Moving to university is one of the most exciting and biggest milestones in any young person life. With students being able to experience their own independence, making new friends and experiencing the most famous week of all Freshers week.
However, with the Coronavirus causing many university traditions to be vastly different from what they were before, there are aspects of university that will remain unchanged by the pandemic.
And one aspect of university that won’t change is security. Whether that’s securing your accommodation or looking after your own personal safety. As mentioned before, that’ll be the very first time that students have been able to live independently from their parents in either student accommodation or private rentals. Living independently will certainly pave the way in learning and gaining life experiences but to aid students in this process and ensure they stay safe; we have a very handy guide for new and returning students.
Is your accommodation secure?
Whether you are in student accommodation or private housing, it’s important that where you are going to spend your time during university is secure and safe. Criminals see students as ‘Easy targets’ for burglary and theft. According to the office of national statistics, students are 7% more likely to be victims of theft than the rest of the population. Most student accommodation block will have their own security systems in place such as key card or fob entry systems. But if you are in private accommodation ensure that your property’s doors and windows have adequate locks on them and when you leave the property, ensure that all the windows and doors are securely locked.
Protect your possessions
Many students will agree that they cannot go without their phone, laptop, or other electronic goods and this can make them a profitable target to thieves. To ensure your valuables are kept safe from prying eyes, keep them out of sight and out of view of any doors and windows. If you’re living with multiple people you may want to lock your own room so no one can gain access.
If you are looking for a hiding place for your valuables don’t go for the obvious hiding places such as under your mattress or in the sock draw because they will be the first places that criminals will look. To ensure your valuables are kept safe think creatively. Hollowed out books or re-purposed food containers are great hiding places.
Consider personal belongings cover
Although your landlord will have home insurances for your home, it won’t cover your own valuables from theft or damage, so it is up to you to cover your own personal belongings. You can find insurance deals that are designed specifically for students and their valuables and can offer protection against theft and hazards such as fire or flooding. Although it is tempting to save yourself some extra cash by not taking this type of insurance out, it could save you thousands of pounds in the long run and will give you peace of mind.
Secure your bike
Having a bike is the quickest way of getting from A to B. But with many students using them and often aren’t being secured effectively, they present an easy target to criminals. To ensure you bike is covered, you can add it to your personal belongings cover that is previously mentioned above. However, if you are cycling to university, you should lock your bike at a bike shed and use a second lock to secure removable parts such as wheels. Most student accommodation blocks will also have a bike shed, but if you are in private accommodation then it is best that you bring your bike inside to prevent it being stolen under the cover of darkness. Also, to give you further peace of mind you can register your bike with the Bike Register, a national database used approved by the police force. This will help the police identify your bike and return it to you safely.
Keep your personal information safe.
Personal information can be just as valuable and profitable as physical valuables to it’s important that your personal information is secure. It can be devastating when fraudsters gain access to your bank account and steal thousands of pounds. To avoid your information being stolen, shred any paper that will contain such information (bank statements, insurances, gas, and electricity bills). To ensure your online data is safe, use anti-virus software on electronic devices such as your phone, tablet, and laptop, use strong passwords and avoid oversharing information on social media.
Ask for ID
By law students in rented accommodation are entitled to 24hour notice if the landlord wishes to enter or send someone to the property. Therefore, this allows you to be aware that someone outside of your home is coming to your property and allows you to act accordingly. And if you haven’t received notice of anyone coming to your property, you legally allowed to deny entry to your property (whether that is your landlord or a maintenance worker). If someone does try to gain access to your home, always ask for ID and try and contact your landlord for verification before letting them in. If you feel suspicious of them or don’t feel safe, say ‘No’.
If you need help, seek it
University is both an exciting time and a daunting time for students. While some will enjoy university life, for others leaving home and being separated from their parents, friends and family can be difficult and can have an impact on their mental wellbeing. For many universities, student mental health is a major priority for them, and they’ll often offer counselling services, workshops and courses for students who are struggling to adapt to university life, academic pressure, or mental health issues.
For more information on mental health wellbeing at university, take a look at students minds or the UK mental health charity Mind.
If you are in need of professional security solutions, contact us on 01656 713950 or visit our website for further details