When looking for homes or three bedroom apartments, students often overlook safety.
Rosalind Dillon, a 20-year-old senior international affairs and integrative physiology major, said safety was the last thing she looked for when house hunting.
“It’s all about price and location,” Dillon said.
However with a burglary reported in the USA nearly every 15 seconds students may start changing their minds, according to the City of Boulder Web site.
Boulder Police Public Information Officer Sarah Huntley said residents should always be aware of a possible break in.
“We don’t want people to feel that they are on lock and key in Boulder, but people tend to get a false sense of security,” Huntley said. “We have a lot of situations where people leave to go across the street and because it is such a short distance, they leave their doors unlocked.”
Michelle Willett, the marketing and publications coordinator of CU’s Off-Campus Student Services, said it is important for students to know their neighborhood.
“Definitely visit the neighborhood during the day and visit it during the night; get to know your neighbors and get to know your neighborhood’s activity at night,” Willett said.
Students can learn more about their neighborhood by watching the weekly updated crime map provided by the Boulder police, Huntley said. They may also hire a commercial locksmith to change the locks in their homes or apartments before moving in. Installing more secure Entryway Doors can also improve the security and safety of the property.
“The crime map is a good way to get a sense of what’s happening week to week in the community,” Huntley said.
The interactive map allows users to see the distribution of the types of crime throughout Boulder. The archives on the Web site date as far back as the first week of Jan. 2008.
When looking at houses, Huntley also said it is important to check the quality of the doors, windows and locks as well as discuss safety with the property landlord.
For all residents, Willett and Huntley each give the simple yet safe advice: lock the door.
“Most burglaries happen because of unlocked doors,” Willett said. “(Residents) will leave doors and windows open. It’s the number one reason for a burglary.”
John Fuhrman, a 22-year-old senior economics major, said he learned to lock his door due his friends’ personal experiences.
“I have some friends who have had their laptops stolen because they didn’t lock their doors,” Fuhrman said.
In the case of a possible burglary or robbery, it is key to alert the police immediately in order to file a report so the landlord does not charge for damages, Willet said.
“When you get a property, if someone breaks in you need to contact the police officers right away,” Willett said. “The landlord can easily assume (the damage) was caused by a friend … The police will file a report, showing that the officers came and investigated, that way you won’t be charged for damage.”
For more safety tips visit the City of Boulder, Colorado Web site.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Rose Heaphy at Josephine.firstname.lastname@example.org.