10 Easy Ways to Protect Your House From Burglars As a Student
More than 3.5 million burglaries occur each year in the United States, and in more than 1 million of those, a household member was present at the time.
Worried your student house is a potential target for burglars? Our home security tips will help you keep your house safe from any unwanted intruders.
With multiple students all living in the same building, each with their own laptop, phone and other gadgets in most cases, burglars see student accommodation as a quick win with big rewards.
If you want to go a step further and make your home as safe as possible, here are the best ways to protect your home from a break-in. We also cover what to do if you do get burgled.
Here are some easy home security tips to make your house safe from burglars:
1. Update Your Doors and Locks
Believe it or not, one of the most common ways burglars break into a home is to kick open the door. Make it harder for burglars by replacing hollow-core exterior doors with solid wood or metal doors and installing a deadbolt with a bolt length (also known as a throw) of at least one inch.
2. Make it look like you’re at home when you’re not
One thing burglars know about students is that they all disappear home for Christmas, Easter and summer.
Unoccupied houses are prime targets for burglars. It gives them an easy way to get in and out without being discovered. Classic Home Alone stuff…
An easy way to burglar-proof your home is to invest in a light timer. You can set it so a living room lamp comes on from around 7pm – 10pm every night. It’s much more effective than just leaving a light on for a week. Plus, you won’t be wasting money on electricity you’re not using.
Also, make sure to take all your valuables with you when you go back home. You might not be able to carry your flat screen TV on the train, but take as much as you can.
3. Register valuables on the UK’s National Property Register
It’s always best to prepare for the worst. You can do so by registering your valuables. This increases the likelihood of you being reunited with anything that gets stolen.
This register is used by the police to track down the owners of stolen goods. If they recover your stolen laptop and you’ve logged it on the register, they’ll be able to return it to you.
If the police can’t locate the owners of stolen goods they often sell them at police auctions, where you can pick up some bargains.
4. Only let people you know into your house
People often leave their flat doors unlocked in halls (even though they definitely shouldn’t), thinking the main door will keep out any intruders. If you start letting in random people, you could be giving them access to flats and communal areas where they can get their hands on valuable items.
As difficult as it is, sometimes it’s best to explain that you can’t let someone in for security reasons and ask them to buzz whoever they’re visiting instead.
You Can Also Check: 5 Kitchen Utensils You Don’t Actually Need in Student House
5. Keep valuable things away from windows
It might seem a bit over the top, but it’s actually best to hide your valuables when you go on holiday or on a night out. Find a secure spot in your room, and tuck away your laptop and any expensive jewellery. Just don’t forget where you left them!
6. Close Curtains or Blinds
If you regularly leave your curtains and blinds open, burglars are free to window-shop and pick out possessions they would like to pilfer. To keep your belongings safe and temptation at bay, draw curtains and close blinds when you’re away.
7. Get the taxi to pick you up from down the street
If you and your housemates pile into a taxi directly outside your house, you’re alerting the driver (and anyone watching) to the fact that it’s going to be empty for the next few hours.
Get the taxi to pick you up from around the corner or down the road instead. That way, they’ll have no way of knowing which house you’ve just left empty.
8. Keep your bike safe with a sturdy bike lock
For the best protection, get one of these. Simple chains and padlocks can often be easily cut with a pair of cable cutters.
When leaving your bike, lock it up inside where possible (in a garage or shed, for instance). Also, make sure to chain it to an immovable object.
9. Get contents insurance for expensive electronics
We know it sounds like a drag, especially when you have so many other student bills to pay, but getting contents insurance is an investment that will pay off in the long run.
If you live in halls, you might have contents insurance thrown in with your rent. But usually, this only covers limited items and they have to be in your room when they’re stolen (not communal areas).
It’s also worth checking whether your parents’ contents insurance will cover you at uni.
10. Hide laptop and mobile phone packaging
Just invested in a new laptop? The worst thing you can do is dump the box outside your house for the rubbish collectors to pick up. You might as well stick up a sign saying ‘Expensive new gadgets over here’.
Make sure you break all packaging down, put it in the recycling bin and cover it with some more paper and cardboard.