Special precautions should be taken by men and women students against violent crimes. The Baylor Police Department suggests you follow these recommendations to ensure your personal safety.

Doors should be locked at all times whether you are home or away. If you must leave a key, leave it with a trusted friend. Do not for any reason leave a key hidden outside your apartment.

Install additional locks on all windows.

Have a telephone installed before moving in.

Be sure to look outside before you answer the door. Small windows or peep holes would allow you to do this.

Strangers should never be allowed into the apartment. Thieves often use the guise of door-to-door salesmen to scope out a potential burglary site.

If service or repair persons come to the door, be sure to ask for authorized identification. Do not allow them in the apartment until your landlord or the company they represent confirms someone was sent out. Do not isolate yourself in the apartment while the repair person is present. If you choose to remain, stay close to the door in case of trouble.

Always keep curtains and blinds closed at night. If the apartment is open to view, it is like an invitation to the potential criminal.

A porch light should be left on when you leave at night. A lighted area is the single best crime deterrent.

Always have your keys ready when approaching your car or apartment door.

Avoid alleys, shortcuts, deserted parks, vacant lots, and other poorly lighted areas when walking at night.

When people stop to ask you directions, be sure to stay a safe distance away.

Use only first initials and last name to identify your mailbox and phone number.

If you are a robbery victim, try to stay calm and observe as much as possible about the robber so you can accurately describe him or her to the police. DON'T PUT UP A FIGHT! Give the person whatever they ask for.

Vacation Security Tips

Each year while students are away between semester breaks or for long holiday weekends, there are thousands of dollars worth of property stolen. A few, very simple precautions can be taken to help secure your unit.

Take valuables, especially bikes and electronic goods, with you if at all possible.

If you must leave items behind, get a trusted friend who will be in Waco over the entire break to look after them for you.

STOP all deliveries including mail and newspaper service. A card can be picked up at the US Post Office on 5th Street to request mail deliveries be stopped for a specified amount of time.

Use of an automatic timer on a lamp would be a good idea. Timers can be purchased for about $10.

VERY IMPORTANT: Do not turn the heat completely off when you leave over winter break. Turn the thermostat down to 55-58 degrees and set the fan on automatic. If you do not keep the unit warm, the pipes may freeze and cause considerable damage for which you will be liable. Legally you must keep the temperature above freezing. Likewise, do not turn air conditioners completely off when you leave over warm weather breaks. Set the thermostat on 80-85 degrees and the fan on automatic. This will save on utility bills and prevent damage due to heat in your apartment.

Home Security

Your first line of defense is to have secure locks and doors. There are several types of locks to chose from in a wide range of prices. The varieties of locks and each one's degree of security include:

Tubular--lacks strength and quality of a heavier lock, fine for interior doors but very poor for outside doors. Provides minimum security.

Mortise--heavy-duty lock that usually comes with a dead bolt for secondary security. More expensive but provides much more security than the tubular.

Rim--mounted on the interior surface of the door. Very popular in high burglary areas. Easy to install and are worthwhile as back-up locks.

Dead bolt--most secure of all types. A single-cylinder dead bolt requires a key from the outside but has an inside turn. A double-cylinder dead bolt requires a key both inside and outside.

For your sliding glass doors there are precautions you can take also.

Install door bars to fit between the sliding glass door panel and the opposite frame.

Secure sliding glass door with locks that incorporate a key lock, a steel deadbolt, and burglar resistant screws. These are inexpensive and come with keys.

Window Locks

This is the next most vulnerable part of your home after sliding glass doors. Window glass has always been fairly easy to break; however, there are window locks that may help prevent this from happening.

A lock-sliding window bolt may be used for closed or vented windows.

A key-lock, solid steel dead bolt works well for doors and windows.

A patio door dead lock is designed for aluminum or wooden sliding doors.

Key locks for windows are essential for adequate protection.

For more information contact: Baylor University Police Department
Crime Prevention Division