Whether you are living off-campus for the first time or staying in the dorms, it is important to prioritize safety in your living situation. Making sure your space is safe will ensure peace of mind, as well as making your living environment more comfortable for everyone involved.
Doors and Windows
Safety tip 1: This one might go without being said, but it's important to lock your apartment or house. It can sometimes be easy to forget but getting in the habit of always carrying your keys with you when you leave is essential. Front door security has come a long way recently with the release of Ring doorbell cameras. Now anyone can achieve a safer home with these easy-to-attach cameras and doorbells that also connect to your phone.
This also goes hand in hand with remembering to close your windows depending on the time of year. If you leave your window open during the winter and you have your heat up, a lot of the heat will go out of the open window instead of staying inside with you. Similarly, if it's hot out and you have your AC turned up, that cool air is also going to waste.
Safety tip 2: Blow out your candles when leaving or going to bed. Everyone loves candles with their ambient lighting and sweet smells, but they also can be an issue if left unattended. Sticking with fire safety, another useful tip is to not plug in numerous blocks into an outlet. For example: if you have a power strip under your desk with seven or eight plugs coming out, that could be a fire hazard. Make sure to keep an eye on that. Another important measure is to make sure you are cleaning the lint out of your dryer after every use. Not cleaning this out can cause fires.
Safety tip 3: Dusting and vacuuming are important, but some other important housekeeping tasks are keeping dishes clean and keep kitchens uncluttered. Another big cleaning aspect is your bathroom, cleaning out toilets and tubs is something to keep up on. Also remember to discuss a trash disposal system with your roommates. Keeping your living space clean will help prevent pest infestations and other dangerous consequences, such as mold growth.
Safety tip 4: Always have a plan. This is important in life but also for your home. In the rare event of severe weather or a fire it's important to have a plan with yourself and your roommates. Know what to do in the event of a severe thunderstorm or snowstorm, or where to go during a fire or tornado. Each plan for safety is unique to your housing situation and people you live with, but definitely make sure you have discussed and know what to do in these situations.
Safety tip 5: This can vary depending on your relationship with the people or person you are living with. Some roommates have known each other for decades and don’t need to have discussions about things like meals, cleaning or quiet times. However, there are those who would benefit from sitting down and talking about these things, so there aren't any future problems. Relationships with roommates can be critical in having a good living situation.
The Ball State University Police Department also has some handy tips for extra security. The #9PMRoutine lays out 4 reminders to do every night before going to bed. These tips include removing any valuables from your vehicles, ensuring vehicle doors are locked, making sure all doors and windows are closed and locked, and turning on exterior lights.