Most burglaries can be prevented. Many are committed by opportunist thieves, and in one burglary out of five the thief does not have to even force his way in because a door or window has been left open. Burglars like easy opportunities. They don’t like locked windows because breaking glass attracts attention. They don’t like security deadlocks on doors because they can’t be opened from the inside, so they have to leave through a window.
Simple precautions can help keep yourself and your property safe...
- Be alert to people loitering in residential streets if they are acting suspiciously, inform the Police.
- Visible burglar alarms make burglars think twice but still use the alarm if your house is fitted with one.
- A high wall or fence at the back of a house can put off a burglar. Check for weak spots where a thief could get in, it may be worth asking your landlord if there is anything they can do if there are weak areas. A thorny hedge along a boundary can also be a useful deterrent. Make sure the front of the house is still visible to passers-by, so that a burglar can’t work unseen.
- Even small windows like casement windows, skylights, or bathroom fanlights need to be kept closed when you are not in the property. A thief can get in through any gap larger than a human head and some are known to bring young children with them to gain entry through the smallest gap.
- Never leave a spare key in a hiding place like under a doormat, in a flowerpot or inside the letterbox - a thief will look there first. Do not display or label keys inside the house and keep them away from letter boxes or windows where they might be hooked up.
- Never leave a garage or garden shed unlocked, especially if it has a connecting door to the house. Lock tools and ladders away so that a thief cannot use them to break in.
- Tag your property - sites like Immobilise allow you to register your property that makes it easier for the Police to identify it and return it to you.
When sharing a home with others, it is vitally important to be aware of fire safety to prevent harm to yourself and others. Your Landlord should be responsible for ensuring your property meets all the required fire regulations and standards, if in doubt, contact the Student Welfare Advice Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting them in the Holgate Centre.
Smoking in the home is often not permitted but even if it is, it's always safer to smoke outside.
Each year the Accommodation Team fines students large amounts of money when they are found covering over smoke detectors in their rooms. This is extremely dangerous and a serious offence.
As a student, you'll find your belongings amount to a high value, for example, jewellery, a mobile phone, an iPod, a laptop etc so it's important to keep them safe. Often students working in the library go to collect a document from the printer and leave all their belongings unattended. While we have an excellent Security Team on campus, they can't be everywhere and being a central location campus, there may well be other people, not just fellow students, on campus so always keep your valuables close to hand.
When leaving a work station, always ensure you have everything with you. Mobile phones are frequently handed in to lost property, so it is easy to leave something behind when you're trudging lots of items and bags around.
On a night out or at a party, always remember to keep an eye on your things. While it would be nice to think we could trust every fellow student and housemate, you can never be too careful. Always keep your bedroom doors locked if leaving the house and ensure all valuables are locked away. If on a night out, be careful where you leave your things, don't leave your coat or bag on a chair whilst meeting friends or dancing. With a stolen coat, no money and no phone, it will be a long, cold walk home.
Students can often be seen as naive by criminals and easy targets for fraud/scams. Be especially cautious with e-mails supposedly from Student Finance England asking you to log into to your account via a link on the e-mail. Do NOT follow this link it is scam e-mail. Student Finance England will:
- Never ask you to update your bank details.
- Never ask you to verify your account details.
- Never ask you to click a link, always type the address yourself.
- Never ask you to answer combinations on the same screen i.e. Your Customer Reference Number and Password on the same screen.
- Never provide you with a choice of secret question. We will only ever ask you the question you gave us.
- Never ask you to update items such as date of birth or provide your email address password.