Safety Where You Live
Whether you live on campus in University Housing or in an off-campus high-rise, house or apartment, awareness and prevention of crime doesnt stop at your front door.
- Never prop open a building door or allow access to a stranger. University Housing has installed security cameras and monitors in its high-rise buildings, along with exterior locking and monitoring systems that notify staff when doors are ajar or propped open.
- Residents of University Housing are urged to keep their doors locked, especially when home or sleeping.
- Be wary of people who don’t appear to belong in the area.
- If you feel uncomfortable confronting a person who is following you into a residence hall, alert your hall staff, house fellow or UW Police Department (UWPD).
- Always carry your key when you leave your room.
- Do not open the door to someone who does not carry proper identification. University Housing custodial and maintenance staff members all wear identification tags with their photos and names.
- Report any crime or suspicion of a crime at once. If UWPD is contacted within the first five minutes, police have a better chance of finding a suspect.
- Keep your windows and doors locked both when occupied and unoccupied.
- Don’t buzz people you don’t know into the building.
- Never prop open an exterior building door.
- Report any safety concerns (non-working hallway or outside lights, locks, etc.) to your property owner or manager immediately.
When Looking for Off-Campus Housing
- Personally check out the area. Do you feel comfortable? Trust your feelings and your common sense.
- Talk with other tenants who live in the building or in the area about how comfortable or safe they feel. Ask about any crime problems in the building or neighborhood.
- Check out the housing unit for adequate locks on windows and doors. Are outside doors securely locked? Do doors into apartments have a deadbolt lock with a one-inch throw? If the housing unit is on the first or second floor, or if the windows are accessible by trees/fire escapes, do the windows have sash-fastener window locks? Landlords are legally required to provide certain security features. See below for details.
- Return in the evening and check out the lighting in hallways and outside the building. Are parking areas well-lit?
- Check out transportation availability. Is the walk to the bus stop well-lit?
Additional House or Apartment Safety
Apartments are most secure when landlords and tenants work together. Landlords must legally provide the items below for your protection. You are responsible for using these items properly and for taking proper action if they are missing or not provided.
- Dead bolt lock: Its your best protection against intrusion. Don’t prop your door open or leave it unlocked for friends or roommates. Your landlord might supply you with extra keys if you ask. (You may be required to pay for extra copies.)
- Main door viewer (peep hole): On main door to unit. Don’t open door to strangers. When in doubt, ask for an ID.
- Proper Lighting: Porch, yard and parkingarea lights, as well as commonarea lighting in halls and basements. Report burned out lights to the building owner or manager.
- Request repairs promptly so you can see and so an intruder can be seen.
- Smoke detection and early*warning fire system: Test monthly. Don’t remove batteries.
- Window locks (sash fasteners): Lock all windows before you go to bed and when you leave for an extended period of time. If locks are missing or don’t work, immediately request repairs from the owner.
- Ventilating sash fasteners: Allows your window to remain open one to five inches for ventilation, but locks prevent entry. Required on first/ground floor windows and any windows that can be accessed from a fire escape (in addition to regular window locks).
- Sash fasteners prevent silent entry, but are not as effective as regular window locks.
If you are missing any of the items listed, call your landlord. If after calling your landlord, you have trouble getting security devices installed, fixed or replaced, call the Madison Neighborhood Preservation and Inspection Division at (608) 266-4551.
Source: University Health Services