Is someone you know about to join the 21 million students attending American colleges in the coming semester? If so, do they know the rules about campus safety? These days, knowing the risks and staying safe is a bigger concern than ever.
Security falls into two basic categories: personal safety and protection of property. Although personal safety is the more important, 80 percent of all campus crimes are property related.
Most colleges have their own campus safety policies and guides but the basics that all students should be aware of include the following:
• Keep apartment or dorm windows and doors locked at all times and don’t allow strangers to follow into residence blocks.
• Park cars in well-lit areas and keep them locked. Don't leave valuables inside.
• Bicycle owners should use a strong lock, and chain the bike to a sturdy fixed point.
• When going out, let someone know where you're going and when you expect to return. It's safer to go out with someone else.
• At night, wear reflective clothing and carry your cellphone, making sure it's fully charged before you leave.
I found scores more useful tips on the following website: http://www.protection1.com/campus-safety/. They're actually produced by a private security firm but you don’t have to register or buy anything to use them.
As a matter of fact, next month, September, is National Campus Safety Awareness Month (see http://clerycenter.org/national-campus-safety-awareness-month), so there's no better time to ensure the students in your family, even those who have been at college for some time, learn about and understand the risks.
There's one other important related issue I wanted to raise with you -- the question of insurance for students and the extent to which existing family policies might protect them, or where they might need additional insurance protection.
We have more information about Teen Going To College in the research center of our website. Please feel free to visit www.tiains.com to read more.
If this affects someone in your family, please get in touch (or get the relevant person to contact me) urgently so we can get things resolved before they start the new semester.