Back-to-school season is here! Whether you’re going off to college for the first time or a returning student, it’s always a good idea to learn and review a few campus safety tips. Although self-defense products, such as pepper spray, can potentially save your life in a threatening situation, it’s also a good idea to know how to avoid potentially dangerous situations and take preventative measures to keep yourself safe from harm. Here are some ways to stay safe on campus:
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Get to know your campus during the day, preferably with a friend or family member. Identify safe walking routes—those that are well-lit and well-populated—as well as any on-campus emergency phones.
- Don’t walk alone at night. If possible, travel after dark with a buddy, as most campus crimes occur in the evening.
- Utilize your cell phone wisely. Know when to talk on your cell phone and when to simply keep it accessible. If you’re walking alone at night, have your cell phone accessible, but avoid talking to help stay aware of your surroundings. Keep your cell phone charged so you can use it in case of an emergency. Finally, identify a friend that you can call or text if you are in trouble; think of a code word you can use to tell your friend you need help.
- In your apartment or dorm room, keep your door locked. Although it sounds simple, a locked door can deter attackers from easily entering your apartment. Avoid propping doors open, especially outside entry ways that are designed to keep intruders out.
- Stay safe while driving. Avoid parking in garages late at night and always carry your keys with you on your way to your car. Keys can be a powerful self-defense tool; and you can also attach a pepper spray unit to your key chain. If you’re driving home at night and have a roommate, call her when you’re on your way, so she can watch you walk from your car to the door.