Talking Points

Row of student houses in Leeds.

How to keep your student home safe over the summer months

So, you’ve spent the last few months studying hard to ensure you get the best degree possible and improve your future prospects.

You may have gone through the stresses of leaving home and moving into your own place, along with meeting a whole bunch of people and having new experiences in your independent life. And as exciting as all of that is, it can also be pretty exhausting as well.

That’s why summer is such a great time to look forward to. It’s not only a well-earned rest, but it’s also the time to go back home to see your friends and family.

However, amidst all that excitement, there’s a few things you have to remember. When you leave for the summer break, your Leeds student accommodation is a great deal more vulnerable to crime than usual.

With that in mind, here’s a look at our top 10 tips for keeping your home safe during the summer months.

  1. First off, if it’s hot and you want to open some windows, that’s fine. Just make sure that you close and lock your windows (and doors) before you leave the property.
  2. While keeping downstairs windows open should be fine provided you are in the room, remember to keep them closed on a night without fail.
  3. Next, make sure your keys are not within any kind of reaching distance. An open window on a sunny day and keys left close by can add up to a very dangerous combination.
  4. Another way criminals can get hold of your keys is if they are stored close to your door. A wire through the letterbox is often used to get hold of the keys and gain access. This is especially important to remember if you’re leaving for the summer and have any spare keys inside the property.
  5. Similarly, keep all your valuables out of plain sight as much as you. Criminals assess risk before trying to enter a property: the more they feel there is to gain, the more likely they are to take the risk.
  6. Before you leave for the summer, or any extended period of time, make sure that all your alarms are working. They should also be tested regularly regardless.
  7. Consider installing a plug-in timer for a light. This way, it will appear as though your property is occupied during the night. This might be the thing that convinces a potential thief that breaking into your home is just not worth the risk.
  8. Take as many important valuables home with you. If all else fails and the worst happens, at least this way, you’ll have less to lose. Laptops, TVs, games consoles and other electrical items are especially valuable because of the ease in which they can be sold.
  9. You can also register with Immobilise to help police identify the owners of recovered stolen property. This way, if you do have your property stolen, you still have a chance to get it back
  10. Most importantly of all, make sure you check and then double check that everything is locked up before you leave for your summer break. If you’re living in a house share in Leeds, then try to all leave at the same time. If this is not possible and the responsibility lies with someone other than yourself, then press home the importance to them of locking up thoroughly.

While keeping your home safe is always a high priority, there’s a few reasons why the summer period sees a much higher level of crime. One is that, in a lot of shared accommodation, there’s usually someone in the property at any given time.

This means that there’s usually less opportunity for crime and this can give us a false sense of security when the house becomes less occupied during the summer holiday.

This is confounded by the fact that criminals will know that this is a time of year when a lot of properties will be empty, therefore making them much more likely to strike.

It’s therefore important to be extra vigilant to keep our homes safe from intruders, whether we’re staying or going home over the summer.

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