Tag Archives: student

Think Safety and Security When Buying Grad Gifts

Well, it’s May and graduations galore are suddenly upon us! If you’re pondering grad gifts, we—being the safety and security minded company that we are—have some suggestions for you to consider…

Those graduates will be headed off to all kinds of different adventures, so one-size-fits-all won’t work as an approach to buying gifts. But what you can do is buy gifts with a theme and a purpose, gifts that will help them transition into their next phase in life and keep them safe while they do so.

Obviously, a high school graduate heading across country for college has different needs compared to someone leaving for the Peace Corps or getting a job and setting up an apartment. Ditto for college graduates, who might be headed in any number of directions. But you know what they all do need? To be safe. And you know what all of us need? Peace of mind, knowing we’ve helped to keep them safe as they grow up and go out into the world.

With that in mind, here are a few of our top picks that can be good gifts for almost any grad:

Dorm safety
For those graduates heading off to live in a dorm for a while, DormSmart.com might be a place for buying gifts. They sell several items specifically for dorm residents plus they offer some vital advice for staying safe and secure on campus. (Read more about dorm safety and security here.)

Car safety kits
We offer suggestions for creating car safety kits here, but you can also buy ready-made ones. Both of my children, plus my mother and myself all have store-bought kits in our cars. I added an emergency supply of food and drink, but otherwise thought the kits were comprehensive enough to give me peace of mind. And this is the kind of gift any graduate of any kind who has a car can use!

Apartment safety
For those grads who will be setting up house in an apartment, safety and security should still be top of mind. An emergency preparedness kit would be a great gift, or even those kinds of safety items that younger folks might not think to have handy, like flashlights with extra batteries and hand cranked radios.

Home security
Finally, for those who have finished college and are launching careers, soon to be buying their first houses, the gift of home security is a gift that keeps on giving. Let’s face it, the income one has fresh out of college usually doesn’t allow for a lot of extras. Although for us older, established folks the monthly cost of a home security system is easily less than the cost of a dinner out, it is still out of reach for kids just getting started. So gift them with a home security system and pay the monthly fee for them. Later when they are financially doing well, they can take over the payments themselves, but at least their homes and property will be a bit safer in the meantime, while their budgets build up.

If you’re celebrating a graduate or two or more this spring, make your gift a more meaningful one by choosing safety and security as your theme. But also enjoy this time. It’s exciting to watch people of any age accomplish something meaningful and move on to the next stage of life. Celebrate and enjoy their accomplishments…and your own that got you where you are today!

Stay Aware and Be Prepared: Tips for Keeping College Kids Safe on Campus

When those college kids head off to school this fall, you can’t send them with a home security system, but don’t you wish you could? Maybe an alarm system strapped to their bodies to protect them from any and all harm? My youngest will be headed that way next fall, and boy would I love such a protective device to attach to her, one with 24×7 monitoring!

Sadly, that kind of personal “home security system” exists only in my imagination (and I doubt I could get my daughter to comply anyway). Instead, I will need to settle for coaching her on good safety habits to practice while on campus, and really, these are good safety habits for anyone, at any stage of life.

Two of the biggest safety habits college kids can practice are to stay aware and be prepared:

Stay aware
Kids these days, right? Always looking down at their phones, always plugged into their music… It’s easy to mock them for this, but it actually is really dangerous behavior. Kids need to stay aware of their surroundings on campus, and that means the phone stays in the backpack while they’re walking and maybe they can get by with only one bud in an ear until they get to their next class.

It’s not just being careful with technology, however. Kids also need to learn their way around campus as quickly as possible so they are always walking with a purpose and they always know where they are—and then they need to stick to the beaten paths they’re familiar with.

They also need to be careful who their friends are, and to never, ever put themselves into a social situation where they don’t know anyone. It’s one thing not to know anyone else in your biology class, and quite another not to know anyone at that party off-campus where everyone is drinking.

And speaking of drinking, this is a huge one and maybe a difficult one to discuss with them, but kids need to know their awareness (and therefore safety) level is going to decrease with every bit of alcohol they consume.

Be prepared
Kids can also do some safety prep ahead of time, to help to protect themselves once on campus. In addition to learning their way around campus right away, they need to find out about security services, such as someone who can walk them back to the dorm if they’re studying at the library late into the night, or whom to call if something bad should happen. They should have emergency contact information loaded on their phones, and consider keeping pepper spray in their backpacks.

Although you’ll be spending a lot of time and money on getting them prepared and packed for their college days, you might want to invest in some self-defense training for your child as well, so they will be better equipped to defend themselves should something go wrong.

Also consider assigning them a little “homework” such as reading through the tips in this post on preventing sexual assault, because it will sink in better if they read it (and you perhaps quiz them) than if you’re only preaching this advice to them.

It’s also imperative that you and your child review some commonsense safety tips for social media usage—because they think they’re all grownup now, but you and I know they’re not, and a reminder about ways to be safety savvy online is a good thing, especially when they will be away from home and your watchful eye!

In addition, you can do some homework too. You’re free as the parent to do your own research, to discover how safe (or unsafe) a college is based on crime statistics and student opinions, and you might use this data to reinforce the importance of good safety habits. (You might even want to make this information part of the college selection process, if you haven’t committed to a school yet.)

All kids need good safety habits, not just college kids
Good safety habits can get started at any age, and in fact should get started at a young age if possible. If you still have younger kids at home not yet headed for campus, we have safety advice for them too that you might want to put into practice. See, for example, our tips on keeping kids safe on their way to and from school, safety tips for latch-key kids, and back-to-school safety tips for teens.

And be ever vigilant and diligent with your college student kids even after they’ve headed to their dorm rooms, reminding them to be safe, because it will be easy for them to forget all of your sage advice once gone!

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Customer Reviews

I feel so much better knowing my family is protected! I spoke with SafeStreets USA in the evening and a technician was able to come install the system for me then for my parents first thing the next morning. Very impressed with his knowledge and care!

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We had our ADT system installed by SafeStreets USA and were really impressed with the service we received from our technician. He was very friendly and answered all of our questions on the system and how it worked. He set everything up in a couple of hours and was a real pleasure to talk with []

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