10 Ways To Ensure Your Security When You’re Home Alone
Living by your lonesome can be both a liberating and a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you’ve just recently tried to be independent. If it’s your first time in a new home and there’s nobody to nag you about getting up or ask what time you’ll be home (AKA your parents), being in the silence of a person-less house can take some time to get used to. This also means you should take extra vigilant steps to make sure that you are safe and secure.
Before, you relied on your parents to conduct a full sweep of the house to make sure doors and windows are locked before turning in for the night. They were also the ones who got paranoid about installing security systems all over the yard and main entryways. Now, it’s your turn. Because you are living alone, the need to ensure that you come home to a house that is safe and secure is all the more pronounced.
Understanding Personal Security
Personal security is taking proactive steps to protect yourself from potentially dangerous situations and people. It is important because while property can be replaced or repaired, human life certainly can’t. In addition to the popular methods of preventing crime, personal security involves knowing how to spot, anticipate, and assess the risks around you. Because you are living by yourself, whether in a house or in an apartment building, you must be extra aware of your surroundings all the time, and never place yourself in situations where you might be compromised.
Here are 10 ways to help you feel much safer at home when you’re living alone.
- Lock your doors.
You might think you live in a very safe neighborhood and your building might have a security guard downstairs, but you can never really be sure. As you enter your house, make it a habit to lock the door behind you immediately. Security experts say it’s best to install a dead bolt as reinforcement. Don’t just rely on the lock-and-key system that your unit originally came with. Dead bolts can be purchased from hardware stores and can be easily installed without help.
- Close the blinds and turn your outside lights on.
When it gets dark outside, you become more visible from the inside. Thus, you should make sure that your blinds or heavy curtains are drawn when you’re in the house. Also turn your exterior lights on to deter anybody who doesn’t want to be recognized from even attempting to go near your door.
- Be friendly with your neighbors.
You don’t have to host slumber parties and poker nights to be friendly with the other people in your neighborhood. A simple nod and smile regularly is enough for you to recognize each other, so you can also help identify unfamiliar faces lurking in the area. Friendly neighbors will help keep an eye on your property when you are not around, as well. It’s nice to know someone’s looking out for you, especially when you’re living solo. Who knows, your neighbors could turn into your best friends later.
- Don’t leave a spare key outside.
Everybody knows to check above the door, under the flower pot, or under the welcome mat for a spare key into the house. Outsmart burglars by not leaving anything that can help them go inside at all. Instead, you can leave your spare key with a trusted neighbor or a family member.
- Get a dog.
A pet dog not only makes for excellent company when you’re living solo, he or she will also be your hyperactive alarm system in case somebody tries to break in. Even if you’re not at home, a dog will scare intruders off and drive them away. You don’t have to have large dogs just ward off burglars. Even a small chihuahua has a massive and noisy bark that will make it hard for criminals to carry on with their plans.
- Have a check-in plan.
It’s important to let somebody know of your basic daily routine, whether it’s a family member or a friend. If you are going to be traveling, be sure to inform a close neighbor or your loved ones about that, as well. You can also let someone know about the typical times you get home from work, so that this person will notice when you haven’t been following your routine and start checking up on you.
- Call a friend or a family member.
It’s nice to have someone to talk to when you’re feeling scared about living alone. It doesn’t take much to connect with friends and family. Simply pick up the phone and chat about how your day went and whatever else to help you feel calm and secure. On some days, you can even invite a friend over to spend the night or hang out so you don’t always have to just watch TV and do nothing.
- Install a home security system.
Install a home security system to help you feel safer when you’re in and outside of your home. Pay attention to all points of entry and make sure to keep your place well-lighted. There are security systems that you can even control and monitor using your smart phone or tablet. So that even when you’re at work or are out traveling, you can see what your home looks like in real time. You can also set it up so you receive instant notifications in case there’s an attempt to enter your property. The system can also send the same alerts to the authorities.
- Never open the door to strangers.
Always verify the identification of service and sales people and other visitors before letting them in. Security experts recommend that you install a peep hole on your door or a security camera facing your front door, so you can ask questions before actually opening it. They also advise against using chain locks, which do not really help stop entry if the attacker is extra aggressive.
- Take a self-defense class.
The more you know about security, the better you will feel about living on your own. Thus, you should not only equip your home with safety measures but enrich yourself, as well. Enrolling in a self defense classes gives you leverage when there’s an attack on you. Besides, these classes are not just practical, they are fun, too.
Overall, you don’t have to be helpless when you’re living solo. In fact, it helps you become all the more empowered to ensure your safety. By equipping yourself with the right tools and right knowledge, the more confident you will be about coming home to an empty house. The key to feeling secure when you’re living alone is to feel that you are in control. Of course, in addition to these tips, you should have the local authorities on speed dial in your phone, so you can easily access them in case there’s a threat.