The first trimester is almost over! It’s now time for a well-deserved break to clear your head before the exam period and trimester two begins. Whether you’re going home for the holiday season or staying in Hull, Christmas can be a time where the number of burglaries rises.
Don’t be alarmed though, simply follow our handy tips and advice to make sure your home is safe and secure over the holidays.
1. Take your belongings home with you.
If you’re heading home for the holidays, be sure to take valuable items such as laptops, phones and tablets home with you - you may even need them to do any work or studying over the holiday period!
2. Hide your valuables.
This may seem obvious, but we’re all guilty of ignoring it. If you’re not able to take your belongings home with you, then make sure you don’t leave them out on display. Tuck them away in a drawer, cupboard or even under a bed.
3. Lock your windows and doors.
Make sure that your windows and doors are shut and locked before leaving the property - especially if you’re living on the ground floor or have a balcony. Burglars are opportunistic, so this reduces the risk of them entering.
4. Got a burglar alarm? Turn it on!
If your accommodation has a burglar alarm, make sure it’s activated and on. This can be a great deterrent for any unwanted visitors.
5. Think about buying a light timer.
A dark house means an empty house, so it’s worth looking at buying a timer for the lights. Not only does this mean that the lights will turn on and off as if someone is home, but it’s cheaper than keeping the lights on for weeks.
6. Check your contents insurance is valid.
Sometimes you’ll be covered under your parents’ insurance, but it’s always worth checking - don’t assume you are covered. If you don’t have insurance, then there are plenty of cheap insurance providers especially for students - it’s better to be safe than sorry!
7. Inform your landlord or letting agency of you leaving.
It’s a good idea to let your landlord or letting agency that the house will be empty over a long period of time. Or, if someone is local to your house, it’s worth popping by over the holidays to check on your house.
8. Move your bins round the back of the property.
A handy tip would be to move your wheelie bins away from your house - possibly into a yard if you have one. This prevents the bins from being stolen, set on fire or used to gain entry into the house.
9. Make sure your letterbox is clear of junk.
A letterbox stuffed with unopened mail is a tell-tale sign that no-one is home. Why not pop a sign on your door politely asking for no ‘junk mail’ for the holidays? Or, If your house is going to be empty for a while, the Royal Mail have a ‘Keep Safe’ service where they will hold your mail for a period of time.
10. Make sure your house is clean and tidy.
This may not prevent a burglary, but it’s a good tip - nobody wants to come home to a messy, smelly house so be sure to give it a tidy before you leave. Clear out your fridges and cupboards of any food which may go off during the holidays. Why not bring any unwanted food to Student Central, where HullSTARS are collecting it to be donated to homeless charities in the city.
If you need any advice about keeping your property and valuables safe over the holiday season, HullSTARS are here to help. You can find them on the second floor of Student Central, in the Advice Centre.