University season has begun, and with that, a plethora of students and parents are adapting to a new environment. Many students will be living on their own for the first time and, with student housing identified as a prime target for burglaries, security experts are encouraging parents to have conversations with their children about keeping their belongings safe.
Burglars know that homes filled with students are a potential goldmine; the start of a new term means brand new iPads, laptops and all sorts of gadgets for the taking. Social media posts detailing nights out, indicating an empty house, can put a target on the home, as well as house parties with loads of people coming and going.
According to ADT, Managing director at ADT, Glenn Amato, said: “Moving into a university house after being in halls of residence should be an exciting time. But with lots of carefree students all living together under one roof, each with many expensive personal belongings, such as laptops and phones, burglars can sadly see student homes as a bit of a quick win with potentially big payoffs”.
ADT have issued the following steps for parents to pass on to their university student children to keep their houses safe.
House party preparations
Moving away from home offers plenty of opportunities for house parties, but with multiple members of the household usually inviting friends along, it can be hard to keep track of who is inside. When possible, only known and trusted people should be allowed in.
It is also worth dedicating one bedroom for hiding all valuables and personal belongings. Having a designated place for valuables can stop potential thieves from stealing expensive items.
Be mindful on social media
Posting a location on a non-private social media account is a clear signal to potential intruders that the house is empty. Do not let criminals know when the home is vulnerable to intrusion. Studies have revealed that it is as likely that a burglary is just as likely to be conducted by someone the victim knows as well as a stranger.
Remember to always lock windows and doors
The more doors and windows a home has, the more potential entry points there are. Before leaving for university or a social engagement, students should check that every window and door of the property is closed and locked, as open windows are a big temptation for opportunists, even if they are only left open at night. It is crucial to make sure all doors are locked (front and back) before heading out, as it is harder to hear someone entering the property from the back of the house.
Make it look like someone is home even when they are not
There are times throughout the year when universities close and the homes will be sat empty and so making it appear like someone is home could help to deter burglars. Smart bulbs (and smart plugs) can connect to a home’s Wi-Fi and can be operated remotely via a smart phone, even when no one is home.
Keep valuables out of sight
Before leaving the house (or going to bed), students should ensure that there are no flashy valuables or expensive tech items left lying around, especially in any places that are visible from the outside of the house. If you are leaving the house for a long period of time, such as for the Christmas holidays, remember to take all your valuables with you, such as your laptop.
Be mindful when hiding emergency keys
If a spare must be kept outside, keep it in a locked key safe. A safe that requires a code is best.
Set your alarm
If there is one installed in the property, it should be activated. Students should check in with their landlord to ensure that the alarm is set properly.