College Living: Tips to Protect Your Home and Valuables

Graduating from the dorms to off-campus housing is a rite of passage for college students. Roommates are now housemates, and your private space extends beyond the perimeters of a measly twin bed. And can you imagine how much beer you can store in a regular-sized refrigerator?

Protect your house and home while studying at college away

Ditching the dorms for a house comes with a lot of perks, and not to be a downer, but risks as well. As friends come and go during all hours of the day and night, for instance, doors can easily and unintentionally stay unlocked, which creates the potential for security threats.

To keep you and your valuables safe, be aware of your surroundings, get some self-defense training and keep the following in mind:

Befriend Neighbors

Inviting your neighbors over for a few beers is the college equivalent of offering a cherry pie while standing on a doorstep in traditional suburbia. Develop close friendships with your neighbors, and they’ll be less likely to rob your home during a party or while everyone’s at class. Friendly and trustworthy neighbors can also keep a watchful eye on your house, giving you additional peace of mind. Your neighbors know the street best and will be able to pick up on any disturbances or suspicious activity. If you expect any packages while you’re away (thanks Mom!), you can rely on your next-door buddy to pick it up.

Install a Wireless Security System

A wireless home security system provides maximum protection, especially if your university is in a major city. Campus-lurking burglars have little chance of invading your home if it’s protected by a monitoring system that uses door and window sensors and wireless security systems that even protect you if the electricity goes out. While you’re on spring break or home for the holidays, you can count on this type of security solution to deter vandalism and burglary. Understandably, not all college students can afford a home security system. Talk to your landlord to see if installation is an option.

Go Easy on Social Networking Sites

Sharing photos of your spring break or posting updates about a weekend visit home could signal to Facebook friends and classmates that your house will be vacated. Even if you trust your settings and personal network, the security of your personal content and information is never a guarantee. With one like or comment, a status update or photo can end up on a newsfeed of someone you’ve never even met. Take a moment to double check your social networking settings and remind roommates to lock up the house when they leave for break.

Get More Privacy

Campus housing isn’t the most glamorous way of living. It doesn’t hurt, however, to enhance the privacy of your house with drapery, blinds and timed indoor and outdoor lighting systems. Privacy measures also prevent attractive valuables, such as a flat-screen TV, a desktop computer, expensive psych books, a keg—whatever—from being visible to passers-by and other students. As an additional security measure, keep your car free of electronics that may attract a thief, and at least keep your valuables out of sight.

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3 Responses to “College Living: Tips to Protect Your Home and Valuables”

  1. Carl West

    Aug 28. 2013

    Having a safety apartment with quality security is a good way to protect your valuables.

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  2. Student

    Aug 28. 2013

    The location of a student apt/house is the first potential security factor. A save and protected area + a controlled home security system is the safest way

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  3. Dan

    Oct 08. 2014

    Always check your locks when you go out your dorm because anyone unauthorized could break in your room and steal valuable things. Also, know your neighbors. One of the reminders to remember if you leave alone. Great article!

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