25 Point Checklist on Staying Safe when Living Alone
Installing a Home Security System Should Be a Priority
So you finally have your own place and you’re already mentally repainting it a ridiculous girly color with plans to put all your favorite Marilyn Monroe pictures on the wall! Well, now is the time to pull your head out of the clouds and be sure you’re setting yourself to be – not only comfy in your new place – but safe as well.
Living alone as a woman is liberating but it can also make you a bit of a target for break in’s. So use this quick checklist to be sure that you’re starting your new off the right way.
1 – Get a dog – Yeah this one seems like a big step but dogs are serious deterrents against unwanted guests. Nothing says leave me alone like a barking dog in your living room. Many ex-burglars will openly admit that any home with a dog is one they skip past quickly. No one wants to tangle with Kujo no matter how cute you look in those skinny jeans.
2 – Always lock up – Don’t get lazy and leave the door unlocked even if it is just for a few minutes because you’re expecting a friend. Keep that door locked at all times.
3 – Close the curtains – Don’t be that girl changing in front of an open curtain and the same goes for watching TV or cooking dinner! Be safe and close the curtains to keep wandering eyes away. If you want natural light then get some classic sheer curtains to strategically place around the house. You don’t need to live in the dark to stay out of plain sight.
4 – Turn off location services – Many apps will actively and openly track your movements and then report it to any and all ‘friends’ on your list. Foursquare, Instagram and even Facebook have location services. Be smart and check out your apps to be sure they aren’t advertising to the world where you lay your head at night and when exactly you get there.
5- Know your neighbours – Go say hello to neighbours and even bring them a plate of cookies when you move in. Being friendly and introducing yourself gives them an added incentive to keep an eye on you. The better friends you are – the more you can rely on them in times of need.
6 – Keep your phone charged – I know it feels like a chore to always be chasing that red low battery indicator light on your phone away. However, a dead cell phone isn’t going to do you any good when you really need it. So keep a charger close to your bed and make a habit to plug it in at night or even consider get a battery life key ring for those times of emergency.
7 – Bar in your sliding glass door – Sliding glass doors and the locks on them can leave a lot to be desired. Consider getting a simple wooden dowel or for as little as $20 grab a security bar specifically designed for glass doors. This low-tech solution will stop someone from shimming open that door.
8 – Have fresh locks installed – Don’t assume the keys you just got from the agent are new even if they’re new to you.
9 – Add a chain lock or a latch lock – Unfortunately, locks can be easy enough to pick for a professional so add a quick chain or latch lock for that extra level of security. If someone does break into your home they won’t be able to do it quietly.
10 – Get the right kind of deadbolts – Take the time to do a little homework and pick out a good bump proof lock for your front door.
11 – A keyhole that closes – You want a door with a keyhole but at the same time pick one that you can close. There are reverse keyhole viewers on the market for less than $20.
12 – Fake it – Are you really feeling the absence of a male presence? Don’t be afraid to fake it a bit. Some gals leave a pair of muddy work boots outside their door and toss in some man clothes when doing their laundry in a public place or if they have a place to hang dry things outside. You’re the only one who will know those boots came from the thrift store and not off your man’s feet.
13 – Chimes on doors – There are simple and inexpensive door chimes you can quickly add to any entry door to alert you when it’s been opened. You can even buy simple doormats that sound a chime when they’re stepped on. Sometimes stopping someone from coming into your home silently is enough to stop them completely.
14 – Consider a security app: There is a large collection of great security apps on the market designed to keep you safe. Our favorite is Kitestring but don’t take our word for it. Check out this great article on the best FREE security apps on the market.
15 – Be smart on social media – It’s so fun, and addicting, to spend a ton of time on social media but be smart about your posts. Publicly declaring your independent living situation and then snapping pictures of your new place can quickly leave you vulnerable.
16 – Take a self-defense class – It’s never too late to sign up for a quick self-defense class. Every city has them and they’re also a great way to meet new people.
17 – Consider a door intercom – Yeah they come at a price tag starting at $160-ish dollars but adding in an intercom system is a surefire way to vet people before opening your door to them.
18 – Keep your car keys by your bed – Most cars come with quick panic buttons included automatically. In a bind that car alarm will help to scare off any would be home invaders.
19 – Stay aware – Today’s woman is a multi-tasking queen but when you’re coming or going to your home put the cell phone away and keep your head up.
20 – Install motion-activated lights – You can pick up a simple motion light at your local hardware store for $20 and they do wonders at keeping people from coming up to your doors or windows unseen.
21 – Don’t meet up with strangers at your home alone – Regardless, if you’re selling something on Craigslist or getting the sink fixed do not meet up with people at your home alone. Call a friend or a neighbor to come over and keep you company. Don’t be afraid to be honest about why you’re asking them over.
22 – Keep control of your keys – Don’t give your key to anyone – no matter what. Keep those keys close and keep them in your possession. Nothing makes for an easy break in like having a key to the front door.
23 – Fix any potential security issues – Do you have a door or window that likes to stick and not lock right? Maybe it’s just the bulb on the motion light that’s been out of service. Regardless, don’t wait to get anything security related fixed.
24 – Maintain your landscaping – Keep bushes and trees cut away from the house. You don’t want them to obscure windows and doors from plain sight. Giving a thief a quiet place to gain entry into your home is never a good idea.
25 – Get a home security system – Now is the perfect time to seriously consider getting a home security system. There is nothing that will make you feel safer than a whole house alarm when you tuck yourself into bed at night. Plus, women love the added security of knowing no one has been in their place while they were gone.