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Spring Break: Locking Up Your Dorm or Off-Campus Apartment

Spring Break: Locking Up Your Dorm or Off-Campus Apartment
Heading out of town on a spring break trip can prove exhilarating, but you'll need to lock up your dorm room or off-campus apartment before you hit the road. Make sure you do the following essential tasks to keep your college abode safe and secure until your return.

Secure Windows and Block the View

Dorm and apartment windows offer two points of vulnerability. First, if you leave them unlocked, people have a way to enter your space without your knowledge. Second, passersby can see through the window, which means they'll know if you have any tempting electronics or other valuables.

Before you leave for spring break, check the window locks and close the curtains. If you don't have window treatments, hang a bed sheet over the windows with thumbtacks or tape. Just remember to get permission from the proper authority before you put any holes in the wall.

Prevent Fires and Unnecessary Electricity Usage

You won't use your television, gaming console, or bedside light while you're on spring break. Turn those items off — or, better yet, unplug them — so they don't continue to consume electricity. This step will also help prevent a fire in your absence.

Similarly, make sure you don't leave any open flames, such as candles, burning in your dorm or apartment. Unplug hot plates, microwaves, coffee makers, and anything else that generates heat. That goes for the space heater you use to keep warm during the winter, as well.

Empty and Clean Your Refrigerator

Whether you have a full-size fridge in your apartment or a mini fridge in your dorm room, don't leave food inside it when you head out of town for spring break. It will spoil while you're gone, which means you'll come home to a foul odor and a sticky mess. You might also want to defrost the fridge so it can't ice over.

It's also important to get rid of any trash in the apartment — especially if it contains organic waste, such as last night's leftover pizza. Clean all surfaces in your apartment or dorm so you'll come home to a clean, organized space, ready to hit the books again.

Coordinate With Your Roommates

Unless you live by yourself, you'll need to talk to your roommates before you leave for spring break. Let them know your plans and ask about theirs. Whoever leaves last gets the job of double-locking the doors, shutting off all the lights, and attending to any other last-minute tasks.

You might also leave contact information for your roommates in case of an emergency. At college, you're learning how to live on your own as well as with your peers. Staying accountable for one another can foster independence while keeping everyone safe.

Spring break trips are always a blast, whether you're heading home or to another destination, but you'll need to act responsibly before you leave. If you secure your dorm or off-campus apartment, you won't have to worry about it while you're on vacation.

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