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Safety in your Apartment

Peace Outside Campus Logo PEACE OUTside CAMPUS – The Lindsey M. Bonistall Foundation

Whether you are looking for a new residence or have lived in off-campus housing for years, the following are additional resources to help you better secure peaceful living environments.

  • Know your roommates' security habits. You are only as safe as your roommates allow you be.
  • Make good relationships with landlords and neighbors because they may be your biggest allies.
  • Choose a neighbor to assist you in case of emergency and give them a copy of your emergency contacts.
  • ALWAYS lock your door(s) and windows when you are home, accompanied and alone, sleeping or going out, EVEN if only for a few minutes.
  • Use a peephole to determine who's knocking before you open the door. If you are still unsure who is there, question the stranger through the door.
  • Don’t prop doors for friends or delivery people.
  • Never leave your keys outside your residence, such as under a doormat or in a place accessible by a stranger.
  • If you lose your keys, work with the landlord to replace your locks. Always insist your landlord repair any broken locks, windows, and doors immediately.
  • Keep ground level windows closed or use a safety lock.
  • Keep garbage cans and boxes away from windows so they cannot be used as stepladders.
  • Keep a list of emergency numbers in your phone and on your refrigerator, such as the local police and fire departments.
  • Know where your emergency exits are located and plan alternative evacuation routes in case of an emergency.
  • Possess basic fire safety awareness and familiarize yourself with the specific fire safety issues of your off-campus home.
  • Laundry rooms, lounges and common areas should not be used when you’re alone.
  • Purchase renter's insurance. It is not that expensive, and may save you money if there is an accident or a burglary. (

Your off-campus residence is especially vulnerable to burglary during periods of time when students are known to be away, such as school breaks. When you are planning to leave your residence for a short or extended period of time, keep the following in mind:

  • Take all valuables with you.
  • Ask a trusted neighbor to watch your residence. Ask them to keep an eye out for any unusual activity. Provide a contact number while you will be gone.
  • Ask the local police to check your home while away.
  • Make sure your residence has the appearance of being lived in and not empty.
    • Leave curtains and blinds in a normal position.
    • Stop all mail and paper deliveries to avoid the appearance of backed-up mail.
      • Use timers to turn appliances, like lights, radios or TVs, on and off.
    • Turn your phone ringer off or down.
    • Don't announce your absence.
    • Try to leave at least one vehicle in the driveway while gone.

Additional Apartment Safety Tips Include:

  • Do not let service or repair personnel into your dwelling. Leave them outside while you call their main company to confirm their legitimacy.
  • Doors and windows should be visible to neighbors and the street.
  • Talk to your roommates when someone is having guests. Make sure guests are not left alone in your dwelling. Keep valuables locked up. Do not leave important items out in the open.
  • Keep a list of your serial numbers for electronic equipment in a separate location in case something gets stolen. This will help identify your lost or stolen goods.
  • Do not let strangers in.
  • Make sure your landlord provides lighting to outside doors and driveways. Make sure it is motion censored.
  • Let your landlord know when bushes and shrubbery become overgrown.
  • Call the police if an unfamiliar person is hanging around outside of your building.
  • Question unescorted people in your building. If you do not feel comfortable, call the police.
  • Try not to enter an elevator with another person. If you do, stand next to the emergency alarm. If there is a problem, push the alarm and as many floors as possible (but not the stop button).
  • Close window shades at night.
  • Call the police if you receive an obscene phone call.
  • Do not give solicitor phone calls any personal information.
  • Doors leading to garages or basement should be metal-clad or solid wood and have working deadbolts.
  • Sliding glass doors should have locks and dowels or pins must be installed to keep the doors from being shoved aside or lifted off the tracks.
  • During move-in and move-out keep your apartment and car locked. Move-in, move-out, and holiday breaks are high crime times.
  • If you get an alarm system, register it with the New Rochelle Police department.
  • Have only your house number on your mailbox, not your name.
  • Make sure the house number is visible from the street so police and fire departments can see it in case of emergencies.
  • Make sure there is a carbon monoxide detector near sleeping areas.

For additional questions or concerns, please visit the Office of Campus Safety and Security or contact the New Rochelle Police Department at (914) 654-2300 or 911.