Moving Into a Dorm Room? Here’s How to Avoid Theft
Every year, nearly two million bright-eyed, fresh-faced young people in Texas wave goodbye to their parents and move into college dorm rooms. What an exciting time! However, college is not all fun and games (and studying, of course!). Campus crime is a serious issue, and any locksmith in a college town will tell you that the risk of theft is especially high. Although your school hopefully has an effective security department, you should take measures to protect yourself.
Security products for your dorm room
Don’t get paranoid, but keep in mind that you’ll be sharing a room with a total stranger, in a building full of strangers who will be coming and going, and bringing in their friends, at all hours. Dorm life is chaotic, it’s unavoidable.
Fortunately, there are several security products that are specifically designed for use in dorm rooms. Get a small safe for your passport, cash, jewelry and other valuables. You can find safes that are very inconspicuous, and easy to hide in your closet.
Did you know that you can get a personal dorm room alarm for your door? Using one might take some coordination with your roommate, but if you’re both on the same page (or you have a single) it can be a great safety measure.
Keeping tabs on the locks
The door to your room should be locked whenever you’re not there, period. However, in reality, this often doesn’t happen and you might not have control over it. This is where good communication with your roommate is key! You should both commit to checking that the door is locked before you leave, and if you notice your roommate leaving it unlocked, gently remind them.
Keys get lost inevitably. If you lose yours, go straight to your campus security office. They’ll help you back into your dorm and get you a new key.
Should you lock your door while you sleep too? Unless you are a very light sleeper or have deep trust in the other residents of your building, the answer is yes. Basically, when in doubt, lock the door.
Protecting your expensive belongings
Many college students have special, expensive things like musical instruments or sports equipment. Be extra vigilant with this stuff! If you can keep it in a locker at the gym or music building, do that.
Any valuables that have to stay in your room should be locked with a padlock or combination lock, and labeled with your name.
As for laptops, get a lock or security cable for yours. Always keep it close by when you bring it outside of your room, and write down the serial number in case anything happens. Label both the laptop and any accessories like the case and charger. And never leave it visible when you’re not around!
The next few years might be the most fun and important of your life so far. With a little extra effort, they can be smooth and safe too.