10 Items That Are Not Allowed In Your College Dorm Room

college dorm room

Dorm room living can be a lot of fun however, for safety reasons, there are many things that you are not allowed to have in your college dorm room. Following the rules, regulations, policies, and procedures are important as students who have violations will be at risk of being fined or being kicked out of the dorms.

While there are written rules, students are typically responsible for making themselves knowledgeable about dorm rules or policies that apply to them. Rules are there to keep students safe and comfortable so they can learn and grow safely.

Here are ten items that you may not be allowed to bring with you when you head off to college.

1. Microwaves

While a microwave is fairly common in a college dorm room there is a watt limit. Microwaves need to be 700 watts or less otherwise they can be a huge power draw and pose a fire risk. Any microwave over 700 watts are prohibited so be sure to check your wattage.

2. Space Heaters

This is another fire-hazard concern for most colleges. Concern typically comes from if the heater is knocked over it could pose a fire threat.

What To Bring Instead:

Thermal blanket or warm socks and slippers.

3. An Iron

Another fire concern, if left unattended or not turned off it may potentially start a fire. Some colleges allow irons if you can show that they have an automatic shut-off feature.

What To Bring Instead:

A handheld water steamer or a spray-on wrinkle releaser.

4. Paint, Nails, Or Masking Tape

Colleges want you to make your dorm space your own. However, they don’t want their walls and paint damaged. Therefore, you can not paint or hang items with masking tape, duct tape, or nails.

What To Use Instead:

If you want to hang posters, pictures, or art use pushpins (thumb tacks), blue painter’s tape (as it won’t peel off paint when removed), poster putty, and some colleges allow the 3M Command tape, and hooks.

5. Halogen Lamps

Almost all colleges ban lamps and lights that have halogen bulbs. Halogen lamps get very hot and have a higher risk of explosion. If fabric from clothes, bedding, or curtains touches the bulb it could be a fire danger. Also, if dust collects on the bulb it can get hot and crack the glass and explode.

What To Use Instead:

When looking for a desk or floor lamp look for those that have LED lighting or fluorescent bulbs.

6. Candles/ Wax Melter/ Incense

Whether for the scent, ambiance, or celebrating a birthday, universities do not want flames of any sort in dorms. They are not only a fire hazard but they can also set off the smoke alarm. Smoke alarms are hooked up to a water sprinkler system that can be triggered.

What To Bring Instead:

For scent, use an air freshener gel or a reed diffuser. For ambiance, use flameless electronic candles.

7. Refrigerators Over A Specific Size

Not all dorms allow refrigerators. If they do, be sure to check with your dorm rules as there will be a specific size that will be allowed. Typically, mini-refrigerators that are between 2.9 to 4 cubic feet will be approved. Some are not allowed to have a freezer.

8. Google Home, Amazon Alexa/Echo, Smart Outlet Etc.

Typically, wireless smart devices are not allowed in a college dorm room. They can interfere with the school’s wireless network and weaken network coverage. Wireless routers are not allowed for the same reason. You will be allowed to connect your computer, tablet, and cell phone to the college’s wifi.

9.  Air Fryers, Grills, Toaster Ovens, And Hot Plates

While these small appliances are convenient for cooking and for smaller spaces, they are not allowed in dorm rooms because they pose a fire hazard and can create smoke.

10. Smoking And Vaping

Smoking is prohibited in all dorms, this includes vaping. Usually, there is a specific distance that a student is required to be from the residential facility in order to smoke. Be sure to check where the designated areas are.

What To Pack When Heading Off To College

While packing and buying things for college may seem straightforward it can often be an overwhelming part of getting ready for college. It’s hard to think of everything you will need, after all, it’s a new experience and you don’t know exactly what to prepare for. Having a college packing list can help you get organized and prepared. Here is The Ultimate College Packing List.