment building or the bottom?

Asked by ChaosCross (2332 points ) April 26th, 2010

This question came to mind when I saw China’s new “empty city” thanks to an oversite in building, which means I could get my own apartment there for incredibly cheap and with little to no neighbors per building.

If I was given the choice, which should I take? Bottom apartments or top apartments? And why?

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16 Answers

Trillian's avatar

I’d take a bottom flat just because you could get out a window in case of a fire. The problem with apartment buildings is that there is too much that is out of your control. All it takes is one idiot to start a fire. People fall asleep with cigarettes, leave towels on the stove, try to make drugs. You just never know. Also, in the event of a power outage, how tired are you when you come home from work? Do you feel like climbing a bunch of steps?
I don’t.

Cruiser's avatar

For fire and emergency the bottom is the safest, for crime, solicitors and locked out tenants knocking on your window to let them in…the least safest…IMO. For sound and peace and quite the top floor is the best unless you are next to the airport then is truly blows!

njnyjobs's avatar

I would go to the top… in case an earthquake rocks the building off its foundation, it wouldn’t be as hard to dig up my remains than being buried 10 storeys deep in the ruble.

lilikoi's avatar

There are a lot of variables to consider. What are you trying to be safe against?

Top apartments: no noise from neighbors above, less likely for sewer to back up into your unit, first dibs at hot water (iff hot water is top fed), never have to deal with flooding, wind velocity is higher at higher elevations, air can be cleaner, better view, higher selling price…

Bottom: You are screwed if there is a flood (is the building in a flood zone?), easier access (can be a pro and con), easier to escape in case of fire (but risk of fire can be really low in modern buildings, at least in U.S., not sure about China’s fire codes).

Obviously if this is a walk up it would be much more convenient to be on the bottom.

If an earthquake rocks a building off its foundation, you’ll probably die no matter where you are in the building, and even maybe if you’re near it.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Top all the way.
Fires or earthquakes happen rarely while good views and no upstairs neighbors stomping on your ceiling will happen daily.
Just memorize the fire escape process.
Also there’s less theft on higher floors by virtue that your stuff is harder to steal the further to thief has the travel with it.
First floor apartments are low hanging fruit to thieves.

silverfly's avatar

Just go with the middle. Never gets too hot or too cold and you get the best of both worlds. Less crime, easier exit, middle of the rubble. Done and done!

Coloma's avatar

I’d take the room with a view, but then again, I havn’t lived in an apartment since 1985, lol

The safest place to live is on a big piece of property that is off the google map. lololol

mrentropy's avatar

First floor apartments tend to get robbed more. I’d stay around the 2nd story. Close enough to the ground to jump, one level up from the robbery fodder.

YARNLADY's avatar

Rich people choose the penthouse on top of apartment buildings because it is the most desirable. I would think poor people would feel the same way.

I’m going to add that I wouldn’t trust the workmanship of buildings thrown up in haste, so any floor is going to have to added danger of shoddy construction.

downtide's avatar

I would think the top is safer in the event of fire or similar disaster, but the lower floors might be more susceptible to burglary.

HungryGuy's avatar

I like to be up near the top, but not THE top. But if your concern is fires and burglars, then you’re best to be in a building with a doorman or 24 hour security. That’ll keep the burglars and solicitors out. Then take one on the third, fourth, or fifth floor. Burglars can’t climb in through your windows, and it’s a relatively quick escape down the stairs in a fire. If the building is a hi-rise, it’ll be steel and concrete construction, providing decent protection from fire and noise insulation from neighbors. Though China??? Are these building built to the same standards as in Europe and America?

mollypop51797's avatar

Bottom.. easy in easy out! does middle count??

Coloma's avatar

I had an awesome apartment in Taiwan last month with a security door and doorman, was on the 4th floor of an 8 story building and loved it!

Talk about culture shock, in the heart of Taipei city and then home to my mountain retreat..very strange! lol

bea2345's avatar

A modern apartment building with elevators that work, plumbing that actually delivers water to all the floors? For that, I might overcome my dislike of heights and nervousness about earthquakes. But as far as I am concerned, no apartment building is as safe as a one storey, well constructed bungalow.

AshlynM's avatar

There are many advantages to living in a top floor apartment.

Generally top floor apartments are safest when it comes to theft and robbery or any other type crime. Also, you don’t have to worry about noisy neighbors or children jumping and running all day on top of your head.

You also don’t need to worry about your neighbor upstairs causing water leaks from his kitchen or bathroom down into your place.

However…bottom floor would be safer for disabled people and the elderly, since they don’t have to travel that far to get outside.

Personally I’d feel safer on top floor apartment, especially at night.

HungryGuy's avatar

For the best compromise, call the fire department in that city and ask what’s the highest floor that their ladder truck can reach. Take an apartment on that floor or the floor below. The higher up you are, the safer you are from burglary. The lower you are the safer you are from fire.

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