Health & Safety

Once you've selected a place to live off-campus, take a few minutes to review the following suggestions that will help you keep your apartment secure. Off-campus safety is based on common sense and personal responsibility. If you are sharing a rental with other people, it is important that everyone has an equal role in making sure that the rental is secured when a roommate leaves for class, heads home for the weekend, spends a night out with friends, or leaves for work.

Inside the Rental

  • Leave a light on when you are gone, or purchase a utility timer that can turn lights off and on automatically.
  • Test smoke detectors every month.
  • Purchase renter's insurance. It is not that expensive and may save you money if there is an accident or a burglary.
  • Keep emergency numbers in an accessible location for all of the tenants.
  • Know your roommates' security habits. You are only as safe as your roommates allow you to be.


  • Always keep doors and windows locked.
  • Ask to see company ID when utility or service people come to your door.
  • Use a peephole to determine who is knocking before you open the door. If you are still not sure who is there, question the stranger through the door.
  • If necessary, get a security system.
  • Keep the blinds or drapes closed when you are gone.
  • If you lose your keys, work with the landlord to replace your locks immediately.
  • Don't put ID tags on your key ring.

Outside the Rental

  • Have someone check on your place when you are out of town, and have the post office hold your mail. If you subscribe to newspapers, hold those as well.
  • Get to know the area in which your rental is located.
  • Do not walk alone after dark. Contact a friend who can take you where you need to go.
  • Get to know someone in the immediate vicinity who you can call in case of an emergency.
  • Never leave your key outside under a mat or in a place accessible to a stranger.
  • Never leave notes on your door or messages on your answering machine that indicate that you are away.