Studies show that those who live alone are more likely to become the victim of a crime. That’s usually the case because knowledgeable burglars target single-occupant dwellings; however, it’s possible to protect yourself somewhat by following a few basic rules.
Adopt a Pet
If your rental agreement allows, you should get a dog or cat. Having company, even the furry kind, will ease some of the fears that come with living alone. Pets are a natural security system—due to their instincts and their sharp senses, your pet’s behavior can be an early-warning system of sorts.
Know the Neighborhood Routine
Get a feel for the environment during the day, and also at night. Ask yourself when people are out and about, what kind of businesses are in the area, how late they’re open, and the type of traffic present (are they outsiders or locals?). Don’t be afraid to ask your local police to find out more about crime stats in your new area.
Get Acquainted with Your Neighbors
You don’t have to have them over for dinner and drinks once a week, but you should know who they are. You never know when you might need their help in a pinch; nosy neighbors are a great way to spot suspicious activity. If you live alone, you should also make a couple of friends aware of your daily habits.
Lock it Up
When moving into a new home, you should change the locks immediately. Also, keep track of any keys to your home, and who has them. Most essentially—NEVER hide a spare key outside! It’s the first place a burglar would look.
Get into the habit of keeping your oak doors locked when you’re not entering or leaving. Most home invasions happen where there’s an unlocked door; if you like to leave the door open to the fresh air, consider getting a locking screen door at least.
Create a Panic Room
You should designate a place in your home where you can hide while you wait for help. It should have a phone, a flashlight and an exit. Emergency services’ number should be programmed into the phone, along with the numbers of friends and family.
Install Security Lighting
This is one of the simplest ways to increase your home’s security; the installation of motion-detecting lighting in and around your home can be a great deterrent to thieves. When living alone, your security is much more important than the cost, but this type of lighting is inexpensive and widely available at most home improvement stores. Even if you are an apartment dweller, you might still be able to get permission to install motion lighting near your windows and exterior doors.
It’s the job of the police to protect and serve, but ultimately, your safety is your responsibility. Many dangerous situations can be prevented by a little proactive behavior. The time to think about security is before something happens, not in hindsight after it has occurred.
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