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College Packing List: What NOT to Bring to School This Year

Before you go back-to-college shopping, check your school’s website to see if it has a list of what not to pack for college. Most often, schools ban items that can create fire hazards, so many electronics and appliances can be found on these lists. You’ll save money, free up some precious car space, and stay out of trouble—at least on move-in day.

Banned Electronics in College Dorms

A MONEY survey of more than 50 colleges found that virtually all schools in the United States forbid halogen lamps in student dorm rooms, calling them a potential fire hazard.
Most schools also ban:
 
  • Multi-head lamps with plastic shades
  • String lights, such as miniature Christmas lights
  • Extension cords
  • Cooking appliances, such as hot plates and toaster ovens
  • Air conditioners or space heaters
  • Electric blankets
When you signed up for residence life during your college registration process, you may not have realized that you signed an agreement to abide by these regulations about electronics and appliances in your dorm. However, your school will take proper caution as much as possible, with many schools posting reminders like these online:
 
Activation of the fire system, such as a smoke detector, even if on accident may result in disciplinary action by the University and Fire Department.  

For safety purposes, smoke detectors are sensitive.

If the use of your item poses a health or safety concern, causes a disruption to the community, causes property damage or property loss, regardless of whether the item is approved, you may be subject to disciplinary action and associated costs or sanctions.

 
Other schools have additional, and sometimes unusual, items on their leave-it-home lists. For example, Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Mass., a suburb of Boston, recommends not bringing “any paraphernalia supporting the New York Yankees.”

What electronics and appliances can I bring to school?

Generally speaking, most schools allow students to bring the following electronics and appliances, though sometimes with caveats:
 
  • Coffee Makers: As long as your coffee maker doesn’t use a warming plate to keep the coffee warm, you can use it in your room.
  • Clothes irons, curling irons, hot curlers and flat irons: These items are permitted as long as they are used according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Power strips or a plug multiplier: Power strips and plug multipliers must have built in circuit breaker to be permitted within the residence halls.
  • Fans
  • Televisions: Allowed as long as they are not wall-mounted.

What else should I know before I pack?

Beyond the obvious fire hazards that many electronics and appliances present, did you know that many dormitories provide appliances for everyone’s use? Common areas on your dorm floor often have:
 
  • Televisions
  • Refrigerators
  • Stoves and ovens
  • Microwaves
  • Printers
The lesson: Always look into what your room comes with before shopping for your college packing list. You’ll save a bundle and stay safe in your new room!
8/8/2017 8:27:13 AM
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