Before West Virginia University students leave town for Thanksgiving break (Nov. 20-28), they should make sure their residences and belongings are safe and secure, WVU officials urge.

A few simple preventive measures can ensure students have a safe, worry-free holiday, said Lt. Randy Friend of the WVU Department of Public Safety.

For students living in the residence halls:

  • Keep your room locked and make sure its locked before you leave.
  • Take valuables with you if possible, or lock them in your closet.
  • Turn off or unplug unnecessary appliances before you leave.
  • Dont leave valuables unattended.
  • If you must leave valuables in your vehicle, store them in the trunk or out of sight.

For students living off campus:

  • Be sure all of your windows and doors are locked before you leave.
  • Leave an outside light burning to give the appearance that someone may be home.
  • Ask a friend to check on your apartment while you are away.

If traveling by car:

  • Call your parents and let them know when you are leaving and when to expect you.
  • If you plan to stop along the way and may be delayed, let your parents know, or if an unanticipated stop delays your arrival, call and let them know youll be late.
  • Bring sufficient money for gas and plan to take extra emergency money for unexpected problems.
  • If you should have car problems, stay in your car, raise the hood and place a handkerchief or cloth out of the window to alert anyone that you need assistance. If you dont have a cell phone and someone stops to help, dont unlock your door but roll your window down only an inch or two and ask them to call the police or road service for you.
  • Respect speed limits and traffic laws, drive safely and have a safe and happy holiday.