Off-campus living Safety

Keeping you and your belongings safe this semester

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We want being a student and living in Manchester to be an amazing experience. Whether you’re new to the University or you’ve been here for a few years, it’s always worth a little reminder of how to stay safe whilst making the most of your time here.

Secure your property

Living in a student house with friends can lead to a busy and hectic household and it can be difficult to keep track of what’s going on. So, it’s important that everyone in the house keeps a close eye on your security – don’t just assume someone else will lock the doors or check the windows!

Here are some other things you can do to help keep your property and everything in it safe:

  • Sounds obvious, but lock up and close windows every time you leave the house – even if you’re just popping out during the day. 4 in 5 burglaries are a result of an unlocked door or window and this can invalidate your insurance and your landlord’s. 
  • Make sure windows and doors are locked even when you’re at home. 
  • Check with the landlord if contractors show up to ‘repair’ something, and definitely don’t let contractors, or anyone else, in without seeing some ID.
  • If you have a burglar alarm, make sure that it works, understand how it works and set it whenever you leave the house.
  • Don’t leave laptops and  valuables on display.

Manchester Student Homes offers free window shock alarms for students in The MSH Pod at the Students’ Union. You can pop in and collect one during office hours. (9am – 5pm, Monday-Friday).

Take care of your possessions

There are a number of things you can do to keep yourself and your possessions as safe as possible.

  • Most of us are guilty of it, but try not to walk and scroll on your phone.  Staring at the screen means you’re not concentrating on your surroundings – where you’re going, oncoming traffic and who’s around you. Also having your phone on display makes it easier for it to be swiped from your hands.
  • Don’t leave your laptop, phone and bag unattended when you’re out and about – it’s easy to think things are safe when we nip to the bathroom in a coffee shop or the library.
  • Look after your bike.  If you’re planning on cycling to and from campus or around the city, make sure you lock your bike securely and in authorised spaces. The University offers quality subsidised bike locks for only £15 (RRP £40). To qualify for the discounted rate you will need to register your bike for free on the University bike registration scheme.  If you’re a new cyclist or new to the city, check our student blogger Lena’s video, 5 tips for riding your bike in Manchester.
  • No matter what we do, we can’t always prevent crime. Be one step ahead and mark your most valuable possessions with a UV pen and be sure to register the serial numbers of your electronic equipment on Immobilise. Immobilise is ideal for registering laptops, mobile phones, portable speakers, anything with a serial number.  The site is used by police and second hand dealers to track stolen or lost goods, and helping them return stolen goods to their rightful owner.

Stay safe around campus

Our mobile app SafeZone is designed to give you extra peace of mind across campuses in the city. You can use it to:

  • ‘Check in’ any time of day – to keep you safe on campus, such as if you’re studying or working late or alone on campus
  • Quickly and discreetly call for assistance – whenever you feel unsafe on campus
  • Get medical assistance quickly – whether it’s for first aid, an accident or in an emergency
  • Keep up to date – notifications sent directly to your phone if there is an incident on campus
  • Wellbeing assistance – get access to support 24/7 to help you care for your own wellbeing
  • IT help – contact our IT team for help

As well as the window locks mentioned above, Manchester Student Homes also offer free personal safety alarms and window shock alarms for students in The MSH Pod at UoM’s Students’ Union on Oxford Road (open 9am-5pm).

Stay safe online

Online security has never been more important, which is why you need to make sure that you keep yourself vigilant in the online world as well as the real world.

  • Be aware of phishing scams. At this time of year, we unfortunately see an increase in bogus emails which claim to be the University and promise bursaries and grants. Keep all your security information to yourself. We will never ask for your bank details, passport details or University passwords.
  • With the increase in home working, we’re spending more time than ever online and this has led to a worldwide increase in online scams. These are increasingly sophisticated and so it’s worth reminding yourself of the basics of staying safe online.

If you receive a suspicious email to your University email account, do not click on any links and do not reply, but you should let us know by sending us the phishing email as an attachment to Further information is available on the IT Services website.

For more information on personal and household safety, see Manchester Student Homes advice pages.