Search SB
Stony Brook University Stony Brook University Student Affairs
Off Campus Living

Safeguarding During School Breaks

Below you’ll find a checklist for times when no one will be in your home. This primarily applies during breaks in classes, and can be any length of time from a weekend to a couple of weeks. Even if you do everything to protect your home, accidents can happen. We suggest you look into Renters Insurance.

Safeguarding your home against theft:
  • Make sure you lock all the doors and windows, even on the upper floors.
  • Bring home any valuables. This includes jewelry, laptops, video game consoles, etc. Consider taking anything sentimental you would miss if it were gone. Also consider bringing important documents, like your birth certificate.
  • Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your home. Tell them you’re not expecting anyone and to call you if they see someone on your property.
  • If possible, and you’re really worried, leave the radio on or get timed lights to give off the appearance someone is home.
  • Consider storing your outdoor furniture inside, like the garage. However, do not store your grill in your home.
  • If you have an electronic garage door, disconnect it. It’s easier to break in through electronic garage doors.
Safeguarding against fire/flood:
  • Unplug any large electronics, such as the TV, extension cords, or computers.
  • Don’t leave anything on or lit. This includes candles, wax warmers, incense, or fireplaces.
  • If you are having trouble with your toilets running, or your washer machine, first tell your landlord. Then ask if you can turn off the water as a safety precaution.
  • If it is winter, turn your heat to around 55 degrees. This prevents your pipes from freezing.
  • Walk around to check if you left any faucets on. 
Do "future you" a favor:
  • Stop any delivery services, such as mail or newspapers. This is easy and free, and can usually be found online.
  • Throw away anything perishable that you won’t use, and take out the garbage and recycling.
  • Clean out your fridge.
  • Pay your bills, possibly ahead of time if you need to. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean your utilities are.
  • Let your landlord know if you’ll be gone more than two weeks. It can be assumed you’ve vacated unless they’ve gotten any indication otherwise from you in advance.
  • If you generally get prescriptions from a local pharmacy, make sure you communicate with them to ensure your ability to get your medications elsewhere.
  • Consider signing up for SB Guardian. It can be used in the event you get back to campus and something is wrong.
  • Don’t leave any pets unattended in the home under any circumstances. This is animal abuse, as you're neglecting them, and is serious both morally and legally.
Checklist for coming back:
  • If anything looks different, such as damage to your home, items missing, lights turned on or any doors or windows open, contact the police immediately. Do not go inside. At that time contact any roommates and ask them if they came back before scheduled.
  • Plug back in any appliances.
  • Tell your neighbor and/or landlord that you are back.
  • Let your sinks run for a little and flush the toilets to check the water lines.
  • Pick up your mail and start back up service.


Renters Insurance

The University does not cover damage to students' personal property. It is highly recommended that students insure their own personal property via renters insurance policy. It is important to confirm with your homeowners insurance carrier that student’s property (including computers and other electronics) will be fully covered for loss while housed outside of the family dwelling.

While the University does not recommend any one insurance company to deal with, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND that students living off campus obtain Renters Insurance.

Click here for more information.

What is it?

Similar to Homeowners Insurance, it provides Renters coverage for personal property loss or damage. It could also provide you with temporary housing and liability coverage. Insurers will often tailor Renters Insurance plans to the specific needs of the tenant.

What does it cover?
  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Television or entertainment system
  • Computer/laptop
  • iPod
  • Musical or sporting equipment
  • Jewelry
  • Liability coverage
  • Additional living expenses
Renters Insurance policies and prices differ with each insurance company. Make sure you discuss the terms of the insurance plan with your provider.

Why get Renter's Insurance?

Your landlord's policy does not cover any of your personal property. Without Renters Insurance, your personal property is not protected against loss or damage. Protect yourself from:
  • Fire or Lightning
  • Windstorm
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Theft
  • Accidental discharge of water

How much does it cost?

Renters Insurance policies with a $50,000 property value limit can run from $100-$300 premiums per year. That's only $8.33-$25.00 per month! Where you rent determines how much you will pay for insurance. Contact any insurance company today to get a quote and to obtain this valuable resource.

Where can I get Renters Insurance?
See for more information and/or to report an incident.