Off-campus living Safety

Our top tips for staying safe this winter

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We have heard from a number of students recently who have raised safety concerns in the local community. We’re working closely with Greater Manchester Police, the City Council and the Students’ Union to ensure that these concerns are listened to and addressed. We’re really keen to ensure any student impacted by these issues is supported and would encourage any student who would like to feedback or seek support to get in touch. In the meantime, here are a few things to think about in terms of personal safety:

Keeping yourself safe

Plan your journey

Consider where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. If you’re walking somewhere in the dark, see if a housemate or someone you live with can walk with you too. If you’re out alone, let someone at home know an approximate time you’ll be back and or arrange to check in with a friend once you’re home safely. 

Be alert to your surroundings

Try not to walk while you’re listening to music or on your phone, as these could distract your from a potential hazard. If you really must listen to music, use just one earpiece so that one allows you to hear what is happening around you.

Stay covid-safe

It’s still important to make sure you stick to the guidelines and do your bit to protect yourself and others, and that includes making sure you’re not socialising with others outside of your household. Remember to self-isolate with your household and book a test if you show symptoms. 

Protect your home

Leave a light on

As the nights get darker earlier, leave a light on inside your home if you need to be out of the house for a while. Remember to choose low energy lamps. Consider a timer switch that you can set to switch one as it starts to get dark. 

Keep your house secure

Make sure you keep your doors and windows locked at all times, even when you’re indoors. Be careful about leaving valuables and electronics on display, and draw your curtains or blinds at night. Be wary of leaving packaging from expensive items outside your front door too, as this can be a giveaway that you have valuables in your home. 

Check your alarm

To test your fire alarm, reach up and push the test button. You should hear the alarm go off. If you don’t hear anything, it means the battery is dead and you need to change the battery and then test the alarm again. If you don’t have one, you could also install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home to alert you if there’s a carbon monoxide leak – you can buy them from most hardware or DIY stores. 

Stay safe on the roads 

Check your bike

To make sure you’re cycling safely, give your bike a check over to make sure it’s roadworthy and that your tyres can cope with slippery surfaces.  You may want to get a tune-up at your local bike shop at the beginning and end of winter to make sure it is in good repair. If you can, invest in a good set of lights to increase your visibility and make sure that your bell is working so that you can alert others to your presence.

Wear the right gear

Although it’s not a legal requirement to wear a helmet, with ice and cold weather the risk of an accident increases. To protect yourself, we’d recommend you always wear a helmet and some items of high vis clothing to ensure you are visible to others as the night get darker, and make sure you have reflective strips on any bags or rucksack you wear. 

Stay warm

Your hands and feet typically get cold first, as your body focuses on keeping the core warm. Keeping your extremities warm is key to an enjoyable winter ride, so wear gloves, thick socks and a hat when you head out. Don’t forget to layer up in colder weather and wear waterproofs when it rains. 

Seek support

If you are affected by crime whilst a student, you can access specialist trauma-informed support from the University by requesting to speak to a specialist advisor.

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