Right readers, let me paint you a picture.
Picture this, it’s 1:30am in the morning. I’ve fallen sleep, I’m the only person in the house until around 15-30 minutes later my housemates arrive home from a night out. Fast forward to 2:30am I’m being woken up by some sort of banging and shouting. I can hear the girls talking and what sounds like laughter (turns out it wasn’t) and a lot of commotion. I’m thinking they are just being loud after a night out until I get a phone call from my house mate explaining there is someone trying to break into our house. I mean… what?! I run around in the dark of my room attempting to get dressed, tripping over left, right and centre, before finally getting to my door and opening it slightly (as I’m on the bottom floor and the front door is outside my room) and look through the window, all I can see is a blurry figure, kicking and punching the door. He’s being vulgar and screaming and shouting. It’s using his whole weight attempting to get the door open, he’s trying the door handle and trying to put his hand through the letter box and so on – so as you can imagine, there is a state of panic in the house!
Long story short, we call the police and our neighbour, our neighbour makes the guy leave, the police come a little later and it’s all sorted. They believe it was a drunken man who had the wrong house and was getting frustrated that he couldn’t get in.
So, nothing too big but it was terrifying and shook us up and me and my other two house mates have all dealt with it in our own ways.
I can imagine you’re now asking, “Why in God’s name are you telling us this?” – well, simply, it’s to remind you to be safe and secure.
Since being at university, this is the first situation like this that has ever happened. So from living in halls, to my first student house to now. In three years, one incident. I believe that’s pretty good. However, in those three years, I’ve also known A LOT of students to leave their windows and doors unlocked during the night or when they go out.
So, simply, REMEMBER TO LOCK YOUR DOORS AND WINDOWS. Most student houses also have locks on the doors to each individual bedroom, so I’d also suggest locking them.
Even though our situation wasn’t someone trying to steal our stuff, it was someone attempting to get into our house and the situation could have been worst than it was. Now a lot of students don’t bother to take our insurance for their belongings (also, if you didn’t know, a lot of students can be covered by their parents home insurance cover – even whilst away at university) and personally, I’ve never took out independent insurance. However, my point is, some students are not covered at all so if you are silly and someone just opens your front door or gets in through a window because of your negligence – say goodbye to your stuff because it is gone for good. Obviously if you do lock your doors and windows and they break in, completely different story! But still, you should always lock your doors and windows and enquire about insurance because the last thing you need is your laptops and computers being stolen.
As silly as it sounds, it is a good idea to have a little plan with your housemates as to what to do in such a situation. E.g. one person that tries to investigate what’s going on, another on the phone to the police and so on and so fourth. Therefore, when something happens, everyone can TRY and remain calm and attempt to get the police there as quick as possible and get it sorted. Luckily, we had a very lovely neighbour we could call and he came and helped us – however, it’s rare for students to have such lovely neighbours.
Of course if you are reading this and thinking, I feel very, very vulnerable in my student house, talk to your letting agent or landlord. First and foremost, it’s about feeling safe in your student house and that should be provided. I do understand there is around a 50/50 split with landlords and letting agents, some are lovely and will do anything to make you feel safe, whereas others could not give a damn about you – they just see you as money. However, it’s good practice to talk to them about maybe getting more locks fitted or a safety light and so on – whatever makes you feel comfortable.
I use this article as a big of a Public Service Announcement – well Student Service Announcement – I urge all of you, please, lock your doors and windows at night – and your bedroom locks if you have one. Make sure you are safe and secure and maybe take a look into your insurance!
Stay safe students!