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The #1 Mistake

You probably know this one already. Nearly all of the residential burglaries occurring on campus involve entry being made through an unlocked (though often closed) door. Even if you are just going a few doors away from your room or apartment, or even next door, lock you door. It is a fact that most residential burglaries on campus involve the taking of very little property; usually a wallet, money or some other small item, and the thief needs only a matter of minutes, even seconds, to perpetrate the crime. Believing that leaving your room or apartment unlocked for short periods of time won’t afford a crook enough time to victimize you is wrong. Always, always, always lock that door.

Roommate Theft

Think about what you really know about the person you’re now living with. Is it an old friend from home or someone you just met at the start of the semester? Few people want to think about distrusting their roommates. Unfortunately in the real world, thefts do occur between people who live together. The easiest way to prevent this from occurring, and the subsequent uneasiness of having to live with someone you suspect of stealing your property, is the purchase of a small personal safe or lockable foot locker. Both are relatively inexpensive and can save so much aggravation in the long run. We recommend that you place all of your expensive jewelry, wallet and precious items in one of these devices whenever you plan to be away from your room, or when entertaining even a small group of people. Let’s face it. Not everyone who comes to your room is someone you know well. Oftentimes friends bring their friends, who sometimes bring their friends and before you know it strangers are filling your place. Can you trust them implicitly?

Home Safety

Regardless of what type of home you have most of these tips apply to you. Before you reach the door make sure you have the door key in your hand. Fumbling for a key when a stranger is approaching makes you vulnerable to attack. Note the condition of your home as you approach and before entering. Are lights on that weren’t when you left? Is the door ajar? Is there damage to a door or window? If you think someone might be in your home that doesn’t belong there, DO NOT ENTER. Leave and call the police.

In high-rise apartments and dormitory buildings elevators are a way of life. Try not to enter an elevator alone or when a single male rider is aboard. When you are on an elevator, try to stand near the control panel and note the location of the emergency alarm button. If attacked hit that alarm button.

If you live on campus and notice lights out in and around residence facilities or any other safety hazard, you can report them directly to Facilities Services at 919-962-3456 or UNC Police at 919-962-8100.

The SAFE Escort service provides escorts (for solo students only) on main campus during the semester from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday through Thursday. Call 919-962-SAFE (962-7233) to arrange for an escort to meet you at your campus building or stop by the SAFE Escort desk in Davis Library.