Off-Campus Safety

Safety Tips

  • Report all crime and any suspicious activity to the Lexington Police Department or Rockbridge Country Sherriff's Office.
  • Keep your doors locked at all times, especially when you are alone, sleeping or the apartment is unoccupied (even if only for a few moments).
  • Determine who is on the other side of the door before opening it. Have repair or service personnel show official identification and confirm their presence with the person requesting the service. Delivery persons should remain outside to await the person requesting the delivery.
  • Be sure you have blinds or curtains on your windows to discourage window peepers. Always keep your windows covered at night.
  • Be sure all outdoor lighting fixtures are in working condition.
  • Place items of value out of sight and in locked areas. Do not leave valuables unattended in such common areas as laundry rooms and lounges.
  • Make a list of your valuables-DVD players, stereos, computer, and jewelry. Take photos of the items, list their serial numbers and descriptions. Check with law enforcement about engraving your valuables.
  • Avoid walking alone at night, but if you must, stay in well-lit, open areas.


  • If something looks questionable—a slit screen, a broken window, or an open door-don't go in. Call the police from a neighbor's house, a cell phone, or a public phone.
  • At night, if you think you hear someone breaking in, leave safely if you can, then call police. If you can't leave, lock yourself in a room with a phone and call police.
  • Guns are responsible for many accidental deaths in the home every year. Think carefully before buying a gun. If you do own one, learn how to store it and use it safely. Also, check the provisions of your lease, because some landlords prohibit firearms.

Protecting Your Vehicle

  • Lock your car.
  • Never hide a spare key on the vehicle.
  • Roll up windows completely.
  • Remove keys from ignition.
  • Park as close as possible to an open business.
  • Do not leave valuables in open sight. Place the valuables in trunk, if possible.
  • When parking curbside, always park with the wheels turned toward the curb.
  • If you have a garage, use it and lock the garage door.
  • Never leave your car running if unattended.
  • If you car is stolen, before it can be listed as stolen, you must have your license plate number and/or vehicle identification number.

Fire Prevention

  • Be sure smoke detectors are in proper working condition. Install new batteries at the beginning of each semester.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets. If you need to plug multiple appliances into an outlet, use a fused power strip.
  • Avoid running extension cords under the carpet or through doorways.
  • Put out candles and incense when unattended.
  • Extinguish all smoking materials thoroughly.
  • Clean up immediately after parties and take all trash outside.
  • Don't leave food unattended on the stove or in the microwave.
  • Plan your escape routes in case fire does strike.
  • Make sure all exit doors are unlocked and not obstructed.
  • Know two ways out of your apartment/house.
  • Clean the dryer lint filter after every use.
  • It is a good idea to consider purchasing a 2A 10BC fire extinguisher for your home.
  • For chimneys: Make sure you have a screen or gate in front of the hearth to prevent sparks from flying out on to the floor. Don't stack wood or kindling in front of an open hearth. Extinguish the fire completely before leaving or going to sleep. Don't have low-burning or smoldering fires. Make sure your landlord inspects your chimney every year.

Carbon Monoxide

  • Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas. Purchase a carbon monoxide detector in order to protect yourself from poisoning. Detectors can be purchased from local home improvement stores.

Secure Your Place!

Whether you are going home during an extended University break, or are just leaving town for a couple of days, the following tips increase the security of your Lexington residence:

  • Be sure there is good lighting around all doors, especially those doors not visible from the street.
  • Lock sliding doors, and place a wooden or metal bar in the track of the doors.
  • Don't hide spare keys in places outside.
  • Arrange for a neighbor whom you trust to watch over your house or store your valuables while you are away.
  • Take anything of value home with you. Don't leave any valuable items near windows.
  • Take pictures of any valuables in case they are stolen.
  •  Make sure all windows are secure and close your curtains and blinds.
  • Stop mail and paper delivery.