How To Secure Your Dorm or Apartment
It was easy for him to enter the dorm because the exterior door had been broken for weeks. He guessed to himself that most of the dorm rooms would be unlocked as well. He knew what he was after, laptops, jewelry, cell phones, credit cards and cash. Once inside the building he tried the first room and it opened easily. Through the dim light he was able to find a purse. Dumping the contents onto the sofa, he gathered up the cell phone, pulled out the credit cards and grabbed the cash. He eased back out of the room, undetected. Silently, he opened the next door just as effortlessly. Here he grabbed another cell phone and some cash and moved on to the next room where he helped himself to a laptop computer. Down the hall, a young female student awoke for an early class. She thought she heard footsteps in the hall. As she stepped out of the shower, she thought she heard someone in her room. She walked out of the bathroom to find a strange man in a hooded sweatshirt standing in her room. Her roommate was still asleep in the next room. He lunged at the girl and tried to grab her. She fought back and pushed him over a chair. He ran from her room, carrying the stolen items he had gotten from the other rooms. She then called 911. Leaving the doors unlocked in their dorm rooms was a usual practice at this campus, which had always been regarded as safe. Although there had been an earlier report of a college student being raped in the wee hours of the morning, residents on campus either were not alerted to the report or were not alarmed by it. Doors continued to be left unlocked including the main entry door of the dorm. Tips For a Safe Dorm Room Going away to college can be an exciting time for students and parents. A lot of thought and decision making were involved in choosing the college. Making the decision to live on campus in a dormitory or renting a nearby apartment should be one that is deliberated over carefully. What is the area like? What are the crime statistics on and around campus? As you prepare yourself for college, one of the issues that you will want to take responsibility of will be your safety. Let's start with your dorm room. It is not uncommon for college students to leave their doors unlocked. Students know this and so do the criminals. Remember students with mal-intent on their minds can look just like any other person. Be smart, be safe, be proactive, don't let an unlocked door give a thief, rapist or murderer the ability to come into your room and do you harm.
- Keep your dorm room door locked. This goes for when you are in your room too. For added protection use a door stop alarm It works like a regular door stop except when pressure is applied it emits a 120 decibel alarm that continues until the pressure is released.
- Check all doors and windows, make sure they close properly and securely. All exterior building doors should be solid wood or be reinforced with steel. Find out what your university's policy is on safety. Start a petition to have working, locks and solid exterior doors on all dormitory buidings.
- Check all locks on windows and doors. There should be heavy duty latches on the windows and deadbolts on all of the doors. You need a deadbolt on your dorm door in the event students leave the main entrance doors propped open or unlocked. This will at least offer some level of security for your room.
- Utilize a portable motion detector, they are inexpensive and produce an infrared triangular barrier that is impossible to penetrate without setting off the alarm.
- Don't leave your valuables out in plain sight. Use a hidden safe or diversion safe, to stash your checkbook, cash, debit, credit or social security cards safely out of sight.
- Always keep pepper spray within reach. A 2 oz. canister is ideal for keeping in your dorm room. Be sure to carry a key chain style pepper spray with you anytime you go out.
- Just because someone knocks at your door, does not mean you have to open it. Always find out who is on the other side of the door, before you open it. Keep your pepper spray within easy reach of your door, if someone tries to force their way in, you can deter them with a quick shot to the face. The effects last up to 45 minutes, giving you plenty of time to get help and get to safety.