College campuses are definitely wonderful places of learning and growth. Unfortunately, the statistics show that college students are also frequently victims of crimes. Being aware of the potential risks and taking active steps to protect yourself from possible dangers while on a college campus is important. Here are ten tips for you to follow for better dorm room safety:
- Always lock your door when you leave your room, even if you are only leaving for a minute. Never give your key to another person, for any reason. If you have roommates, be sure that they understand the safety risks of this behavior as well. If at any time your key is lost or misplaced, immediately have the locks replaced. And, never leave your door unlocked for your roommate when you are sleeping. Make sure they take a key!
- Leave a copy of your class schedule and/or work schedule with a close friend as well as your family, so that someone has a general idea of your probably whereabouts.
- Never open your door without verifying who is on the other side. Ideally, doors should have deadbolt locks as well as peepholes.
- Lock your windows at night, every night, even if you are not on the ground floor.
- Use door alarms that will emit a loud sound if the door is unexpectedly opened for any reason. Inexpensive alarms that attach magnetically can protect you from intruders
- Use window alarms that will be activated if the window is opened or if the glass is broken.
- Conceal any money or valuables in a diversion-type safe or other locked container. Diversion safes come disguised as a number of familiar products and therefore can easily and safely hide your valuables without attracting any attention to them. Never flash cash or expensive jewelry around campus.
- Purchase a canister of pepper spray for your personal protection. Have it handy in your dorm room, and carry it with you at all times while walking on campus. Canisters can be purchased that are disguised as lipstick, pens and even jewelry. These can be easily carried in a pocket or handbag. One spray with the canister will temporarily disable any attacker.
- Know where the nearest emergency telephones or fire alarms are located in your dorm, as well as around campus. Program emergency campus numbers into your cell phone.
- Never use the stairs alone. Stairwells are commonly used by assailants to trap their victims. Do not enter an elevator if you feel uncomfortable about the occupants. You can always wait for the next one. If someone gets on an elevator while you are already there, leave if you feel uncomfortable.
Never take your personal safety for granted. Be vigilant and cautious at all times. Never be embarrassed about calling for help or alerting others if you feel threatened or uncomfortable. Being away from home and living on campus can be an exciting opportunity to explore young adulthood, just be sure to be smart and be safe at all times so you can fully enjoy it!