Going away to college and living in an apartment for the first time can be a challenge. While having newfound freedom is a plus, keeping tabs on a place is yet another big responsibility for young students.
Along with this responsibility comes safety concerns. How can you keep your apartment safe while focusing on your studies? Whether you’re living in an apartment now or planning to rent in the near future, here are five apartment safety tips to keep in mind.
1. Always lock the door
Whether or not you’re in the apartment, the door should always be locked. We’ve all seen scary movies and laughed at the ineptitude of people who forget to lock their door, but it’s not funny if someone’s able to sneak in to your place.
2. Bring a safe or hide your valuables
If you can afford one, a safe is a great investment. It’s the perfect place to keep valuables while you’re out enjoying college life.
If you can’t buy a safe, make sure to hide your valuables out of plain sight. Checkbooks, credit cards, cash, electronics, and jewelry should be safely stowed away from prying eyes.
3. Have a fire extinguisher
This may seem like an obvious tip, but some apartments may not supply a fire extinguisher. If this is the case in your place, invest in one—without a second thought.
It’s common sense, and a fire isn’t out of the realm of possibility in a college apartment.
4. Stay on top of the thermostat
Pipe bursts are a factor that many first-time renters are oblivious to. If you live in an area with colder winters, it’s extremely easy for pipes to freeze and burst, causing major headaches for you and your landlord.
Don’t let your thermostat drop to a freezing point. If it drops below the 60-degree range, you run the risk of having some major plumbing problems. Keep an eye on it.
5. Don’t tamper with fire alarms
Rules against tampering with the fire alarm are typical in any lease agreement and should be common sense. However, many students will disable an alarm in order to either smoke or cook in the apartment without the nuisance of an annoying fire alarm. Don’t do this.
Fire alarms (and carbon dioxide detectors, which are also recommended if you don’t have one) are extremely important for your safety, so disregard them at your own peril.
We’ve scratched only the surface, because there are countless ways to ensure your apartment is safe. Even though life as a college student may make you feel invincible, keep safety on your mind when you’re on your own.