10 Tips for Safe Off Campus Apartment Living at Grand Valley

By: Karen Bier-Hobbs

Meadows Crossing takes the safety and well being of our renters seriously, but it’s always good to follow some basic rules to keep your off campus apartment and person as safe as possible. Here are our top ten:

1. Read the crime statistics for the area you live in to familiarize yourself with what to watch out for - property crimes, violent crimes. Knowing the pattern of what happens around you will help you to keep yourself safe. Pay attention to the people as they come and go so you know who is supposed to be in your vicinity and who most definitely is not. 

2. Lock your door, even when you’re just stepping out to check your mail or throw a load of laundry into the dryer. It’s too easy for someone to enter when they see you leave. Make sure all entrances are locked before you go to sleep and lock all windows that are not open.

3. Avoid hiding a key around your door entrance. No matter how cleverly you hide it, criminals know the spots to look. Also, limit the number of people you give a key to. Some people might be tempted to use your space for their own socializing, in ways you might not like. 

4. Do not open your door to people you do not know, even if they seem to be there in some official capacity, such as repairmen or meter readers. Ask for and carefully review identification before allowing them access to your apartment. When in doubt call your apartment complex manager. It is always better to be safe than sorry. 

5. If you are a woman living alone, use an initial and your last name for any identifying listings such as a mailbox or a doorbell list. 

6. Get to know your neighbors in a friendly way. Group gatherings are great for getting to know people in a safe way, and people who know each other watch out for each other.If you have roommates, let them know if your plans will be different from your usual routine. If no one knows where you are, they can’t be of help if you need it. 

7. Do not advertise when you will be gone - on vacation, for the weekend - on social media, especially. Your check ins on Foursquare or Facebook tell more than your friends where you are and for how long. 

8. If you are away from your apartment for a time, leaving lights on and the radio playing gives an impression that your place isn’t empty. Even when you are there, close your curtains or blinds when it is dark. This helps you to avoid the attention of creepier strangers and keeps the inventory of your apartments contents private. 

9. Alert your complex management if a light burns out - your door light, a light in a hallway or over a walkway, or a parking lot light. Fully lit places are safer places. Also report broken windows or doors to management immediately. 

10. Do not leave valuables in your car. Park your car in well lit areas with straight and unimpeded access to your apartment, and lock your doors when you exit your vehicle. If you have to park farther away, make arrangements to travel in groups when it’s dark. 

Following these simple rules should help you to have a safe and happy off campus apartment living experience at Meadows Crossing, but if you have any concerns about your safety, let us know right away. Your safety and well being is our top priority.

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