Starting life as a student is exciting indeed. Your own house, nights out on the town, friends galore and opportunities abundant, everything is good, with no negatives in sight.
Given all that there is to experience at such a time, it’s understandable that certain things are overlooked. Given much thought to home security?
The chances are it hasn’t been a major consideration to this point. You can be blasé about matters that seem mundane, but this isn’t something that should be left to chance. Research suggests that, when it comes to crime, students are at higher risk than most and that rental properties are attractive to intruders.
For anyone moving into a student house, there are some simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risks and keep burglars at bay. Take our advice and consider the following:
Leave a light on
Intruders are always looking for signs that no-one is home so invest in a lighting timer. You should set this to come on in the evening, regardless of whether you’re in or not. Giving the illusion that someone is in the house will act as a deterrent to a burglar and ensure that you’re able to enjoy your night out without worrying about what might be going on at home.
It’s even more important to take such steps during holidays, when intruders are on the prowl and seeking unoccupied properties. You can also set radios and TVs to switch on to add to the pretence.
Students tend to be targeted for various reasons – not least that their belongings and possessions are often rather valuable. Think about laptops, tablets, smartphones and consoles. Such things are attractive to intruders as they’re quick and simple to swipe and straightforward to move on at the other end.
You should always invest in contents insurance when moving into a student house and always read the small print. It might seem mundane, but should the worst happen, you’ll be glad you went to the trouble.
Don’t be a flash Harry
Speaking of valuable possessions, it’s never a good idea to flash them around so always do your best to be discrete. Don’t be tempted to set up that expensive laptop at a desk next to the window, for such things serve as a siren for intruders. Just splashed out on the latest electronic gadget or device?
Dispose of the packaging sensibly, and don’t advertise the fact. Some think it prudent to hide expensive items from sight upon heading out. It never hurts to be cautious.
Get your name on the register
The focus should always be on crime prevention, but if the worst comes to the worst, it pays to be prepared. Insurance is important, for most things can be replaced. But think about taking additional steps, including registering valuables, which increase your chances of being reunited with stolen items.
Sign up for the National Property Register and, if the police recover stolen goods, you’ll get them back. Sentimental items such as jewellery, or photographs stored on computers, are irreplaceable, so taking extra precautions is always advisable.
Look out for signs of weakness
How secure is your student house? It’s a question that’s worth asking whenever you move somewhere new, and one that’s worth revisiting from time to time. You might not be an expert in such things, but check doors and windows, making sure that locks seem effective and in good condition, and don’t be afraid to take concerns to your landlord or letting agent.
Does your student house have a burglar alarm? Be sure to set it when going out. Thinking about leaving a key under the doormat or flowerpot? Take our advice: don’t.
Don’t have an open door policy
There tends to be lots of comings and goings at student houses, but be vigilant and don’t just let anyone in. Having a party? Try to keep track of those in attendance – difficult, we know – and always look out for unsavoury sorts. If it’s a house that attracts lots of visitors, think about your possessions and where you leave them.
If your room has a lock, use it. If there’s a secure place to store precious items, take advantage. If workmen or officials turn up at the door, ask to see some ID. Genuine callers will be happy to oblige.
These might seem like simple steps, but the more you can do to guard against intruders, the less risk there is that you’ll fall victim. There are more measures, and most are rooted in common sense, so do some research and always be vigilant. Starting life as a student is exciting indeed. Don’t let crime spoil the experience.