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Residential and Residence Hall Security

Neighborhood Watch

If your neighborhood does not have one, start one. The neighbors can all watch out for each other, thwarting crime before it starts. Report all suspicious people and circumstances immediately.

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Lock Your Door

The more difficult or the more time it takes burglars to enter, the more likely they are to move to an easier target. Reinforce hinges with longer screws, and ensure you have a one-inch deadbolt.

On average, there are 250 thefts each year at Virginia Tech. Almost all of the residence hall thefts could have been thwarted by locking the door. 

In residence halls, close propped doors. This is not just the RA's job. Do not get a false sense of security from the card swiped exterior door.


If you have a peephole in your door, use it. Look through your door's peephole before answering the door.

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Landscape & Lighting

Being able to see all doors and windows from a roadway, neighbor, etc., is paramount to a secure home. Keep shrubbery down to two feet, and trees trimmed up to six feet. This way the lighting will decrease hiding spots.

Engrave Valuables

In the event of a theft, you are much more likely to have your item returned if there is an identifiable mark separating yours from everyone else's. "Black laptop" isn't all that descriptive. Check out an engraver for free at the Virginia Tech Police Department Security Desk, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

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Key Safety

Never attach your name and/or address to your key chain. Never give your keys to someone (i.e. to fix your car) that includes your house key. A perpetrator can get a copy of the key. Avoid hiding spots that are apparent, such as welcome mats and plastic rocks right beside the porch.

Remember that your Hokie Passport is personal information, as well as a key to your building. With a Hokie Passport, a threat could find your room on, and use your passport to get into the building.

Learn about Timely Warnings at Virginia Tech

Providing students and employees with timely access to critical campus crime and safety information through Timely Warnings is just one example of how Virginia Tech strives to enhance safety and security for all university members.

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Have an emergency plan for your family. Include things such as meeting places, "safe phrases," etc. These are handy for all emergencies, including fires and natural disasters.

Know How to Defend Yourself

Enroll in a Rape Aggression Defense or Resisting Aggression with Defense for Men class today.

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Trust Your Instincts and Report Suspicious Activity

If something doesn't look right to you, it probably isn't. If someone or something appears out of place in your neighborhood, contact the police immediately. Here is how to report something suspicious:

  • Call 911 (emergency) or 540-382-4343 (non-emergency);
  • Report suspicious activity via the Hokie Ready app (Report a Tip);
  • Report via Virginia Tech's Online Report Form;
  • Call the Blacksburg Police Department at 540-443-1400; and/or
  • Remain anonymous by calling the Blacksburg Police Tip Line at 540-961-1819.

Click here for more guidance on reporting.

Please contact the Virginia Tech Police Department to schedule a residential security presentation.