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Keep your house safe this Christmas!

If you're a student, your deadlines are a distant memory, you've recovered from multiple Christmas-themed socials, and you've even managed to find enough remainder of your student loan to decorate your room with Christmas lights and sparkle! But don't rush home before making sure your house is safe for Christmas! 

Make sure you doors are locked. Picture by timsamoff on Flickr

Keep thieves away!

University holidays are unfortunately prime time for burglary occurring in student areas. A house with many students each with own laptop, iPod, TV etc. makes an easy target for theft. This is easily averted by taking all small valuables home with you, don’t risk them being stolen! Surely you'll need your laptop for constant revision for January’s exams anyway? Make sure you hide larger valuable items that you can't lug onto the train with you.

Lock up!

A job that may seem simple, but that many forget, is locking all doors and windows. If you think they're all locked, check again just in case! If you have a window or door that needs fixing, make sure you let your landlord know well in advance, it won’t be a valid excuse when you’re trying to trace your missing belongings.

Give your house a quick clean!

After successfully averting a break in, it is now time to make sure that when you return in January your student accommodation is in the same state you left it in, perhaps even slightly cleaner? It's nice to return to a clean home, especially after a few weeks of living like royalty at your parents' expense. A quick once over with the hoover and some Dettol will make a big difference to keeping your home in good condition. An essential part of your pre-Christmas cleaning routine has to be emptying the fridge. No one wants to return to your festering leftovers.

Put the bins out!

Once you’ve fully scrubbed and tidied, be sure to put all rubbish into bin bags and then outside. You can download a calendar of rubbish collection dates on the Cardiff Digs website. Putting your bins out is especially important to prevent attracting any unwelcome house guests!

Sort your bills!

We know that this time of year, money is tight, but if you do have some extra cash, it's a good idea to pay off any outstanding bills before you leave your residence. When you come back, exam period will be in full swing and you don’t want continuous phone calls from companies asking when you’ll be paying for your heating bill.

Set the heating!

It’s all too tempting to turn the heating off over Christmas to save some pennies, however, keeping your heating on a low temperature for a few hours a day will prevent your pipes from freezing and then bursting.

Turn it all off!

Before you lock your door (check you have your keys!), have a walk around with your house mates making sure all electrics are turned off and unplugged, even the Christmas lights! This is not only going to save you money but it will help prevent fires caused by electrical faults or products that overheat.

And last but not least…

Now that you’re finally ready to go, don't let excitement get the better of you. The generic 'Going home for Christmas!' status may excite your Facebook fan club, but if your Facebook page has ever included a mention of your address, potential thieves may also 'like' your announcement. Even if there is nothing of value left in your student accommodation, being burgled is still an upsetting and scary experience.  So now we’ve fried your brain with all the info, here's a simple checklist for you to follow: 

Christmas in Cardiff. Picture by joncandy on Flickr
  1. Take small valuables home
  2. Hide large valuables
  3. Check doors and windows are locked
  4. Double check that doors and windows are locked
  5. Let your landlord know of any doors/windows that need to be fixed. Maybe also tell them when you are leaving/planning to return.
  6. Give your house a quick clean
  7. Throw out any food that’ll go off whilst you're away
  8. Put bins out
  9. If possible pay off any outstanding bills
  10. Set your heating to a low temperature for a few hours a day
  11. Turn off and unplug all electrical items
  12. Be careful with social media
  13. And most importantly enjoy your Christmas holidays!

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