Safety is an important element whether you live on or off-campus. You might need to focus more on your external environment while living off-campus. It is because, unlike in campus living, where there is guaranteed security, off-campus life has limited security. You will have to depend on your area security for your safety. In this case, it is important to know some of the safety tips that concern off-campus living.
Here are important things to consider while living in an off-campus neighborhood:
Change Your Door Locks
Ask your landlord to change your door locks before you move into your new apartment. If you are renting, changing the locks is initially your responsibility. You might think that this is an unnecessary step, but it is important to take it because a few robberies have been committed by people who have keys to the apartment.
Know the Area Around You
Familiarize yourself with areas that are safe and those that are not. Avoid walking through unfamiliar areas, especially at night. If you are walking, check the people around you and what they are doing. In case someone is acting suspiciously, remove yourself from the situation immediately.
Find out the nearest emergency services such as hospitals, fire stations, and police stations. You might never know when you need to access these services. Knowing where they are in your area should be a priority.
There are areas with great accommodations, like the student apartments Fort Collins, which are entirely safe. Also, they provide fully furnished modern apartments in easily accessible locations.
Do Not Keep All Your Valuables in One Place
Spread them around; for example, keeping an expensive watch outside and keeping some cash at home may be a good idea. Also, do not display signs that there are expensive items inside your house or apartment. It is especially when you live in an area with beach homes or thriving commercial areas. You could leave some valuables with your parents for safekeeping if you don’t really need them with you. You shouldn’t invite people you barely know into your home; get to know someone well enough to invite them to your home.
Avoid Walking Alone at Night
Whether male or female walking alone at night is never a good idea. If possible, try to walk with a friend or in a group. If you must walk alone, be sure to stick to well-lit areas and avoid taking shortcuts through dark alleys or vacant lots.
Be Clear About What You Wear While Going Out
It would help if you wore something that allows you to run or defend yourself whenever necessary. Also, do not carry heavy items when moving around in unfamiliar areas. If necessary, take pepper spray or a taser with you for safety.
While exercising, wearing earphones may come in handy, but they also increase vulnerability because you will not hear any sound from the surroundings. It is always a good idea to exercise with a friend.
Keep Emergency Contacts Close Enough
Most importantly, while living off-campus, it is important to have a safety measure ready in case of an emergency. In this case, keeping a phone number handy can help you reach out for emergency assistance. If you are well prepared and have an action plan, it will ease your stress during emergencies.
Call Someone You Trust When Stranded
It is also important to decide who should come to pick you up if your parents are not around. It is in the case something goes wrong, for example, a flat tire or a driver problem. Keeping the personal contact information of your landlord and neighbors close to you may also prove helpful in such situations.
Always know where you are going and have a plan for how you will get there. If possible, avoid traveling at night. In case something bad happens and you end up in an unsafe situation, you should know who to call for help.
Pick a Neighborhood With Enough Lighting
Choose a path that has enough lighting on the way home at nighttime. Also going home during the day is always a good idea. Avoid walking alone at night, especially in areas that are not well lit or have reported safety issues.
If something feels “off” about an area, trust your intuition and leave! There is no harm in being overly cautious while living off-campus. You have to take basic precautions when living off-campus. By following the safety tips mentioned above, you can help keep yourself safe both day and night.