Moving away for college is a big opportunity, but if your teen is looking forward to moving into their first apartment or dorm room, you may have some concerns. You have a right to be worried. Teens may not understand the best ways to stay safe in dorm rooms or in their first apartment. Here are a few ways you can help them move safely:
1) Encourage your teens to move during less busy times.
Moving day can come with additional risks, especially near college campuses. Lots of moving trucks and students moving possessions via car can mean a risk of pedestrian accidents and injuries. Moving during a less busy day can mean less traffic and an easier move overall.
2) Always check out apartments together and encourage your children to review safety features of dorm rooms and apartments.
Your teens may not know what is and is not safe. Always view apartments and dorms in person together so you can point out any concerns – such as a lack of smoke detectors. Make a list of things your teen can ask about – such as access to doors, safety features on outside doors, deadbolt locks, security for balconies, and window safety. Work through the checklist together to make sure any apartment your teen is considering is safe.
3) Review safe living alone best practices.
Having a safe apartment isn’t a guarantee of safety. Your child may rent the safest apartment possible, but they may putting themselves at risk if they leave their key under their mat or prop open the main door of their building. If your child is going to be living alone (or with a roommate) for the first time, sit down and discuss ways he or she could stay safe. Ask them what they can do to stay safer so they are encouraged to adopt best practices that they believe in.
4) Offer help.
On moving day and when your child is viewing apartments, offer to lend a hand. If you can drive your teen or help them vet apartments, they may end up being a little safer.
5) Pack a safety kit.
Make sure your child has everything they need for their first apartment. This should include a toolkit, a guide to living safely away from home, a first aid kit, and a fire extinguisher. If the apartment doesn’t have smoke detector, pack one and insist your child install it or contact the landlord to ensure a smoke detector is installed.
6) Plan the move ahead of time.
Make a checklist of everything to be moved and create a plan to give you and your teen enough time to get to the dorm rooms or apartment to unpack. Create a checklist of things to check for. For example, the list may include checking smoke detectors or installing a deadbolt for safety. Knowing what needs to happen will make it easier to create safe living space.
Has your teen suffered an injury in a dorm room or apartment? Would you like to know whether you have a premises liability claim in Hollywood or your community? Contact Flaxman Law Group for a free case consultation to review your options.