Home Alone: 8 Safety Tips for Living By Yourself
Posted April 9th, 2015 by Kelley
Alone time is awesome! And living alone can feel liberating—the only dishes in the sink are ones you put there, everything is exactly your taste and the bookshelf is a perfect portrait of your psychology and your psychology only. But sometimes it can feel a little stressful: isn't living alone dangerous? It doesn't have to be! In fact, living alone has its advantages—limited sets of keys and lack of roommate blunders can both decrease your chances of burglary. It doesn't have to be any more dangerous than other types of living situations. With a few extra precautions, you can make sure that even if you're on your own, you'll always be safe:
Get a Pet:
Dogs are proven deterrents when it comes to burglars selecting targets, but the advantage of having either a dog or a cat is two-fold—having another being in the house with you can serve to make you feel more comfortable in your house. How comfortable you are in your home generally can determine your panic levels and how you will respond when you do have to make quick, emergency decisions.
Remember to Lock Up:
And not just when you're out, or when you're permanently in for the night. Lock up all the time—when you're barbecuing out on the lawn, when you're binge-watching Netflix, whenever you are not actively using the door to traverse the threshold into your living space. Lock. It. Up. Some break-ins occur as 'walk-ins' due to the lax attitude about locking doors. This is, by the way, also one of those advantages to living alone: you don't have to worry about anyone else's ability to get into your house, so why not stick that chain on? No reason not to. Also get in the habit of using the peephole.
Fix Maintenance Issues right away:
Here's the thing about living alone: no one else is going to take care of this for you. You can't ask your roommate to do it, unfortunately. So get yourself a good toolbox for minor fixes, and ask your landlord or call in the professionals for major ones. Some maintenance issues, like a window that's stuck open or a lock that sticks so much you can't really use it, can make unauthorized visiting easier.
Close the curtains:
Recommended for anyone, but especially important for those living by themselves. Closing the blinds or curtains means potential baddies can't see your stuff, sure. It also means they can't see that you're alone—which could be a factor in choosing targets, depending on the burglar. Closing the blinds also affords you more privacy, so no matter what you're doing, the entire street will be none the wiser.
Turn Off Location Services:
When you live alone, you might be on social media a lot. Whether you're Facebooking your binge watch on Netflix or Instagramming your Chinese food take-out, social media can make you feel like you're not alone. But when you do, just make sure that you're not inadvertently broadcasting your location to the world when you share social media posts from home (in fact, Instagram specifically might be sharing your location in a round-about way). This is especially important for those that live alone because it's easy to see from your content that you are, in fact, alone.
Know Your Neighbors:
You don't have to be best friends, but knowing your neighbors (and your neighbors knowing you) is one of the best and easiest security systems in the world. If your neighbors know you live alone, they're likely to alert the authorities if they see someone who isn't you crawling through your kitchen window. If they hear something they'd deem unusual, they'll call police. And they wouldn't ever do that if they didn't know something was out of the ordinary.
Keep Your Cell Phone Charged:
Though it may be easy for a burglar to cut a phone line, you can still contact help with the aid of a cell phone. Keeping your cellphone charged is especially important for people who live alone because you're likely to only have one cell phone in the house. When you have roommates, the likelihood that someone will have some power left in an emergency is higher. When it's just you, well. That's all on you. Pretend your phone turns into a pumpkin if you let the little indicator drop below 20%. Don't worry—modern batteries can handle that; you won't wreck your phone unless you leave it plugged in all the time while it's at 100%.
Grab Yourself a Home Security System:
Getting a monitored security system means you can be alone without being alone alone. It's like having a roommate who doesn't eat your food or take up any space, but will be there for you and call the police if someone opens your back door by force. Make sure to get one that accommodates the dog or cat you got when you started reading this list.
Home security is easier than you think. SimpliSafe provides wireless home security with no annual contract. This way you can be protected when you live alone, and if your living situation changes you can easily take it with you, or cancel the monitoring service. You'll always know what's happening in your home whether you're there or away. If anything ever goes bump in the night, you can use the Panic Button to quickly alert the police.
What do you do to make sure you're safe when you're home alone?August 2021