Keeping safe during university Christmas celebrations

Christmas celebrations in Uni or college halls or student digs are likely to be even more lively than usual this year, to make up for lost time last year. As your social calendar fills up and you look forward to some serious partying, here’s how to stay safe.

Rejoice, all — Christmas is almost here! No matter how you feel about the seasonal celebration, we’re certain we can all agree that it’s a welcome end to a difficult year. If you’re at school, college or university, you can expect the celebrations and festive parties to be wilder than ever…

In fact, with UCAS reporting that almost 38% of the entire UK 18 year old population has started a university course this year (setting a new record), it’s going to be hard to miss out on at least a little mayhem. That’s why it’s going to be important to keep sight of your personal security while you’re having fun.  Our top tips will help you stay safe during University and college Christmas celebrations.

Keeping yourself safe when out and about

Carry a personal security alarm

If you know you’re going to be out and about for the end-of-year celebrations, keeping yourself safe while on the move is absolutely key. Whether it’s at a night club, local pub or bar, or travelling back home late at night, you can never be too careful. That’s why keeping something like a personal security device that easily fits into your pocket can make all the difference, when it matters most.

Image: sabrered.co.uk

The SABRE Personal Alarm may be small, but it can really pack a punch! Easy to clip onto a standard keychain or bag zip, it emits a 120-decibel alarm when activated to distract and disrupt any situation you may feel threatened in. This will alert anybody nearby to your situation, while creating a little bit of precious extra time.

Or do you prefer a personal alarm that has a little more style and application? The SOS USB Rechargeable Personal Alarm with Torch from Walk Easy has a number of unique features that can give you some added comfort on a walk home at night. Including an inbuilt torch, weatherproof design, easy pin or button activation, this stylish personal alarm also comes in three appealing colours so you can pick the one that suits your style best.

Always let others know your location

If you’re on your way to a party — or travelling back from one — a great tip for staying safe is to always let friends or family know your location and when you’ve arrived at your destination. This can either be done by sending a text message to a trusted friend or loved one, or by sharing a  location pin with the Facebook messenger app on your mobile phone. This way, other people will know your whereabouts and be able to act quickly if they haven’t received an update from you.

Always travelling with a friend or in a group is also a great way to reduce the chances of being in a dangerous situation.

Protect your drinks

Visiting a busy club, pub or bar this Christmas? Leaving a drink unattended or out of sight can create opportunities for harm. Luckily, there are a number of products available that help protect your drink from being tampered with. StopTopps create a foil covering to any glass that can be pierced with a straw, making it much harder to add anything else, while bottle stoppers create an effective barrier to prevent any invasive substances being added to a bottled drink.

Image: StopTopps

Staying safe at home or in shared accommodation

Whether you’re more inclined to avoid the Christmas party madness this year, or are in need of a quiet night in to recharge for the next event, if you share a student house, halls or flat with other people, your personal safety should still remain a consideration. Regardless of how secure and safe the property may feel, there are always weak spots where an intruder may attempt to gain entry, and it’s always easier on longer, darker nights.

Setting clear and safe boundaries

While it can feel natural to invite others back after a night out on the town, or shift a party to a home location, it can also carry unexpected consequences. By establishing rules first with any friends and housemates about what you’re comfortable with, e.g. only having known and trusted friends being allowed into your property, you can reduce the chance of unwanted visitors gaining access to your house as part of a larger group.

Keeping an eye on your security

Video surveillance systems can be a little pricey for a student — but there are cheaper versions on the market that can give you added peace of mind about who’s outside! Products like the Ring Video Doorbell are inexpensive but can give you the added security of knowing if anyone is approaching your property, or a chance to confirm their identity before opening the door — simple!

Ring video doorbell
Image: ring.com

Portable door locks

Unfortunately, you don’t always have control over how secure the doors and locks in your property are. In the case of students halls or shared accommodation, some rooms may not even have a functional lock with enough protection. The solution? To have your own personal, portable door lock that can keep you safe overnight or any time you’re home alone!

While there are many variations of portable door locks available, they are generally split into two types: those that secure around the handle and those that block the door from beneath.

Examples of the former are the Howsarlock, and Addalock Portable Door Lock, which both use hook systems that slip around the door handle to help prevent forced entry from the outside, making them ideal for fending off unwanted visitors.

doorjammer
Image: Doorjammer

A great example of a more robust model that blocks your door from underneath is the DoorJammer Portable, which has an award-winning, police-accredited design that stops almost any in-swinging door from impressive levels of impact, giving you instant peace of mind overnight (or whilst unknown party visitors are in your property!) No bigger than an iPhone, the DoorJammer can also be carried in a bag or coat pocket, meaning you can use it if you’re staying at a friend’s overnight, to lock a shower door at the gym or even to keep a public toilet door firmly closed if the lock’s broken.

However you want to spend your Christmas — whether it’s a night out on the town, or snuggled up at home in comfort — follow these safety tips to make sure your security is always in hand!

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