Safety Tips for Off-Campus Student Housing

Posted: February 01, 2022 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 3 minutes

Housing safetyMost apartments and rentals for college students do not have security and safety systems in place beyond manual locks on the doors and windows. Learning how to make your off-campus student housing safer may seem daunting at first, but there are small, easy, quick ways to make your housing a safer place to live for everyone.

Six Safety Tips for Student Housing

Feeling safe is quintessential to a healthy well-being. Taking a few extra steps toward housing safety and security beyond locking your doors and windows will help make your college rental safer.

Door Safety

Doorstop alarms are an effective, inexpensive way to protect yourself from intruders. When triggered, the alarm will sound alerting all parties of the threat. Adding additional locks to your door is another precaution you can make against intruders. Though they require you to carry a key, doorknob locks are straightforward and difficult to break. If your housing agreement doesn’t allow doorknob locks, portable door locks are a great alternative that can also be used for travel.

Window Safety

After closing and locking your windows when you are away from home, employing something like a window alarm is a great extra precaution to take- especially if you live in a ground-level apartment. Another tried and true inexpensive way to block off entrance points through windows is to arrange a dowel in your window seal, locking your window into place.

Protective Devices

Before purchasing any type of personal protective device/equipment, check your rental agreement to see what is and isn’t allowed. Things like baseball bats, pepper spray, and pocket knives are good to have on hand. Personal alarms are also easy to carry and use in case of an intruder and/or attacker. If cost is a concern, another simple trick can be sleeping near your car keys, so if you hear an intruder, you can quickly press the car alarm button to scare them off.


Having a personal safe to store valuable items and important documents is good practice when it comes to personal safety and security. Classic safes will work to store items just as well as inconspicuous safes, designed to blend into your space. For extra measure, take expensive things home with you when you travel home for a weekend or over a holiday break.


Cell phones offer many options for both safety features and applications designed to protect you in most situations. Search through the app store and shortlists online to find safety apps that work for you. There is an app for everything from apps that turn old cell phones into security cameras to apps that alert emergency responders with your GPS location.

Phone Numbers

Another best practice for safety related to your cell phone is to include local emergency phone numbers in your contact list. If there is ever an emergency, immediately call 911.

Cedar City Police Department: 435-586-2955 (non-emergency dispatch), 435-586-2956 (office)
Southern Utah University Police: 435-586-1911 (dispatch), 435-586-7792 (office), 435-865-8888 (building emergencies)
Cedar City Fire Department: 435-586-2964
Canyon Creek Services: 435-233-5732 (hotline), 435-867-9411 (office)
Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Try these safety tips for your student housing, and learn more about housing safety from Safety & Security at Southern Utah University.