Dorm Room & Apartment Safety: Essential Tips on Peaceful Living Alone

AllsWell Team

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Moving into your first independent residence sounds almost like a dream. With a dorm room or apartment all to yourself, there are no distractions from younger siblings, no nosy roommates or parents to bother you when you need privacy. Yet, going on your own for the first time means you should double your awareness of personal safety risks. Ignoring them makes you more vulnerable to violent or property crimes.

This article shares tips on apartment safety to guide you. Follow our recommendations to know how to feel safe living alone.

Why Dorm Safety When Living Alone is Still an Issue

Many enrollees overestimate college dorm room security and overall safety level at campuses. Fair enough, there has been a considerable decrease in the national rate of property crimes at colleges over the last decade. But concurrently, the number of reported forcible sex offenses has steadily increased.

However productive local security services are at safety monitoring, they still lack promptness to respond to occurring crimes and incidents immediately. So it would be wise to take matters into your own hands.

How to Feel Safe Living Alone in a Dorm Room

1. Get Acquainted with a Campus Safety Office Policy

Security office representatives will willingly introduce you to the campus area's personal and public safety basics. Ask them about:

  • Emergency procedures. Ask what emergency evacuation plans to follow in case of fire or natural disasters. What steps should you take if you spot suspicious activity?

  • Safe walk routes. They have additional security systems like CCTV cameras, SOS beacons, and intercom devices. So they are safer for late-night walks.

  • Campus safety escort service. Mobile escorts can accompany you to the campus destination when you have concerns about personal safety.

Nowadays, every institution is obliged to disclose campus safety reports. They provide information on recent prohibitions and crimes. Even though you might not encounter any of them, forewarned is forearmed.

2. Lock Your Belongings

It's not only about privacy but also about keeping precious belongings safe. Take these precautions to protect your stuff:

  • Lock doors and windows each time you're about to leave or go to sleep. You may be allowed to install a smart door lock in a college dorm room for better security. Since it syncs with the mobile app, you can enable or disable it remotely. It helps when you suddenly realize you've left without locking the room.

  • Use a dorm room safe to store jewelry, cash stash, and personal documents like a student ID.

  • Protect your data with a laptop lock. It's a simple cable strap mechanism that won't let anybody nose into your mailings and term papers while you're away.

If the listed tips are not enough, take extra precautions. Attaching a tracking tag on electronic devices or key chains will help you locate them quickly. It's helpful if you're constantly on the go and might lose them. You can also install motion detectors and contact sensors on doors and windows to get instantly aware of break-in attempts.

3. Share Your Plans With Friends and Family

Besties and parents are most concerned about your safety, and you can rely on their support in emergencies. But you also don't want to give them reasons for a false alarm, so keep them updated on your daily schedule and plans.

Getting yourself a personal safety app and adding friends and family to emergency contacts would also be wise. Thus, you will immediately request their aid and notify them of your location in trouble.

4. Stay Vigilant at the Parking Lot

How to feel safe living alone? Keep yourself focused and aware of your surroundings. Believe it or not, it's vital even when you do mundane things like parking. So make sure you do this before unlocking a driver's door:

  • Don't tempt robbers with valuables exposed. A purse, laptop, or backpack on a seat attracts burglars. Either stow your belongings in a trunk or take them with you before leaving the parking lot.

  • Look around. Have a couple of minutes to assess the surroundings before getting behind the wheel or walking away from a car. Ensure that nobody is loitering around or hiding behind your car or vehicles parked next to it.

  • Keep the keys close. Have them ready before you reach the car. In such a way, you'll manage to lock yourself in before anybody comes close.

  • Do one thing at a time. Be patient to check smartphone notifications once you're in the front seat. Distraction is no good if you wish to avoid trouble.

  • Opt for a campus parking garage if possible. An enclosed and guarded facility will ward off criminals from offensive attempts like vandalism or sexual assault.

How to Secure Yourself When Renting an Apartment

Some living-alone tips related to dorm habitation are equally helpful for living in an apartment. For instance, we strongly recommend following after-dark precautions and keeping things private on social media. However, the role of a friendly and trusted relationship with neighbors and a landlord is more critical for sole tenants.

Apartment safety demands much more control from your side than living in college dorms. For instance, if your building has an apartment buzzer and no lobby security desk, you should think twice before letting people in.

Living Alone Tips for Apartment Safety

1. Get to Know Your Neighbors

It's rule No.1 among living alone tips. Apart from getting on with people around, communication with neighbors will help you recognize strangers. Thus, you won't let in someone who doesn't live in your house and can be a criminal.

2. Install a Home Security Alarm System

Many property managers already have smoke detectors and external CCTV cameras in buildings. However, enhancing apartment safety monitoring with a full-stack home security system is a worthwhile investment. Consider the pros and cons of different products to find the one that would fit you most.

3. Learn How to Defend Yourself

Self-defense techniques or devices give you an advantage in open confrontation with offenders. They are really helpful regardless of circumstances, whether you oppose street muggers or cease a home invasion attempt. 

Naturally, you should train both physically and mentally to ensure the most effective response to an attacker. So we advise you to find self-defense classes nearby to master at least entry-level self-defense techniques and learn how to handle non-lethal weapons like a stun gun or pepper spray.

4. Get a Renter's Insurance

Renter's insurance would help if the personal property was stolen or damaged by a home fire. On average, it costs $12-20 per month. And it's quite a moderate price for making your belongings covered. Note that the higher rate you'll apply for, the higher the property coverage limit you'll get: with a $20 monthly fee, you can cover the cost of about $50,000.

AllsWell Alert App for Instant Emergency Alerts

The listed living alone tips increase security. But when things unexpectedly go rough, you must be able to ask for help. With the AllsWell Alert personal safety app, you get a panic button to reach emergency contacts in a fraction of a second.

The app also supports inactivity monitoring to trigger GPS alerts when the user cannot reach the panic button. It detects prolonged inactivity periods, which can mean something has happened. You choose the inactivity period and other settings. Finally, the AllsWell app provides international coverage, so you will be able to reach your family even if you are far away.

Sign up to AllsWell Alert for a free 30-day trial and stay subscribed for only $9.99 monthly. Go to Google Play or App Store to download the personal safety monitoring app.

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