Leaving your family and home for the first time and moving into the dorms can be a fun and exciting experience. This is a great time to meet people, make new friends, and experience the college life. While almost all dorms on campus take security measures to ensure the safety of its residents, crimes do occur on campus dorm halls and university housing. Here are 10 tips to help make your experience a safer one:
Don’t let strangers into the dorm- It is very important to not let people you do not know into the dorms. Be careful when coming in that a stranger doesn’t follow you, same goes for holding the door or elevator open for someone you don’t know. You might feel rude or unfriendly, but again, safety in the dorm area is very important.
Be careful with your key- Take good care of your dorm key and do not lend it out. Also, you should not hide it outside the dorm room for someone, or leave your door unlocked- even for a minute, safety is more important that convenience. Lock and secure all doors and windows at all times- even when napping, showering or studying.
Protect your valuables- Never leaves valuables, jewelry, credit cards, or cash in plain view or around your window or door. Be sure to place anything of value and importance to you in a secure place. It is a good idea to mark all your important belongings with property tags or to place locks on them.
Don’t invite unwanted attention- Never dress or change in front of a window or open door. Be mindful of where and when you are getting out of the shower or changing and be sure not to do either in front of a window with the blinds or curtains open. This is sure to cause unwanted and potentially dangerous attention.
Take caution with repairmen- If someone knocks on your door and asks to be let in to repair something in your room, do not be afraid to question them and ask for proper identification. You should also call the office or a resident assistant or manager and verify that someone is supposed to be coming in to repair something. Only allow someone in your room once they have properly identified themselves.
Don’t start a fire- Most campuses have a list of items that are not allowed inside the dorms and they are banned for a reason. Limit the amount of halogen and floor lamps in your room and never drape anything over them. Remember to avoid having too many appliances in one outlet or power cord, monitor cooking and cooking appliances, avoid using candles and smoking in or around the dorm area.
Use your peephole- Most dorm halls have peepholes in the door. If someone knocks on your door and you do not know them or cannot see anything, do not, for any reason open the door. Call a resident assistant or manager to help you assess the situation.
Always monitor your stuff- It is important to keep an eye out for your belongings in public. Whether you stop for a quick bathroom break, go to another room for just a second or grab a quick bite to eat it is important to not leave your things unattended. Always keep your backpack, purse, and keys with you.
Report suspicious people- It is important to report any person or group of people that appear suspicious to a resident assistant, manager, or the campus police. Do not approach the person or group or attempt to take the situation into your own hands.
Drink wisely- If you have a couple of drinks, be careful to take extra precaution while under the influence of alcohol and don’t overdo it. Alcohol can impairment your judgment and leave you in a vulnerable situation that can be unsafe. Do not, under any circumstances allow alcohol to prevent you from taking the necessary tips to stay alert and out of harm’s way.