Whether they’re going to university for the first time or returning to study for another year, students will often find themselves in new accommodation – from halls of residence to private rented property.
Students and student housing are one of the highest at-risk groups of crime in the country, often targeted for high-value laptops, tv’s and entertainment systems which are often left in plain view and unsecured against intruders. It’s important that students are aware of how to keep themselves and their possessions safe.
Safety and security should be on the top of a students list when they move into new student housing, or return to their previous place, as dealing with the effects of crime can be an unsettling experience. By carrying out simple measures to maintain a safe and secure property can put students (and parents) minds at ease.
It’s all too easy to assume that previous residents have handed in their keys and while this may well be the case, it doesn’t mean that extra copies have not been made by either former residents, employees, contractors or even rogue tradesman.
When students are visiting their new student housing, it is important to question what locking systems are in place, when they were last replaced and how the copy of keys is controlled.
In private rented property’s, it is the landlord’s responsibility and duty to install quality locks with patented keys which can’t be copied without proof of ownership or restricted keys which cant be easily copied due to their unique design.
Student hall of residence:
Student halls of residence have their own security systems in place, CCTV, Alarms, and Key card or fab access, but it is always good practice to check that their security is up to date.
1. Request information on locking systems and how they are regulated, controlled and recorded.
2. When moving into new student accommodation, consider making a checklist of all valuables such as laptops, entertainment systems etc.
It is also good to be aware of anyone tailgating to get through entrances with or immediately after you.
Students in private rented accommodation:
1. Ensure that the house that you’re renting has quality locks on the front and bedroom doors and they meet insurance requirements. If you are unsure, speak to a qualified locksmith.
2. Walk around the property, take note of any areas that could be potential weaknesses and discuss this with the landlord.
3. Avoid obvious key hiding places such as doormats and flowerpots as these are areas that criminals will look for when trying to enter your property. If you are leaving the property or your room for a long period of time, leave your key with either a trusted family member or friend.
4. When relaxing in warm sunny weather, it’s tempting to leave doors open to allow people easy access in and out of the house. It’s all too easy for a thief to ‘walk-in’ gaining access through open doors. So students should be vigilant and not forget that simply closing the door doesn’t mean it’s locked.
5. If a room or shared house is going to be left unoccupied for a number of weeks, students should make sure that all valuables are either moved out of view or taken from the property. If they have a trusted family member or friend to check on the property whilst they’re away, leave a key with them.
Here at A&R Security Services, we offer a range of tailored security services to suit your ongoing needs. If you are looking to improve your security for the new academic year, get in touch with us on 01656 713950 or visit our website for more services.