Living on your own has countless numbers of perks but it also means that you have no one waiting for you to arrive home, no one to check to see if you’ve arrived home and no one to raise the alarm when you don’t arrive home or when something suspect is happening.
It is therefore necessary for all the single men and women to be extra cautious and employ some additional safety measures into their everyday lives when they live alone.
If your teenager, son or daughter, friend, parent or neighbor lives alone – please forward these safety tips when living alone to them so that they can educate themselves and stay safe.
- Consider Moving
If you live alone there is no reason for you to live in a house or even a townhouse – a small to moderate flat should suffice. Houses are not only more expensive but they also require additional security. You have to therefore secure your garden, multiple windows, multiple doors, your driveway and a garage. You may also have to hire a security company to ensure that your property is secure when you’re not home and even when you are.
On the other hand a flat has very little security requirements and will offer the safety in numbers factor since you will have many neighbors around to hear and observe any suspicious behavior. If you already live in a flat than you will certainly already feel more secure but, crime doesn’t only happen at home and the advice that follows will serve you well.
- Get a Roommate
Having a roommate will not necessarily increase your home security. This is because you now have 2 people entering and exiting the premises and 2 people that need to remember to lock up when they come and go. It can however, increase safety since you will always have someone aware of your comings and goings and any intruders are more likely be detected with an extra pair of eyes.
- Get a dog
Whether you decide to get a large breed dog that will sleep outdoors or a small breed dog that will sleep indoors, getting a dog is makes living alone a little more fun, provides you with a little bit of company and also acts as a very effective alarm system. While big dogs that sleep outside can be poisoned smaller dogs that sleep indoors do not run this risk and will alert you to any possible intruders and suspicious activity happening outside.
- Get an Alarm
An alarm system is a single man or woman’s best friend. Not only will it prevent your home from being burglarized but it can wake you at night if someone is attempting a home invasion. A home alarm will also alert you to criminal activity before they reach the inside of your home and ensure that no one enters your home while you’re at work or out and about only to surprise you when you get back.
Although very few people choose to set up an alarm system if they live in a flat – you should consider installing one, it may take a little bit of an investment but the peace of mind and security it provides is well worth it. In addition to alerting you to the presence of intruders you can also set off the alarm with a panic button if you need to.
- Connect to a Security Company
As a person living alone you need to know that you can call someone who will quickly come and check on you and, check to ensure your garden or home is safe and secure if you hear any suspicious noises or if you feel unsafe.
Paying a security company every month may seem like a wasted expense but when you’re alone it is simply a necessity. If you have a parent that is living alone carrying this cost for them, is the right thing to do.
- Bedtime Security Check
When you live alone it becomes even more critical to employ a nightly security check. This check will be different for everyone but it should cover each and every door, each and every window and the the stove. You must check to ensure you have both battery life and airtime on your phone in case you need to call for help and always make sure knives, guns and other weapons are hidden from plain sight or placed in a safe place that only you can access.
If you live in a house or a large property you will have to check your electric gate to ensure it is closed, check your garage door, front door, back door, check all windows and outdoor lights, check on your dogs and then set your alarm before finally checking that you cell phone has battery and airtime available for emergencies.
- Get Organized
When you live alone you cannot afford to lose your house keys, forget to lock the front door, leave windows open, forget your phone at work or ignore any security risks that your property has.
This means that you simply need to become extremely organized and careful with anything and everything and that includes making sure you have your house keys in your hand before you pull up to your driveway to prevent hi-jacking and robberies from occurring.
Sitting outside of your property looking for keys gives criminals ample time to attack you. Always tell people where you are, always charge your phone, always lock doors and windows and always double check everything for good measure.
- Always Tell Someone
When you live alone you need to have one or two people that you make a habit of calling or texting every single evening or, whenever you get home.
This family member or friend must understand that if you do not contact them as per usual, they should check on you by calling you. If repeated attempts to contact you go unanswered they should send someone to check on you immediately.
