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Jun 5, 2024

Staying Safe: Security Measures in Student Accommodation

loc8me
James Biddle

5 min read

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As a student, moving into accommodation away from home can be both exciting and daunting. While the newfound independence is liberating, safety and security are top concerns for many students and their families. 

Ensuring a secure living environment is paramount to fostering a sense of comfort and peace of mind. 

This blog explores the common safety concerns in student accommodations and highlights the security features and protocols that should be implemented to prioritise the well-being of all tenants.

Common Safety Concerns in Student Accommodation

Unauthorised Access

One of the most significant concerns in student housing is the risk of unauthorised access. With multiple students coming and going, the potential for strangers entering the premises increases. 

This can lead to theft, vandalism, or even personal harm. Unauthorised access can also compromise the privacy and security of residents’ personal belongings.

Fire Safety

Fire hazards are a serious concern, especially in buildings where multiple residents live in close quarters. Cooking accidents, electrical faults, and unattended appliances can all contribute to the risk of fire. 

Furthermore, the presence of flammable materials, such as paper and fabric, in common areas and individual rooms can exacerbate this risk.

Personal Safety

The personal safety of students is a major priority. Concerns about assaults or harassment, especially during late hours or in poorly lit areas, can cause significant anxiety among residents. 

Therefore, ensuring safe pathways and secure entry points is crucial to alleviating these fears.

Health Emergencies

In a shared living environment, health emergencies can arise unexpectedly. Whether it’s a medical condition or an injury, immediate response and access to medical help are crucial. 

Delays in receiving medical attention can have serious consequences, making it vital to have robust emergency protocols in place.

Mental Well-being

Beyond physical safety, the mental well-being of students is essential. Feelings of isolation, stress, or anxiety can affect students’ overall health and academic performance. 

A supportive living environment that promotes mental health is necessary for a positive student experience.

Security Features and Protocols in Our Properties

24/7 Security Personnel

To combat unauthorised access, wherever possible, it’s good to employ 24/7 security personnel. Trained security guards can be stationed at key points around the property, including entrances and exits. 

Their presence deters potential intruders and provides a quick response to any security incidents. Guards can conduct regular patrols and are equipped with communication devices to coordinate effectively in case of emergencies.

Advanced Access Control Systems

The utilisation of advanced access control systems, which regulate who can enter the premises, is essential. Key card or biometric access ensures that only authorised individuals, such as residents and staff, can enter the buildings. 

These systems should be regularly updated to maintain high security standards. Each entry point is monitored, and any attempt to bypass the system is immediately flagged for security personnel.

CCTV Surveillance

Comprehensive CCTV surveillance should be installed throughout the properties. Cameras should be strategically placed to cover common areas, entrances, exits, and hallways. 

The footage would also then be monitored in real-time and recorded for future reference, ensuring any suspicious activity is promptly addressed. 

What’s more, most CCTV systems are also equipped with night vision and motion detection capabilities, providing round-the-clock security.

Fire Safety Measures

All buildings are, or should be, equipped with state-of-the-art fire safety systems. This includes smoke detectors, fire alarms, sprinkler systems, and fire extinguishers strategically placed on every floor. 

Regular fire drills and safety inspections must be conducted to ensure all equipment is functional and residents are aware of evacuation procedures. 

Fire safety training sessions should also be held to educate residents on how to use fire extinguishers and follow evacuation plans.

Well-lit Premises

Campuses or landlords should prioritise well-lit premises to enhance personal safety. All common areas, including pathways, parking lots, and building entrances, need to always be illuminated with bright, energy-efficient lighting. 

This reduces the risk of accidents and deters potential wrongdoers. Motion-activated lights are installed in less frequented areas to ensure that they are illuminated only when necessary, conserving energy while maintaining security.

Emergency Response Plans

Comprehensive emergency response plans must be in place to handle various scenarios, including health emergencies. Staff should be fully trained in first aid and emergency response, ensuring immediate assistance is available. 

Additionally, residents should be provided with information on local medical facilities and emergency contacts. Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) would be available in common areas, and staff members are trained in their use.

Mental Health Support

Understanding the importance of mental well-being, offers of various support services should be made to residents. This includes access to counselling services, mental health workshops, and a supportive community environment. 

Regular social events and activities could be organised to foster a sense of belonging and reduce feelings of isolation. Resident advisors should be readily available to provide support and direct students to appropriate mental health resources.

Creating a Secure Community

Resident Education

It is believed that informed residents contribute to a safer community, therefore it is good to conduct regular workshops and informational sessions on personal safety, fire safety, and emergency procedures. 

Residents are encouraged to stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity. Educational materials should be provided, or made readily available when needed, to residents, including safety brochures and online resources.

Community Engagement

Building a strong sense of community is essential for security. It is vital to encourage residents to get to know their neighbours and look out for one another. A strong community can effectively deter potential security threats

Community-building activities, such as welcome events, group outings, and shared meals, help foster better and lasting connections among residents.

Collaboration with Local Authorities

Maintaining a close collaboration with local law enforcement and emergency services is also important. Regular meetings and consultations ensure that all security measures are aligned with local safety standards and that everyone can quickly address any emerging threats. 

Furthermore, participation in local safety initiatives and keeping residents informed about community safety events and resources is also essential. 

Feedback and Continuous Improvement

Universities and landlords must be committed to continuously improving security measures. And it should be noted that resident feedback is invaluable in this process. 

Regular surveys and suggestion boxes allow tenants to voice their concerns and suggest improvements. This feedback will then need to be taken seriously and used to enhance security protocols. 

Also, periodic reviews should be conducted of all security systems and procedures to identify areas for improvement and implement necessary updates.

Conclusion

The safety and security of all residents is of the utmost importance. By implementing comprehensive security measures and fostering a supportive community environment, it should be able to provide a secure and comfortable living space for students. 

Through continuous improvement and resident engagement, those incharge remain dedicated to maintaining a high standard of safety in their properties. 

What’s more, as students embark on their academic journey, they can do so with the confidence that their home away from home is a safe haven.