Well, it had to happen eventually… Here’s our first ‘top ten’ post. These are the things my mum told me to remember – most of them still hold true. Top ten safety tips (in no particular order):
1. Don’t drink too much
Yes, it can be fun to drink. But it’s not so much fun if you drink so much you don’t know where you are, or who you’re with or why you’re standing in a puddle of your own dinner.
Drink sensibly, know when to stop and let your friends know when to stop. And make sure you get home safely!
2. Things aren’t always as they seem…
That fantastic offer you’ve received via an email, that phone call telling you that you’ve been awarded a select scholarship, that letter promising a massive cheque – they’re all lies! Well, mostly. People want your details (logins, password, bank details) so they can take from you. Be cautious – and if in doubt don’t give them!
3. Watch where you walk
Try to keep to well-lit paths when out at night. If you’re going out for the evening go with a group of friends. Let others know where you’re going and when you might be back.
Don’t forget there’s a ‘chaperone’ service run by Security – they’ll walk you across campus (or keep an eye on you via cctv) if you request it. (See links below for more information).
4. Road vs pavement
If you’re on the pavement you should be a pedestrian. If you’re on the road you should be on a bike or in a car. Don’t mix them up. There are blurred lines when it comes to the University’s paths – basically bikes can go on paths and the road but pedestrian should keep to the paths (ie stay out of the road).
Oh, and if you’re riding a bike you should wear a helmet and have working lights if you’re out after dark.
5. Don’t leave your drink unattended
Keep hold of your drink. That extra shot your friend might think is a good idea probably isn’t. And that other stuff that your ‘new friend’ is looking to slip into your bottle definitely isn’t.
6. Home cooked or quick snack?
If you’re cooking then make sure that you don’t leave the kitchen unattended. That late night snack seems very tempting, but a sandwich might be a better option than a gourmet meal (plus it’s quicker and cleaner).
If you’re in halls remember that no-one is going to thank you if the fire alarm goes off and you all have to head outside in your pyjamas because you burnt your toast.
7. Lock it up
Got a bike? Lock it up. Got a laptop? Lock it up. Got a halls room? Lock it up. Sharing a house on Cemetery Junction? Lock it up. No-one’s going to lock things up for you – make sure you don’t give thieves a chance to get at your stuff.
8. Watch your virtual back
Make sure you have secure passwords for different services (as well as changing them regularly and never giving them to someone else), keep an eye out for spyware, and make sure your computer is free of viruses.
And protect your future-self and any potential career – remember that what you put online can (and probably will) have a life of its own.
8. Don’t show me the money
Keep your money safe and out of sight. Keep your pin secure and hidden when you use cash machines.
Pop a spare(?) £10 somewhere safe for emergencies (like a taxi home).
This is more of a guiding principle… Respect yourself, others, your property and the University’s property. Take care of yourself (eat and sleep well), don’t engage in banter that makes you or others feel uncomfortable, mark up your belongings, don’t tamper with University safety equipment (eg covering smoke alarms, letting off extinguishers).
Hopefully, this will help stop you getting in trouble or breaking rules.
Want to know more?
Here are some handy links if you want more tips on how to stay safe and secure-
- Security’s ‘Staying safe at Reading’ flyer
- Campus Code
- Halls handbook
- Health and Safety
- Security Services (including the Chaperone service)
This was our first top ten. Is there anything you would have listed? Should it be our last top ten? What top ten would you like to see next?