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Off-Campus Housing Safety Checklist for Students

Fire Safety

  • Are smoke detectors working? Check batteries. Do not disable smoke detectors.
  • Are there fire extinguishers? Do you know how to operate them? Are they in working order? Can you reach them easily?
  • Think about an escape route from each room. If the doorway to a room is blocked, what is your alternative route? If you had to exit the room through a window, would you need a fire ladder?
  • The most common causes of fire are candles, cigarettes, and halogen lights. Never leave candles burning unattended and never put anything (paper, fabric, etc.) over a halogen light.
  • If wiring is exposed or if you notice problems with light fixtures or appliances, contact your landlord immediately for repairs.

Security Concerns

  • Check door locks to be sure they are strong and secure. What kind of security locks do you have? Chain locks are not as secure as deadbolt locks. Always lock your doors!
  • In a security building, do not leave exterior doors propped open.
  • If someone comes to the door, do not open it until you have positively identified the visitor. If you don’t have a peep hole, get one.
  • Ask for identification if someone identifies himself or herself as a repair person, police officer, or meter reader. Don’t hesitate to call and check identification or refuse admittance to a stranger.
  • Don’t hide spare keys outdoors or in a hallway.
  • Don’t put your full name on your mailbox or doorbell.
  • On campus and in the immediate surrounding area, use the University’s campus escort service at night or when walking through any area where you feel unsafe (612-624-WALK).

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Scouting Out a Roommate

Using Facebook to find a roommate seems like a quick and easy way to assess how much or little two people will get along, but it is important to remember not to jump to conclusions.

Read more about social networking and the search for a roommate >

Local Lodging

Are you planning to visit your student? Find a place to stay in the Twin Cities. Some hotels offer discounts to parents of University students.

See Local Lodging >

Online Workshop—On- and Off-Campus Housing

Parents can help their students think about the steps required to carefully consider what to look for in roommates, in an apartment, in signing legal documents, and in becoming a responsible community member. This workshop addresses talking points that parents might want to discuss with their students.

See the Housing Workshop >

Articles of Interest

The Housing Decision