Posted on December 05 2018
Falling victim to crime and violence is not something that usually comes to mind when filling out college applications. It is a time filled with enthusiasm and excitement about a brand new chapter that brings with it new adventures and experiences, new friends and the hopes of creating a bright future. For thousands of students who fall prey to unexpected theft and dorm room burglaries, it is unfortunately a new installment stained with horrors.
Of the thousands of reported criminal incidents that occur on the campuses of post-secondary institutions across the country, both private and public, the top crime by far is burglary. School is stressful enough, can you imagine coming home after biology class to find your door opened and your things missing? That’s not a fun feeling to experience.
There are things that you can do to secure your dorm room, in spite of the high traffic and random faces. Some small affordable steps early can save you from huge headaches later.
Statistics and facts on dorm room burglaries.
Burglaries account for almost half of all on-campus crimes. 45% of the 27,500 criminal acts that were reported to safety and police officers in 2015 were burglaries. This was a 2% increase from the previous year. Campus crimes among FTE, or full-time-equivalent, students from 2014 to 2015 also saw an increase from 18.0 to 18.5 incidents per 10,000.
The more than 12,300 cases of dorm break-ins all left behind thousands of students whose lives were inconveniently interrupted, adding to the stresses and feelings of insecurity that college life brings. These burglaries also resulted in these students facing thousands of dollars in additional unexpected and unwelcome expenses, adding to the already existing sizable debt that college student suffers from, which on average is an estimated $28,950 per student.
In an environment that has people from all walks of life, one that is ever changing and unpredictable, it is no surprise that dorm theft is an issue. High tuition and living expenses undoubtedly influences these delinquent behaviors.
Five ways to affordably increase the security on your dorm room
No one needs the distraction of a burglary when exams are around the corner and you need to consume copious amounts of information to get to that passing grade. It’s hard enough buying food to maintain your life force, having to find money to replace your laptop is a headache that you simply don’t need.
Apart from the obvious answer of keeping your door locked, these are five ways that you can protect yourself from becoming a dorm room burglary statistic.
Get a security camera - You can find great security camera options that are priced under $100 and record all day. These can be placed in discrete locations overlooking rooms and entryways, letting you know when people enter. Plan with your roommates (if any) before you install one!
Get a personal safe for your valuables - With a quick two minute search on Amazon you can find inexpensive personal safes, for as low as $30, that can easily fit into your dorm room. A personal safe is additional security that can keep items such as your wallet, laptop, and other small electronics out of reach of those visitors with sticky fingers.
Invest in renters Insurance - For less than $15 per month you can get insurance coverage that protects you from lost in the event that something does go missing and you are unable to locate it.
Categorize belongings - Know what items you own and their relative value so that you know if and when something disappears. You have a way better chance of finding that missing bracelet if you check the cameras the day after, rather than three months later.
Most importantly, discuss it with your dorm mates - One of the most important steps that you can take to secure your dorm room is to have a formal discussion with your roommate on the issue of security. Having a united front will make it much harder for someone to sneak off with anything.
"Prevention is better than cure" is what our grandparents always say, and the sentiment rings true here. Simply talking to your roommate, getting a safe, and installing a recording security camera can help you dodge the curve balls life can throw at you on campus.