It’s getting to that time of year when a lot of you are either starting university, or travelling back for your second & third years. Student homes are the perfect target for burglars. Each student will most likely have their own laptops, smartphones and other expensive tech. Properties like this are seen as a quick win for criminals looking to make a quick buck!
So, when going to university this year, how do you keep your stuff safe?
Keeping your belongings safe in your first year of uni.
In the first year of uni the majority of you will live in halls. Halls are shared accommodations, usually in large buildings with door codes. Your first year of uni is often a time to meet lots of new people, but it’s also a time when doors are left open for people to come and go.
In halls, it’s important that you are aware of who you let into your building. Criminals may take the opportunity to attach themselves to your group by telling you they’re someone’s friend. So, be careful and make yourself familiar with the faces around campus!
Keeping the building safe is at the top level of keeping your own belongings safe. But, you should also make sure that you keep your room locked too. Then, if anyone does gain access to the building through no fault of your own, you’ve already added that extra layer of security.
What else could help to keep my belongings safe?
Contents insurance is another way to keep your items safe. Some universities include this as part of your rent. So, read the small print of your tenancy agreement.
Registering your property can make it much easier to get back if you lose it. These days most smartphones cost more than a month’s rent! Immobilise is the UK’s national property register. It’s free, supported by and used by the police, insurers and second hand traders. This register isn’t just for your tech. Get your bike and any other valuable items on here too.
If you lose an item or it’s stolen, you can go back to this register and change the status of your item. With phones and bank cards, make sure you notify the bank or network provider right away.
Keeping your belongings secure as a 2nd & 3rd year student.
As a second or third year student, now is the time to knuckle down. You’ll be writing your dissertation or deciding what routes to take after your first year. The last thing you need is some would-be opportunist stealing your laptop with all your work on it.
It’s best to be safe and should the worst happen make sure you’re covered with contents insurance. You’re probably living in a private rented house now with more than one person. Unlike halls, this house most likely won’t cover your contents insurance. Chat with your housemates as contents insurance is usually cheaper when you share the cost.
It’s a well known fact that the majority of students go home for the holidays. Leaving your house unoccupied can make it a prime target for burglars. There are some steps that you can take to make it look like you’re at home when you’re away.
Light timers are a great way to turn your lights on while you’re away. When investing in a light timer, make sure that you buy one that you can vary the times for. If you don’t would-be criminals could potentially notice a pattern and risk breaking into your property anyway.
When you’re going home for the holidays, make sure you take all your valuables with you. You might not be able to carry your smart TV with you but make sure that everything valuable left in the property is out of sight!
If you feel that the locks on your front door and bedroom door are getting a bit worn, simply ask your landlord to replace them. It is the responsibility of the landlord to provide a secure environment for you to live in.
When you move into your new property, it could be a good idea to walk around the exterior & make notes of any weaknesses. You can then pass these to your landlord to discuss and fix. You should remember to check any windows and doors to ensure they are in good condition.
NEVER shout on social media about when you’re going to be away from your property. This goes for everyone. Not just students. If you don’t have your social media profiles locked down and private, any John Doe could see your post and take advantage of your absence.
If you’re going away, a stark reminder that no-one’s home is the fact that your letterbox is full of unopened post. Royal Mail offer a Keepsafe service where they will keep hold of your post until you come home.
Check your garden and make sure that you don’t leave anything such as ladders, or tables and chairs laying around. These items could be used to access your property from the higher levels of the house. Lock them away in the shed, or while you’re out, shut them in a shared living space!
Finally, if you have a bike, invest in a good lock and keep your bike locked up out of sight when your home and when you’re away.
Are you a landlord and you want help with securing a property that you rent out as a HMO? Speak to Lenz Security today about how we can help you protect your investment year after year.
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