6 Effective Ways of Protecting Your Student Property
Julian Betts is Head of Customer Services at Evander, a home security specialist who work with their clients to keep their property safe and secure. In this article, he takes a closer look at some of the most effective ways that students can protect their property when living off-campus.
When you go to a university far from your hometown, it’s likely you’ll end up sharing a student home with others at some point during your studies. Living in a student house is very different to living in an on-campus university halls of residence, whereall your neighbours are likely to be fellow students and the site is likely to be served by security professionals.If you have never lived off-campus before, you may not be used to keeping an eye on your property security, particularly if you’ve moved straight from your parent’s or guardian’s home.
Keep belongings out of sight
Burglars in your area are likely to know where shared student homes are concentrated, so it’s important to keep your valuables out of sight of the street. Do not leave laptops, electrical equipment, instruments or similar near to your windows, and install a window privacy film, blinds or curtains if you don’t have any at the moment. If you or someone else in the house is having a party or get-together, stow away valuables and keep your door locked if you don’t want anyone entering your room.
Ensure doors and windows are locked
It’s easy to lose track of who is in the house and who is out when you live with a number of people. Speak to your housemates and devise some system where it’s made obvious if people are out so that the property is not left unlocked. You could set up a group message on your phones or have housemates hang their keys up when they’re indoors, so you can quickly see who is in and who is out.Keep windows and doors locked as a habit, and always tell those you live with if you will be gone for some time so that they can keep an eye on things. If your doors and windows are not very secure, speak to your landlord or purchase additional locks to ensure you’re covered.
Don’t leave keys in obvious places
Burglars know to look under the doormat or under the recycling bin for your spare key. If you have a housemate who regularly forgets their own, or if you need to have one stowed away outside for any reason, investing in a high-security external key box which can be opened with a code is your best bet. If you have trustworthy neighbours, leaving a key with them may also help.
Record and identity mark your valuables
Your local police should have plenty of security advice for students and your university will also be able to help you register and identity-mark your valuables. This is often done via stickers, ultraviolet ink and/or registering serial numbers with the police. If you do become a victim of theft at university, you’re more likely to get your valuables back if they are sufficiently identifiable. If the police recover stolen items, then they should be able to return them to you based on this hidden information.
Ensure you have adequate student insurance
Insuring your belongings with student contents insurance can be a big help if you have things stolen from you. Replacing a laptop, course books and other valuables can be very expensive, so having help from an insurer can be more than worth the premiums. Many companies have special policies for students that are more tailored to their lifestyle and finances, which more suitable than more general products. You can often get insurance through your bank too, which can be a simpler, more streamlined way of protecting your property.
Above all, stay aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on the perimeter of your property – if fencing or similar is insecure, get in touch with your landlord to have this rectified. Don’t advertise your absence on social media and make sure you destroy any evidence of valuables, such as laptop boxes in your recycling.
Keeping on top of your home security isn’t difficult – it just takes some awareness and the right attitude. Never assume that a housemate has it covered, security-wise. Assuming others have locked doors or windows is a common problem with shared housing. To make sure, stay proactive and incorporate checking these things into your daily routine.