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8 Tips for Preventing Dorm Room Break-ins and Theft

Posted on June 24, 2015 in School Security

8 Tips for Preventing Dorm Room Break-ins and Theft

A dorm room is a place for students to study, socialize, rest and feel safe. Unfortunately, unsecured college dorms are vulnerable to burglary and theft. A secure dorm room is less likely to be subjected to break-ins and theft of personal property, such as money, laptops, mobile devices, and other electronics.

According to the latest FBI's Uniform Crime Report, over 80% of crimes reported on college campuses are property crimes.

Dorm room safety is a top concern for parents and students alike. Here are 8 tips for preventing dorm room break-ins and theft:

1. Keep your dorm room door locked at all times.

It's important to always keep your dorm room locked at all times, even if you are only stepping out of the room for a few minutes. If you are heading to bed and your roommate isn't there, don't leave the room unlocked.

In addition, since people are regularly coming and going in a college dorm, thieves will sometimes target a room they see someone leaving from. It's best to always keep the door locked to protect your personal safety and your valuables.

2. Install window locks and keep windows locked, especially when away from the room.

Thieves love to gain entry to a college dorm room through an open window, because it provides easy access. Make sure you keep your windows locked, especially when you leave the dorm.

If you are in the room and want to open the window to get fresh air, put a safety lock on the window that prevents it from being opened wide enough for a person to pass through.

3. Install a video security system inside the room.

Installing a video security system inside your dorm room enables you to see who's coming and going from your room when you're away from it. You can post a video security warning sticker on the door to deter unwanted break-ins and theft. Most video security systems are remote viewable, enabling you to watch your cameras from anywhere, even your smartphone or mobile device.

4. Keep valuables, including laptops, cell phones, mobile devices, video consoles, jewelry, cash, and credit cards hidden from view.

This may seem obvious, but when you leave your valuables in plain sight, they are a surefire target for thieves. When you're not in the room, make sure your laptop, gaming consoles, mobile devices and commonly stolen items like jewelry, cash, credit and debit cards are well-hidden.

5. Keep valuable items in a hidden dorm safe.

A dorm room safe is a great, affordable investment. You can keep your valuables, passports, social security cards, birth certificates, cash and electronics locked away and out of reach of thieves.

6. Don't give out door or key codes.

Never give out a door code or key code to a casual acquaintance, a friend of a friend, or anyone that you don't know well, no matter how trustworthy they may seem.

7. Change the locks anytime a key is lost and do not give out copies of the room key.

Never give out physical copies of your key, if your dorm room has traditional lock and key locks. If you lose a key, don't take a chance. Contact your RA or school administrator to have the lock changed.

8. Don't open the door to strangers.

Living in a dorm room can give you a false sense of security, because you are living in a community with a lot of people around. However, living in a dorm room can leave you vulnerable, because there are so many visitors coming in and out of a college dorm building on a frequent basis. If you are in the room alone, and someone you don't know is at the door, it's best to not open the door.

Following the above steps can reduce the likelihood of burglary and theft, and provide safe living environment on campus.

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