Tips for a Safe Off-Campus House
Work with your roommates and neighbors to keep your off-campus house safe this year. Always remember to lock your door, and review these tips to protect your home and your belongings.
You have the right to ask your property owner to change or re-key the locks to your unit before you move in. You never know who may still have a key.
Check to see who is at the door before answering, especially when home alone.
Keep windows and doors secured with adequate locks at all times. If a lock in your residence is broken, contact the property owner immediately.
Never hide an extra key under a mat, in a flowerpot, or any other easily accessible place – criminals know all the hiding places. Instead, give your key to trusted neighbors.
Close your curtains or blinds at night to prevent strangers from seeing that you are alone.
Maintain good lighting at all entrances and keep porch lights on at night.
Do not leave valuables, including laptops or cellphones, on your porch even for a short period of time while you go inside. Take them with you.
Keep a list of your valuable property in case anything is stolen from your house or apartment. Include the make, model, serial number and date of purchase of each item. Renters insurance is highly recommended.
Develop a “buddy” system with your neighbors. Be alert for suspicious-looking strangers, sounds or actions, and notify the police at once.
If you live in an apartment building, do not enter or leave the building if you notice strangers loitering in the entranceway. Do not hold the door open or allow others to follow you inside unless they live in the building or have permission to enter from a tenant.
Ask for proper identification from repair people, utility workers or strangers. Do not be afraid of asking – if they are legitimate, they will not mind. Never give keys to repair people or delivery persons.
If you come home and find signs of forced entry, do not go inside. Instead, go to the nearest phone and call the police.
If you leave for an extended period of time, take these extra precautions to protect your home:
Make sure all doors and windows are securely locked.
Close all blinds so strangers can’t peek inside.
Hide electronics/other valuables or take these items with you.
In the winter, turn down your heat, but not below 55 degrees. This will prevent your pipes from freezing while you are away.
Try to make your home look occupied by leaving a few lights on or setting up lamps on a timer.
Have a great semester,
Dr. Nancy Pinardi, VP Student Affairs/Dean of Students