Confronted with the startling silence of newfound independence, you may be hyper-aware of every little bump in the night or creak in the floor. Living alone in your rental property means you need to change habits and implement a few safety measures for your peace of mind.
Don’t advertise that you’re living alone
A hot tip for living alone for the first time is not advertising that you are alone. Most criminals and burglars will aim for easy targets, but there are simple ways to make it difficult for others to find out whether you live alone or not. Where possible, keep your curtains closed at home so it’s not obvious that you’re home alone. Keeping them closed will also conceal any goodies a burglar might like to get their hands on (i.e. your laptop or jewellery). Finally, once you’ve made friends in the area, ask them over to your place every now and again so that your home looks busy.
We’re not saying you need to become BFFs with Mel from next door or with anyone in your apartment complex, but it never hurts to have an extra set of eyes watching out for you – especially when you live alone. Naturally, be cautious of giving out information until you know your neighbours well.
Report suspicious activity
If you’re going to live by yourself, it’s especially important that you’re aware of your surroundings and trust your gut. If someone nearby makes you feel uncomfortable, or you witness a suspicious situation, don’t hesitate to call the police. Crime Stoppers Australia relies on members of the public to contact them when they have information that may help stop, solve or prevent suspicious or criminal activity in the community. You can call Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000.
Location, location, location
The old saying ‘Prevention is better than cure,’ is especially appropriate when it comes to living alone safely. Before you choose your next rental property, research the suburb and local neighbourhood. You can refer to reviews on the area too – this will greatly reduce the likelihood of any serious security issues in the future.
Consider installing a home security alarm
As a single person living alone, it can be comforting to have a reliable home security system / camera. These cameras can be purchased for the inside and outside of a house. As a tenant, you will need to ask your landlord if you can install an alarm yourself – or find out if they will cover the cost.
Don’t cut corners
When you’ve been out on the town, have a taxi or Uber drop you right in front of your building. Don’t try to save money by having them drop you at the corner. The extra few dollars are always worth the safety and peace of mind. Using your common sense will help to avoid a wide range of potentially dangerous situations. Never let strangers into your home, especially if no one else is around. Whenever you’re not at home, always lock your doors and windows. If you live on the ground floor, consider keeping the windows and doors that can be easily accessed from outside locked.
Keep your phone charged
Your phone can be a vital tool to keep you safe when living alone. Today there are a number of mobile apps designed to improve your security. While it might seem like a no-brainer, this is important enough to earn a spot on the list: Make sure that your phone is fully charged, especially when you are leaving home at night. Consider packing an extra charger or a battery life key ring to keep your phone juiced up while you’re out and about.
Know your physical boundaries
If you feel like someone might be following you, don’t back yourself into a corner with a potential attacker. Avoid elevators, parking garages, or alleyways. Move towards an open or public space as quickly as possible.
Remember: Living alone should an exciting time in your life, but it isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Don’t skimp on safety precautions! You want to enjoy you apartment, so do yourself a favour and make sure you feel safe.