For some of you, this is your first time away from home living independently of parents. At home, your parents cared for your overall safety and security, perhaps more than you thought at the time. Now it’s your responsibility… to care for yourself and those around you.
All cities can be dangerous places, especially for the vulnerable and naïve and students can be seen as soft targets. The best thing you can do is to be aware of the main safety and security issues that affect students and take whatever reasonable precautions you can to minimise risks.
Student flats are usually busy places. New people are around all the time. Flat mates bring people home, there are parties and “nights in”, mates come to visit from out of town. Just make sure that the people in your flat are all genuinely supposed to be there and are not opportunists who have wandered in through an unlocked front door.
• Lock your doors and close the windows last thing at night and
when you leave to go out – even if it’s only to pop across to your
mate’s place next door for a coffee – or to hang the washing out
in the back green.
• Don’t leave windows open if you live at street level unless you’re both conscious and in the room all the time. And don’t leave your most nickable stuff near the windows where it can be tea-leafed by some dodgy passer-by.
• Don’t leave your pin number with your ATM card, or your bank card with your cheque book. Never disclose your pin number to anyone.
• Use the entry phone properly – don’t put the door on the latch and don’t let anyone in if they say they want someone in another flat (if they can’t get the person to answer and let them in, either the person is out or they don’t want to see them).
• If someone wants access to your flat, check their ID first before you let them in. Close the door and keep them waiting while you do so and if there’s anything dodgy, contact their company to check their status before giving them access.
• Keep keys safe and don’t leave them under the mat/plant pot for
ease of use. If it’s easy for you and your mates to get in this
way, it’s also easy for a thief.
• Insure your stuff. Make a list of your main possessions (description, make, model and serial number of the big /expensive items) and mark your name and address on them in ultra violet pen.
• Invest in a thick chain and a key-operated padlock.
• Mark your bike frame with your ID details with an UV pen.
• Try to park in a CCTV-covered area and, ideally, take your saddle with you in your ruck-sack when you leave your bike.
• Helmets are sound. There are good cycle routes in Edinburgh, but car and lorry drivers are still learning to “think bike”, so protection against injury is good.
You can make an appointment by telephoning 229 8791 or send an e-mail with your enquiry. We will aim to see you as soon as possible and within three working days during term-time.
You can also check out the Student Survival Guide for more advice. Pick up a copy from NSA at 12 Merchiston Place.