Off Campus Safety
Conduct a security review with the landlord when finding a place to live off campus. Ask questions and carefully inspect your potential home. Here are some questions to keep in mind:
- How safe is the neighborhood?
- Contact the Carbondale Police Department for an area crime history. Note that well-kept residences tend to be inhabited by owners who care about the safety of their neighborhoods.
- Is there an alarm system?
- Are there quality locks (deadbolt type) on doors as well as locks on the windows?
- Are there smoke detectors throughout the unit, especially near the bedroom area?
- Is there sufficient lighting?
- Is there sufficient outdoor lighting to prevent opportunities for strangers to lurk?
- What about the landscaping?
- Are there overgrown shrubs or trees where strangers may hide?
- Does the bus service stop nearby?
Living off campus requires some different considerations for safety:
Make sure the locks in your residence have been changed since the previous residents moved out.
Leave spare keys with a trusted neighbor. Never leave them hidden outside your residence.
If your keys are lost or stolen, change your locks immediately.
Have a viewfinder installed in your front door.
Make sure to ask all uniformed persons or repair people for identification. Consider not answering the door or not allowing repairs after hours if it is not an emergency.
List only your first initial and last name on a mailbox and in the telephone directory. Answering messages should not indicate that you are single, not home, or on vacation.
Leave some lights on when you go out, or set some lights on a timer to make it appear someone is at home if you consistently arrive home after dark.
If you are gone for an extended period of time, have a trusted neighbor pick up your mail and keep an eye on your residence.
- Register your home with the Housewatch Program at your local police department.