Your academic year is nearly over and it's time to move onto the next big adventure, living in private accommodation!
For most of you, this will be the first time you've done anything like this and that's why we want to help you as much as we can. Otherwise, it can be a bit overwhelming...
Living in private accommodation is different from halls, especially when it comes to security and safety. This doesn't mean that your new house will be unsafe, it's just worth pointing out that you won't have the same level of protection in your private house that you do in halls.
So, how can you make sure that your new house safe?
1. Ask your landlord to make it safer
It might have been a long time since you viewing/visited the property but look back through the pictures you took; did it have bedroom locks? Did it have a burglar alarm? Did it have a sensor light outside? If it doesn't, you can ask your landlord to add these to the property before you move in. If you can't remember, just drop your landlord/estate agent an email and they should help you out.
2. Register your valuables with Immobilise
Yes, you don't want to think about anyone taking your stuff but it's better to be safe than sorry! It's completely free to register your items on the website and pretty simple - all you need to do is make note of your make, model and serial number of any phones, laptops, speakers and other electrical items. That way you're protected if anything was to happen.
3. Keep windows and doors locked
Try to get into the habit of always locking your windows and doors whenever you're heading out and even after you as you get home. If there are a few of you living in the house, remind your other flatmates to do the same. This way you don't have to worry about burglars letting themselves in and making themselves at home!
4. Leave valuables out of plain sight
Another way to avoid making a burglars life any easier is by putting your valuables away when you're not using them. If you have things like a TV, laptop, smartphone, jewellery or even expensive clothes/shoes in your room, you need to store them somewhere safe when you're not using them. If you're living on the ground floor, this may be difficult but is essential.
5. Shout bye to 'your housemate' when you're heading out
Ordered a late taxi for your night out? As your leaving the house, say "see you later Alex" loud enough so that your taxi driver can hear you. This way, people will think that someone is always in the house and people won't bother trying to get into a house when they know people are inside.
6. Get a bike and/or steering lock
Whichever is your chosen method of transport, keep it safe and protected. Avoid leaving your bike hanging around outside your house, lock it up and that way nobody can take it, even if they try. Bike locks don't cost much, and neither do steering locks. You wouldn't want to wake up and realise your car or bike has been taken, so it's wise to protect it as much as you can.
And that's it; 5 nice and easy things to do to keep your house safe and make sure you don't get any unwanted visitors. There are lots of things you can do to ensure safety but these are the basics, so just get these covered to start with and you'll be just fine.