Safety Tips for Living Off-Campus

In Your Apartment

  • Always lock your door whether you are inside your apartment or going out for the day.
  • Don't leave a spare key in an easy-to-find spot.  They are the first place someone who wants to enter your apartment will look!
  • Don't let strangers into your apartment. Look through a peephole before answering the door. If you do not have a peephole installed, use a chain to limit how far the door can open when speaking to the individual.
  • if someone knocks on your door and says they are from the fire department, city inspections, gas company, etc. ask to see ID before letting them into your apartment.
  • Do not put your phone number on your mailbox.
  • Ask local police to do a free safety check/survey of your place. (York City police can be reached at 717.846.1234; ask for the community services division).

In the Parking Lot or on the Street

  • Have your car keys in hand, ready to put in the lock, as you're walking toward your car.
  • Always keep your car locked whether you're in it or not.
  • Walk out to your car with someone you trust, especially when it is dark.
  • Look in the backseat before entering the car to make sure no one is hiding back there.
  • Don't keep valuables in your vehicle.

Your Stuff

  • Always lock up your bicycle either on campus or at home.
  • Don't leave valuables in plain view or large amounts of cash in your apartment.
  • Keep your blinds pulled down at night or when you are out so thieves do not see what is available to them.
  • Engrave your property such as TV's, computers, gaming consoles, stereos, etc. with your driver's license number and state. Also, maintain a record of all of your property's serial numbers along with photographs or video.

Feeling Threatened


Trusting your intuition is the key to staying safe. Get help right away when you're feeling threatened.

  • Do not engage an unknown caller in conversation or give away any personal details. Keep track of when nuisance calls are made and what is said. Save answering machine messages too.  Turn information over to police right away to help them track your caller.
  • Rather than calling, some people may send threatening emails or become threatening on message software or social media.  Save messages, print them out, and turn them over to authorities right away.  Also, block the user or change your username.  DO NOT CONTINUE HAVING CONVERSATIONS WITH THE INDIVIDUAL.
  • There is safety in numbers. If you decide to go out for for or a walk at night, take others with you.
  • Being alone and under the influence of alcohol makes you MORE of a target to assailants. Make good choices when attending parties and leave with friends.

Crisis Situations

  • If a friend seems ill, intoxicated, or drugged, get help immediately. Don't worry about getting them 'in trouble."  Their safety and well-being need to be your foremost concern.
  • Stay calm as possible. Quick, clear-headed thinking can make all the difference.
  • Don't play the hero by stepping into a volatile situation. Chances are you'll get hurt and make the situation worse. Instead, get help from authorities so the situation can be handled safely and effectively.

Fire Safety

  • Know exactly where all the exits are in your apartment.
  • Keep a fully charged fire extinguisher available on every floor and in the kitchen.
  • Don't smoke in bed or while lying on the couch.
  • Don't overload electrical sockets with appliances.
  • Check to ensure the installation and operation of fire protection devices.