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Ho-Ho Homes… Tips for keeping your student house safe this Christmas

Victoria, Student Intern, shares some top tips on keeping your home as jolly as you over the holidays…


Whether you’ve decked out your student digs in the finest tinsel poundland can offer or it’s still sporting cobwebs from Halloween, keep your home jolly by making sure it’s safe and secure.

Student homes can be targeted during the festive period, so make sure it’s not the season for burglars to be jolly! Discuss with your housemates when everyone is heading home and make sure the last person leaving does the last-to-leave checklist.

Here are some top tips for a safe, secure and budget friendly ho-ho-home, so you can rock around the Christmas tree and sleep some silent nights with peace of mind.

Top tips for a secure ho-ho-home (a gift from South Wales Police)

  1. Lock doors, windows and garden gates. Santa comes down the chimney, not through the door – so make sure your home is secure.
  2. Take valuables home.
  3. If you have to leave valuables, make sure they are hidden and registered with immobilise crime. You can register your valuables for free with the national property database immobilise which makes it easier to reunite stolen goods with their original owners.
  4. Use timer light switches: Some of these may be a little tricky to install, so you could ask your landlord, or buy a timer plug to use with a lamp.
  5. Don’t leave expensive items on display.
  6. Remove obvious signs that it’s a student home. Things like posters and stickers may make your house a target for those looking for student houses.
  7. Clear gardens of items that could be used to force entry. Move plant pots, ladders, bricks, ornaments or anything else that could be used to break in, or store them inside the house.
  8. Make sure no keys are left under doormats or plant pots.
  9. Ask a friend or neighbour (if you know them well) to keep an eye and to push through any mail hanging from the letter box.
  10. Be cautious about who you tell. Don’t tell anyone you and your housemates have all gone home for Christmas.


Top tips for a budget friendly ho-ho-home

  1. Make sure to turn all plugs of at the socket when you leave, things like a TV left on standby can really run up your energy bill.
  2. Make sure taps and showers aren’t left dripping, as this could run up your water bill.
  3. Make sure all gas hobs are switched off, this is extremely dangerous as well as expensive! It may seem obvious but I know people who have done this in the past.
  4. Make sure to alter your central heating settings before leaving. Using a timer to heat the house for a few hours should help stop damp forming and radiators freezing (some radiators also have a setting to stop them freezing).
  5. Get your bins out on the right day. Even though you may be leaving on the Friday and bin day isn’t until next Wednesday, it’s important that you put your bins out on the right day. Cardiff Council are really cracking down and I’m sure a £100 fine for putting your bins out on the wrong day isn’t exactly the Christmas gift you want to return to.


Recap: The last-one-to-leave Checklist

  1. Nothing left in the fridge.
  2. Bins put out on the right day.
  3. All plugs turned off at the socket (apart from fridge/freezer).
  4. No gas hobs left on.
  5. Heating settings altered.
  6. Taps and showers turned off properly.
  7. Light timer set.
  8. All valuables taken home or locked away.
  9. All doors and windows locked, including bedroom doors if possible.


For further advice take a look at Cardiff Digs for the latest home safety guidance.


 Staying here over Christmas?

If you’re staying here over the festive period, read our 12 blogs of Christmas covering everything from homesickness to things to do.  Follow us on twitter and like us on facebook for even more.
The Student Support Centres are open right up until Friday 23rd December, so please contact them if you need anything at all. The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.

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Merry Christmas Everyone! Nadolig Llawen Pawb!


Best wishes

Victoria, Student Intern


Your Student Life, Supported.

The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.

For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.


  • Ron Rusitar

    Great material, I was looking for a similar article i saw last year and saw this. You should run this again this year, great advice.

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