- Staying out Late?
If you tend to go out at night or stay out late you must employ the buddy system where you agree with a friend to message or call one another once you have safely arrived home. If your friend does not answer you must take action and arrange for someone to check on him or her. Always have a printed version of important emergency numbers on your fridge as well as stored in your mobile phone.
This is a safety tactic that women tend to employ more than men but, if you are a man and you live alone and stay out to all hours of the morning not employing this tactic puts you at greater risk of becoming the victim of crime, fowl play and accidents.
- Install Light Timers
Light timers are a safety and security measure that should be employed by everyone but, if you live alone and tend to stay out till all hours of the night or get home from work after dark this is not a suggestion but rather a necessity.
You must install at least one electrical or mechanical light timer which will turn on a specific light at a set time and then switch it off at another. This will provide the impression that someone is home – even when no one is. In addition, if you arrive late you will conveniently have a light up driveway, front door, back door, garden, entrance or whichever light you have chosen to install a timer on.
Installing an LED floodlight with a motion sensor is also a good idea since it will light up your driveway and entrance so you can clearly see around your as well as serve a secondary purpose of alerting you to any unautorised movement outside.
This makes you feel safer as well as increase your chances of spotting any suspicious activity. In addition, if your home is lit up this will allow a security company, neighbor or passerby’s to also spot any criminal activity. Remember criminals like to operate under the cover of darkness.
Here are another 25 Security and Safety Tips when Living Alone:
- Install a CCTV system or at least, an affordable dummy camera to make criminals think twice
- Always keep a torch inside your car and home in case the power goes out
- Install motion sensing or on-demand lighting
- Automate your driveway gate if it is manual so you do not have to get out of your car to open and close the gate
- Always introduce yourself to your neighbors and try to develop and maintain a relationship with them
- Have friends and family visit you often to assure any prying eyes that you are not always alone
- Never let workers or service people know you live alone and always have someone with you when they’re working
- Once service men leave always check all doors and windows to ensure nothing was intentionally left open
- Get any and all repairs taken care of immediately – this includes a broken lock, a broken window, a defective motion sensor, a slow running electric gate, a light that has burnt out or even a security warning sign that needs to be secured to a fence properly
- Hang up curtains on all of your windows and keep them drawn to prevent criminals and onlookers from seeing into your home both intentionally and unintentionally
- If you’re going on holiday or you travel for business get a family member friend to stay at your house
- If you move into a new place always have the locks changed – you never know who made copies of the keys you’ve been handed
- To prevent a home invasion keep doors and windows locked at all times even when you are home – unless you have burglar bars that will prevent entry
- If you live in a house keep all bushes and trees neatly trimmed and grass cut to prevent criminal from using them to hide
- Get a self defense weapon – such as a gun or pepper spray and make sure that you know exactly how to use it
- Take a self-defense course – it is worth the three or so hours and could save your life
- Always have a “safe room” or an escape strategy in case you wake up in the middle of a break-in and have time to take action
- Sign up as a member of your local community policing group – apart from having patrollers check on you every now and then you can get radio and Whatsapp updates on any crime and/or suspicious behaviors in your area
- Have a spare cell phone – preferably an older model cell phone with a very long lasting batter and keep this in your “safe room” or bathroom loaded with airtime
- If you are out and about in the evenings always be extra careful not to talk about the fact that you live alone and always check to make sure you have not been followed home
- While entering and exiting your home keep the radio off, your cell phone out of your hands and pay attention to what is going on around you
- Never leave spare keys anywhere on your property but rater leave them with a family member or friend that lives close by
- Get better locks – sometimes we choose a certain lock because it is more affordable rather than considering safety as a priority but, if you live alone your doors and security gates are very likely to be your last line of defense against an attack and you should consider buying the strongest locks for your front and back doors
- Buy a power bank so that you can always charge your phone whether you’re out and about, in your car or your power is off at home
- Try to vary the times that you leave and return from work so that you do not become a predictable target