Student Security – Which Bike Lock is Best for You?

A fresh university year is upon us once again, which means the coming weeks will see campuses across the UK come alive with the sound of bells and chains, as eager (or probably just late) students whizz around on their bikes.

Commuting via cycling is a consistently growing trend amongst UK students, particularly in recent years as universities have started offering discount schemes on buying bikes for their scholars (if you’re not aware of this, check with your SU) and investing in making campuses and surrounding access roads bike-friendly.

Most importantly, as well as being a good way of working a bit of exercise into your daily routine, cycling to and from uni is also every student’s favourite ‘F’ word… Free!

The only downside to two-wheeled travel? The danger of opportunist bike thieves. Almost all universities now provide sheltered and well-lit places to park your bikes, but it’s still down to you to ensure the bike is locked and secured.

The right lock can make the difference between finding your bike waiting for you when you return, or having to buy a replacement. So which bike lock is best for you? Check our three different categories below to find out:

Police ApprovedIf you want the ultimate in bike locking security in terms of strength and reliability, then then Master Lock Gold Sold Secure D Lock is the one for you. Holding both the coveted Secured by Design and Sold Secure accreditations, these locks have been tested to the highest level by Police and Locksmith Associations. Available in a variety of colours, these locks come with three keys and a carrier bracket that allows you to conveniently attach the lock to your bike whilst riding.

Lock/Alarm Combopadlock-alarmPerhaps you want the security of a hardened steel shackle, with the added deterrent of a 110dBs two tone siren? In which case this Padlock Alarm ticks all your boxes. Compact and easy to transport, the keyed lock is fully weather resistant and tamper proof, with the powerful alarm using shock sensor technology to ward off thieves.

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Quick and Easy
If you’re looking for reliability mixed with affordability, then consider the Master Lock Self-Coiling Combination Padlock . This low cost, lightweight lock is quick and easy to use, with a 4 digit combination lock eliminating the need to carry a key. The lock also self-coils when not in use, making it convenient to transport and carry.

TOP TIP: As well as locking your bike frame, using locks or cables on your wheels will enhance your bike security even more!

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After considering the different options available, also take some time to assess your own circumstances:

How expensive is your bike? It is common consensus that you should spend at least 10% of the value of your bike on a lock to secure it.

Where and when do you use your bike? Does your university have a secure bike parking facility? If so you can probably get away with a slightly cheaper lock, just to reinforce your security. However if you leave your bike in public places e.g. tied to posts and railings then the most secure lock may suit you more.

For more bike security and road safety equipment, visit ww.redlinesecurity.co.uk 

How Loud is a Personal Attack Alarm?

In previous posts we have looked at the benefits of owning a Personal Alarm, particularly with our focus on Darker Nights Security over the winter.

Advertisements for Personal Alarms will often cite the decibels (dBs) of the siren as a big selling point, with most units measuring around the 130dBs mark. But just how loud is this? Check out our handy comparison guide below!

10 dBs:
A pin dropping.

70-80 dBs:
Toilet flushing, vacuum cleaner, alarm clock.

90-100 dBs:
Lawn mower, food blender, farm tractor.

110-120 dBs:
Handheld drill, chainsaw, thunderclap.

130-140 dBs:
Air raid siren, Defender Personal Alarms.

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150-160 dBs:
Jet taking off, shotgun fired.

As you can see from the above, the typical 130-140 dBs siren range on Personal Alarms ranks them above chainsaws and alongside air raid sirens in terms of volume! Certainly loud enough to shock, disorientate and discourage a potential attacker!

For more information, or to get yourself a Personal Alarm, you can call our team on 01352 736125.

 

Sources: Purdue University, noisehelp.com, airportnoiselaw.org

Student Security Focus: Which Personal Alarm is right for you?

Safety on the move…

In this piece we are once again focusing on Student Security, in particular how to enhance personal safety as the dark winter nights draw in.

It is common consensus that a Personal Alarm is a must-have accessory for any student, particularly those who spend a lot of time commuting by foot. This is especially true during the darker nights of October – February, with potential criminals looking to strike under cover of darkness.

What is a Personal Alarm?

A personal alarm is a small device that can make a big difference. Designed to be carried at all times, most alarms will typically come with attachments for your key ring or bag. When activated the alarm issues a powerful, piercing siren that can shock, disorientate and discourage attackers. The alarm noise will also draw attention to the scene of the attempted crime.

Why should I own a Personal Alarm?

A personal alarm is the kind of device that you will hopefully never need, but that gives you peace of mind and a sense of security. Plenty of students do their commuting by foot, often alone if it is for the purpose of a late-night library session, meaning they can be a target for opportunist criminals who assume they will be carrying valuable items such as smartphones and laptops. A personal alarm provides a reliable line of defence against would-be attackers.

When should I use a Personal Alarm?

