Wherever you live, and whatever you live in, everyone should be aware of the safety of their home and whoever lives in it. Despite there being a significant drop in burglaries since the millennium, there is still a definite cause for concern.
Burglar alarms are the obvious go-to in this situation, but ‘alarmingly’, 34% of householders with an alarm do not pay attention to it, while a further 33% dismiss hearing other alarms in their neighbourhood as being false. The annoyance of constantly having to set and re-set your timers on your alarms when you wish to leave or return to your house understandably means that a lot of people forget to set theirs. However, there are now wireless security alarms that sync with your mobile through an app, to allow you to set them when you are not able to do it manually. Although these are relatively new, there are many on the market. You can either buy a whole system, or download the relevant app to your existing home security system. This way it is much easier to protect your home, so you will be more likely to do it.
There are other quick-fix deterrents for burglars that anyone can try without hassle or expense. Leaving the television or radio on, or maybe one or two lights, can trick a burglar into thinking someone is in the house. This is not a guaranteed protection as over half the burglaries in 2009/10 were committed with someone present in the house, but it is still worth trying. A guard dog will often scare a burglar away as they pose an imminent danger in going into a property, but it is not always a plausible option in home security. You can always pretend you have one by putting a sign up and perhaps buying a water bowl. You could even go as far as playing recorded noises of a dog barking intermittently throughout the day for a burglar to hear, although this may just really annoy your neighbours.
Having experienced it personally, student houses can often be the best targets for burglars. They are guaranteed to have some form of laptop or computer, or if the burglar is lucky, a MacBook and maybe even a few iPods, iPads or tablets chucked in. This is not to mention that they get a student loan payment every few months, so regardless of the ‘poor student’ stereotype, this usually does not apply until the end of term, and most definitely does not at the beginning when the loan payment is made. (This is when you will notice a rise in iPad, PlayStation and Topshop sales).
What is the most worrying about this sort of situation is that the landlord does not live there to oversee the security measures in place on the property; this applies to all tenants, not just students. Whether or not they have the latest burglar alarm system set, and several different types of locks on the door, their landlord cannot ensure that these are being used. Here, landlord insurance is a definite must; it will not cost you more than the property itself but will mean that some cover is in place should your tenants not be as careful as you would like them to be. For ‘poor’ students there are good deals on insuring their belongings, or there is an array of content insurance deals available for non-students too.
Beyond any advice for keeping your household safe is to lock your doors and windows. As obvious as this is, 64% of homeowners confessed to leaving their doors unlocked whilst out of the house, and another 37% while they were inside. By doing this you are physically blocking them from entering your property, and it will ensure that you are covered by your insurance policy.