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Living alone doesn't mean living in fear

Living alone doesn't mean living in fear
Ammentorp | Dreamstime.com Dreamstime.com

There are many perks to living on your own. You can dance around the living room in your pajamas anytime you want. All the dirty dishes in the sink are yours and yours alone. Nobody will be upset if you decide to spend Saturday engaged in a “Friends” marathon. But there’s another side to the solo life.

Fear and doubt can creep in when you’re on your own. You might read about break-ins or theft on Nextdoor or worry about the local crime news. Take control of your sense of safety in your home with these tips that will help bring you peace of mind.

1. Get to know your neighbors

Have you met your neighbors yet? While it’s easy to stay cocooned in your own world, getting to know your neighbors can be one of the best ways to feel more secure when you live alone. Introduce yourself. Learn their names. Exchange phone numbers if you feel comfortable with them. You may become friends or you may just stay friendly acquaintances, but you’ll feel better knowing the neighborhood has your back.

2. Install a smart security system

Home security technology has come a long way since the days of elaborate hard-wired systems with lengthy, expensive contracts. You can now customize a system for your home that’s comprehensive, affordable and takes advantage of the latest tech.

Choosing a security company doesn’t have to be overwhelming. SimpliSafe gets you up and running fast with 24/7 alarm monitoring, no contracts and easy, do-it-yourself wireless installation of motion sensors, entry sensors, video cameras, and glass-break detection sensors. You get the ability to watch over and control your home security right from your phone. Get a 60-day money-back guarantee with SimpliSafe today.

3. Conduct a security check of your home

If you’ve just moved into a new place, it’s the perfect time to make a security assessment. Check that all your door and window locks function and you have deadbolts on every outside door. Replace any burned-out light bulbs around the exterior. Try to think like a burglar. Where would you break in if you had to? What can you do to deter it?

To move your home security preparations to the next level, consider installing motion-sensor lights, growing thorny plants below easily accessible windows, putting locks on your gates, and installing metal security doors in place of old-fashioned screen doors.

4. Set up the SOS emergency feature on your phone

Your phone is always with you and it can be a lifeline in an emergency situation. Be prepared by activating your phone’s emergency SOS feature. When triggered, it will call emergency services and send notifications and updates to your chosen personal emergency contacts. Learn how to set up this must-have safety net for Android and Apple phones.

5. Make it look like you’re home, even when you’re not

Whether you’re gone at work for the day or off on a week-long vacation, there are ways to make it look like your home is occupied even though it’s empty. Set up mechanical or smart-home timers to turn lights and a stereo on and off. If you’re gone for a while, arrange for a neighbor or friend to pick up your mail, check on your house, and even take out your trash and recycling cans.

If you’re gone on a trip with your car, see if someone you know can park a spare vehicle in the driveway while you’re away. Taken together, all these measures can make it seem like there’s somebody home.

6. Think before you post online

We tend to want to post every exciting moment in our lives to social media, but it might not be just your friends who are watching your adventures. If you maintain a public profile, then anyone can see that you’re lounging on the beach in Hawaii and not at home. Perhaps the simplest solution is to not post personal information, including your vacation schedule, on social media. You can wait until you get back to share a fun slideshow of your journey.

If you’re determined to share in real-time, then one way to combat this concern is to restrict your accounts to just trusted friends and family. Check out some tips for improving your privacy and security on Facebook.

7. Call the authorities if needed

Listen to your instincts. If you see a suspicious person, call it in. If you feel threatened, then dial 911. Even you’re unsure if the situation qualifies as an emergency, then call your local police department’s non-emergency number (if one is available) for guidance. Keep this number in your phone contacts so it’s ready when you need it.

Whether you’re moving out on your own for the first time, an empty-nester, or just getting set up in a new place, take steps to feel comfortable in your house or apartment. You might be living alone, but your support network can be a mix of family, friends, neighbors, and the right security and safety technology.

Click here for Kim's home security system pick, SimpliSafe.  The no contract, wireless system that protects you from burglars, power outages, flooding threats and more.  Get a 60-day money-back guarantee with SimpliSafe today.

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