Going off to college can be hard enough. Between keeping up with all the classes, doing extracurriculars and not having Mom do your laundry, you don't want your protection or the safety of your belongings to worry you as well. It's important to remember that crime can strike anywhere, and students need to take responsibility for their college dorm security.
Going to a college or university should be about getting an education and, yes, having a bit of fun. Students' college years should not include getting ripped off, assaulted or worse.
SABRE is here to offer you some suggestions to increase your college dorm security so you can get the most out of your college years. Here are 10 dorm safety tips for students to help keep them safe while they're away at school:
1. Always keep the door locked. Students will spend a lot of time in their dorm's common areas or their friends' rooms, but even if they'll only be gone for a moment, they should always keep their dorm room door locked. That's a key way to prevent thefts and unwanted intrusions.
2. Memorize emergency exit and phone locations. Colleges should have emergency phones in dorms and around campus. Students should always know where one is in case they need to alert security .
3. Install an alarm on your door and windows. Inexpensive and easy-to-install door and windows alarms can be attached to dorm-room door frames or right on a window to provide extra security and alert you if someone has entered your room.
4. Ensure no one can get into your room without you knowing. Just like alarms that stick right on the door, a door-stop alarm can alert you to an intruder, with the added benefit of preventing the door from opening when in use
5. Keep valuables out of sight. Students should take precautions with cash, computers or other expensive items, keeping them stored out of sight when not in use.
6. Carry pepper spray. Having a canister of pepper spray can make all the difference if you're being threatened. Many pepper spray products are small enough to carry in a pocket or on a keychain for easy access in an emergency.
7. Never open the door for strangers. While most of the people who come to visit you in your dorm will be the new friends you have made, students should still always exercise caution whenever someone knocks on their door. Verify who is on the other side of the door before opening it. Never open the door for someone you don't know.
8. Don't post your class schedule on social media. While it is wise to alert close friends and family of your schedule, public posts on social media can make it easy for people with bad intentions to take advantage of your location and break into your dorm room.
9. Program campus emergency numbers into cellphones. Being able to notify campus security of an emergency as soon as possible can make a huge difference if students are in danger or they believe someone is in their room.
10. Avoid stairwells. Many attacks occur in stairwells because attackers can isolate their victims there. Students should avoid stairwells, using elevators when possible. If stairwells are the only option, it's wise to travel with friends.
In the excitement and anxiety that accompany moving to college, dorm safety may not be at the top of many students' minds as they prepare for their higher education. However, students need to take steps to ensure they and their possessions will be safe at all times.
SABRE offers numerous personal protection products students can bring with them to help keep them safe in the dorms and on or off campus. These items range from personal alarms to pepper spray. Take a look at our products and you can roam the campus or study in your room with peace of mind.