Even if you do everything to protect your home, accidents can happen. While the University does not recommend any one insurance company to deal with, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND that students living off campus obtain Renter's Insurance. Similar to Homeowners Insurance, it provides renters with coverage for personal property loss or damage. It could also provide you with temporary housing and liability coverage. Insurers will often tailor renter's insurance plans to the specific needs of the tenant.
Without renter's insurance, your personal property is not protected against loss or damage. Protect yourself from:
- Fire or Lightning
- Vandalism or malicious mischief
- Accidental discharge of water
Contact any insurance company today to get a quote and to obtain this valuable resource. Pricing and coverage varies from plan to plan. Policies with a $50,000 property value limit can run from $100-$300 premiums per year. That's only $10-$25 per month! It is up to you to determine which option is best for you.
Click HERE for a printable checklist.
Fight or flight... the most important decision to make is whether to fight the fire or escape. This is a critically important decision, and may literally mean the difference between life and death.
The best escape plans have two exits from each room. You should practice these escapes at least twice a year.
Most electrically related fires are caused by misuse and poor maintenance of electrical appliances, overloaded circuits and extension cords. Here are some do's and don'ts for electrical fire safety:
Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately.
Keep electrical appliances away from wet floors and counters; pay special care to electrical appliances in the bathroom and kitchen.
Space heaters, coffee makers, and all other appliances with exposed heating elements should never be left unattended while in operation. They should be unplugged after each use and stored only after they are cool enough to touch.
Be sure to clean out lint filters from dryers and washing machines after each and every load. Also make sure that the vents are installed and cleaned properly.
Don't overload extension cords. Do not plug multiple extension cords into one another.
Know the capacity of the extension cord and do not exceed the rating.
Extension cords are to be used only as temporary connections; never for fixed wiring. Where there is a permanent need for an electrical outlet, one should be installed.
Never tack, staple, fasten, or tie extension cords.
Never overload wall sockets.
Immediately shut off, then have replaced, outlets and switches that are hot to the touch.
Never cover light bulbs with paper or clothing.
Use caution when lighting candles or incense. These items should never be left unattended.
- When cooking, never leave the kitchen unattended. This is the number one cause of cooking fires.
- Clean cooking surfaces to prevent food and grease build-up.
- Keep curtains, towels and pot holders away from hot surfaces.
- Store solvents and flammable cleaners away from heat sources.
- Turn pan handles inward to prevent accidental spilling.
- Slide a pan lid over flames to smother a grease or oil fire, then turn off the heat and leave the lid in place until the pan cools.
- Make sure a dry chemical fire extinguisher is located near the cooking area. Never use water or flour on grease fires.
- Close the oven door and shut off the heat to smother an oven or broiler fire.
Every room used for sleeping should have its own smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
ALWAYS leave the batteries in the detector.
ALWAYS leave the detector uncovered so it can sense the smoke. Many fire fatalities occurre when the detector has been disabled.
Stop by our office (SAC 225) for a FREE Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Make sure that everyone is out of danger
- Notify the fire department
- Size up the fire--is it small enough to be handled by a fire extinguisher?
- Back away from the fire if it gets out of control
Fighting the fire:
- P: pull the pin that unlocks the operating handle
- A: aim the extinguisher low at the base of the fire
- S: squeeze the lever on the extinguisher to discharge the agent
- S: sweep the nozzle or extinguisher hose from side to side. Move slowly and carefully toward the fire, continuing to sweep the extinguisher back and forth at the base of the flames
Once it is out:
- Just because you have extinguished the fire, don't turn your back on it! Back way from the fire, watching it to make sure that it does not reignite. If the fire was in a pan of grease, for example, the grease may be hot enough to reignite.
- Make sure there is enough pressure in it to operate. This is often indicated by a small gauge near the handle. Usually, an arrow will either point to a green area (enough pressure) or a red area (not enough pressure in the extinguisher).
- Everyone is responsible for making sure the extinguishers are in working order. Each time you pass one by you can glance at the pressure gauge to make sure that it is ready to fight a fire. At a minimum, they should be checked once a year.
Adapted from "Campus Safety Campaign: How do fire extinguishers work?"
- Use a marked crosswalk and sidewalks when available.
- Stop before proceeding across a roadway.
- On roads without sidewalks, walk on the left, facing traffic.
- When walking at night, wear something reflective* and/or carry a flashlight [get a free reflective vest from our office].
- Do not use cellphones or other handheld devices at intersections [pedestrians distracted by cellphones typically walk slower and this activity increases the likelihood of being involved in a motor vehicle accident].
*Stop by our office (SAC 225) for a FREE REFLECTIVE VEST
- Remember to slow down when driving on campus.
- Don't forget to watch for and yield to pedestrians.
- Don't pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.
- Always take your key out of the door or ignition of your vehicle when not in use.
- DO NOT drive while distracted [the number one source of driver inattention is the use of wireless devices, participating in distracted driving makes up 25 percent of reported crashes].