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Living Alone: How to Protect Yourself and Your House

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A woman holding a book smiling as she looks into the distance in this image from Shutterstock

You’ll feel much better about living alone when you have property security and protection in place. (Image: Shutterstock)

There are countless benefits to not sharing a space with someone else, such as cleanliness and overall freedom within your home. While you’re enjoying your house and making it your own, you also need to make sure that you and your home are protected, regardless of whether you’re inside it or on the other side of the world. Check out these tips on protecting yourself and your house if you live alone.

A Built-in Safety System: Neighbors

One of the most fool-proof ways to stay safe is to get to know your neighbors. It’s helpful to introduce yourself when you first move into the neighborhood, as that’s a natural way to get to know others and even ask them about their thoughts and insights about your area.

Neighbors are also always around since that’s their home, so they’re likely to take notice if someone seems off around their property or yours. Neighbors are also always a great resource if you need someone to monitor your home, get your mail or paper if you’re on vacation, watch your pets, and so on.

Secure With a Security System

Someone installing a security camera on the exterior of a home in this image from Shutterstock
Surveillance cameras are a great way to secure your home if you live alone. (Image: Shutterstock)

Home security systems are no-brainers these days, and many of them connect directly to your phone. Home security systems can help with motion detection, such as a lighting system if someone enters your yard or property. They also can include camera footage to monitor the interior and exterior of your space, and oftentimes you can even replay the footage and store it if needed. Many doorbells are now also connected to security systems and smart technology, so you can view who is at your door and when. Another benefit is that should anyone try to enter your property, not only will the system sound an alarm, but you’ll also have footage of that individual.

Exit Plan: Engage

It’s unfortunate to think about, but it’s always a safeguard to ensure you know how you could exit your home should an emergency arise, such as a fire or a break-in. If you live on an upper floor, consider having a ladder attached to your window to create an extra exit. You should identify an exit plan not only for your home, but also for your neighborhood. Identifying your options via a map is helpful so that you can visualize where you would go and not have to think twice if you need to act fast.

Your Vacations Should Stay Vacations

When you live alone, there’s no need to air your vacation plans publicly. That’s basically an invitation and obvious announcement that no one will be in your home, regardless of how many lights you leave on or security systems you have installed. That said, smart lights are a helpful deterrent as well as lights on timers or triggered via motion when you are out of town.

Try to notify your neighbors or local friends whom you trust of your travel plans so they can keep an extra eye on your property during your trip. You can also hire someone who is authorized to look after your house through various secure and trusted services.

Guard Dogs

A dog lying down and watching through a window in this image from Shutterstock
Dogs are a great way to safeguard your home, as they typically sense sounds humans can’t hear. (Image: Shutterstock)

Furry friends are another great addition to your safety system if you live alone. Not only can they sense movement, sounds, and smells before you can, but they can also alert you if someone unfamiliar is on your property. They will be on alert and hopefully be able to scare someone who is attempting to enter or explore your home without an invite.

Barking can often scare someone or at least make them think twice about wanting to come close to your property. If you’re out walking at night alone with a guard dog, they will typically protect their owner and be very aware of their surroundings.

Local Crime Knowledge

When moving somewhere alone, you’ll want to look up local crime information so that you’re knowledgeable of areas and locations that may have a reputation for being more dangerous than others. Once you’re settled, you’ll want to stay in the know and not get too comfortable, even though you should be happy and content with your home. Having certain apps or news stations that alert you in real time about local crimes is recommended, especially when living alone. That way, you’ll know places to avoid or stay inside should there be an active investigation in your immediate area. Local crime information sites are beneficial in updating you about everything that might not be broadcast on local TV until hours later.