College is a fun time to go out and meet new people, but your safety should be number one – here are some tips we have to stay safe when you’re heading out!
Top Ten Tips for Personal Safety
- Do not walk alone at night. Walk in numbers.
- When at all possible, stick to busy streets with lots of lighting and traffic. Do not take dodgy shortcuts.
- Try to avoid talking on your mobile or listening to an Ipod, as either will make you less aware of your surroundings and also advertise that you have something worth stealing.
- If you think you’re being followed, go to somewhere busy and flag down a taxi.
- Always make sure someone knows when you’re going out, if and when you’re coming back, and whom you’ll be with. When you’re on your way home, let someone know when to expect you.
- Only use licensed taxis and hackneys. Take note of the taxi licence number and key it into your phone or text it to a friend. When you arrive at your destination ask the driver to wait until you get inside the door before leaving again.
- Do not leave keys to your home in an easily accessible or guessable place. Everyone knows to look on top of the door frame, or under the mat, potted plant or just inside the letterbox.
- Always be aware of who’s around you when you go to an ATM. Do not use ATMs at night on isolated streets – always choose those with good lighting.
- Don’t be afraid to act assertively if you are uncomfortable or if you think someone is acting inappropriately.
- When you’re walking: avoid while out walking alone, if possible, heavily overgrown areas, alleys and little traveled side streets and high crime rate areas. Do walk with authority, displaying an air of confidence and purpose of destination. Be alert to your surroundings.
Looking after your stuff
The stuff you take with you to college is valuable to you – so it makes sense to look after it and protect it when you’re away. Whether you’re living in halls, in student-specific private accommodation or private houses, it just makes sense to do everything you can to prevent loss or damage to your stuff.
Keeping things under lock and key
Unfortunately, because things are valuable to you, they may be valuable to someone else. You need to take care of your possessions – don’t leave them on show in your room or your car, don’t leave them in common spaces. Keep your door locked, particularly if you’re living with people you don’t know long enough to trust completely. If you are travelling home for the weekend, do not leave your valuables in your student accommodation, bring them with you.
Student Possessions Insurance
USI recommends insuring your personal possessions, so that if the worst should happen and you should damage or lose your stuff, you can with the minimum of hassle get it fixed or replaced, without costing the earth. It’s not horribly expensive and it could stop a bad day turning into a nightmare.
Drugs and alcohol harm reduction
To find USI and HSE National harm reduction campaign ‘Safer Students Nights’ and more information on harm reductions go to drugs.ie