Home Safety Tips

University Police are asking all students and citizens to think proactively about their safety and habits as we move into the Spring and Summer period.

Officers encourage attention to personal safety:

  • At home, keep your doors and windows locked, even if you are there. If you must open a window use a window block device such as a wooden dowel to prevent access through large openings. Use a dead bolt on all your exterior doors.
  • Do not open your doors to strangers and never let a stranger into your home.
  • Don’t let people know you are home alone.
  • Call 911 if you see or hear suspicious activity or noises.
  • Keep a light on at the front and rear doors during hours of darkness. This may necessitate placing a timer on some light fixtures or switches.
  • Keep your shrubbery trimmed and away from your windows.
  • If you have been away from home, when approaching your door, look for anything suspicious. If you see something is not right, do not go in, call 911.
  • Consider starting a Block Watch program in your neighborhood or join an existing one in your area.
  • Make sure your address is visible from the road.


Crime Prevention

Protecting Yourself and Your Property from Common Crimes. Remember - crime prevention on campus is a cooperative effort between you and your University Police - awareness and taking precautions are your best tools.


  • Lock your residence room or office door whenever you leave - keep your residence room locked even when you are home.
  • Do not leave your backpack or purse unattended, especially in the library, locker rooms, hallways or other open areas.
  • Do not leave your bike unlocked. And register it with University Police.
  • Do not prop open locked doors - the pizza delivery guy may not be the only person who enters...
  • Do not walk alone at night. Walk with a friend or call University Police for an escort (available on campus during hours of darkness).
  • If you must walk alone, choose a route that avoids dark and vacant areas. Walk with a purpose.
  • Project an assertive or business-like image. Be aware of your surroundings. Anticipate potentially dangerous situations.
  • Have your car or building key ready before getting to the door so that your are not delayed fumbling for a key. Check the inside of your car before getting into it. Once inside the car, lock all doors and roll up the windows.
  • Park your car in a well-lighted area (most campus parking lots are well-lighted). If you must have expensive stereo equipment in the car, invest in an alarm. Removable components that can be stored out of sight in the trunk are best.
  • Learn the location of the campus Emergency Phones and Call Boxes along your route. Most remote and many central areas of campus have emergency phones which can be located by the blue light that glows above them. Emergency phones are also located at the main entrance to each Residence Hall.
  • When traveling to town at night use the bus. Whatcom Transit Auhtority buses run during the day and evening except on Sunday. The Western Shuttle runs from 11:00 pm to 3:00 am daily except Sunday, and runs from 9:00 pm until 3:00 am on Sundays. For more information: Student Transportation.


  • Whenever you leave your office, lab or residence hall room, even for just a few minutes, lock the door and accessible windows.
  • Never prop open doors to buildings. Do not let anyone into the building who does not belong there (this means they have a key or are escorted by a resident when in a residence hall).
  • Lock your bike with a good lock.
  • Never loan your ID or keys to anyone.
  • Be careful not to let anyone observe your account codes or PIN when using automatic teller or cash machines. Be equally careful about credit card numbers and calling card numbers. Never give out a credit card or bank account number to anyone that calls you on the phone.
  • When storing packs or purses in an office - put them in a file cabinet or desk drawer and lock it.
  • Do not leave backpacks or purses unattended in public areas such as the library, the gym, or in hallways.
  • Do not label your keys in any way that identifies what doors they fit. Do not put your license number on your car keys.
  • Do not keep large sums of money or jewelry in your room. Take you valuables with you when you leave for vacation.
  • Do not leave messages on your door or voice-mail indicating that you will be gone and won't be back for a period of time.
  • Do not leave your room unlocked while you are sleeping or when you leave the room, even if it's "just for a moment".
  • Sales people are not allowed to solicit on campus. If a salesperson comes to your residence, call University Police immediately. Do not place an order or buy anything from a door-to-door sales person in the Residence Halls.
  • If you see a stranger or anyone who looks suspicious in your residence hall, call University Police. We want to verify whether or not these individuals have a legitimate reason to be here.

Theft Recovery

  • Inventory and record serial numbers of all equipment. Keep the inventory in a safe place, separate from the equipment.
  • Register your bike with University Police.
  • Engrave your driver's license number on valuable equipment. You can borrow an engraver from University Police.
  • Record the numbers of your credit cards so you can report them stolen immediately.


For further information on staying safe contact Bellingham Police Crime Prevention Officers at 676-6924, or University Police Sergeant Wolf Lipson at 360-650-4141.

Page Updated 09.28.2018