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5 dorm room safety tips your kids need to know

Dorm room safety tips

Approximately 20 million students enrolled in college for the 2019-20 school year, and while 40% of those are living in dorms in public schools nearly 65% of full-time students opt for dorm life in private schools. College is a wondrous time for academics, activities, social exploration, and even a little romance. But in this day and age, a lot of fear and trepidation go hand-in-hand with leaving home and working or studying in such a highly accessible arena. This is true for the students, educators, and parents alike. Fortunately, it’s easy to obtain and upgrade professional security guard services in Michigan. But what are some dorm room safety tips you and your children need to know before the big life shift?

1. Lock your door and windows every time you leave

If your kids are used to being the first ones out of the house or to the car, this habit can be hard to build. But it’s an essential one. Anyone can open an unlocked door in a dormitory. And even if the door is locked smart or savvy criminals may try the windows, especially if the room is on an accessible or lower floor.

Get your kids to realize the importance of safety and security by always locking the dorm door and windows whenever they leave the room. Install simple door and window alarms to ensure potential petty and even violent thieves will think twice before trying that specific room again. 

2. Always know where your keys are

Each student typically receives one key to their dorm room. That key is the responsibility of the student and it’s best never to copy and hand the key over to friends.

Even if the room resident is responsible enough to keep track of their own keys, there’s no guarantee someone else will be the same way. Making a copy for mom and dad is one thing, if you’re organized. Friends and new acquaintances are a completely different matter.

More dorm room safety tips

3. Avoid staircases, especially alone

Staircases in dorms are a necessity for fire and disaster safety as well as a way for the entire residence to evacuate quickly. However, they’re also usually concealed in dormitories and can be a place for hoodlums looking to pounce on unsuspecting students.

If your child’s dorm has an elevator, check out if the campus monitors elevators – many colleges do so nowadays. If that’s the case then the elevator can be better than staircases.

And if she or he can’t avoid the stairs, go in pairs at the very least. Staircase falls are also among the top two causes of accidental injuries.

4. Carry pepper spray and/or know some self-defense

You don’t have to sneak in or carry a weapon on campus when you are your own weapon. Many universities offer plenty of fitness and self-defense courses, along with other services to help benefit the college experience.

Many self-defence classes are either free or low-cost. Consider amping up your personal arsenal with commonsense self-defense strategies or even take a few Krav Maga classes to get a head start. This guide explains different types of martial arts.

Another of the dorm room safety tips is to carry a small can of pepper spray. It’s easy to conceal in a:

  • Purse
  • Pocket
  • Keychain

Just having that can can make a world of difference regarding your kid’s confidence levels and the chances of their becoming a victim to violence or other crime. That’s peace of mind for parents too.

5. Know where emergency exits are and how to reach campus security

Students ought to always know where all the emergency exits are in their dorm, in case of emergency. Also, make sure they have working numbers to reach campus security guards in the event you need them right away.

To make calling campus security super fact, encourage your kiddo to program all essential numbers into your smartphone now so they’re accessible in the event of an emergency. The reality is that things can go sideways without warning.

Do you have any other dorm room safety tips?

4 thoughts on “5 dorm room safety tips your kids need to know”

  1. When I lived on campus *cough* years ago (okay, seven), I used the stairwell–but only because I lived in the all-women dorm. These are really good tips for new students! I would say keys are the really key thing (lol, pun)…but wearing them around your neck signals to others that you’re a freshmen and that could make you a target for whatever random thing that could happen on campus. Another key safety tip is to not just let anyone come into your space–and vice versa–I remember doing stupid stuff like that when I was a first-year student, and I had no idea what kind of danger I could have put myself in.


    1. Don’t wear keys around your neck, but definitely keep them nearby.
    2. Don’t let just any random new friend you make come to your room, and don’t go to theirs. Meet in neutral spaces until you know them better.

    1. You’re SO RIGHT to be savvy about who you let into your dorm room. That’s another great tip! And the keys around the neck thing, yup, that’s a sign you’re a newbie. Thanks for adding these points!

  2. The KEYS THE KEYS…. the biggest issue of dorm life. some tips. lanyards around neck even if walking in a bathrobe down to communal bathroom. spare keys. with a trusted friend somewhere else in the same building. The Resident Assistant staffer is not always around to assist lock outs. FLASHLIGHTS. Small bright flashlights very portable are available. Some joker is gonna pull the fire alarm and you’ll have to go outside in the middle of the night. Sharpie Marker for LAUNDRY to mark your name on clothing if you plan to be economical and sharing loads with roommates, or combining loads with others. Maybe a SOLAR CHARGER or two for when all power is out or all outlets in the room are occupied. Can charge phones and laptops. Command Hooks Command Hooks Command Hooks…. all kinds of stuff can be hung around. Hooks of various kinds and sizes. Spare battery for phone and or laptop if the laptop of I pad uses replaceable battery. Flashlights mentioned use AAA or AA batteries. Those two battery sizes are available in rechargeable versions and a little more expensive up front, but with a battery charger that can take both sizes, the rechargeable batteries are long term more economical than running out of juice at inopportune times and scrambling to go out and buy batteries.

    1. Andrew, thank you so much for adding these safety pointers for students! The flashlight is an excellent idea in particular; a rechargeable one is likely easier and as you say more affordable in the long run than replacing batteries.

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