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    6 Dorm Room Safety Tips

    Posted by Elly Lee on Aug 22, 2019 3:41:36 PM
    Elly Lee
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    It’s almost the end of August — and that means it’s time to crack open those textbooks and go back to school. For college-bound students, this can mean the start of a new chapter with newfound freedoms and responsibilities, like having your own living space. While it may be fun to decorate and personalize your dorm, it is also important to prioritize your safety. So before you start packing, make sure you’re well prepared and informed. 

    We asked UC Berkeley Housing to help us create a list of the do's and don'ts for dorm room safety. That being said, these tips are applicable to all residents living in dorm rooms or student housing. Here are our top 6 dorm room safety tips:

    College Student With BooksTip 1: Communicate to Accommodate

    Take a moment and thoroughly review your housing application. Are you missing any important information (like special requests)? Make sure to inform your university if you need special accommodations for your housing assignment, for example: a physical disability, religious preference, gender identity, emotional support animals, or dietary restrictions.

    Most universities will do their best to honor these requests in order to create a safe and inclusive community. The earlier in the housing process you let them know, the easier it will be for them to help you!


    Tip 2: Check the Checklist

    Read your university's move-in checklist to see what you can and can't bring. At UC Berkeley, many students are surprised to find out that toasters and decorative string lights are not allowed in their dorm rooms (due to potential fire hazards). Each university has different restrictions, so make sure you aren’t violating any safety codes! This will not only help you pack the essentials, but will also prevent you from overpacking and overspending.

    Pro tip: A general rule of thumb is to avoid bringing anything that produces heat or flame.


    College Dorm ExitTip 3: Stop, Drop, and Roll

    Disaster can strike at any moment. Make sure to review your university’s information on residential policies, emergency preparedness, fire prevention, and earthquake safety

    Take the time to familiarize yourself with the layout and exits of your residence hall. You'll want to already be familiar with any and all possible evacuation routes in case of an emergency. You never know when you'll need them!

    Pro tip: Don't place any furniture or belongings that may block your entryway. Try to arrange your furniture to create a clear path towards the exit!


    Tip 4: Study Up on Safety Resources

    Be informed of your resources. Read up on personal safety tips and your university's resources for crime prevention, health support, and much more. At UC Berkeley, students are regularly encouraged to use trained safety escorts and safety shuttles during late night hours. You can also look out for local self-defense classes and R.A.D. safety programs.

    Pro tip: Almost all universities provide their residents with on-call support or alert systems for nearby threats and emergencies. Check with your university to see if you can sign up for text message warning systems. 


    College Students With BackpacksTip 5: Heads Up for Tailgaters

    Watch out for tailgaters! If they do not have access to your residence hall, they probably shouldn’t be there. Tailgaters significantly increase the chances of theft and security risks. Being aware and alert of your surroundings will help prevent strangers from wandering in and out of the residence halls.

    If you plan on bringing a guest, make sure to stay with them at all times or to let your security know.



    Tip 6: Leave and Lock

    Always leave your dorm door locked, even if you are only leaving for a few minutes. Theft can occur when student housing residents are showering or even doing laundry. Additionally, keep valuable items hidden and away from open windows. Not only will this keep unwanted visitors away, but it will also decrease the chances of theft. 

    Pro tip: Use a bright colored lanyard or keychain for easy access to your dorm keys. This will also help you save money. Replacement fees can be hefty!


    It is never too late to start implementing these dorm room safety tips. College dorm life is a wonderful time for new experiences and memories. Just be mindful and safe! 

    Topics: safety


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