September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month

As a new academic year commences, safety should be your first priority, whether living on or off campus. This guide will dive into the significance of fire prevention, personal security, and the role of GradGuard protection in safeguarding students’ well-being.

Fire Safety on Campus

Fire safety within student housing is a huge concern. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 3 out of 4 dormitory fires began in the kitchen or cooking area, and nearly 9 out of 10 dormitory fires involved cooking equipment. Interestingly, September and October often witness the highest number of residence hall fires. To make sure you are staying safe, it’s crucial to implement some preventative measures.

Awareness and Preparedness: 

Familiarize yourself with fire safety protocols specific to your housing. This can be evacuation routes, locating fire extinguishers, and locating smoke detectors and fire alarms. Preparedness can significantly reduce panic during fire emergencies.

Outlet Management: 

Prevent electrical fires by not overloading your outlets. You can use extension cords and power strips and unplug devices not in use. A single spark could cause a devastating fire.

Cooking Habits: 

Kitchens are a prime location for potential fire incidents. Some tips for preventing this include setting timers, switching off appliances, and keeping flammable items away from cooking areas. Whether communal or personal, practicing fire-safe cooking is crucial.

Regular Equipment Checks: 

Inspect appliances, cords, and plugs for wear and tear. If you notice any malfunctioning equipment, report it to maintenance. A proactive approach can prevent potential electrical hazards.

Emergency Plans: 

Having a fire emergency plan with roommates and neighbors could save all your lives. Your RA will likely discuss these plans with your floor if you live in an on-campus dorm or building. You may also have some fire drills, and as annoying as they can be, they are necessary.

Personal Security Measures

Your personal security is just as important as fire safety. It can be easy to overlook some aspects of personal safety when you’re busy studying and having fun during your college years. However, it is essential to keep safety as one of your top priorities. Here are some tips for staying safe:

Digital Safety: 

Cybersecurity is crucial for everyone using the internet. Using strong passwords for online accounts, activating two-factor authentication, and refraining from sharing personal information on public platforms can make all the difference in getting hacked. Remember that you have a digital footprint on the internet outside of hacking and identity theft. 

Everything you post, even if it’s deleted or you have a private account, still has a way to be found. This can affect future employment, education opportunities, and more. Make sure you post things that you would be okay with ANYONE seeing. 

Physical Security: 

According to, the FBI reported that a property crime occurs on a college campus every 10 minutes, with more than 50,000 incidents recorded yearly. It is essential that you secure your belongings on and off campus. Lock your doors and windows when leaving your room, and possibly invest in a lock for your laptop or valuable items. Avoid leaving prized possessions in plain sight.

Property crime occurs on a college campus every 10 minutes, with more than 50,000 incidents recorded yearly.

As we now know how prevalent theft is on college campuses, keeping your valuables safe is essential. Renters insurance is one of the smartest ways to ensure that your belongings’ value can be reimbursed if stolen. GradGuard specializes in renters insurance for students on and off college campuses. 

Pro-tip: Stay Informed: Be aware of any safety alerts or updates from your college or university. Many institutions have safety apps or notification systems to inform students and their families of potential dangers around campus. 

Stay Together and Trust Your Instincts: 

On a college campus, there, unfortunately, are many instances where you may feel unsafe. Removing yourself from the situation is crucial if you feel uncomfortable and feel like your safety may be compromised. Staying with a group of trusted friends can also help you stay safe.

Well-Lit Areas: 

You should prioritize walking in well-lit areas on campus. Avoid walking in the dark, as you could often not see potential threats, or people who can help may not see you during an unsafe situation. 

Pro-tip: You should almost always have a trusted someone with you if you need to be walking in the dark. Bringing a friend or group with you can sometimes ward off people with bad intentions. 

Drinking and Drug Use:

It’s super important to make responsible choices around drinking and drug use. College life offers new experiences and challenges, but staying safe should always be a priority. If you choose to drink, do so in moderation, know your limits, and never leave your beverage unattended. 

Being a responsible drinker means knowing your limits and making wise decisions. Whenever you consume alcohol, always have a designated driver or arrange for other safe transportation. Also, ensure you never leave your drink unattended to avoid potential tampering risks. Be vigilant and look out for your friends’ safety, too. It’s also okay to say no or limit your alcohol intake. You can still have fun sober! Your health and safety should always be a top priority, and responsible drinking is essential for a positive and memorable college experience.

Understanding the potential risks and legal consequences is essential to make informed decisions about drug use. Most campuses offer resources like counseling services and educational workshops, which you should take advantage of to stay informed and prioritize your safety and future success.

GradGuard Protection: Elevate Your Campus Safety

The safety of college students should stay a top priority as a new academic year begins. Fire prevention, personal security, and GradGuard protection play a role in fostering a secure campus environment. Students can significantly reduce risks and contribute to a safer community by implementing fire safety and personal security measures. 

College has risks.

Consider the benefits of GradGuard’s Renters and Tuition Insurance for college students. These plans include tuition and renters insurance, which can offer financial security in unforeseen circumstances. With GradGuard, students and their families can gain peace of mind knowing their educational investment and personal belongings are safeguarded.

Education, awareness, and collaboration among students, faculty, and campus authorities are essential for safety on college campuses. GradGuard protection adds an extra layer of security, providing financial reassurance in the face of unexpected challenges.

Author: Isabella Ordonez

Isabella is currently a senior at Arizona State University studying Digital Audiences. She loves shopping, cooking, baking, arts and crafts, and watching movies. Isabella is interested in the creative aspects of marketing and fashion. She has worked with her sorority and various businesses around the valley, working in social media and digital content.