Headed out or going home? Here’s how to keep your student home safe 👇
For most students, going to uni will be the first taste of freedom from living with parents or guardians. In all the excitement of living alone, it’s easy to overlook home security. However, with burglary one of the most common crimes committed in the UK, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
When a burglar enters a victim's home, they typically cause £1,413 worth of damage, steal £2,856 of goods and leave 84% of victims in emotional distress. Those are some worrying figures.
Fortunately, you don’t have to invest in the latest high-tech security systems to protect your student home from theft. Whether you’re out for the night or you and your flatmates are heading home at the same time, read on; we’ve put together ten student security tips to keep the burglars at bay.
1. Always double-check the doors are locked 🔑
Did you lock the door when leaving your flat? If you can’t 100% say you did, it’s best not to take the risk and double-check before you hop on a train or get in your car. When you’re locking each door and closing every window, write a note on your phone that says, “front door locked”, “back door locked”, “bedroom windows closed” etc. That way, if you’re worried that you forgot, a quick check in your notes will reassure you that your student house is safe and secure while you’re away.
2. Don’t flex online 📵
We get it – a shiny new laptop, a gorgeous pair of earrings or some swag new tech to level up your gaming is a big deal. If you’re going to flex to your friends though, do it in person or keep your social posts restricted to close friends only. A public post of you with new jewellery or impressive gadgets is a good way to advertise your possessions to shady people with bad intentions.
3. Back up your data 💾
Even if you take all the precautions to keep your possessions safe, it’s still worth taking that extra step to protect the work you’ve poured hours of time into on your laptop. Backing up your data onto an external hard drive can give you the peace of mind that in the worst-case scenario, you won’t have to rewrite that essay from scratch.
4. Leave your most valuable possessions at home 💍
Obviously, you’ll need your laptop to do your coursework, and you aren’t expected to carry it around everywhere you go. However, for those high-value possessions you won’t use every day (expensive guitar you got for your 18th, we’re looking at you 👀), it’s best to leave them at home. You never know what could happen, and if it does, it’s better that the burglar steals the communal telly than the gold bracelet from your Grandma.
5. Set up ‘Find my Phone’ 📱
Most of us are never without our phones nowadays – but if you’ve left yours at home and your house is the target of a burglary, Find My iPhone/Find My Device is your last line of defence. This intuitive little app lets you remotely track, lock and erase the data on a lost or stolen phone. Remember, Find my Device relies on GPS, so it’s important you enable location services for the app once installed.
6. Make sure you’ve got adequate student home insurance 💸
If you’re heading to uni with a truckload of valuables, make sure to take out insurance that will cover you should the worst happen. Student home insurance will vary depending on the provider, but most policies will cover you for damage or theft to personal belongings that takes place in your student property. This will usually include phones, laptops, tablets, TVs, appliances, furniture, books, clothes and cash.
7. Hide your valuables during house parties 🔐
House parties have a way of getting out of control. Somehow, in the space of an hour, the guest list goes from people you know to friends of friends and suddenly a hoard of strangers you’ve never seen before. We recommend keeping your house party limited to people you trust – but equally, we know how out of hand these events can get. If you don’t want to spend the night policing the door, just make sure your valuables are out of sight in a safe space that no one can enter. That way, if anything does get stolen, it’ll be something that’s easily replaceable.
8. Don’t give out your address to anyone 🤐
This seems like an obvious one, but often, you can advertise your whereabouts without even realising it. A snap outside your new student pad may make for likes on Instagram, but unless your profile is private, it could attract attention from opportunistic burglars looking for an easy target. Another top tip is not to give out personal information like your address when you think you could be overheard – it’s a simple one, but you never know who’s eavesdropping and what it could lead to. Keep that stuff on the DL.
9. Set your lights on timers 💡
Everyone knows that the best way to look like you’re at home is to leave the lights on while you’re gone. Right? Actually, yes – and that’s the problem. Burglars weren’t born yesterday, and they know that a house that keeps its lights on 24/7 is more likely to be empty than filled with students pulling all-nighters for a week. Instead, get yourself a light switch timer that you can programme to turn off at normal times. That way, your house looks lived in, even when it’s not.
10. Cancel deliveries when you’re not in 📦
If anything says “there’s no one in”, it’s a couple of parcels sitting unattended on a doorstep for several days. This is an easy one to forget, especially when you’ve got a few subscriptions on the go. If you’re planning a trip home, set yourself a reminder for the day before to cancel or postpone any potential deliveries. That way, you can relax knowing your porch isn’t an advertisement for burglars.