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September 16, 1987 - Image 29

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-09-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

v ou're proud of the state-of-the-
art stereo system you brought to
your college dorm. And the com-
puter. And the VCR. But you're
also worried that someone is going
to make off with them when you're
not around.
Why invite theft? Some simple
precautions can foil would-be
thieves and reduce your anxiety.
Common sense is the best se-
curity device, says Robert Stolle of
the Northwestern University Public
Safety Department in
Evanston, Illinois. He
offers these tips for
dorm safety:
Q When leaving a
room, even for a few
minutes to talk to a
friend, lock the door.
] When leaving your
room for the day, make
sure all windows are
closed and locked and valuable
items are stowed out of sight.
Q Report any locks, doors, or win-
dows needing repair, or any lost
keys to your resident hall adviser as
soon as possible.
] Have someone check student
IDs as people enter a party (to deter
unwelcome outsiders).
Campus housing regulations may
prohibit dorm dwellers from install-
ing extra locks or bolting down elec-
tronic equipment. But you can im-
prove dorm security without break-
ing rules.
Moderately priced cable security
systems sold at computer stores can
adequately protect your PC, stereo,
and TV without damaging your
room or furniture. One system se-
cures equipment this way: a steel
cable passes through special fasten-
ers attached to existing screws to
prevent removal; the cable is wound
around a desk or table and locked.
For more high-tech protection,
you may want to use a computer-
ized alarm; it's activated by turning
a key-switch, and the alarm sounds
when your equipment is moved.
Off-campus apartment dwellers
have other security options. Officer
° Michael Shep of the Evanston
Police Department Crime Preven-

tion Unit suggests
supplementing
standard doorknob
locks with:
Q A dead-bolt
lock. The best dead
bolts have a 1-inch
metal throw (the
bolt's length when
fully extended into
the door frame).
These locks are
tough to pry off,

ome
drill, pick, or open
without a key.
Q Double cylinder
locks, if there is
glass in the door.
These locks feature a removable key
on the inside. They prevent a thief
from breaking the glass to reach in
and turn the knob. Remove the key
from the lock when you're not
home.
Q Window locks. Locks for stan-
dard double-hung windows are no-
toriously easy to force open. Bolster
them with key-operated window
locks, available at hardware stores.
Or, you can make your own simple
window locks: drill holes at a down-
ward angle through both sides of
the inner window frame and about
halfway through the outer frame;
insert nails through the holes. This
will make it impossible for would-
be burglars to pry open the window.
What other precautions can you
take?
S hep recommends that you en-
grave your driver's license num-
ber (with the state in parentheses be-
side it) in a visible place on your
electronic equipment. Thieves tend
to shy away from engraved goods
because they know these items can

be easily identified as stolen, and
traced by police.
Keep an updated inventory of
your possessions. A detailed list of
your belongings is useful in letting
the insurance company and the
police know what you owned and
how to identify it. A good inventory
contains:
Q a written description of posses-
sions, including special marks, seri-
al numbers, model names, and spe-
cial engraving
Q the date the items were acquired
and their original cost
Q purchase receipts
Q snapshots or videotapes of items
Bill Sirola of the Insurance Infor-
mation Institute recommends that
you keep two inventory copies: one
in a safe place at your residence,
and the other with your parents or
other relatives.
Precautions help, but the best in-
surance against theft is still a safety-
conscious attitude. So plan ahead,
exercise your common sense, and
enjoy your valuables a whole lot
longer. 0

FALL 87/plus 13

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