The holiday season causes many student homes to be left empty, as its occupants retire to their family homes for Christmas. This makes student homes prime targets for crime, as not only might they still contain expensive gear such as TVs, games consoles, speakers, printers, etc. – but they will often lack sophisticated modes of deterrence such as alarms, and will surely be left unattended over the Christmas period.

We want students to feel safe whilst in Southampton, and when you are at home for the holidays you should still feel confident that your student home is secure. Here are some key tips, taken from Immobilise (The National Property Register in the UK) and House Hustler that can help keep your home safe this Christmas.

  1. Invest in light timers or leave front-facing lights on. “Deterring would-be criminals in one of the most effective forms of crime prevention.” Having light timers or leaving some lights on during the holidays will make your house look as lived-in as possible, and will hopefully make approaching your home too risky for a burglar as they won’t be able to tell if someone is still living there.
  2. Secure all doors and windows before you go out. Statistics show that 30% of burglaries happen through open or unsecured windows. Additionally, it may be wise to check doors and windows for weak spots and informing your landlord of these weaknesses so that they can be secured before you head home.
  3. Don’t leave your valuables in sight. Keep your curtains, drapes and window blinds closed so that would-be burglars can’t see what you’ve left at home over the holidays. If they can’t see what you’ve got on offer they won’t risk entering your home in case there’s nothing of value in it for them! Or better still,
  4. Take anything of value with you. Laptops, tablets, TVs, games consoles, cameras – don’t take the risk: the only way to make sure they really are safe is to take them with you when you leave Southampton.
  5. Don’t hide keys within the property, and definitely not anywhere outside. “Burglars know how to look for hidden door keys so don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges.” Better to take them with you.
  6. Secure garages and bike sheds (if applicable). If you’ve got a bike, make sure the shed you are keeping it in is secure. Immobilise suggest that you register your bike with them so they can trace it and return it to you if it is stolen. Make sure that if your landlord has left garden tools or ladders in your shed they are locked away too, so that burglars can’t use them to force entry into your home.

For more information, visit Immobilise here and watch this video by House Hustler to pick up extra tips about securing your home for the winter.

As always, wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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