3 Safety Essentials for College

Let’s admit it; going off to college is fun and so is shopping for it. You get to browse some discount store looking for things that will make your dorm room feel as homey as possible, and it’s pretty exciting! Even though you’re looking for things for your dorm room, it’s kind of like looking for things for your very first apartment. You’re going to need some kitchen and bathroom supplies too, right? Right.

But there is also another area of living in the dorms that students tend to skip over: safety equipment. Here are a few things you need to have on hand for dorm room living.

1.) A dorm safe. A dorm safe is absolutely essential. If you want to keep your private things private, you’re going to need a safe place to put them, and underneath your mattress is a rookie mistake. From personal experience, I’d recommend everyone have a dorm safe for college life. After all, you never know when you’re going to throw a party, have a bunch of randoms (friends of friends that you don’t know) show up and all of a sudden you’ve got strangers in your home. Plus if there’s a fire, a flood, or any other disaster, a safe will keep your valuable documents from getting ruined. Get a dorm safe, but your valuables in it, lock it up and rest easy tonight.

2.) Pepper spray. Hopefully you’ll never need to use it, but in case you do, pepper spray is one of the best self-defense items out there. Thankfully, pepper spray now comes in all kinds of disguised containers that won’t make it so obvious that you’re packing. This lipstick pepper spray, for example, looks completely innocent in your purse (or in your hand). Of course there’s nothing wrong with a giant, two-gallon can of mace, it just might come across as a little threatening.

3.) Locks. Not only for your doors, but also for your things. A good lock will ensure that you won’t come home to find your diary on display because your nosy roommate was wondering if you hid the Cheez-It’s in the bottom drawer of your dresser. And yes, you’ll want to keep a diary in college. Looking back to see the kind of stuff you used to worry about definitely makes for an amusing read later on in life.

So here you go, the top three safety items you need for college if you’re planning on having a safe college experience. For more college safety essentials, don’t forget to check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com. 

3 Seriously Underestimated Safety Tips

You’ve probably heard plenty of general safety advice: don’t walk anywhere alone, lock your dorm room doors, have the campus security number on speed dial. And while these are fantastic pieces of advice (I’m pretty sure I’ve already covered them in previous articles), there is always room for more.

And I thought it was important to highlight three very important tips that everyone seems to ignore for some reason. I’m sure that even as you scan down this list you’re probably nodding your head in agreement, yet there’s a pretty good chance you’re still going to ignore all of them. Let me be franks; these tips are extremely important.

1.) Take out the headphones. By far the most underestimated piece of advice! Your sense of hearing is an enormous factor in your self-defense skills. Plus, research has proven that when part of the brain is engaged on one thing, whether it’s listening to music, watching television or just looking at a painting, it has trouble noticing other things. It’s the reason there are laws against talking on a cell phone and driving. Just because you’re looking at the road doesn’t mean you are paying attention to what is actually happening on the road.

And if you’re anything like me, you probably have a tendency to look down while you’re walking; the tendency to put up the hood and zone out while you cut across the quad to the campus library. This is an incredibly dangerous habit, and you should break it immediately. You’re just setting yourself up to be taken advantage of.

2.) Be careful with your schedule. There is a lot of conflicting opinions on this matter, so let’s cover them both in one shot. On one hand, many people suggest keeping your schedule only to yourself. No one else should know where you are going to be and at what time.

On the other hand though, many experts suggest letting your friends and family know your schedule so if something does happen they will have an idea of where you last were or where you are supposed to be.

So I’ve decided to compromise for this rule. Give your schedule to a few closest friends and perhaps your Mom or Dad. Anyone besides that, keep it on lock down. What’s the point of Rule #3 if some creep can just walk up to you and ask to see your schedule?

3.) Avoid having a routine. I know this may seem difficult. After all, when your classes are at the same time every Wednesday and you have the same shift at work every Wednesday it’s pretty difficult to vary your routine. But it can be done. Take a different route to work every once in a while and take a different route home as well. The whole point is not to be predictable. Once your routine becomes predictable it becomes easy for someone to catch you off guard.

Don’t forget to check out SecureOnCampus.com for the latest in personal college safety gear!

