Please see our brief guide to help you to be safe whilst starting or being
a current student,
When looking accommodation, security specialists Hunter Richards
Security has a few key things that you need to consider.
For many of you, this will be the first time searching for a home on
your own, and you may not know what to look for.
Student houses range in quality and price, but if you start looking around
early you are far more likely to find your perfect student home.
When it comes to location most students feel happier and safer living among others students. Most university towns/cities have specific student areas so it’s a good start to look there.
Before viewing a property you will have a mental checklist of things you want…a comfy bed, big sofa and plenty of bathrooms. However, as well as home comforts it’s important to think about what you need to look out for in terms of safety.
Security should be a key part of the selection process, when you are viewing potential accommodation. Here a few question you should ask yourself while viewing a property:
1. Does the house seem secure from the outside?
Think about how you would get in if you lost your keys, if it’s easy for you then think how easy it is for a burglar.
2. Does the property have an alarm?
If not, could you/the landlord install one? Alarms act as an excellent form of deterrent, with research showing 84% of imprisoned burglars would avoid a home with a working alarm.
3. Does the front/back door look solid and secure?
Typically, burglars spend just sixty seconds breaking into a home and that’s not surprising considering how easy it often is. In 73% of cases they gained entry via a door, and in 3% of these cases the door was left open. Ideally doors should be secured using a mortice lock and / or nightlatch that meets British Standard BS3621.
4. Are the windows secure?
Check to see if all the windows are fitted with secure locks and that the handles are in good working order, particularly on the ground floor.
5. Is there adequate outside lighting?
Ask yourself would you feel secure entering your house at any time of day. It’s important to feel safe and secure so you can enjoy your time at university.
Protect your valuables
Computers, cash, electrical goods and jewellery are among the most commonly stolen items in domestic burglaries and, as a result of the nation’s love for gadgets, the average cost of a burglary has risen by 40 per cent over the last three years. However, 21 per cent of people say they never hide valuables when leaving the house, with 37 per cent leaving portable gadgets such as e-books or tablets easily accessible.
To protect smaller valuable items and reduce the risk of fraud, use a home safe. This can be used for items such as jewellery, small electronic gadgets and important documents. The safe should be bolted securely to a floor or wall so it can’t be stolen but remember to check with your landlord before making any alterations to your property.
Cycling to lectures?
Bikes are an ideal way to get around campus or student towns. They are convenient and great exercise but, unfortunately, thieves like them too. To keep your bike safe and secure it’s advisable to invest in a sturdy bike lock. For maximum protection, use two different locks simultaneously (a D-lock and robust chain and padlock is ideal).
Hitting the town
Personal safety also needs to be high on the agenda. After evenings out sampling the local nightlife try to travel home with friends or in a reputable, licenced taxi – remember, there is safety in numbers! If you do walk home, try to stick to main roads and avoid poorly lit areas – especially dodgy looking shortcuts and dingy alleyways. For additional security and peace of mind it’s also a good idea to carry a personal attack alarm.
In this age of social media, many of us are used to posting all manner of details online without a second thought. ‘Checking in’ at places online can alert burglars to the fact you are not at home, and posting images of new and expensive items can also be risky.
In any other capacity you wouldn’t dream of alerting a burglar to the fact your house is empty and you certainly wouldn’t tell them that you have a brand new laptop sat in your bedroom. Be careful about what you are sharing online and check your settings to ensure that you are only sharing status updates with people you know and trust.
So remember, work hard and play hard this term – but remember to stay safe and secure.
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