College safety 101: From bedazzled pepper spray to mini safes for your dorm
By Brittany Anas
Going away to college is most definitely an exciting rite of passage. But, while you’re enjoying your newfound freedom from curfews, your parents are probably having a lot of late nights, too … worrying about you.
Before you begin packing up to embark on your next chapter of life, here are some quirky and practical devices that will help you stay safe during your freshman year.
Bedazzled pepper spray: It looks like a jeweled-encrusted lipstick case. But, Bling Sting is actually a pepper spray that comes in rhinestone cases that can easily clip to your backpack, purse, key chain or a dog leash. The cases come in pink, red, black or silver. Each Bling Sting contains 1/2 ounce of pepper spray. (Bling Sting, $25)
Pick-pocket proof pants: Maybe a good idea if you’re commuting on busy subways or traveling overseas for study abroad? Double-duty pockets with zips and flaps will divert potential pickpocketers from nabbing your passport, cash, credit cards or smart phones.(Clothing Arts, beginning at $99.95)
Dorm safe: Keep your valuables — cash, passport, any expensive jewelry — locked up in a dorm safe. The compact Sentry Safe is a good option and could be stashed in a dresser drawer. Even if you trust your roommate, this is a good idea in case one of you forgets to lock your dorm room door or if you have guests over in your room. (Office Depot, $24.95)
Bike lock: Relying on a bike to get your around campus is a great idea — you don’t have to pay for parking and it provides a good work-out. But, bike theft is one of the most common crimes on college campuses, so make sure you’re locking up your ride — even if you’re just making a quick trip into the cafeteria. The Kryptonite U-Lock comes with a $750 anti-theft guarantee. (Wal-Mart, $17.96)
Tip: Register your bike and laptop with your campus police department. If either your bike or computer ever go missing, this will help prevent them from being sold online or to a pawn shop — and officers will be able to return them to you if they are discovered.
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