There’s no question about it, living alone has its perks! You have complete independence, you always find things where you left them and you never have to fight your roommate for the remote.
This does, however, make you an easier target for burglars. Here are some things you may want to consider to keep yourself, and your home, safe these holidays.
1. LOCK UP
This is good advice for anyone that lives anywhere! Seems obvious, but an astonishing amount of people become victims because they failed to lock up before leaving the house.
Statistics indicate that 34% of burglars enter a premises using the front door. The next entry point is first floor windows, followed by back door. If you want to find out more read our article on how burglars enter your home or confessions of a burglar.
2. KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOURS
Being friends with your neighbours is not as easy as it used to be, unless you live in the suburbs or a small community, most people will naturally keep their distance. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible, just means you will have to make the first move.
Try to strike up a conversation if you run into a neighbour, offer your help and be friendly. You may not become friends overnight, but these people will offer a helping hand if you need it.
3. KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD
Taking it one step further, knowing the area you live in can help you in a bad situation. In case of an incident its helpful to know where the nearest police station is, not to mention the streets you should avoid when walking alone late at night.
4. INVEST IN SOME CURTAINS
Getting some thick, non see-through curtains can go a long way to protecting your home against burglars.
Statistics indicate that most opportunity burglars will look into windows until they see something of value. Drawing the curtains prevents burglars from seeing the layout of the house, seeing your possessions and noticing that you live alone.
5. OPTIMISE TIMER LIGHTS
Most burglars are not killers and will try to avoid confrontation at all costs. Seeing that the lights are on is a great deterrent.
Of-course you can’t always be home to turn your lights on and this is where timer lights come in handy. Set them to switch on as soon as it gets dark and if you have the chance, get creative. Set the timer for different times in different rooms or at least adjust the time every few days.
6. GET AN IP CAMERA
The thing burglars fear most is getting caught by the police. An IP camera mounted on your window sill will deter a thief.
7. LOCK DOWN SOCIAL MEDIA
Burglars use Facebook too! For example, a burglar could get your name by looking at your mail and then searching your name + suburb on Facebook. Most people don’t realise how much of their information can be viewed online by complete strangers.
Next time you are posting pictures of yourself relaxing by the beach on an exotic island, make sure only the people you trust can see it. The best way to check is to create an alternate profile and access yours to see what can be viewed.
8. BE CAREFUL WHO YOU LET INTO YOUR HOUSE
One of the most common ways burglars scout the layout of your house is by visiting it in disguise. An unexpected door knock from an electrician asking to read the meter or a nosey salesman asking to enter your home could be a warning sign.
Request they come back later and arrange for someone else to be there when they do. Same goes for maintenance work or repairs. It never hurts to have someone else there to keep an eye on them.
9. FIND A SAFETY BUDDY
If you have a close friend its a good idea to set up a buddy system. For instance, you can agree to make contact once a day at a certain time. If for some reason you don’t, your friend will know something has happened and can contact police or drive by your house to make sure you’re ok.
10. GET A CAT/DOG
If a close friend is not able to help, a furry friend might. If your landlord allows, you can choose to get a pet to monitor your house for you.
Burglars tend to avoid properties with pets because they often get in the way. If you have the option, get a large dog, the sight of one growling will send most thieves running!
Living alone can be scary but with the right precautions you should have nothing to worry about. Trust your instincts and use your common sense. If you don’t feel comfortable or fear you might be in danger, get help!
Otherwise follow the 10 tips we outlined.
- Lock up
- Know your neighbours
- Know your neighbourhood
- Invest in curtains
- Get timer lights
- Get an IP camera
- Lock down social media
- Be careful who you let in
- Get a safety buddy
- Consider a dog
Above all, enjoy your freedom. After all, living alone can be a lot of fun!