Safety and Security

Safety and Security

When looking for a new place to live, you consider many factors (i.e. price, proximity to campus, and laundry facilities). Safety should also be a major factor you think about before renting an apartment/house.

Ask yourself: Does this home and surrounding neighborhood feel safe? It is important to trust your instincts about the general safety of a property, but there are also specific things you can look for to determine how safe a place is from crime and fire. Click on a topic below to see more.


In Your Residence

Is the property in a safe neighborhood?
To research crime rates of different neighborhoods, go to the local Police Department’s website to look up crime safety facts by zip code, or even apartment complex.

Are address numbers clearly visible?
This helps police, fire fighters, and EMS locate your residence in an emergency.

Are public areas well lit?
Whether you are standing in the parking lot or outside your front door, adequate lighting allows you to distinguish the facial expressions of someone standing 10 feet away at any time of day.

Are parking spaces marked with apartment numbers?
Unmarked parking spaces are best, because the presence/absence of a car is a clear indicator of whether someone is home… A vacant parking space labeled with its corresponding apartment number could lead to potential burglary of an empty home!

Are shrubs and trees around the property well maintained?
Overgrown plant life provides a hiding place for potential intruders, so be particularly wary of shaggy shrubs in neighborhoods with high crime rates!

What is the timeframe for completion of repair work?
Talk to current residents about their experiences requesting repairs… Remember: many repair issues involve your personal safety, so it is important to live in a residence where management responds to maintenance requests in a timely manner.

When was the last Fire Marshal Inspection?
Ask to see a copy of the last inspection, and check what things the property is and is not in compliance with. If the inspection is several years old, do a mini-fire inspection yourself. Hint: Look out for fire hazards, such as dumpsters within 10 feet of the residence, and barbeque grills stored on balconies. Also, check inspection tags on fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems — these tags should show proof of inspections within the last year.

Does the apartment/house have a working smoke detector?
For fire safety, your home must have at least one smoke detector and two emergency escape routes! (There should also be a fire extinguisher either inside the apartment/house, or outside within plain view of the front door.)

Do doors and windows have sturdy locks?
The front door should have a solid metal or wood core, and a deadbolt. (Good deadbolts have at least a 1" throw; this means, when you lock it the bolt should stick out at least 1" into its receptacle.) In addition, all windows and sliding doors should have secondary locks, such as Charlie Bars or Rail Locks, and there should be set screws installed in the rails of sliding glass doors to prevent removal of the door from its frame.

Does the front door have a secondary lock that is only accessible from inside the apartment/house?
This kind of lock helps prevent unauthorized entries by someone with a key while you are at home. If there are no secondary locks like this, ask the landlord whether you can have one installed.

Does the front door have a peephole/door viewer?
If yes, make sure that it is operational, and familiarize yourself with visibility and blind spots. If no, ask the landlord to install one, or find out whether you can install one yourself. At the very least, you should be able to view visitors through a window!

Are locks on the doors changed/re-keyed with each new resident?
Ask to see documentation of the last time the locks were changed. If they are not changed with each new resident, ask whether there will be a charge to re-key the doors in the future. Also, find out if you can have the locks changed by an independent locksmith.

Who has access to your apartment/house key other than you?
Landlords, apartment managers, and maintenance staff often have a spare key to your residence, but it is important that you make sure they securely store this key. In addition, find out the procedures these people follow when entering your home — are they required to give you 24 hours notice before entering, and leave a note once they have been inside? Are these procedures outlined in your lease?

Does the apartment complex have video surveillance cameras in common areas?
Are these cameras monitored by a security guard at all times, or is the footage simply recorded and viewed at a later date?

Does the apartment/house have its own security alarm system?
If the residence has an alarm system, find out whether the alarm reports to the main office, an alarm monitoring company, or the police department. If there is no alarm, ask whether your lease would allow you to have a security alarm system installed.

Personal Safety Suggestions

Personal Safety:

  • Download the free ASU LiveSafe App to connect with ASU Police and receive campus safety messages.
  • Visit ASU’s sexual violence prevention website
  • Register for
  • Walk with friends, or in a group.
  • Let friends know where you are going and your expected arrival time.
  • Use well-traveled, well-lit routes.
  • Be observant of your surroundings at all times.
  • Don’t listen to music or text while walking.
  • Walk with friends or use safety escort. Safety Escort Service: 480-965-1515 ASU Police 480-965-3456
  • Like the ASU Police Facebook for safety updates
  • Be aware of the ASU Blue-Light Emergency Call Boxes and where they are on your route.
  • Walk confidently and with purpose at a steady pace.
  • If you do get into trouble, attract attention to yourself in any way you can.
  • Add ASU Police Department phone number into your cell phone. Emergency: 911; Non-emergency: 480-965-3456

Be psychologically prepared to protect yourself:

  • If you ever feel uncomfortable in a situation or with a person, remove yourself from that situation.
  • Be assertive by enforcing your own rights.
  • Don’t be predictable. This way, you can avoid someone learning your routines and using them against you.
  • Don’t be afraid to cause a scene if you feel threatened.

Bike Security:

  • Register your bike with the ASU Police. It is important to register your bike with us even if your bicycle is registered with another program or law enforcement agency.
  • Always lock your bike to a bicycle rack.
  • Secure the U-lock through the bike frame, the rear wheel and the bicycle rack. Click to watch this video.

Public Transportation:

  • Wait at well-lit bus stops.
  • Be aware of your surroundings while waiting for the bus.
  • Let the bus driver know of suspicious activity or harassment on the bus.
  • If it appears someone from the bus is following you, make yourself as visible as possible to others by making noise.
  • ASU Parking & Transportation
  • Valley Metro

When in the Residence Hall:

  • Get to know your neighbors so you can help each other out.
  • Don't leave valuable items out in the open.
  • Don’t advertise that you will not be in your room for extended periods of time.
  • You are responsible for your guests and their actions.
  • Always lock your door whenever you leave, even if it is just for a moment.
  • Do not tamper with any locking mechanisms anywhere.
  • Do not let others follow you into your complex.
  • Report any burnt out lights, vandalism, malfunctioning locks, etc. to management.

In Elevators:

  • Look in the elevator before getting in to make sure no one is hiding.
  • Stand near the controls if possible.
  • If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, get off at the next floor.
  • If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable while waiting for the elevator with someone, do not get on with that person.

At Parties or Group Functions:

  • Don’t leave a party with someone you don’t know well.
  • Alcohol and drugs limit your ability to make good decisions.
  • Be mindful when accepting an invitation to someone’s residence or when inviting someone to your own.
  • Communicate clearly your personal boundaries.

At Home:

  • Don’t let anyone you don’t know well into your place of residence.
  • Don’t open the door for someone if you don’t already know who they are.
  • Always lock your door when you’re asleep or not in the room, even if you’re only gone for a moment.
  • Avoid isolated areas in your building if you can help it, especially at night.
  • Never indicate to someone that you are alone.
  • Use well-lit entrances to your building. Report any burnt out lights to Management.
  • If anything seems unsafe or out of the ordinary at your residence, go to a safe place and call the police.

Online Social Networking:

  • Remember that anything you put on social media, or any other site can be seen by anyone with an internet connection.
  • Do not put your address, residence hall, room number, contact information, etc. on your personal page.
  • Do not put anything you would not want your family or boss seeing on your personal page.
  • Read ASU’s suggestions on Online Social Networking Guidelines

Safety Resources

Emergency Contacts

Campus Resources

For Faculty and Staff

For Parents