According to police research, students are the group most likely to be targeted by burglars in the UK, so it’s really important you make sure you do everything you can to make your property secure. We’ve written this blog post to help you take the necessary precautions to keep you and your belongings safe.
Over 1000 student homes in Manchester are burgled every year. Shockingly, 1 in 3 burglaries occur after the students living there fail to lock their doors and windows before leaving the property. It is therefore essential that you make sure your locks are in good working order and that you use them as often as possible. Burglars want easy access to a property, so by making their lives more difficult, you’ll dramatically reduce the chance of a break-in. If you can, you should also lock your bedroom door when you go out. That way, if one of your housemates forgets to lock their window, burglars won’t be able to steal your belongings too.
Even if you are in the property, you should lock the doors and windows in the rooms which you’re not using. This is especially important if you are out in the garden as you may not hear someone breaking in. In the unlikely event that it’s hot outside, make sure you lock your windows at night.
If you have any broken locks or if you feel additional locks are required in your property, notify the Mistoria maintenance team immediately and we will come and help.
In the Garden
If you have gates that lead into your garden, keep them locked. You should also move wheelie bins away from the house so that would-be burglars cannot use them to climb into the property through an accessible window. On bin collection day, move your bins back into your garden or onto your drive; if they are left out on the pavement, your property will look unoccupied and burglars are more likely to strike.
Keeping Valuables Safe
Another way to prevent burglaries is to make sure your valuables are hidden out of sight. Opportunist thieves may strike if they notice a laptop in the window within easy reach. When you leave your house for the day, you should therefore hide your valuables in drawers. The effect of having your computer stolen will not just be financial though – it will probably have all of your essays and research on it too and losing those could be disastrous for your academic career.
Furthermore, if you have just purchased a new piece of tech, tear up the box and put it in your recycling bin. Don’t leave it on show next to the bins or in the window, as that will make it obvious to thieves that there is something worth stealing in your property.
If you plan to have a big night out and everyone in the house will be out, order a taxi to come and pick you up at the end of the road. That way, it won’t be as clear which house is the empty one to anyone who might be watching. The same should be done when you leave your house at the end of the term.
You should also purchase a light timer so that when you go out it looks like you’re still in. These are fairly inexpensive and can be bought from supermarkets and DIY stores. If it looks like your house is occupied, thieves will be less likely to attempt to burgle the property.
When you do go home for the holidays, bring all of your valuables with you. The longer a burglary goes unreported, the less likely you’ll be to recover your stolen items; this could be a number of weeks if you’re on holiday. Therefore, take similar precautions to those listed above when you move out over Christmas or Easter; use timers, make sure everything is locked up and make sure the outside of your house is well kept – don’t let rubbish build up in your front garden as unkempt properties often appear less secure.
Sometimes, no amount of preparation can stop your house being burgled. That’s why you need to ensure that you purchase contents insurance for your property as soon as you move in. You might think it’s cheaper to take the risk and not pay for insurance, but if your property is burgled, the cost of replacing all of your stolen items can be crippling.
You should also register all of your valuables on the Immobilise website, where you can record the serial number, make and model of your items. If they are recovered by the police, officers will check this online database to try and return your items to you.
If you require more advice or you are concerned about securing your property, get in contact with the team; we’re always happy to help. We’ve also produced advice for landlords on securing their properties, which can be found here. If you are looking for student accommodation for sale, Salford based Mistoria Estate Agents have a range of properties available.