3 Safety Tips You’re Blowing Off…And Should’t Be

It’s easy to blow stuff off at college. After all, you’ve got stuff to do! When you’re in the zone during a 26 page research paper, any distraction is a huge pain in the ass. So when you’re roommate just quit snoring and you’ve finally gotten comfortable in your awkwardly shaped, teeny-tiny dorm room bed and the fire alarm goes off? Yeah, you’re not going anywhere.

The problem is though, that these things are in place for a reason. Here are a few things you would be smart to pay attention to.

1.) Fire drills. It might seem ridiculous (and just plain mean) to run a fire drill at 3:30 in the morning, but it’s a necessary evil, and the fact is 3:30 in the morning is a time when most people are going to be around for the drill. That’s the point, you see, to involve as many people as possible. No point in doing a drill if there are only 6 people around to participate.

2.) Smoke detectors. And while we’re on the topic of fire, let’s not forget the smoke detectors. Yes, I’ve been there when one goes off and just won’t stop beeping for the love of GOD …but you do need them. If it’s going off every morning because your roommate has a constant craving for burnt toast, don’t disconnect it, as tempting as it may be. Instead, teach her how to turn it off immediately, and buy her a new toaster. Or hell, in this situation maybe you’d want to just get a new roommate.

3.) Not propping open doors. I know, I know, it seems nitpicky but it’s just a fact of life. I know it’s a huge pain in the ass to wait by the door six flights down for your buddy to hurry up and park the car. We both know there’s no parking at 10:30 at night and you’re going to be waiting by that door for a good 30 minutes, so it can be tempting to grab a rock or a stick out of the nearby garden, text your buddy that you’ll be waiting up in the room and move on with your life. Problem is though, by doing this you’re not only putting yourself in danger (yes, you are, stop the eye-rolling), but you’re also putting everyone else in your dorm in danger. If someone does want to get in, a propped door is the easiest possible way to do it. There are countless cases a student was raped or assaulted by a stranger after a fellow dorm-mate propped the door open. You don’t want to be responsible for something like that.  

For more dorm safety essentials, check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com

College Safety Advice: Student to Student

So often you read articles about staying safe in college, and most of the time these articles are written having researched the biggest reported threats at school. Well, here we like to make sure you’re getting the most accurate information possible, so we’ve decided to pose this question on our sister blog, from our store at TheGoodLifeOnCampus.com:

What is your #1 piece of advice about staying safe in college or keeping your things safe in college that you would pass on to incoming students?

And here are the answers; straight from the mouths (or fingertips) of real, fellow college students:

– Make sure you/your roommates lock your door every time you leave your room from the very beginning. It’ll help you stay in the habit J

– You’re the only person that you can trust with your belongings.

– Make sure you always have your phone on you and keep the police on speed dial.

– When I am walking through campus alone at night I carry my key so it sticks out between my fingers, That way if attacked I can defend myself.

– Make sure your rooms are locked when you are not there or make sure you have your phone on you most of the time in case of emergencies.

– Make sure that if you go out late at night to take a group of friends with you. It’s always safe to travel in larger groups.

– Use the buddy system

– Always hold on to your drink and try to have a sober, trusted friend with you. They may provide some common sense when you don’t have any!!

– I defend my valuables with the assistance of a rabid, yet tamed badger.

– Always make sure to have security’s number.

Pepper spray and martial arts.

– Keep belongings in moderation. Don’t show off, that will attract attention.

– Never, ever walk alone at night. I don’t care how “safe” or small your campus is, it is not!

– Make sure that you have a plan whenever you’re leaving a building. If you were to get attacked, do you know where you’d run to for help?

– Keep your door locked and valuables under the bed or in the fridge. Pick a good roommate if you can or transfer the hell away if they’re bad.

– NEVER go anywhere alone! It’s just not safe enough anywhere anymore. Even if I am alone I text SOMEONE to let them know where I am!

– Buddy system!

– Two things: follow your instincts and be aware of your surroundings/those who you hang around.

– Don’t walk with too much stuff! If you are overwhelmed by your bags and stuff, you aren’t as aware of your surroundings. Stay Safe!

– Rule #21 of living on campus. Never underestimate the power of a safe and or a piggy bank with a lock. People get crafty, so you should too.

Well there you have it. Stay safe students, and don’t forget to check out SecureOnCampus.com for college safety items!!