Many people live alone for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re in your early twenties and you just got that exciting feeling that comes when you get the keys to your first place. Maybe you’re recently divorced and you’re experiencing newfound independence. Maybe you are widowed and learning to live without your spouse and finding strength in a new chapter of your life. Whatever your circumstances, living alone can be an exciting time – you make your own choices, don’t have to fight with your roommate over the remote, and you have a space that is uniquely yours – but there are certain dangers associated as well. Follow these simple suggestions to help protect yourself and your home while living alone.
Research before you move in
Before you fork over a down payment on a new place, get online and do a little investigating into the crime rate of the area. There are many great resources online so it won’t take much detective work, but a little knowledge can go a long way.
Get to know your neighbors
Making friends with the folks living next door is a smart idea for anyone who moves into a new place – especially someone who lives alone. Neighbors can tell you the best place to grab morning coffee, a shortcut to the nearest bus stop, and help you feel a part of the community. Neighbors can also help keep an eye on your place while you’re gone or report any suspicious activity if they see someone sneaking around your bushes. If neighborhood friends know you live alone, they may be willing to act as a second pair of eyes and ears and alert you or the authorities about anything out of the ordinary. So go ahead, bake some cookies and be neighborly.
Get to know your neighborhood:
On a similar note, get to know your neighborhood. Do a quick search to find the distance from the nearest police, fire and EMT responders to your home. Also, get a feel for areas that are safe to walk at night and which areas are not as safe. Being aware of your surroundings can help you plan ahead and maximize your safety.
Have an emergency app or system with you:
In case of an emergency, always have a way to contact immediate help. There are many great apps out there for personal security – some of which are free to install. Some common app features include a panic button or GPS tracking; other will alert your emergency contacts if you do not reach your destination by a time you set. Always keep your cell phone charged and nearby. Emergency systems are especially important if you are elderly or have a medical condition and live alone. Simple devices like these can help save your life in an emergency and give you peace of mind.
Get a pet:
Having a furry friend at home can help in two ways. First, dogs are great deterrents for burglars. For more tips on whether a guard dog is the right choice for you, check out our Guard Dogs post for specifics. ON the other hand, having a cat or dog in the house when you live alone can make you feel more at peace because the space is not so empty. Pets are proven to have many positive psychological benefits for their owners including boosting happiness and calming stress.
Lock your doors:
It sounds simple, but it is very important to remember to always keep your doors and windows locked. Most burglaries are crimes of opportunity, so take measure to ensure your house is not vulnerable. The upside to living alone is that you don’t have to worry about others forgetting to lock up when they leave or needing to leave a door unlocked because someone else is expected to be coming through – it’s just you, so be sure to turn that lock and keep your home safe.
Close the blinds:
Another up side to living by yourself – you can wear those baggy old sweatpants around the house as much as you want and no one will judge you! Just remember to close the blinds or draw the curtains before romping around in your favorite lounge pants. But poor fashion choices aren’t the only thing you’ll want to hide, criminals will often time scope out houses and look in windows at items they can steal. You don’t want someone seeing into your house and knowing you are alone or that you have a brand new sound system. Draw the blinds and rock out in your sweatpants in peace, knowing that you are strengthening your security!
Keep a light on:
It is always smart to keep a well lit home. Porch lights or motion activated lawn lights are a great way to keep criminals who may want to sneak around your property at bay. If there are lights, they cannot hide in the shadows! Also, keeping lights on inside the house helps give the illusion that more than one person is home or that the space is occupied even when you are away. Many security systems have great home automation packages or interactive services that allow you to set timers or control your lights all from an app.
Be careful who you let in:
Especially because you live alone, be extra vigilant about who you let into your house. Check through the peephole before answering the door. If you have maintenance scheduled, ask a friend to come over while work is being done. Criminals have been known to scope out a house before robbing it and may come by disguised as someone doing local work or as a salesman. If someone knocks on your door while you are alone, ask them to return at a different time and invite a friend over.
Install a home security system:
A sure fire way to help give you peace of mind and better the safety and security of your home and yourself is to invest in a home security system. Many have home automation and smarthome features built in or easily added. These Automation devices allow you to control and monitor lights, locks, and video surveillance. A home alarm system can alert you to any trouble and connect you with a monitoring team and first responders should a problem ever arise. For more information on our #1 rated home security read our Frontpoint security reviews. IF you’d like to compare the top companies in the industry you can visit our page on the best home security system
If you or a loved one lives alone, follow these simple tips to boost safety, security, and peace of mind. For more information, check out our full article on home safety tips to see all the ways you can protect your home, yourself, and your loved ones.