Before renting an off-campus apartment, you should survey the residence to ensure that
it has the following security related features:
- Does the apartment have metal or solid core wooden
entry and exit doors? Are these doors equipped with deadbolts or shielded
doorknob locks? Are the locks and strike plates mounted securely? Have the
locks been rekeyed since the last tenant moved out?
- Can visitors be observed without opening the apartment
door either through a door "peephole" viewer or window?
- Are all first floor, fire escape, or other accessible
windows equipped with locks? If equipped with security gratings, can they
be opened from the inside for emergency exit?
- Does any outside vegetation block doors or windows from
public view? Does the vegetation provide places of concealment at
entrances and along walkways?
- Is there adequate lighting at the building entry doors
and along walkways? Are the outer doors kept locked at all times?
- Does the apartment have a smoke detector and at least
two emergency escape routes?
- Does the apartment have provision for the installation
of a telephone?
Personal Safety Tips
- Always keep doors and windows to your apartment locked
especially when you are alone, sleeping, or the apartment is left unoccupied
(even if only for a few moments). Most burglaries involve unlocked doors,
so locking up is the single most effective action you can take to reduce
- Keep first floor, fire escape, and other accessible
windows closed and locked unless they are equipped with security gratings.
leave the exterior doors of your building unlocked or propped open. When
entering or exiting, make sure all doors are securely locked. If you see a
door that is not secure, make sure you lock it.
allow strangers into your building or apartment. Observe visitors through
your door viewer or window prior to opening the door. Have repair or
service personnel show official identification and confirm their presence
with the person requesting the service. Delivery persons should remain
outside to await the person requesting the delivery. If someone you don't
know asks to use your phone, offer to make the call for them.
- Report all obscene or harassing phone calls to the
. If someone calls
with the wrong number, never give the caller your name, address, or
number that they have called.
- Report all strangers seen wandering inside or loitering
outside your house or apartment to the police.
- Question unescorted persons in your apartment or
building. If you are uncomfortable doing this personally, call the police.
loan anyone your key. Non-residents - even close friends - do not have the
same level of concern for the security of your house. Do not leave your
keys unattended in your room or apartment. Do not put your name or address
on your key chain. If keys are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately
to the police, and have your locks changed. At night always have your keys
ready before you get to the door.
- Have your local police telephone number posted near all
telephones in case of emergency.
- Always keep your windows covered at night and leave
lights on in two or more rooms. Never reveal to a visitor or
telephone caller that you are alone. Call out in a loud voice, "I'll
answer it!" when there is a visitor at the door to imply that you are
- Do not use your first name on mailboxes or in telephone
directories. Use your first initial only.
- Be aware of deserted laundry rooms, common lounges,
basements, parking garages, and elevators, especially late at night.
Consider using or entering these areas when others are around.
- Try not to enter elevators with a stranger. Stand next
to the control panel. If confronted by an assailant, push the emergency
alarm and as many floor buttons as possible (do not push the stop button).
- Immediately report malfunctioning doors, windows,
security gratings, lights, overgrown shrubbery, etc. to the person
responsible for maintaining your residence.
- Always escort your guests in and out of the building.
Remember, you are responsible for the conduct of your guests while
they are present in your building. Individuals not living in your building
may not feel a sense of obligation to you, your property, or other
- Avoid walking alone at night, but if you must, stay in
well-lighted, open areas.
- Stay sober and coherent. Persons under the influence
are much more likely to be the victim of a serious crime or accident or to
Protecting Your Property
- In your apartment, keep such valuables as currency,
wallets, jewelry, and purses out of plain view. Do not leave valuables
unattended in common areas such as laundry rooms and lounges.
- Engrave property such as computers, stereos, other
electronic equipment, typewriters, etc. with your driver's license number
and state. This will aid in the recovery of your property if it is stolen.
- Avoid carrying large sums of money on your person. Open
a savings or checking account rather than allowing large amounts of money
to accumulate in your room.
- If your bicycle must be stored or parked outside, make
sure that it is secured to an immovable object with a high-quality locking
device; we recommend using a
"U-lock" and removing your front tire.
- Make sure your car is always locked and that any
valuables left in the vehicle are locked in the trunk or placed out of
What is Suspicious?
You should be alert to anything that
seems even slightly "out of the ordinary" for the area or time of day
in which it occurs.
The most obvious things to watch for
and report are:
- strangers entering your neighbor's room or apartment
when it is unoccupied
- strangers on your block trying doors to see if they are
- screams heard anywhere, anytime may mean an assault or
robbery is in progress
- the sound of breaking glass or other loud, explosive
noises may mean an accident, burglary or vandalism
- persons around bicycle racks carrying bolt cutters and
- a person running - especially if carrying something of
value - could be leaving the scene of a crime.
While these situations described
above could have innocent explanations, your police department would rather
investigate crime-prone situations than be called when it is too late. Your
call may save a life, prevent an injury, or stop a criminal act.
Assist Your Police
Be aware of your surroundings. Many
crimes occur literally "under the noses" of people who just did not
notice anything suspicious.
Safety and security are everyone's
responsibility. You can reduce the possibility of becoming a crime statistic by
being alert to your environment.
Your safety and security ultimately
depend on you as an individual for their effectiveness and success. You must take
responsibility for your own safety. You must be security conscious at all times
for your benefit and for that of others.
Last Updated 9/17/10