How I keep my student home safe over Christmas

Written by Rachel Measures, Masters in PR. Illustration by Laura Dowson, BA (Hons) Illustration, 2nd year.

Christmas time is nearly here, and many of us will be fleeing Sheffield to return to the cosy homes of family or friends for the festive period.

At this time, it’s not shocking to say that student houses can be easy targets for crime, especially when they can be left empty for up to a month between semesters.

However, Sheffield is a friendly city so those targeting your house will only do so if they see an easy opportunity. Therefore, I want to share a few of the ways I ensure my belongings are kept safe.

  1. Keep doors and windows shut

One in three burglaries are due to doors and windows being left open or unlocked. So I’ve got myself into the habit of keeping the doors and windows locked – even when I’m in the house.  It takes seconds but can ensure your belongings are kept safe from opportunist thieves.

  1. Take valuables home

I take as many of my valuables back home as I can so if the worst does happen, there’s less impact.

  1. Keep any valuables you do leave out of sight

If burglars can see them, they might target them, so hide away your valuables especially when you’re not in. Whenever I leave my house for a couple of nights, my laptop gets hidden in my wardrobe or under my bed.

  1. Let your landlord know you’re going

Let your landlord know that no one will be around. My landlords have always been grateful to know, and it means that they’ll keep an eye on the property while you’re away.

  1. Make sure you have contents insurance

Sometimes this comes with your rent, and sometimes you will be covered in your parents’ insurance policies, but it never hurts to check because if the worse happens, at least you know you’ll be able to replace some of your valuables.

If the worse does happen:

  1. Call the police on 101 (or in Halls call your security)

Log the burglary and make a list of everything that has been damaged or stolen, and touch nothing until the police can record the crime scene. This will help the police if they find any of your belongings and help the insurance company with any claims.

  1. Contact your landlord

Let them know what has happened and let them fix the issues that they need to in order to make the property safe again.

By being smart, we can put burglars off targeting our homes and keep ourselves safe.

Follow Laura’s illustrations on Instagram @ldillustrates