When you are shopping for dorm room supplies, decor, snacks, and other back-to-campus items, take a moment to discuss safety tips with your child before hugs and goodbyes. Here are some safety topics to help keep your college student safe.
Electrical safety tips:
- When shopping for items that run on electricity, look for a safety endorsement label, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories).
- Do not put a cell phone, tablet computer, or laptop computer under a pillow or place it on or under bedding. It could overheat or catch fire.
- Avoid using generic charging cubes or cords. They could overheat, shock, or burn you.
- In the dorm or apartment, make sure outlets near water sources are equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). If they are not, contact the resident assistant, campus housing staff, or landlord. (Look for a test and reset button on the face of the outlet.)
- Use power strips with an over-current protector that will shut off power if too much current is drawn.
- Avoid overloading extension cords, power strips or outlets.
- Do not hang decorative lights with nails or tacks; always use plastic hooks.
- Do not run electrical cords across traffic paths or under rugs.
- Unplug small appliances when not in use and all appliances when away for extended periods.
General safety tips:
- Find out what type of public safety department is on campus and how it functions. Ask which services the department offers and the steps it takes to prevent crime.
- Locate emergency call buttons or phones across campus in case of an emergency.
- Walk with a friend, especially at night.
- When attending events or parties, go with at least one person you know and trust. If your friend leaves, do not stay.
- Always be aware of your surroundings.
- Avoid being distracted (listening to music, texting, and so on) while walking on campus.
- Find out what types of mental health services or counseling the campus offers.
To learn more about electrical safety tips, go to SafeElectricity.org.
Article and image courtesy of SafeElectricity.org with modifications by Valley Rural Electric Cooperative.