Photo by George Milton: https://www.pexels.com/photo/young-woman-reading-book-in-light-room-7034488/
Moving into your first apartment is a momentous occasion, and you may be looking forward to finally having greater independence compared to what you had living with your parents or in a dorm. Yet, you might also be a little nervous about your safety when you live off-campus. Following these safety tips helps you to avoid being a target for crime, and you’ll be prepared to handle other common emergency situations.
Choose Your Roommates Carefully
Roommates make affording an apartment easier, and you can also keep an eye out for each other. However, a bad roommate could pose more of a threat to your safety than they’re worth. Since your roommates will have access to shared areas of your space, you need to know that they are someone you can trust. If you have a best friend coming to the same college, then they’re naturally a great option for a roomie. If not, then check with your apartments or college to see if they do roommate matching. Pairing up with someone who has been screened and that matches your interests means that you’ll be safer living with a stranger who hopefully won’t feel like one for long.
Look for Apartments With a Sense of Community
Apartment hunting is fun, and you can learn a lot about a place by paying attention on your tour. Look for bright, cheerful apartment centers that promote a sense of community. Apartments near ASU Tempe have study rooms, fitness centers, and dog parks that encourage everyone to mingle and get to know one another. Finding an apartment that also has outdoor activities such as swimming, volleyball, and lounging by the fire pit helps you to stay close to home for entertainment so that you’re less at risk of being victimized. Plus, living in an apartment with an active community means that there are plenty of people around to notice and report suspicious activity before it turns into a crime.
Be Careful What You Put On Social Media
You’ll naturally be excited about your new apartment, but you want to avoid putting more info out there than people need to know. Ideally, you’ve already got your social media profiles on their highest privacy settings. If not, then now is a good time to secure your profiles. You’ll also want to avoid posting that you’ll be gone for a vacation or working late at night, since it could clue someone in to the fact that your home is empty for a break-in. If you’ve experienced dating violence in the past or have other security concerns, then make sure to avoid posting pictures that show your apartment number. Instead, choose to take pictures in common spaces when you’re hanging out with your friends.
Identify Safe Escape Routes
Apartment safety isn’t always about protecting yourself from crime. You’ll also want to practice proper fire safety by identifying two to three safe ways to vacate your apartment. If you have an interior apartment, then it can help to count how many doors are between your living space and a fire exit. Then, memorize that number, and it will be easier to escape if the halls are filled with smoke. You can also use your escape routes for other purposes, such as if you suspect that someone is breaking into your apartment.
Stay Alert for Signs of Danger
One of the core tenants of apartment living is that if you see something, then you need to say something. Make sure to put your phone away as you walk or bike to your apartment, and pay special attention to who’s around as you head to your door. If anything looks amiss, or you spot someone lurking nearby, then go to the apartment office to get help. If it’s after hours, then call the police or security services. You can also sign up for emergency alerts from your nearby city services and college. Getting a notification that there is foul weather in your area or a suspected shooter on campus gives you more time to get to a safe location.
The main thing to remember as a female living in a college apartment is that environmental awareness plays a big role in helping you to stay safe. From picking an apartment building that is filled with other students to locking your doors at night, you have ways to stay secure so that you can focus on your education.