There are a lot of perks to living alone: You can come and go as you please, play music as loud as you want, and leave the bathroom door open round-the-clock. But solo home occupancy also means that you're the only person responsible for your safety, which can seem scary at times. The good news is that living alone doesn’t have to mean your safety and security are compromised. It just requires some awareness on your part as to the preventative measures you can take to protect yourself and your home from intruders. Here are a few tips to consider for improving your safety if you live alone.

1. Know the Area

If you are looking for a new home, pick a property in an area with a low crime rate. Prevention is the best cure for a problem, so researching the neighborhood or surrounding area before you move is a logical first step toward reducing your chances of burglary or theft. If you’re already settled, check out the neighborhood watch app Nextdoor, which can help keep you informed as to what’s happening in your community. Educating yourself about the crime rate in your neighborhood also helps you understand the level of security you may need to invest in. If you can't find enough information online, consider calling your local law enforcement agency for assistance.

2. Invest in a Canine Companion

If you’re looking for an excuse to bring home that sweet puppy from the shelter, you’re in luck. A canine addition to your home could help fend off feelings of loneliness or isolation — and could also deter burglars. In fact, criminals actively avoid targeting houses with dogs. Burglars are looking for houses they can easily gain access to. Once they come around, it’s likely your canine companion will alert you by barking, which can deter a potential home invader. You don’t necessarily need an overly aggressive dog or a breed hallmarked for their guarding instincts; any dog that is able to alert you if someone is snooping around is a good choice.

3. Evaluate Your Locks

The days of hiding a spare key in a potted plant or under your welcome mat are long gone. Today’s criminals are smarter and more agile — and this requires upgraded (and updated) security measures to keep you safe. When you first move into a home, always change your locks straight away. This is a good safety measure in case previous homeowners, real estate agents, or other people may have extra keys. And if your locks aren't strong enough to handle a forced entry, it's time to upgrade. Whether you invest in a state-of-the-art locking system or smart locking technology, make sure that you lock your doors when you're leaving your house — and when you're home alone.

4. Invest in a Home Security System

If you live in a relatively safe area, it may feel as though security cameras and alarms are a bit extreme; however, the right security system can help you feel safer and prevent burglars from targeting your home. Studies show as many as 84% of burglars say they wouldn't choose a home that has a security system installed. A security system will immediately alert law enforcement when someone tries to break into your house. Plus, if you buy a system with a camera, you can ensure you have live footage to capture the criminal’s likeness and ensure he or she faces justice.

5. Make Friends with the Neighbors

Now that it's easier than ever to keep in touch with your network through social media or a quick text, it's less likely for people to become close friends with those who live right next door. However, there's a good chance you'll feel safer if you're surrounded by people you know. Getting to know your neighbors means that you'll be able to readily identify unfamiliar cars that might be lurking around your property. It also increases the chances that you'll have someone available to keep an eye on your home when you're not around. It’s worth asking if there is a neighborhood watch group in your area and if not, consider starting one.

6. Protect Your Belongings with a Safe

There’s always a chance that even if you take all the right preventative measures, a burglar will find his or her way into your home. Fortunately, you can still protect the things that matter most to you by investing in a home safe. With a burglary safe, you can create an extra line of defense between burglars and your most important documents, jewelry, or family heirlooms. Choose the right safe, and you can even ensure that your possessions aren't harmed by fire or floods. A strong and reliable safe is the ultimate way to give any solo homeowner peace of mind — why not find yours today with Western Safe?
Home safety