Handy tips to beat the burglar

The statistics for student break-ins show that 1 in 3 of us will become a victim of the crime before graduating. It’s easy to understand why a burglar would target students seeing as the average student property houses gadgets worth up to £10,000. Whilst moving into your own place at university is without doubt exciting; nothing will take the wind out of your sails quicker than finding out an intruder has broken in and stolen your belongings.

Unlike many other types of crime there are steps you can take individually and collectively as a house that can lower your potential of being burgled. Here a are a few tips to help you:

Keep doors locked

I might be stating the obvious but by locking your doors you are placing barriers between your valuables and potential intruders, making it harder for them to break in. Get into a routine of keeping your front and bedroom doors locked when you are out or asleep and this includes all windows too. If you leave anything unlocked you are making life easier for a burglar and leaving yourself more vulnerable.

Keep lights on when out

This is an easy deterrent to keep burglars away. By keeping a light or two on you are giving the impression to would be intruders that somebody is at home, lowing the likelihood that they will break in. Keep in mind it will be more believable to keep a bedroom light on rather than the hallway. A burglar will believe a student has been in their bedroom all night but not that the whole house is congregating in the hallway.

Keep curtains closed

Don’t let a burglar use your living room as a shop window. By keeping your curtains open you are advertising televisions, games consoles and laptops and letting a burglar know they have hit the jackpot if they break in. Keep the shop shut by closing your curtains whenever possible especially when you’re out or asleep.

Buy a safe

This one is nice and easy, buy a quality safe and chances are a burglar isn’t going to waste time trying to crack it-especially if you bolt it to the floor.

Mark valuables with a UV pen

These pens are often handed out by your university student safety officer at fresher’s fairs. Mark your valuables with your name, postcode and university and if your things are recovered by the police they can return them to you. Although the pen markings are invisible you can buy stickers to attach to your valuables letting people know you have used the pen as this will be a deterrent to a burglar.

Hide your gadgets

It might be surprising to know that a large number of student break-ins happen when somebody is home. This type of ‘smash and grab’ burglary occurs frequently because gadgets like smartphones and I pads are very easy to steal quickly. To avoid this keep your gadgets in a safe place when they are not in use. A good place to store them is inside a draw or under your pillow. Criminals are opportunists so take their opportunity away and keep your valuables hidden.

Get insurance

Contents insurance protects you against theft of property and is a must have for all students. You might think insurance is pointless and you shouldn’t concern yourself with it but ask yourself the question, could you could afford to replace your laptop or smartphone if it was stolen? Remember to keep an inventory of your valuables as this will be a useful record to give to police. It’s also important to know that if you are sharing a flat with others you will each need to take out your own insurance policy.

To find the statistics for crimes and burglary near your university campus check out the complete university guide.

Photo Credit: Peter Koerhuis via Compfight cc

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Shaun Rhatigan

An espiring journalist with a passion for writing. Currently in my third year at university about to embark on the real world

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