Winter/ Holiday Break Checklist for College Students before you leave for Home
Heading home for winter break becomes something of a ritual for many college students. Students finish their exams, say goodbye to their friends for a few weeks, and prepare for a return to doing chores, coming home before their parents’ curfew, and sleeping in.
But, all too often, students head home without realizing the best way to protect the things they’re leaving behind. When locking the doors, and closing the blinds aren’t enough, the Nelsonville Police Department has put together a list of college winter break safety tips to help you leave any worries about your apartment or dorm room behind:
Create the illusion that someone is home.
A favorite of homeowners, this is a tactic that works for apartment and dorm dwellers, as well. Connect lights, the radio and even the TV to an automatic timer that can be used to vary the on/off pattern of interior lights when you are away.
If you live with other students, a good security tip is to discuss who will be leaving last, and then make sure that person is willing and able to double-check all windows and doors, turn on any automatic timers and put away or cover up any common-area valuables, such as gaming systems or big-screen TVs.
Take valuables with you
Take laptops, electronics, jewelry, and other valuables home with you. Items that are too large to transport should be kept out of sight from windows, balconies, and doors. Remember property theft rates are higher during breaks in the academic calendar.
Students who are carpooling home and leaving their vehicle back at school for winter break should park in a well-lit area or secure location and remove all valuables (GPS, small electronics, etc.).
If you must leave items of value behind, recording the serial numbers, brand names and date and price of purchases, and taking a few pictures of the valuables will help authorities identify the property in the event of a theft or a natural disaster.
Lock windows and doors
It’s common sense to lock a front door, but students might forget to make sure all their windows are secured. For added protection, it is not wise to advertise your items to thieves, so close the blinds or curtains.
Take out the trash and clean the refrigerator
It looks harmless today, but in three weeks that Tupperware might have legs.
For the love of everything, please don’t leave food and garbage in an apartment for 3 weeks! We cannot stress the importance of a clean kitchen to students, unless you really want a bug infestation on your Christmas list.
Leave the heat on
More budget conscious students might be tempted to turn the heat down or off over the break, but doing so can lead to frozen pipes or broken pipes. Thermostats should be set to at least 58 degrees. Also, windows should be completely closed; a one-inch opening near a pipe can be enough to cause it to freeze and break.
Unplugging non-essential appliances like televisions, phone chargers, coffee pots, toaster ovens, personal fans reduces the risk of fire and saves energy. Unplugging also means no one will leave coffee burning in the pot for the better part of a month.
Take the time to go over these ideas so you have the best break possible. Have a safe and joyous holiday break.