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Home Safety

  • Report all crime and any suspicious activity to the Columbia Police Department (911).
  • Keep your doors and windows locked at all times, especially when you are alone, sleeping, or when 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 sure your car is always locked and that any valuables left in the vehicle are locked in the trunk or placed out of view.
  • Make a list of your valuables- DVD players, stereos, computers, jewelry. Take photos of the items, list their serial numbers and descriptions.
  • Check with law enforcement about engraving your valuables through Operation Identification.
  • For a free home security survey for a residence within the city limits contact the Columbia Police
  • Department Crime Free Housing Programs Coordinator at 874-7426.
    Avoid walking alone at night, but if you must, stay in well-lit, open areas.

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 are ways to increase the security of your Columbia 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.
  • Do not hide spare keys in places outside.
  • Arrange for a neighbor whom you trust to watch over your house or store your valuables with 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.
  • Contact the Columbia Police Department and request a WIP (watch in passing). Provide them with the following information: your name, address, when you will be leaving, when you will return, a contact number, whether or not there will be cars in the driveway and what types, and if there will be lights on in the house. Please let them know if someone will be stopping by to feed any pets, water the plants, and/or collect mail.