Sophie, Student Intern, discusses how you and your friends can stay safe this winter…
With tinsel, gifts, Christmas lights and snow loads of university work, it might be easy to put personal safety on the back burner. However, whether you’re heading home or staying in Cardiff over the holidays, it’s still important to take precautions to ensure your own and others’ safety.
Cardiff University prides itself on building a safe, accepting environment for all its students. However, it’s important to know what you can do to keep yourself safe during your studies, especially if you’re staying in Cardiff over the holidays.
To protect yourself and others
Always be aware of danger, especially when out at night. Keep your valuables tucked away in a zipped pocket or bag – the more secure the better.
Look out for your friends, travel in pairs and stick to well-lit areas. Pick up a free personal alarm from Cardiff University Security located near the Student’s Union on Park Place and carry this around in case of an emergency. Alternatively, you can download the Panic Guard app for free available on both iPhone and Android.
Stay safe during the festive fun
When on a night out it can be easy to make decisions you may later regret. This is because alcohol lowers our inhibitions which leads to impaired judgement. This can result in risk taking. Always take care of yourself and your friends and drink responsibly. Read our blog on staying drink aware this festive season.
Never let a friend who is drunk go off on their own. You would want someone to do the same for you.
It goes without saying that you should never leave your drink unattended in public places, but this also applies to accepting drinks from strangers. It may seem like a kind gesture (and you may be skint), but it’s far better to be on the safe side.
Always sit in the back seat of a taxi, behind the driver (especially if you’re alone), and have the money ready upfront. If you run out of cash on a night out, do not walk home alone. Simply order a taxi using your student number with Dragon Taxi either by phone: 029 2033 3333 quoting the ‘Cardiff University Safe Taxi Scheme.’ The fare will then be charged to your student number and you can pay the Student’s Union the next day!
To protect your belongings
Bicycles: Have you brought a bicycle with you to travel to and from lectures? Be sure to insure it and buy a top of the range D-lock from the friendly folk at Cardiff University Security to deter thieves. Lock the frame and back wheel of your bike to a parking stand and lock the front wheel with the cable and a second lock. You can purchase a D-lock for as little as £18.50 and you’ll receive peace of mind that your bicycle is safe. Record the serial number of and photograph your bicycle just in case the worst should happen, this means there is a far greater chance of it being returned to you!
At home: Always remember to lock doors and windows when leaving your student residence. If you’re likely to forget, tape a reminder to the front door to help you and your flatmates out. If your home is going to be unoccupied for a long period of time, take all your valuables with you and consider purchasing a plug in timer for a few lights about the home to give the impression someone is in. Off on a night out with the whole house? ‘All your housemates out tonight?’ can be a dangerous question. Don’t let strangers or taxi drivers know that your house is completely unoccupied.
Top Tip: Register your valuables with immobilise for free and remember to report it if it does go missing. This information will then be made available nationally to all major UK Police forces, making it more likely that your beloved item will be returned back to you.
Hopefully you will always be safe and enjoy every minute of your time here at Cardiff University, but never be afraid to get advice or help from Student Support and Wellbeing if you feel in any danger.
Check out our winter survival guide
Whether you’re heading home for the holidays or remaining in Cardiff, our guide provides tips on study, staying safe, things to do and more practical advice for the holidays.
Staying in Cardiff over the winter break?
All are welcome at the Cardiff Chaplaincy for Christmas Lunch, which will be held on Monday 25 December at 13:00. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend.
Some Cardiff University study spaces will be open for the entire winter recess. Find out more here.
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Sophie, Student Intern.
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