Safety Tips

Remember: A criminal looks for the opportunity to commit a crime. Awareness, prevention, and prudent decisions lessen the chances of a crime occurring.

At home:

  • Keep doors locked at all times, even if you are only away for a few moments. Do not "prop open" doors or “throw the deadbolts open” in the residence halls.
  • Be assertive and demand that any unwanted person in your residence leave, or leave yourself. Anyone who refuses to leave is a trespasser. If you live in a residence hall call the police. 911 or 407-825-5555.
  • Make sure hallways, entrances, garages, and ground are well lit. Leave porch lights on all night. When you expect to return after dark, leave an interior light on with shades drawn. If you live on campus, report any malfunctioning light at 407-823-5223.
  • Know who is at your door before you open it. Campus staff carries identification, and no solicitors are allowed on campus. If you live off campus, install a peephole in your front door.
  • Call the police if strangers appear at your door. Don't open your door or let them in.
  • List initials and last name only on your mailbox or door and in the telephone book.
  • Get to know your neighbors. If you live off campus, join a neighborhood watch system and share information on suspicious circumstances.

Away from home:

  • Walk or jog with a friend. Avoid jogging after dark. If you must, stay in well-lit areas, walk midpoint between curbs and buildings and away from alleys and bushes.
  • Tell someone where are you going and when you will return.
  • Don't fight back if your purse or wallet is snatched. Turn it over to the thief rather than risk personal injury, and call the police immediately.
  • Be careful about when and where you patronize Automatic Teller Machines (ATM). Accessing ATM cash in remote locations, particularly after nightfall, could expose you to risk of robbery and personal injury.
  • Avoid working or studying alone in a public-access building at night.

In an elevator:

  • Press the alarm button if the elevator becomes impaired while in operation. Police will respond as quickly as possible. Remain inside until help arrives. Only trained elevator personnel are authorized to remove trapped occupants. No one else should attempt to release them or try to force elevator doors open.

Your property:

  • Use a "disk" style padlock (not the "master lock" type) on all storage units. Checks the unit periodically to make sure nothing has been disturbed.
  • Don't lend your keys. Keys can be duplicated. Use the valet key when leaving your vehicle with a curbside parking stand.
  • Only mark your keys with your name or initials never with an address or license number. Lost keys can lead to theft.
  • Engrave or mark all valuable personal property with your name and phone number. Keep an inventory of items. You can use the police department property registration program to keep track of all your serial numbers.
  • Move valuable items out of easy sight of windows and doors.
  • Lock your vehicle at all times.
  • Copy all important papers and cards that you carry in your purse or wallet, including your driver's license. Keep the copies in a safe place - the information will be invaluable if they are stolen or lost.
  • Copy your vehicle registration. If your vehicle is stolen, it cannot be entered into the nationwide law enforcement network without this information.
  • Don't stop for stranded motorists. You are of greater help to them by calling police.
  • Keep valuables in the trunk of your vehicle, not on the seats.
  • Park your car in well-lit areas.
  • Remove all keys from your vehicle. Thieves look for keys. Walk with your keys in your hand.

In your car:

  • Check the back seat before entering.
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked at all times, even when driving in daylight, so no one can jump in at a red light.
  • Keep enough gas in your tank for emergencies.
  • Don't offer rides to anyone you do not know, even if he or she claims to be a student.
  • Honk your horn - a good deterrent - if someone suspicious approaches your vehicle. Criminals don't like attention.
  • Lift the hood, put on the flashers, and wait inside for help with the doors locked if your car breaks down. Ask people who stop to call the police or AAA for you. Don't accept a ride with anyone you do not know.

If you have a disability:

  • Be on the defensive; use SEPS at night. 407-823-2424.
  • Use reflective tape on wheelchairs or other mobility aids.
  • Report any hazardous conditions to the Students with Disabilities Office. 407-823-2371
  • Use designated sidewalks.
  • If you have a visual impairment, be sure to get a thorough orientation. If unsure about hazards, please ask. Remember to use your cane properly.

Residence Hall Security:

  • Residence hall exterior doors are locked at all times, to gain admittance; visitors must call a student's room or the main office using the telephone at the main entrance of each hall. Visitors are then met at the entrance by their student-host. At night, hall staff provides support in checking the identities of those entering the halls. Students are urged not to allow entrance to anyone who is not their guest. Visitors are to be escorted at all times by their student-host, who is responsible for their action and behavior.
  • Residence Hall staff gives a high priority to the security of residents. Resident assistants receive training in safeguarding security and monitor building safety measures on an ongoing basis. Night staff makes periodic checks of floors and exterior doors, and report security-related matters to resident staff, or to the police.
  • Each semester University Police and Residence Hall staff jointly present safety programs to all residents. In addition, fire evacuation drills are conducted in every hall each semester. Fireworks, explosives, weapons, and flammable liquids are strictly prohibited in the residence halls, as are all devices using an open flame or open heating element. And please remember, falsely activating or tampering with fire safety equipment violates state law and creates dangers for the entire residential community in the case of real fire or emergency.
  • For a review of all residence hall procedures, please refer to the Guide to Residence Hall and Apartment Living, available in each community area office.