Keeping you and your belongings safe during university holidays

When the holidays come around, many students pack-up and move elsewhere. This means that sometimes your student accommodation is left unoccupied for weeks on end. Before it’s that time of year, we’ve got simple advice that will help keep you, your possessions and your accommodation safe over the holiday period.

Take it home over the holidays

It’s a good idea to take your valuables with you when you move out for the holidays. Even if it’s just over Christmas. Most people know that student houses are empty over the Christmas period and during the summer, so they’ll be easier targets for burglars.

Leave a light on a timer

It’s worth leaving lights or a radio on a timer – that way you’ll give the illusion of the house being occupied. And, if you’re going to be away for a long period of time, tell your landlord how long your property will be empty for.

Double check the locks

Make sure all doors and windows are locked before you leave. This might seem obvious but it’s easy to forget about shutting the bathroom window.

Protect your pipes

Aberdeen’s harsh winters can cause pipes to freeze if they’re not in use. Take the necessary precautions to avoid this happening. In most cases, looking after your pipes is part of your flat contract therefore there could be ramifications for you as a tenant if you don’t look after them.

Switch off before you set off

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service advises students to ‘switch off before you set off’ to avoid the risk of fire. Here are their top tips to keep your home safe during the holiday period:

  • Ask neighbours to keep an eye on your home while you are away
  • Don’t leave glass items in the windows of your home as the sun can be magnified through these and start a fire when you are not there
  • Avoid leaving washing machines or dishwashers on
  • It’s always better to turn off all non-essential appliances and remove plugs before leaving your property
  • Some appliances, such as fridges, freezers, DVD players and consoles are designed to be left on, but if you’re not sure check the manufacturer’s details

BBQ safety

Nothing quite says summer like firing up the barbecue and cooking outdoors – but did you know that Scottish Fire and Rescue Service fire-fighters attend incidents every year where barbecues have gotten out-of-hand?

Whether you are in the garden or out camping, follow these steps to barbecue safely and avoid injuries, damage to property and having Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews gate-crashing your party:

  • Make sure your barbecue site is flat and away from fences, trees and sheds
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby, in case of emergencies
  • Use only enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue to a depth of about five centimetres (two inches)
  • Never use petrol or paraffin to start, or revive, your barbecue – use only barbecue fire lighters or starter fuel on cold coals
  • Keep children and pets away from the cooking area – don’t leave the barbecue unattended