While your landlords have their own responsibilities to fulfil, there are steps that you can take to increase your home safety and security. Just like in any city you should be mindful that there may be people on the lookout for an easy break in opportunity.
It’s important to remember that most students won’t encounter any problems but students who have a relaxed attitude towards home security could put themselves at greater risk.
We’ve suggested some things we’d encourage you to be aware of -
Student homes may be targeted for high value items such as laptops, iPads and bicycles. You should avoid leaving valuables in places where they may be visible. It’s also a good idea to break up cardboard/packaging that could advertise any recent purchases. Ensure windows and doors are locked before leaving the property. Remember that in warmer months, even if you are inside the property but upstairs, an open external door could allow someone to enter unnoticed.
If someone knocks on the door and you’re not expecting a visitor you should check who it is before opening the door.
If you are storing a bike we recommend using a D-shaped lock. Where possible you should lock the bike inside a secure shed or garage. If this isn’t an option, you may be able to store the bike inside the property. We recommend checking with your housemates if you plan to store the bike in a communal space, and remember exits should be free from obstruction in the event of an emergency.
Kent Police have a page on bike safety, which is worth checking out.
Fire Safety awareness
Fire safety may not sound like the most exciting thing in the world but being aware of what we can do to decrease the risk of fire protects lives, possessions and homes.
Landlords have a duty to install a smoke alarm on each floor of the property, however, YOU must remember to test them regularly to ensure they are working in the event of fire. If you press the button and there is no sound, change the batteries.
Around half of home fires are caused by accidents in the kitchen, it is therefore important that you don’t leave your cooking unattended, especially when using a microwave. If you come home late after a night out and want to eat, either have something that doesn’t require cooking, or get a take away.
You should also be mindful not to overload plug sockets and remember to switch off electrical appliances like phone chargers and hair straighteners when not in use.
Landlords are also required to provide a carbon monoxide alarm if you have a solid fuel burning appliance, for example a gas stove or coal fire.