Enjoying the luxury of living alone may just be one of the best perks of adulthood. You get to have space all for yourself, away from family and room-mates. You won’t have anyone to contend with, you can be as free as you want, and you get to call all the shots.
Living alone has been becoming increasingly popular, with the number of one-person households in the UK continuing to rise.
If you’re lucky enough to be financially secure and want to exercise your independence, carving your own path by renting out or buying your own place is a milestone.
However, once the novelty of living alone and the initial taste of independence wears off, you might start to be wary of your own safety. After all, having no one to share the space with also means that you’ll have to look out for yourself.
With crime rates in England up by 19% as reported on January of 2019, one of your top concerns should be your security.
When you don’t have a housemate or family members to help you double check if you’ve locked the door or call for help in case of emergency, prevention will be your best bet for your safety.
By being proactive and taking your own welfare seriously, you’ll be able to sleep in your home without fearing for yourself or your belongings.
Don’t get us wrong: We don’t encourage you to be extremely paranoid and stay cooped up in your home. However, we do want you to realise that assessing the risks than taking the necessary precautions should be one of your independent decisions.
Read on for a few tips on how you can live alone without living in fear!
#1: Assess Your Space’s Safety
Even before you decide to move into your new flat, it’s best to look around for any security concerns that you may have in the future.
Are the doors easily opened by an outside force? Is there a window that can be easily broken into? Any leakages or other safety hazards?
These are things that you can ask your landowner before signing a contract. You should have a thorough report indicating the facilities of the flat, along with anything that may need to be fixed before you make it your home.
Once you’ve looked at the inside of your new home, it’s important to take a look at its surroundings as well.
Something that will give you comfort is if the path leading to your place is well-lit. If you’re walking home late at night or leaving at the crack of dawn, you’ll feel more secure if you can see your surroundings properly.
Make sure that the area isn’t shady or desolate. In case you run into trouble, you’ll be able to call for help easily.
#2: Know Thy Neighbours
No matter how many assessments and reports you have on paper, nothing will matter as much as the real-life encounters of people who live in the area.
Strike up a conversation with one of your neighbours. You can ask them about any recent incidents that may have happened, or anything that you should look out for in case you do decide to move in.
Not only will you be getting insights from their daily experiences, but you’ll also be able to build rapport with them early on. This can become useful for you as you can easily call them for help in times of trouble.
Even if you’re an introvert, make the effort to engage in small talk with them. Remember, people are more willing to lend a hand to a friend rather than to a stranger.
#3: Have Visitors Over!
Yup, you’ll have an excuse to throw parties and have people over at your place. Busy homes are one of the top things that can deter possible criminals.
Burglars are less likely to target busy homes, so it’s best to make it seem as if it will be hard to find timing in which it’s empty.
By having people over, you’ll also make others think that there are more people living in it, rather than just you. It can also send the message to possible intruders that you have a lot of people who will have your back in case you get into a problem!
#4: Don’t Let Service Providers In Without A Companion
One of the things you’ll inevitably have to do is have workers inside your home. This can be because you’re setting up a phone line, getting internet installed, or having the bathroom fixed. Whatever the reason is, be sure to call up a friend to stay with you as they do their job.
Even if you have a trusted, well-known service provider in your home, it pays to be cautious. Having a friend with you will lead strangers into thinking that you don’t live alone. It also keeps you safe while they’re there, as opposed to you being left to your own devices.
It also makes you less of a target in case they are actual criminals. So don’t be shy to phone up a friend and just treat them to a meal afterwards.
#5: Install a Home Security System
Security cameras are not as rare and expensive as it once was. Nowadays, they are extremely affordable, and the cost will be a small price to pay for your peace of mind.
Almost all burglars will not dare to invade a home if they see a security camera situated outside. The best thing about this is, you can keep an eye on your home even if you’re outside running errands or at work.
Modern surveillance cameras have a remote feature in which you can stream what’s going on through your phone or laptop. This makes you aware of any suspicious activity going on, and you can instantly alert authorities or make your way home.
#6: Get A Dog!
If you’re an animal lover, then this is going to be great news for you! Having a pet like a big dog won’t just keep you company, but your four-legged friend can also scare off any intruders.
However, if you’re complex doesn’t allow pets or you’re allergic, don’t worry. You can get the same benefit by putting up a “beware of dog” sign outside!
#7: Think Twice About What You Post Online
With the digital age becoming evident, criminals are often taking on online platforms as a way to source out potential victims.
It may be tempting to post about your activities, but it’s best to not post until your home or a week after the activity.
Hold your Facebook fingers, and don’t announce to the world that you’re leaving for a holiday in some far-flung land. The internet is a vast place, and you never know who will be able to see your posts.
So don’t post about going out for drinks, going out of town, or leaving for a holiday. The photos can wait!
#8: Don’t Stay Outside Your Door For Too Long
One common scenario is for someone to be spending a long time outside their door, fumbling for keys. This leaves you at risk for any thief coming up behind you and putting you in danger.
This applies especially to those towns whose criminal records aren’t exactly squeaky clean. A poorly lit street, and being absent-minded is a recipe for disaster.
Time is of the essence, so be sure to have your keys ready before approaching your door.
#9: Lock Doors At All Times
Everyone knows that you should have all the doors and windows locked before leaving. Be sure to check it twice, thrice so that you can leave without fear of your home being broken into.
However, you should lock your doors even when you’re indoors. If by some misfortune, some burglar figures out that you live alone, this prevents them from barging in and invading your home.
Be sure to keep a spare set of keys somewhere inconspicuous. If you can, leave your spare keys with a trusted friend or a family member. Don’t leave keys under the mat, under a rock, or anywhere that criminals can easily guess.
Living alone is an exciting and important step to exercising your independence, but you should never neglect your safety.
Some acts may seem foolish or paranoid to an extent, but as the old saying goes: it’s better to be safe than sorry. Follow our safety tips for your peace of mind! If you want, you can rent out a room in your home, or hire close protection so that you’ll at least have one person with you at all times.