College is full of wonderful opportunities. It is also full of danger. If you are heading to college or have a loved one who is doing so, you might worry about safety. While there are many things that you cannot predict, you can do quite a bit to ensure the safety of one area – the dorm. A student’s room is the one area over which he or she should have total control, and the tips below can help to maximize the safety of the space. Following these tips may not eliminate every problem, but it will help you to avoid some of dorm life’s major dangers.
Use a Surge Protector
Most college dorms are old. They are so old, in fact, that they are usually not perfectly equipped for the sheer amount of electronic equipment that many students bring along. As overloading an outlet might lead to a possible electrical fire, you are far better off using a legitimate surge protector than simply attempting to use a multi-outlet to cram in as many devices as possible. Good surge protectors will all but eliminate the possibility of these fires, but you do have to be careful. Plugging multiple protectors into one another can, after all, still be a major problem.
Leave a Light On
Most crimes in college are crimes of opportunity. If a door is unlocked, for example, it is more likely that an individual will try to find his or her way inside. If you want to ensure the safety of yourself and your possessions, though, you should always do what you can to make your room less of a tempting target. One great safety tip is to always leave your room’s light on. It will make it look like someone is always present, and it will help you to make sure that your room does not become a tempting target for would-be thieves.
Lock Down Electronics
College dorms are usually filled with expensive computer electronics. From cell phones to game systems, most rooms have enough expensive toys to attract any thief. If you want to make sure that your goods remain safe, think about investing in a lock. Most computers and laptops can be outfitted with a simple lock or chain, most of which will make them impossible to take out of the room. Likewise, a good (and heavy) footlocker can help you to make sure that your smaller possessions are always safe when you are out of the room. This step might be extreme, but it is also likely to prevent theft.
Do a Night Sweep
Nighttime can be a dangerous time for a college student, even in his or her own dorm room. The unfortunately reality is that anything from a break-in to an electrical fire could occur, and it is more likely to happen when you are tired or impaired than at any other time. As such, try to make sure you do a nightly sweep of your electronics and locks before you go to bed. Make sure lights are off, electronics are in sleep mode and that your door is locked before you become too tired or impaired to remain responsible.
Designate a No Clutter Zone
If you are in an older dorm complex, you might have an in-room heater rather than some sort of central heat. In many cases, the device itself becomes hot to the touch – hot enough, in fact, to start a fire if there is enough tinder around. If you want to save yourself from putting out a dorm fire, make sure to designate the area around the heater a no-clutter zone. Never let any paper or plastic sit around the area, and you should be fire-free.
Sarah Daren is a writer who produces informative articles in the field of health. This article was written to offer tips to keep college students safe and to encourage further study with an Occupational Health and Safety Degree Online.