You should be ready to use your alarm whenever you feel threatened; it is better to be safe than sorry. If you find yourself alone on a quiet street or walking through a secluded park then be sure to be aware of your surroundings and keep the alarm within quick and easy reach. Always travel in groups where possible, particularly after dark. If you do find yourself walking alone then try to walk with confidence as those who look vulnerable will be the first to be targeted.

The wide range and styles of personal alarms now available means there is something to fit all tastes and needs; check out our guide below to see which personal alarm is right for you:

Stylish
Understandably plenty of you will want an alarm that not only protects you, but looks good while doing so. There are various units available that benefit from modern, sleek design such as the Defender Midi & Dual Siren, or the lightweight Defender Slimline.

Subtle
Perhaps you want an alarm that looks innocent and harmless, until it kicks into life with a 130dBs+ siren that will stop attackers in their tracks. Consider the Defender Heart, Panda, Dalmatian & Football alarms; these attractive units can masquerade as regular key chain charms until protection is required.

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Multi-Use
If you want more for your money, why not consider a personal alarm that also doubles as a bag alarm AND possesses a handy torch for your key ring during darker nights: the Defender All Purpose brings all of this to the table and is also available as a Mini.
Similarly the Defender IIIT combines being the UK’s loudest personal alarm (143dBs!) with being fully wall-mountable as a door entry alarm, meaning both your personal security and home security are enhanced.

Police Approved
If it is important to you that your alarm holds Police Approved accreditation then look no further than the Defender MKA; this robust unit holds both the coveted Secured By Design and Sold Secure certificates, also available with a torch. The previously mentioned IIIT also holds the same accreditation.

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On The Go
If a key chain alarm isn’t quite right for you then the Defender Wrist Alarm is the ideal alternative; perfect for joggers and cyclists.
If you get around with the help of a mobile device such as a wheelchair, or if you are on crutches, then consider the Mobility Aid Alarm with its handy multi-use attachment capabilities.

To find out more, or to order your alarm, contact our team on 01352 736125.

Student Security Focus: The Student Perspective

Hello and welcome back to the Solon blog…

Late September means we are right in the thick of Student Season, with scholars old and new enjoying their respective Freshers Weeks up and down the UK.

That means Solon are keeping a special focus on Student Security. We’ve been busy supplying our university customers across the country with such student essentials as bike locks, personal attack alarms and anti-drink spiking equipment.

In keeping with this theme we are pleased to be able to present a brief Q&A on the subject of student security, from the perspective of a recent graduate; James Manson attended Sheffield Hallam University and read for a degree in History. He is now the Welfare and Community Officer at the university’s Student Union and very kindly agreed to share his experience with our readers below:

 

Q: Hi James. So what would you say is the biggest security threat to students during their time at university?

A: I’d say that the biggest security threat to students during their time at university is the risk of burglary. This is especially a threat to students that live in private rented accommodation and can easily be reduced. Students can take a few easy steps that can make their student houses a lot safer and lower the risk of burglary.

Q: What do you think are the main causes of student-related crime?

A: Regarding the issue of student related burglary I think the main reason behind this is that students, and specifically their student houses, are generally seen as easy targets by burglars. On top of this I think there is also the issue that students are not necessarily aware enough of the measures that they need to be taking to ensure that their houses are as safe as possible.

Q: As a student, have you or anybody you know been the victim of a crime? If so, what happened and do you think it could have been avoided?

A: Yes. When I was in first year my friends that were in second year living in private rented accommodation were victims of burglary. Unfortunately their house was robbed in the middle of the day and they lost a few of their more expensive items. Realistically I think if they had taken a few easy measures they would have massively reduced the risk of burglary. Things like remembering to keep the ground floor windows locked, leaving lights on and ensuring that valuable items are kept out of sight from ground floor windows. 

Q: What steps did you/do you take to stay safe at uni? Has your attitude changed as you progressed from first year to second/third year? If so, why do you think this was?

A: Learning from my friends experiences I always try to ensure that ground floor windows and doors are locked, even when people are in the house. Where possible I also try to ensure that if I’m going out and the house is going to be empty I will leave a light on so that it looks like there is someone in the house, something that would more than likely deter any potential burglar. I also make sure that my valuables are kept well out of sight from the ground floor windows, this is particularly important if you have a ground floor bedroom. In terms of how my attitude might have changed between first year and third year, I’d say that it has become more safety conscious and a lot less naive to the threat of burglary, and student crime in general. I’d say that this was influenced mainly through the experiences that my friends had being burgled.

Q: Finally, what would be your advice for students, both new and returning, on avoiding becoming victims of crime at university?

A: I’d say that all students need to be conscious of crime and aware of the potential risks that they face and the implications that crime can have on a student’s experience at university. More often than not the risk of student crime can be reduced by taking a few simple and easy measures so I would say that students need to be aware of this and pay attention to the advice that students’ unions give around student safety.

Our thanks to James for his informative answers to our questions. For further information and advice on student security you can view our recent newsletter on the subject here, or visit the NUS security tips page here.