A photo of a Pitt student walking to class.

Your safety is our top priority. We have compiled a list of resources and useful tips to ensure that your off-campus living experience is both safe and successful.

Security Tips

  • Always keep your doors and windows locked.  
  • Never leave your door or any entrance to your residence open and unattended.  
  • Keep your keys in a safe location. Do not lend your keys to anyone. Inform your landlord immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.  
  • Do not allow any maintenance worker to enter your apartment without permission from your landlord. Your landlord will give you notice if repairs are being done in your apartment. 
  • Do not leave valuables in plain sight of windows
  • Report any suspicious activities to the Pitt Police.

Fire & Carbon Monoxide Tips

  • Ensure your apartment is equipped with working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, as well as a fire extinguisher that is up to date. 
  • Ask your landlord to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home or purchase them and install them yourself.
  • Regularly test fuel-burning appliances for carbon monoxide emissions
  • Use charcoal or gas grills outdoors only, never use them inside, including in garages or enclosed spaces.
  • Be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, confusion, and flu-like symptoms.
  • Refer to the Environmental Health and Safety Off-Campus Apartment Fire Safety page for a helpful checklist and additional resources. 

Things to Keep Handy

  • Make sure you always have fresh batteries for your carbon monoxide (CO) and Smoke Detectors. 
  • Purchase a first aid kit to treat minor injuries. 
  • Keep a tool kit handy for small repairs.  
  • A flashlight can be useful in the event of power outages. 

Leaving for breaks

  • Notify your landlord and a trusted neighbor if possible
  • Lock all doors and windows
  • Move any valuable items away from the windows or take them with you
  • Close all blinds
  • Keep a visible light on – use an outlet timer to schedule lights to turn on and off
  • Request a hold on mail and deliveries for the time you will be gone
  • Unplug any electronics
  • Arrange for someone to check on your home if possible
  • Don’t leave any spare keys outside
  • Don’t turn your heat below 64 degrees to avoid freezing your pipes

Portable Air Conditioning Units

  • Check that window units are installed securely and stably
  • Clean air filters regularly during heavy usage periods
  • Keep vents and registers clear: make sure that no furniture, curtains, or other objects are blocking the unit
  • Watch for water leaks – if you notice water leaking from the AC unit, turn off the system immediately and contact your maintenance providers
  • Avoid sudden temperature changes – gradual adjustments to the temperature are more efficient and can prevent excess wear on the AC unit.
  • If you have AC units installed in ground-level windows, ensure that they are screwed into the window and the window is securely shut to avoid an easy method of entry into your home.