By Merrie Leininger, McClatchy-Tribune
There were 29,459 reported on-campus burglaries in 2008 — the most recent year tracked by the U.S. Department of Education — so sending your child off where you can’t watch over them might be pretty scary. Here’s some items you can get to help keep them — and all their expensive equipment — safe.
- Steel footlockers. The reinforced type, such as those from C&N Footlockers, even have hinges that are difficult to take off. You need to get your own padlock. It is strong enough to stand on, so it will last all four years and beyond. It has a gliding tray inside and comes in all different colors — even camo and tie-dye. Also, there’s a slim version that fits under beds; $99.99-$199.99, at www.dormtrunks.com.
- Laptop safes: If your kid’s laptop gets stolen out of their dorm room while they are shuffling to the bathroom in their shower shoes, they’ll lose not only an expensive (and necessary) piece of equipment, but also all the work on it. Keep it protected with a laptop safe that can be bolted to the furniture. It is made of steel and has brackets that attach to a typical dorm bed. It holds laptops up to 17 inches. DormVault 700 Laptop Safe, $77.99 www.dormbuys.com and $74.99 at www.dormco.com.
- The Go Vault College Dorm Safe can be locked to your dorm furniture using a cable that won’t damage furniture. It is seven inches by 5.5 inches by 2.25 inches. It can be used for smaller items such as cash and cameras. Costs $20-$30, available at www.amazon.com and www.dormco.com.
- The iSafe Collegiate backpack comes with an personal protection audio alarm that will sound, and a flashing LED light that goes off, when you pull a tab in the shoulder strap. It can carry laptops up to 15.4 inches wide, and it weighs 3.1 lbs. with two nine-volt batteries installed. A light will flash when the batteries are running low. The batteries last about four months. The backpack also has an audio device portal. Best for ages 8 and up. Available at http://isafebags.com for $79.98.
- If you’d prefer an alarm that can be used on multiple bags, get the Bag Protector Alert. It has an 100 decibel, motion-sensor activated alarm that is triggered if the bag is touched or moved. Your kid can turn his back on it in the library while knowing his items inside are safe. It retails for $22, but is $15.49 at www.dormco.com.
- The Jogger Alarm by Doberman Security provides a one-hit emergency alarm and flashing light on an adjustable elastic band. It also includes an mp3 pouch. It takes a nine-volt battery. $22.04 at www.dormco.com.