Back to School Safety Part 3

Dorm life can be a fun and rewarding experience. You will meet people with varied backgrounds from all over the United States and beyond. College students who live on campus are thrown into a brand new and unfamiliar world, but they can work together to form a functioning society and, most importantly, keep everyone safe.

Crime On Campus

It’s an inescapable fact – life on a college campus can easily be disrupted by crime. Law breakers such as muggers, thieves and violent aggressors often visit schools to look for victims, and sometimes these threats may even come from a fellow student. People who share dorms should do everything possible to protect themselves and others from criminals.

Students can take a cue from neighborhood groups who band together to help look out for each other. Although most dorms are big enough that you may not meet everyone who lives there, chances are good that over time you will get to know most of the people by site. Watch for strangers who obviously don’t belong, or who seem to be checking out the place where you live. Don’t be afraid to contact campus security if you notice someone exhibiting suspicious behavior.

Safety Hazards

Not every danger on a college campus comes from other people. Students must also be aware of the potential threat of a fire within their dorm. You can help avoid a tragedy by not smoking in your room, making sure you don’t have too many things plugged into a single outlet and never leaving a hot plate of other cooking appliance unattended. Place a smoke detector in your room if there isn’t one already, so you will be alerted immediately if a fire does start. Learn where all the emergency exits are just in case you ever need to get out of the building quickly.

Keep the hallways clean and free of debris. Having boxes, furniture and other items in the hall is not only a potential fire hazard, but they could cause accidents or block the path in case of an emergency. If people need to evacuate the dorm, it will be faster and easier if there are no obstacles in the way.

Protect Your Property

You probably won’t have many valuable items in your room, but you still want to do what you can to protect them. If your room does not have a good lock and deadbolt, find out how you can have them installed. Keep your windows locked at all times if you are on the first or second floor, and make sure the room is completely secure when you go out. If a thief were to get into your building, they would look for a door that is unlocked for easy access. A criminal won’t want to try to break into a dorm room because there are too many people around who could see them. If you ever lose your key, get the room locks changed immediately. Don’t risk allowing someone easy access to your personal belongings.

When it’s time to go back to school, remember to take every precaution you can for your personal security. Get to know the campus; avoid areas that could be dangerous; walk with others whenever you can; take a self defense class to learn a few basic moves and how to use a non lethal weapon; keep your dorm room locked; and be aware of potential safety hazards such as fires. Take a little extra time between your classes and studying to think about these personal security tips and make sure you are safe while on campus.

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