Christmas is just around the corner, and students will be heading home to fill themselves up with plenty of food and drink! But before you rush back, remember to secure your valuables as student accommodation and housing can be a prime target for burglars at this time of year.
Here are five of our top tips to help protect your belongings:
Tip 1. Keep items away from windows
Keep valuables away from the windows, so when potential burglars are looking in, they don’t see anything worth their time or effort. This includes wrapped Christmas presents! Pay particular attention to smaller items that are easy to carry, although don’t leave that computer in the window either! There is an increased number of passers-by if you’re on the ground floor of university halls making this tip is especially important.
Tip 2. Hide expensive items
Take any expensive items such as jewellery and electronic devices back home with you; failing that, make sure they are stored in a locked drawer or cupboard. Burglars know to grab jewellery boxes and portable safes; hiding prized possessions in something that is mounted to the floor is the best option. It’s important to do this in university halls, as anyone can gain access to your building and thus your room.
Get that new game console for Christmas? What about that expensive watch? Don’t advertise your Christmas presents to potential burglars by leaving the packaging outside for them to see. Break apart the boxes and hide them amongst other rubbish.
Tip 3. Make it look like someone is home
Leaving for Christmas? Switching all the lights off and drawing the curtains may be an indicator to burglars that the house is empty, so make your StudentDigz look occupied. You can purchase cheap timers that turn lights on and off, or perhaps you can keep a television or radio on. If these are not an option, try simpler deterrents like leaving coats and shoes on the racks by the front door. You could also hang up a “beware of the dog” sign – even if you don’t have a dog!
Tip 4. Lock those windows and doors
Many home burglaries are opportunistic. Ensure all windows and doors are secured and locked before you leave. In fact, you should be keeping them locked even if you are home! This goes for garages as well – make sure you keep those garage door openers out of sight. If you aren’t taking your car home with you for Christmas break, check the doors are locked before setting off. Any spare keys (for your house or car) should be left with a trusted neighbour, rather than left in your house. We know this is difficult if you live in university halls, just make sure to lock those ground floor windows!
Tip 5. Watch what you post
Don’t advertise where you live on social media, especially if you have just shown off your expensive new presents and the fact that you’re off to a Christmas party over the weekend. You would be surprised at the number of potential burglars who stalk social media and piece together who is away from home and where their valuables are kept. Protect your social media accounts like you would your house!
Remember: if you’re staying in university or privately owned halls, there is 24-hour security, so if you have any doubts or concerns get in contact with them. If you are in your own StudentDigz, following these tips are all the more important! Stay safe and enjoy your Christmas break!