16:59 PM

Office of Student Life offers free tools to keep students safe

Burglaries are often crimes of opportunity, and deterrence plays a big role in preventing them

Students are responding to an offer from The Ohio State University to increase their home security in the campus area.

The Office of Student Life’s Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services supports off-campus students with free safety devices, including window and door alarms and light timers. An email reminder to students this weekend garnered more than 500 requests for the service.

“It is available for all students at Ohio State although we primarily target the off-campus population, and we’ve been doing this for over 10 years now,” said Rachel DeMooy, program manager for Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services.

DeMooy said home burglaries are often crimes of opportunity, and deterrence plays a big role in preventing them.

She said a light timer for indoor lights can convince criminals that a home is occupied. The timer can turn interior lights on and off throughout the night to give the appearance that someone is home.

Audible alarms can deter burglars from attempting to enter a home. Window and door alarms are considered powerful deterrence devices that create a loud ringing sound when triggered.

DeMooy said the tools offered by Student Life are easy to install and portable.

“For the window and door alarms, it’s basically a strip you just peel off the back and stick to your door frame or your window frame. For the light timers, you just plug it into the outlet and then plug whatever you want to turn on and off into the device itself,” she said. “So they’re really easy to move around and you can even take it from place to place, if you want.”

They are also easy to get. Students fill out a simple form and then arrange a time to pick up the devices at the Ohio Union.

The office also has advice to students that extends beyond alarms and safety timers:

  • Keep doors and windows locked at all times.
  • Never advertise on social media that you are away from your home.
  • Don’t open the door for people you don’t know.
  • If you plan to leave your home for vacation or break, make sure your mail service is temporarily held. Accumulating mail is a sure sign that nobody is home.

Free safety tools, the university-supported Rave Guardian app, the Buckeye Alert system and the Lyft Ride Smart program are just a few of a variety of safety resources available right now to keep the campus community safe. The university also announced the establishment of a task force to review safety issues on campus and in neighborhoods near the university – and to identify, implement and advocate for additional approaches that address violence, crime and high-risk activities and behaviors.

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