Student Safety Tips For Living In A Student House
Living in a student house is an exciting experience, especially because it’s probably your first time living in your own home, compared to within accommodation within your first year.
However, it can also pose some risks as student homes can be popular targets for burglars or thieves, so there are a few things you can do to ensure your home is safe and secure.
Don’t worry though, check out our top 10 tips below to reduce risk whilst living in private rented accommodation – student safety is at the forefront of our priorities!
1. Check Locks When You Move In
Our first student safety tip is to ensure that when you first move into your house you check that all the locks are working properly and go around the outside of your home to check for any entry points, such as a broken window that won’t close upstairs.
If you notice there’s something wrong with your locks or anything else which poses a risk within your home or if you notice property marking, it’s important to speak to your landlord or estate agents ASAP.
You should check that there’s good quality locks on the front and back door as well as the bedrooms.
Whilst not all student houses will have bedroom locks, most of them do.
If you haven’t got a bedroom door, there are travel locks you can get for cheap online for personal safety, similar to the one which has gone viral on TikTok.
Having faulty locks or an easy point of entry can make things a lot easier for thieves and burglars to enter the property, so make sure to check they’re in working order first and foremost!
2. Make Sure To Lock Up
Whilst unoccupied homes can be a target for thieves, research has found that 56 percent of people are home when burglaries in their home take place, so it isn’t just about what to do when you’re leaving your home vacant.
If you are home, you should ensure you’ve locked the front and back doors even if you and all your housemates are home.
When you are leaving the house, you should also make sure you lock the door and keep windows locked even if someone else is home.
Not only are these important student safety measures but unfortunately in some cases, you can’t make an insurance claim if something where to happen and you haven’t taken responsibility to ensure a safe and secure home.
3. Keep Windows Shut
Studies have found that 1 in 3 burglaries happen due to windows and doors being left open.
So, another piece of essential advice we have for student safety is that when you are home to keep the door shut even if you’ve just ran upstairs to come back down again.
Even this small timeframe can leave enough time for someone to enter the property!
The same goes for keeping windows open, whilst we know during the summer months especially you want to get some fresh air in or let the smell of cooking out, you shouldn’t leave windows open whilst you’re out of the room.
4. Don’t Leave Belongings On Display
Similar to what we’ve just spoke about, you shouldn’t leave your window blinds or curtains open too often especially if you have high value items on display such as your DJ decks or your laptop.
It might seem obvious to hide away your expensive items when you’re not in, but when you are home, you should also ensure people from the outside can’t peep in and see them either.
Think about whether you really need to have certain items within your student home too, such as If you have things with a hefty price tag, can you leave it at your family home instead?
As well, if you’re going out and your home is going to be empty especially at night-time, keep your belongings stored out of sight, so they’re less likely to be seen by anyone.
5. Never Leave A Spare Key
You should always avoid the temptation to hide a spare key somewhere if you have a housemate who regularly forgets their key, or if it’s you.
Unfortunately, this isn’t like living with your parents anymore, you shouldn’t hide keys under the door mat or plant pot as student areas are more likely to be targeted by perpetrators.
Even if you’re just leaving a key out for a few hours whilst you’ve gone out and your flatmates needs to get in, it’s not worth the risk of keeping it in a ‘safe place’.
Instead, if you’re on a friendly basis with your neighbours you could ask them to keep hold of a spare key if it’s necessary.
Although, you should be cautious when handing out keys to your home as this is allowing more people access!
6. Turn Off Appliances When Not In Use
Another one of our top tips is to ensure that you are being safe and responsible when it comes to fire risks within your student home.
You should always turn off appliances when they’re not in-use or when you’re not home, as this can cause a fire to start if they’re left on and un-attended.
Whether it’s ensuring you’ve remembered to turn off the oven or your straighteners, unfortunately you don’t have your parents to remind you anymore.
The consequences can be dangerous so ensure that you follow safety precautions to stop fire’s from starting in your home.
You should also make sure that your smoke detectors are working properly and speak to your landlord if they’re not!
7. Be Careful With Answering The Door
Even if you’re expecting a food delivery or you have a friend on their way round, you should always check who’s at the door before answering it if you have a peephole or go to the window to get a glimpse of who’s there.
If it’s an unknown visitor who you’re not expecting, try to refrain from opening the door if you’re home alone to stay alert.
You don’t know who might try and force their way into your home, and whilst it’s rare a burglar or thieve would try the front door, it does happen.
We’re not trying to scare you here; these instances are unlikely most of the time but it’s better to be safe than sorry by taking simple measures like these!
8. Don’t Let Strangers Inside
We know this might be a bit of a cliché, but you should be cautious with letting people you don’t know into your home.
Whilst we know that students are bound to have house parties and get togethers where they don’t personally know every other person, however, there needs to be some safety precautions taken in these instances.
Such as, you should always get to grips with how many people you’re expecting to come round, rather than just answering the door to other students who say they’re here for your party.
As well, you should always ask for identification from people who say they need to enter your home such as if they’re tradesmen there to do work on your home, or if someone from the estate agents has came to do a visit.
People can be very convincing when they need to be, so ensure that they are who they say they are and take basic precautions too stay safe!
9. Be Careful With Going Away
There are times throughout the year when your student home may be empty such as when everyone’s gone home for Christmas, Easter or for any other holidays.
There are a few things you can do to plan ahead and ensure your property is safe during times when no one is there.
Firstly, you should take any valuable belongings with you if you’re going home or on holiday, whether it’s your laptop or your camera.
You should also refrain from posting on social media about when you’re going on holiday or edit your privacy settings to ensure they can’t be seen by everyone.
Something that a lot of people forget when leaving their home, is to be careful with who you tell.
Such as, if you and your housemates are getting an Uber to the train station together refrain from saying “We’re all going home for Christmas” when the drivers picked you up from your home.
This can cause a slippery slope as then they know the house is empty and your exact address!
The same goes for going on nights out, try and refrain from telling strangers your home is empty and make it look like someone is home even if they aren’t.
10. Invest In Insurance
Another tip to ensure student safety, or rather your belongings safety is to invest in insurance.
We know, you don’t need any more costs to think about as a student but something that can prove helpful if it’s not already included when signing for a property, is contents insurance for your belongings.
Whilst in most student accommodation insurance is something that is included and the same for when you live at home with your family, however, when living in a student home you don’t always have insurance automatically.
It’s worth spending some time to look into insurance cover designed specifically for students, and in most cases, you can pay monthly so you can spread the cost throughout the year.
It’s worth it otherwise if something did happen, you wouldn’t have to fork out money to replace your items. Insurance covers things like mobile phones, clothes, books and bikes for example, and it isn’t just for cases of theft either most of them cover fire and flood damage.
Our last final piece of information to takeaway within this student safety guide is to report anything suspicious or dodgy if your home is targeted, whether it’s telling your landlord, estate agents or even reporting a potential crime to the police just encase.
It’s better to be aware and this way you’ve raised any concerns early on and it can stop other homes from being targeted.
By taking these simple but effective safety measures, we’re sure you will have a comfortable and secure experience within your new student home!
We have a blog we think you’ll love here: The Student Guide To Oktoberfest 2022.