10 College Dorm Room Security and Safety Tips


Colleges do their utmost to make residence halls safe places for students to live. Still, burglaries and other crimes are all too common. Consequently, students must take precautions to protect themselves and their possessions. Here are ten security and safety tips for students staying in college dorm rooms.

1. Keep Your Dorm Room Locked

You'd be surprised how often this essential dorm security precaution is overlooked. Around forty percent of college students say they leave their room door unlocked when not in their room. But it only takes a few seconds for someone to enter a room and swipe some valuables. So, always lock your dorm room door, even if you will only be gone for a few minutes.

2. Keep Valuables in a Safe

It is generally small, valuable items that thieves look for in a dorm room, such as phones, jewelry, and cash. So, keeping things like these locked away in a dorm room safe is best. You don't need to buy an expensive security safe, just something to make a thief's life difficult. For example, a good quality portable safe secured to a fixed object in the room.

3. Don't Open the Door to Strangers

Before opening your dorm room door, use the peephole to see who is calling. If you don't recognize the person standing outside, ask what they want and check their ID when appropriate. It is also best not to let strangers into common areas of residence halls. If someone has come to visit another student, that student should be the one to let their visitor in.

4. Know Where the Fire Exits Are

Don't ignore the fire escape plans posted in your room or common areas, and take fire drills seriously. The more familiar you are with where fire escapes are and your exit route, the easier it will be to escape in a real emergency.

5. Install a Door Alarm

A cheap wireless door alarm will alert you should someone try to force entry to your room while you are asleep. These devices can be purchased for a few dollars and installed in minutes. It's also a good idea to activate your alarm when you wear headphones.

6. Install a Window Alarm

A window alarm will protect you against burglary and forced entry. Window security is particularly crucial if your room is on the ground floor. Like the door alarms mentioned above, window alarms are easy to install and inexpensive.

7. Don't Leave Valuables Unattended in Common Areas

It is to be hoped that you can trust your fellow students. However, unfortunately, even the people you think you know might not be as trustworthy as you believe. So it is best to play it safe and not leave valuable items unattended in common areas.

8. Buy a Personal Protection Device

A personal protection device will keep you safe in your dorm room and when you are out. One option is a self-defense spray, but these are prohibited on some college campuses. An alternative would be a personal attack alarm, which you can carry anywhere.

9. Avoid Using the Stairs

Stairwells are often lonely places, and an attacker can hide in wait around a corner. So, it is best to use the elevator instead. If someone suspicious gets in the elevator, you can always get off on the next floor.

10. Share Your Routine with Friends and Family

Let people you trust know your routine and when you will go out. Then, someone can raise the alarm if anything happens and you are not where you are expected to be. However, be careful about what you share on social media. You don't want a stranger to know when you will be walking home late or night or not in your room.


College residence halls are not inherently unsafe, and most of the people you will meet at college will be trustworthy. Nevertheless, it still makes sense to be cautious about college dorm security and safety.

We hope these tips have been helpful. Please share this page on social media if you think it will help other college students.

Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful day, enjoy college, and stay safe.

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