Christmas security advice from Student Housing

PossessionsSeason’s Greetings from the Student Housing team!

The holiday season is fast approaching and many of you may not be planning to stay in Portsmouth over the period.

If you live in a privately rented property your home could be a target for burglaries over the festive break from some not-very-festive people, so take some simple precautions to reduce the risk for your home:-

• Think about where you store/display presents and expensive equipment…

• …don’t leave things on display in windows or where they can be easily seen. Think how many people may have peered through your window when they have passed by your house. Thieves are much more likely to take the risk of breaking in if they are certain there are a large amount of valuables up for grabs.

• Make sure all doors and windows are locked before leaving the house – particularly if you are the last one to leave. Make this a regular habit even when going outside for just five minutes now so you have a routine in place. Five minutes is more than enough time for an opportunistic passing thief to enter your home and make off with your valuable possessions.

• Avoid leaving watches, keys, iPods, laptops etc. around your house. Store them in a safe place out of sight and choose a room other than your bedroom to hide valuable items in, since the bedroom is an obvious place to look. Try to take any valuables with you if you can carry them.

• If you have a good relationship with your neighbours, ask them to keep an eye on your house over the holidays and provide a contact number in case of any emergencies or problems arising.

• Create the impression someone is in if you can. A thief is less likely to break into a home if they believe someone is in. Don’t remove all of your coats and jackets from the passage door. Leave one on a door hook if it is visible from outside your home, to make thieves think you are in. Setting a light switch timer while you’re away is another great way of giving the impression your home is occupied.

• Don’t let thieves know you’re away via social media. Thieves are known to monitor social media to find out when potential victims are away from home. Keep your privacy settings locked down so that your social media accounts are not publically accessible, and if you’re away from home try not to announce it on Twitter or Facebook.

• Get insurance in place before you go. There are lots of comparison websites you can use to get the best deals but also get some advice from student-specific pages such as Student Beans, NUS, Save the Student etc.

• Register with “Immobilise”. “Immobilise” is the largest free register of personal property in the world. They work very closely with the police to trace owners of lost and stolen property. If you register your details and the unique serial numbers of your possessions, the police will be able to return recovered stolen goods to you much more quickly.

For more advice or if you want any pointers on home security, get in touch with the following teams:-

UoP Safer Students: dave.fairbrother @port.ac.uk; Twitter – @UniCopsPompey
Student Housing: student.housing@port.ac.uk; Twitter – @uophousing
Local police: Twitter – @PompeyPolice

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