Having your own space and independence is an irresistible part of living alone. You don’t need to worry about loud roommates and their pets, boyfriends or messes. However, you may feel wary if this is your first time living by yourself, especially as a single woman. It’s possible to feel cautious even if you’ve lived in your place for a while. Some things take time to adjust to.
Suspicious people are everywhere, but you can’t let them stifle your happiness in your own place. Thankfully, you have plenty of safety advice at your fingertips to keep the bad guys away. Here are six ideas to help you feel safer while living alone.
1. Make Friends With the Neighbors
Get to know your neighbors, because they can be your biggest allies in times of trouble or need. Building good relationships with them will ensure you have people looking out for your safety. They’ll alert you of any suspicious happenings around the area and remind you to keep your place secure. You’ll also gain a pair of watchful eyes whenever you leave for long vacations — if they’re especially kind, they may house sit or pet sit.
2. Install a Security Camera
Buy a CCTV system or a doorbell camera to keep an eye on the outside of your house. Systems like Ring, Arlo and Blink offer apps you can download to your devices to check recordings while away from home. You’ll have a clear view of anyone who comes near your front door, providing an upgrade to the regular peephole. You can also install cameras around the property to monitor your backyard and the sides of your home.
Set up your security alarm system and turn it on even when you’re inside the house — not just when you leave for the day.
3. Lock Everything Up
You say it’s common sense to lock up, but forgetful days happen. Sometimes you may neglect to lock the door behind you after bringing the groceries in or returning home from a party. Check the locks on your doors and windows before heading to bed each night. Setting a specific time for this activity will turn it into a habit so you’re less likely to forget it.
If your place has a garage, always engage the manual lock when pulling the door shut. Garages are a prime spot for break-ins because people don’t lock them or keep them wide open. Securing the garage door also keeps furry intruders like stray animals out of your belongings.
4. Bring In a Furry Friend
Getting a dog can be a major advantage if your property is pet-friendly. Most dogs will alert you of intruders, defend against them or even attack them. Choose a breed known for its guarding capabilities, loyalty and obedience. Rottweilers, Dobermans and Belgian Malinois are popular choices for people looking for security, and they’re very loving around people they know.
Your pet will need structured training to reach its full potential as a guard dog — enlist professional help if necessary. Check with your landlord before adding any pets to your home. Some landowners put restrictions on dog breeds tenants can own, which includes many of the large guard dogs you might opt for.
5. Keep the Lights On
Thieves are less likely to break into a place when all the lights are on, including porch lights. They risk being spotted by neighbors and passersby, which is why they tend to target darkly lit properties.
Always keep your outdoor lights on if you live in a house or the ground floor of a rental. Let the interior lights shine to make your space look lived in — especially when you go on long trips. Consider using a smart home system or timer to turn the lights on and off according to your daily schedule.
6. Inform Family and Friends
Keep your friends and relatives in the loop whenever you leave your home to shop, hang out or go on a date. Apps like Uber have built-in tracking capabilities, while Silent Beacon and bSafe exist specifically for personal safety. These programs inform your friends of your location and alert them if you don’t make it home by the anticipated time.
On the flip side, don’t let too many people know your business. Avoid sharing your whereabouts with people you don’t know well. It’s generally best practice to avoid telling people you live alone, whether you communicate face-to-face or on social media.
Foolproof Your Place Against Danger
Settle into your independence and enjoy living alone with these tips. Always remember to stay up-to-date concerning your safety practices — they’re essential for protecting your belongings and your sense of peace.