What you can do to prevent break-ins

Photo credit: Britt Reints

by Katie Siwek

1. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable. Ensure all doors and windows are locked- especially on an evening when social meets may adopt an open door policy. Thieves will take full advantage of this.

2. Burglaries are especially heightened during the holidays when everyone goes home. If possible, take all your valuables when you return home, and if not, keep them out of easy reach. Drawing all curtains is advisable- especially if you reside on the ground floor of a property.

3. Don’t draw attention to possessions. For example, talking on your phone with your tablet under your arm as you return from a lecture, shows everyone in your area what your own. Not all these people will be students.

4. Perpetrators don’t always commit random attacks. It is no surprise many people aren’t even at home when their houses are broken into. Ensure your property looks lived in, even if there’s no one in for days. Always leave a light on, especially in the entrance so it appears that people are passing in and out. If need be, get your landlords to come in every few days during holidays to switch things up. This creates an illusion of constant activity in your house. Automatic timers for lights are pretty affordable too, and very much advised if the latter is not possible.

5. It sounds ridiculous, but always keep your room locked. If not from your housemates, from people who might slip in the front door and try their luck on open rooms. If your room is not locked, your insurance is void and cannot be claimed on in the event of theft.

6. We all know how tempting it is, especially when you misplace your set after a night out- but don’t leave spare keys laying around. Either on the side as you walk in, or the classic ‘Behind the flowers where no one will see.’ Be savvy, beat burglars to it.

7. Alert the police if you notice anything suspicious around your property. It is never overreacting to ensure yourself and others are safe. 101 is the non-emergency number to contact the police. Of course, 999 in the event of emergency.

8. It’s easy to avoid the people you live next to, but statistically close- knit neighbourhoods encounter many less break ins. If you know your neighbours face, then a suspicious, unfamiliar one will stick out immediately- especially in student heavy areas.

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