Campus security is often taken for granted by students. University security patrols, video cameras, building monitors, emergency phones are some of the most popular examples of on-campus security.
So, where does that leave students when it comes to off-campus security?
Depending on the neighborhood, it can leave them in an often difficult and dangerous situation. While living off campus offers students freedom from university housing rules, a more spacious living environment than a typical dorm can provide, and freedom from campus curfews, it also puts them at much greater risk of being a victim of a crime.
Americans reported in a recent off-campus safety survey that at least one person who does not currently live with them in their student housing has a key to their home. In fact, 18 percent of Americans have given a key to their home to three or more people who don’t live with them, while one-third of Americans admit to making a copy of a house or rental apartment key without asking permission from the property manager or landlord. It becomes easy to imagine how safety becomes a major concern. In fact, there is a great number of crimes committed each year where it was reported in a variety of crimes ranging from theft to assault that entrance to the off-campus housing unit was gained simply by criminal having the key to the residential unit.
It becomes clear rather quickly that off-campus safety should not be taken lightly and safety should be a top priority for any student wanting to live off-campus in their own student rental home.
So the million dollar question is: How can security of an off-campus residence be effectively heightened?
Increase the security in off-campus housing is no easy task but it's absolutely not impossible and important enough to invest money and time into.
Some things property managers can do in order to upgrade their level of security may be a bit unreasonable cost wise (price security) but others are not. An access control system or a smart interconnected lock is a safe measure to take that can prevent keys getting copied. Of course, passwords must be changed regularly to ensure an extra level of security. A nice bonus with a safety measure that involves a technological upgrade like this is an increase in operational efficiency. Mechanical key management can be costly with locks and keys needing to be replaced and changed often. Also, students making copies of keys without permission is a risk that can now be removed. A "smart key" similar to a FOB can be utilized. There are even systems that use phone apps to remote access an electronic lock. This is then followed by installing a broader electronic access control. This allows property managers to better control areas of the building or home where students are able to enter, increasing safety.
Further ways to increase security involves home based security cameras that, although not as efficient as their commercial counterparts, can still serve as a would be deterrent to would be criminals. In other words, criminals often think twice about committing a crime when a camera is present.
With modern technology and some initiative responsible property managers can improve the security of students in off-campus housing.
If you are a student who is planning on attending college in Rochester NY and need safe student housing Rochester Smart Student Housing can help.