You’ve just moved away from home and into the same accommodation as your new best friends. It’s time for pre’s, house parties and plastering your room’s walls with posters bought from the Students Union; Independance is finally here! However, being out from under your parents’ roof also means one more thing; self security. Yes, okay, we know it’s not the most exciting of topics to talk about but, given how often student halls and houses are specifically targeted by burglars, it’s definitely an important one.
Trust us, nobody wants to find themselves in the position of having an assignment due only to find their laptop with all that work on it has been stolen two days before the deadline. It’s just not worth it! On that note, we’re here to break down the ins and outs of ensuring your belongings stay safe, so all you have to worry about is making the most of the best few years of your life during university.
Choosing a new home with your best friends can be an exciting prospect. Whilst it’s easy to focus in on room sizes, ensuite facilities and a large tv, it’s important to ensure you ask your estate agent a few key questions when viewing a property; Is there a burglar alarm fitted? Are there good quality locks on the main doors and windows, if not also the bedroom doors?
Additionally, it is also important to question when the locking system in place was last replaced and how the copying of keys is controlled, to ensure no unauthorised personnel has access to your home.
Have a walk around the exterior of the property and think like an intruder; Do the external windows or doors appear like they could be easily forced through? Are there other potential weak points to the property? Discuss these concerns with your landlord before signing a contract.
Interletz can guide you through choosing a property that is right for you.
You’ve signed the contract to your new home for the next year and it’s time to begin packing all those new gadgets to bring with you to uni. Before moving them into your new home, ensure you security mark them all with a UV security pen and register them with www.immobilise.com so, if they ever do get stolen and subsequently found by the police, they can at least get returned back to you.
It’s finally time to move everything in and turn your new house into a home. This can often mean front and back doors are left open and unattended as bags and boxes are transported inside, providing the perfect opportunity for a burglar to slip inside unnoticed. Be cautious and close doors behind you!
Now that you’ve finally settled into your new home, it’s important to set a few basic rules with your housemates.
Interletz have completed house inspections and found a number of internal and external doors unlocked with the properties empty.
Remember, simply closing a door is not the same as locking it. Ensure everyone locks doors and windows whenever they’re not in, even if they’re only gone for a few minutes! This is especially important if you live in student halls, as tailgating behind students through a secure door, telling them that they are so-and-so’s friend, is an exceptionally easy strategy for burglars to obtain access into a building. Stay vigilant and be aware of who you are letting into your home!
Lock your bedroom door. Even if someone were to gain access inside your property, it would make accessing your valuables a lot more difficult for them if your bedroom door acted as an extra barrier.
When leaving your home, do not be tempted to hide spare keys under the doormat or flower pot as this is often the first place burglars will check, especially if they are aware it is a student property.
Avoid leaving notes for friends or housemates on your door saying you’re away or ‘back shortly’ - text or call your friends instead to avoid your message falling into the wrong hands
When going away for longer periods of time, like Christmas break, consider setting the lights on a timer and either take valuables home with you or store them out of view. Alternatively, ask a trusted friend or family member to check on the property whilst you’re away.
Student properties are highly targeted by burglars and therefore it’s important to disguise who lives there as much as possible. One way to do this is by keeping the outside of the property looking tidy. And of course, by not lining up empty spirit bottles on window sills as decorations of drunken achievements!
Keep valuables hidden away. The last thing you want is to entice burglars to break into your home by alerting them of all the valuables waiting inside! Be discreet with what tech gadgets you display through windows and dispose of their packaging appropriately, breaking any boxes up before recycling or putting them outside just before they’re due to be collected.
Make an effort to get to know your neighbours. Not only will this prove invaluable when having to smooth things over with them after a loud house party the night before, but they can also provide another set of eyes to help watch over any suspicious behaviour around your property!
You may want to consider investing in a home safe with your flatmates to keep your valuables secure; not only are they affordable but they are available in a variety of different sizes too! Similarly, you can’t go wrong with a sturdy bike lock. For maximum protection, use two different lock types simultaneously such as a padlock and secure chain.
Contents Insurance: this is an investment that students tend to overlook...until, of course, their macbook air goes missing and the regrets come streaming in! Although burglary prevention is key, it’s important to think about how to manage a situation if something were to go wrong. If you feel you would struggle to be able to replace that stolen laptop, smartphone or TV, then investing in contents insurance may be something you want to consider. Sometimes it’s even possible to extend your parents’ home contents policy to cover your belongings as well!
Here, at Interletz, we pride ourselves in our utmost dedication to student safety. It is at the forefront of everything that we do and so we truly hope these tips prove valuable to you and that, through their implementation, you have an enjoyable experience whilst at university.