Living independently can be a worrying time but feeling secure in your home should not be one of those concerns. There are some simple things you can implement to give yourself the best chance of feeling safe and secure.
Your house insurance will be provided by the landlord. However, you need to get contents insurance to keep your belongings covered. Check exactly what is covered as the cheapest cover may not have you suitably insured for the value of your belongings. Whilst it is also worth bearing in mind that high value items such as laptops and bikes may not be included in the basic cover. There will be certain terms and conditions setting out when you are and aren’t covered. Such an example is where you go out and leave your window open. In the sad event that you are burgled and this is the cause, your insurance will more than likely be void.
- Another way you can keep your home secure is by increasing the quality and quantity of locks on all your entry points. Ask your landlord or letting agent to get these installed before you move in if you are concerned. It is worth noting that this can help towards lowering your contents insurance too.
- There maybe times of the year when you and your housemates are living somewhere else and the house could be empty. Before you go, be extra vigilant regarding security and invest in a timer so the lights come on and go off at specific times to make it look occupied.
- At the start of term, the Police often do talks via your university or private halls, so try and attend one of these sessions for more helpful tips on keeping your home secure.
When you are looking for a house, check out the crime figures in your area at police.co.uk – being informed can help you make decisions. It is important to point out that sadly, students are often targets of burglaries due to windows and doors being left unlocked. With the target being your high value belongings. Thus areas where a high proportion of students live can have a higher proportion of crimes recorded.
Check if there is an outside light by your front door. If you find there not to be, ask your landlord or letting agent to install one. This will be extremely helpful on a night out when you are rummaging for your key.
Living in halls: You may have a fob instead of a key, and may have even been given a branded lanyard by the operators. Whilst being really handy, this could leave a potential thief with clues as to where you live, so make sure you never write your room number or address on the fob or lanyard – just in case you leave it anywhere. The fobs are easy to programme by the staff in your halls. So, if you do lose it, tell them straight away and they will cancel the old one and make you a new, secure one (although they may charge for this, so don’t make it a habit!)
Make sure you stay aware of your surroundings and your belongings. Take a bit of time to put a few things in place to make yourself feel safe. It will be worth it!!
By Sarah Canning – Senior Student Accommodation Editor