Newest Review: ... am saying here is "don't take them". Travelling - whether it is after a night out or after leaving uni make sure you know how t... more
Fire, theft, mugging - be aware!
Member Name: lellagrace
Advantages: Make safety a priority
Disadvantages: not everyone takes it seriously
In a few weeks' time thousands of students will be leaving home for the first time to go away to university. They will no doubt be feeling very excited and also perhaps apprehensive. There will be lots of things to think about and a priority should be safety.
Safety of the student and of their belongings, so I am passing on some advice here to all students and do hope it will be helpful.
First of all, be sensible about your own personal safety. Your parents have brought you up and looked after you so far, don't throw away all their hard work by not taking care of yourself when you leave home!!! They will be worried enough about if you eating sensibly etc without having to worry if you are safe as well!
Drinking - of course you will drink to excess at some point, but don't leave drinks unattended in case someone spikes them. Hopefully if you do drink too much there will be someone in your group who will help you get home safely. Take care of others around you too and if you see someone worse for drink make an effort to help them get home.
Drugs - well, I am sure you will have been educated on the dangers of these, so the only thing I am saying here is "don't take them".
Travelling - whether it is after a night out or after leaving uni make sure you know how to get home safely. Don't take risks by walking alone through parks or isolated areas.
Make sure you know which bus to take to get you back to your accommodation and check what time the last one leaves.
If you can't get home on public transport, then either arrange to stay with a friend or take a taxi. If you have to take a taxi you will need cash.
This brings me onto my next point - don't carry too much cash around with you (as if!!!!!) and if you use a cashpoint try to do this in daylight and check around to see who is watching you. Follow the usual security precautions, such as not writing down your pin number etc. Don't carry too many credit cards around with you.
When out with friends steer clear of trouble spots. In a strange city you should find out where these are by asking people from uni who have been there longer than you. Follow your own instincts, if a place doesn't feel safe then avoid it.
Don't use your mobile phone in public, especially if it is the latest model. Hide your laptop when carrying it around.
ACCOMMODATION - hopefully you will have had some guidance in choosing accommodation in a safe area.
Make sure you lock the communal entrance after you and check if anyone follows you in, if you are in a block of apartments. Otherwise, make sure you always lock doors into your accommodation and tell your flatmates to do the same.
Don't leave expensive items on display and take out insurance to cover your possessions.
Make sure you close windows at night and if you are out. Fit window locks too.
Buy a few timers and leave a couple of lights on, this will make the accommodation look lived in.
Burglars know when students go home for the holidays. If your flat is going to be empty for a while then put your possessions out of sight or take them with you. If you can't do this, then leave lights on timers.
Suggest your landlord invests in a burglar alarm system and then make sure everyone knows how to use it. Set it at night and when you are out, it is easy to zone areas that are being used all the time.
It is the law that if you are in accommodation with gas appliances that these have been checked by a CORGI registered fitter. You should have a certificated stating the appliances are safe and this has to be renewed annually. If your landlord doesn't provide this s/he is breaking the law and putting your life at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Use your commonsense, up to now your parents have probably taken care of security issues in the home. Now it is up to you. Make sure everyone in your accommodation takes their security seriously. Be careful who you allow into your rooms, especially when you have parties. Have someone checking people who arrive to make sure they are not gatecrashers.
Check ID of any "officials" who come to the door, bogus callers don't just prey on the elderly.
Fit bolts and locks to external doors and windows.
Make sure everyone is aware of what to do in case of fire. It makes me cringe when I see students living in houses where the cellars have been made into kitchens. If your accommodation is like this, make sure you have fire blankets and extinguishers handy and make sure there is an opening window or door which could be used in an emergency.
Lastly, enjoy your studies but do make security and your own personal safety a priority and advise others to do the same.
Summary: Be sensible