Tside reporter ELEANOR WELSH who was burgled in her student residence while she was in earlier this year, shares her top tips for keeping your stuff safe.
ALTHOUGH you may seem quite confident that you will avoid burglary, it’s really more common than you think. Earlier this year, in the summer I was burgled in my student residence, whilst I was on my own.
Though it was a terrifying experience; I like to think I have come away from it wiser, and more cautious.
Campus Watch have been urging students to take more care after a number of break ins in accommodation off campus. So to keep you safe here at Tside we’ve come up with a range of tips to help.
- Lock your door front, and back doors. It may seem the most obvious way to avoid having an intruder in your home, but in fact in Middlesbrough town centre it is very common for the burglar to pass by and try the handle, and sometimes finding it unlocked.
- Close windows when you’re not at home. Cat flap windows are becoming less common as they are now thought of as a fire risk, with a lack of escape route. This means wider windows, which people can climb in.
- Leave lights on when you’re out. Making it look like the house is habited will lessen the risk of intruders, as they think you are in.
- If in student residence having locks on bedroom doors is helpful. Lock valuables in your room when you are out, then if there is a trespasser they are less likely to take anything.
- Invest in home/room insurance. As a student it may seem like a drain on funds, but in actual fact it is really helpful in case of a burglar. Cheap home insurance is easy to find, some companies do student deals!
- Follow localnews/ Teesside Uni campus watch. Almost all of us have ‘smart phones’ nowadays with the internet at our fingertips. Check up on local news and university news and bulletins via social media or the evening gazette page.
- Share on social media to circulate news. If something like a burglary happens to you or someone you know, you could help another person avoid it by sharingit online and making it become well known.
- Burglar alarms! Every student house/private rental should have one. If these are on when you’re out then it lessens the risk a lot.
- If you are getting burgled and you’re in the house, stay calm and quiet. Whilst it doesn’t happen often, occasionally, intruders can be violent. It is best to, stay away.
- CALL THE POLICE! It may seem very obvious, but in the initial panic people forget their heads. Make sure you ring the police if you hear/see anything suspicious. It is their job to ensure safety and to catch criminals. Plus they can be very helpful in times of need.
Being cautious about simple things can really ensure the safety of you, but also your belongings.
“I am really cautious about keeping my house locked at all times since I got burgled, little noises scare me. I wish I had been more cautious before, and it might not of happened.” said Maria Ellis, 20, Middlesbrough.
Whilst going home for Christmas ensure your student residence is safe with the above tips and pointers as houses are going to be empty and criminals will be aware of that if the house doesn’t look lived in.