Living by yourself can feel very satisfying and liberating. You don’t have to share your space with anyone, you can create your own house rules without having to compromise, and no one will leave their dirty dishes in the sink for days. However, living alone is not all fun and games, especially not for women.
Even if you’re lucky to live in a generally safe country, safe city, and safe neighborhood, one can never be careful enough. There are certain precautions that you are strongly advised to take in order to be able to live safely and comfortably by yourself without inviting misfortune with a moment of carelessness. Here are 10 safety tips for women who live alone so you can protect yourself and your valuables.
Don’t flaunt that you live alone
The first piece of advice you should remember is that not everyone needs to know about your living situation. It sounds like common sense but it’s easy for it to slip out if you’re not being particularly careful. Not every stranger at the grocery store needs to hear that you’ve just moved to your new place and live alone. Even if you don’t want to straight out lie, coming up with little white lies is more than allowed. Say that your friend is staying over or that you’re expecting your boyfriend any minute. Staying cautious is especially recommended on social media. If your profiles are public, sharing too much about your whereabouts is calling for trouble.
Carry personal safety items
No one likes to think of the worst-case scenario, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Equip yourself with useful personal safety items that can save your life when push comes to shove. Go for easy-to-use devices and be sure you know how to operate them. A pepper spray and a personal alarm are the bare minima, but feel free to add a swat pen that doubles as a glass breaker, too. Additionally, be sure to install safety apps on your phone that will keep track of your location so you can signal to someone anytime you feel unsafe.
Check-in with someone
Living on your own gives you great freedom, but that doesn’t mean that no one should know where you are and what you are up to. It’s a good idea to have a “check-in buddy” who will always keep an eye out for you. This can be a simple “I’m home” message to your mom, or letting your friend know you’re going on a date the next day and sending them the location. It saves your loved ones from a lot of worrying and might save you one day, too.
Take a self-defense class
Once again, no one wants to think about dreadful scenarios such as being attacked, but in the unfortunate case that it does happen, being prepared can make all the difference. And while you might not be able to prepare mentally, you can very well prepare physically. Enroll in a self-defense class and empower yourself with the skill to get out of dangerous situations. Knowing self-defense will make you a more confident individual so its benefits will be clear even if you’re lucky enough to end up never using your newly learned tricks.
Don’t let just anyone in
This is the next piece of advice that goes without saying. But situations sometimes happen so fast that you don’t have time to think. You shouldn’t let strangers into your home if you’re not expecting anyone, no matter their uniform. For deliveries, have them put your parcel on your doorstep. When you must let someone in, try to arrange it so that you’re not alone during that time—call a friend over, for instance.
Create the impression of a man in the house
The next creative idea that can make your living alone situation a tad safer is creating the appearance of another person living there. It might sound ridiculous, but women have been using this trick for a long time. Get a pair of men’s shoes and a men’s jacket and put them in your foyer so that it looks like there is a man living there with you. You can also hang out other men’s clothing items as if to dry. Those with bad intentions will feel insecure seeing that the “other person” living there may come home any time, so they will be less likely to see you as an easy target.
Boost your home security
The level of security your home has is crucial in staying safe as a woman who lives alone. If you find that it’s not adequate when you move in, installing a few more security features is highly recommended for peace of mind. Wherever you live, you can always find a good locksmith to change the locks. Let’s say that you live in Sydney and do not know a locksmith. Just go online and type in a phrase such as a reliable locksmith from Sydney. Google will find you the best locksmiths who know how to install smart locks that provide extra safety. You can also consider a smart doorbell so that you can always check who is visiting before opening the door. A building equipped with security cameras is much less likely to be the target of crime, so you can consider that also. Finally, the harsh brightness of motion sensor lights is useful in deterring unwelcome visitors.
Check all the entry points
Your front door may not be the only entry point of your home, unfortunately. This means that you need to assess your entire home to find any weak spots that could allow someone to get in. From back doors through balcony doors to windows, check that everything closes and locks properly. If anything seems to be broken, such as a window latch, contact your landlord as soon as possible, and don’t let it be a weak point. Besides checking entry points, you may also want to boost the privacy of your space. Be sure to have thick curtains and close them when the sun goes down. You don’t want burglars to see all the way into your home.
Change up your routine from time to time
Another important piece of safety advice for any woman living by themselves is: never to be too predictable. Even if you love sticking to a set routine, allowing onlookers to know your exact daily schedule is not safe at all. So, be sure not to walk the same route every day. Change up your routine from time to time so no one will know exactly when they can expect you to reach your door.
Know your neighbors
Finally, you shouldn’t be on an island. When you move to a new place, getting acquainted with your neighbors can be very useful for several reasons. First of all, having friendly relationships with those who live around you will earn you a couple of watchful eyes who might notice something you did not and warn you about it. Secondly, knowing who your neighbors are will also make it much easier for you to spot suspicious individuals. You will always know if someone who doesn’t belong there is lurking around.
Unfortunately, women have quite a long to-do list when it comes to personal safety. Even if it feels like a drag, never compromise on these precautions, though. Always stay vigilant of your surroundings and carry the appropriate safety devices. Ensure your home is an impenetrable fortress and you’ll be able to sleep with peace of mind.