Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Steps to take before leaving for break


As students finish up with final exams and prepare to head home for the holiday season, there are a few things they can do to make sure their dorm rooms, apartments or homes are safe while they are away. However, students living off campus and students living in dorms have a different set of tasks to complete to make sure they are ready to hit the road.

Sgt. Brent Blankley, public information officer for the Tuscaloosa Police Department, said students living in apartments and houses should try to give the impression that they are still home.

“Criminals know that the student population and a lot of people go home for the holidays,” Blankley said.

Leaving any sort of indication that nobody is home could be an invitation for thieves, Blankley said.

“One thing that we actually have seen in the past that we really encourage people not to do is we’ve seen where people actually put notes on their front doors to tell FedEx or UPS that they’re gone for the holidays,” Blankley said. “Don’t do anything like that. Don’t give any kind of notice that you’re leaving for the holidays.”

Blankley suggested a few ways that students could deter theft, even when they’re away for the holidays.

“If you can see through your blinds or anything, make sure you put some curtains up,” Blankley said. “You don’t want anybody to be able to see if you’ve got big-screen TVs or anything of that nature lying around. You also want to have somebody pick up your newspapers. Get some timers for your lights; make it appear that your apartment or your house is being lived in.”

The police themselves will also take measures to deter theft over the holidays. Blankley said police see an increase in break-ins during the holidays but an increase in security and other measures deter theft.

“We also set up bait houses and that kind of stuff as well,” Blankley said.

For students living in dorms, the threat of a break-in is not as apparent, but there are still a few tasks students should complete before leaving.

Laura Sanders, director of residential communities, asked students to take all their important belongings with them, clean the floors, take out the trash and throw away any food items that might spoil in their fridges.

“Unplug electrical appliances; that does not include the micro-fridge or refrigerator,” Sanders said. “Turn the lights off, shut and lock windows, close the blinds and check out with the RA.”

Showers and sinks should also beturned off, and the AC should be set to low.

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