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  • Keith Unwin

Student security - how can we help?

When your Bright Young Things wave you goodbye on their way to Uni, and the next stage on their own life journey, it's hard not to wonder how the hell they're going to manage. They're barely out of nappies and yet here they are, full of naïve optimism, hormones and textbooks, plotting a future beyond your control. And you didn't see it coming.

It's a rare parent who doesn't want to prepare their kids to survive and thrive in Big Wide World. Have you had The Conversation? You know, where you tell them that they are about to encounter some people who may not have their best interests at heart? Bless them. They've always been untidy and left stuff like phones, tablets, laptops and other gizmos lying around the house. Now you must inform them that this kind of lackadaisical approach is likely to end in tears. Theirs. Make them aware of the opportunist thieves who will relieve them of those desirable devices in a split second. Thieves target student digs for good reason – easy pickings. But how can you help them? What can you put in place that would support their student life? Obviously insurance can help after the fact, but how do you ensure it doesn’t get to this stage? What advice on security can you give someone about to leave home to go to student lettings?

So as a parting gift, you need to get them to think about basic security – in all its guises. Locks are their friends. When they leave their room, take a key and lock the door. Always. No exceptions!

Traditional night latches are great for shared houses, to give a bit of flexibility for visitors. If they have a bike, quite obviously they need a chunky bike lock. Many shared houses either don’t have window locks or the keys are long gone – invest in some of these – it’s one of the quickest, and easiest ways the burglar will enter a shared house.

Bags need zips. Substantial ones. Because students do a lot of walking, standing and mingling with their tech-stuffed bags, and they will be mingling with a few absolute tyrants, disguised as earnest, cool, trustworthy types. Some will be those all things – plus they will be opportunist thieves. Padlocks for bags, doors, cupboards in shared houses, even a mini safe for those with expensive tech might be useful investment in a shared house.

The new generation of security devices, like IP cameras and smart alarms, can provide top quality security for a modest outlay, and with intuitive, user-friendly app control, your student offspring can secure their student pad with minimal effort – and you get maximum peace of mind!

And remember, with something like a wireless Yale Smart alarm, they can move it with them from shared house, to shared house. There’s very little to show there has been an alarm installed when they move out – so no deposit is at risk. Therefore, the initial cost is spread over their years’ at University – plus eventually, in their first home.

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