35+ Simple Yet Essential Safety Tips For Women Living AloneBy Louise T
Living alone has its fair share of upsides and downsides. You don’t need to share the washing machine, there’s no fighting over when the lights are switched off, and the bathroom is all yours. However, it can also pose some safety concerns, especially for women.
But don’t let that get to you. There are plenty of ways you can ensure you stay safe and comfortable. And since women help women, we’ve put together a list of some of the best tips shared by women that will make living alone smoother and safer.
Whether you live in a stand-alone house or an apartment complex, in the city or the suburbs, there are handy tips for everyone. So, keep reading and educate yourself. You never know; it might help save your life or someone else’s.
Be Careful About Answering The Door
If you live alone, you should always exercise caution when there’s a knock at the door. Don’t one it if you’re unsure who’s on the other side, especially at night. A solid door and sturdy lock are excellent safety measures that will limit the chances of an ill-intentioned stranger coming in.
By having a barrier between you and the potential stranger, you can maintain control over your environment, which allows you to assess situations and make informed decisions without feeling pressured or coerced. Also, check the peephole before communicating with whoever is knocking.
Nightstand Safety Tools
Having your phone on your nightstand is a simple yet practical safety measure everyone can benefit from. If there’s an intruder, you don’t need to dig through your sheets to find it. As a bonus, keep pepper spray or a safety keychain beside it.
If you suspect someone is trying to break in, you can quickly call 911 and arm yourself while you talk to the police. This way, you are able to react quickly, giving you a crucial advantage in potentially dangerous situations.
What To Do When You’re Being Followed
Living alone also means you often drive alone. If you believe you’re being followed, don’t panic, and certainly don’t try to drive home. The most advisable thing to do is to go to a police station. And if you’re really concerned, honk your horn.
Trained law enforcement officers can assess the situation and offer assistance if there is indeed danger. The police station is equipped with personnel trained to handle such matters. Moreover, the presence of law enforcement can deter the individual following you and discourage further suspicious behavior.
Bring In Trash Can And Mail During The Day
While there is no rule that says when you should bring in your mail or the trash can, it’s best to do it during the day. Even if you’re a creature of habit and only find time to check the mail at night, consider changing your routine.
There’s safety in daylight. While you might feel comfortable bringing in your empty can at night or picking up the mail, it’s harder to be fully aware of your surroundings when it’s dark. Plus, people are more active during the afternoon, so you likely won’t be alone.
Be Careful What You Share Online
We are not saying you should stop posting life updates or using social media. It’s just best to exercise caution and avoid sharing unnecessary personal info online. Internet stalking is now easier than ever, so try and minimize posting crucial things about your life.
Saying too much online can provide bad guys with valuable information, and stalkers can piece together when you’re alone and vulnerable. In addition, oversharing personal information can make you more susceptible to scams and identity theft. Consider making your profiles private and reviewing new friends or followers.
Change Up Your Routine
Varying one’s routine enhances personal safety by reducing predictability, which in turn minimizes the risk of becoming a target for potential threats. This way, you’ll avoid danger when you’re out and about and give your home a little extra security.
It can be hard to mix up your routine, but doing so even once a week — never on the same day — makes a huge difference. Aside from promoting your mental well-being, it cultivates adaptability and makes it harder for stalkers to gain the upper hand.
Have A First Aid Kit
You can never go wrong with a fully equipped first aid kit at home. Accidents can happen at any time, and injuries can limit your ability to move around and defend yourself. Having a well-stocked first aid kit allows for immediate response and treatment before professional help arrives.
Not only is it important for your physical health, but it can also provide a sense of empowerment and self-sufficiency. In a case where medical assistance may be delayed, a first aid kit can be vital in providing critical care and potentially saving lives.
Take Self-Defense Classes
Picture a busy woman who often finds herself commuting home at night. One evening, while walking to her apartment, she realizes she is being followed. Despite feeling scared, her self-defense training kicks in. The stranger doesn’t know what hit him/her, and our protagonist runs to safety.
You never know when these classes might come in handy. So, find a local gym that offers kickboxing, krav maga, Jiu-jitsu, etc., and register for basic training and survival skills. This way, you get to develop situational awareness, verbal assertiveness, and physical self-defense skills.
Have A Landline
You might think a landline phone is outdated, but it has some benefits that a cellphone can’t match. Landlines are known for their reliability during power outages and may work even in situations where cellular networks may be congested or unavailable.
Also, in case of an emergency, when you dial first responders from a landline phone, the call is often associated with a specific address. This can expedite the emergency response process, as the location is automatically transmitted to the dispatcher.
Keep Your Trees And Shrubs Trimmed
Routinely trimming trees and bushes helps you maintain a clear view of your property. Overgrown vegetation can obstruct views, create potential hiding spots for intruders, and also make it difficult for you to spot any suspicious activity near your home.
Also, well-maintained trees and shrubs give the impression that someone is actively caring for the property. This can discourage individuals who like to steal from infrequently occupied residences. Plus, a tidy and visible exterior prevents unwanted attention. It’s a win from all sides.
Get A Dog
They say that dogs are man’s best friend, but we’d like to argue that dogs are a single woman’s best friend. A big dog, no matter how friendly, can deter intruders. Even small dogs with strong protective instincts and loud barks will do the trick.
A dog not only serves as a loving companion, but their protective behavior toward their human sends a clear message that the house is not an easy target. Anyone would feel reassured and safer with a faithful canine by their side.
Have Motion-Sensor Lights
If someone tries to sneak into your property in the dark, a sudden burst of light can draw attention to their presence. This will discourage unauthorized individuals from attempting to enter your home, as they are more likely to be detected.
Motion sensor lights automatically switch on when motion is detected, providing better visibility on your property at night. These can help you navigate safely when you arrive home after dark or when moving around your property by reducing the risk of accidents or tripping hazards.
Invest In A Security System
Single women should consider installing such systems. Visible security cameras and posted signs from security companies can discourage burglars and make your home a less appealing target. Aside from providing an added layer of protection, they also give you peace of mind.
Security systems alert you of unauthorized entry, and depending on what you install, they may automatically alert the authorities. This enhances your security and that of your home. Additionally, some security systems offer features like remote monitoring, allowing you to keep an eye on your home even when you’re away.
Befriend A Neighbor
First off, don’t just follow this tip blindly. First, make sure your neighbor is friendly and trustworthy. Someone with whom you can create a support system. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a male neighbor. Just someone who’ll help foster a safer and more connected living environment.
They can offer assistance in times of need, such as checking in during emergencies or helping with household tasks if you’re injured. A good neighbor can also provide an additional layer of security by keeping an eye out for any suspicious activities.
Get An Alexa
Getting an ‘Alexa’ or similar voice-activated assistant provides a convenient and hands-free way to control various aspects of your home environment, such as turning lights on or off or playing music. You can quickly switch on lights and sound without needing to run around.
This is particularly useful for people with mobility challenges. It can even act as a companion and make daily life easier. Even better, it can help you call 911 during emergencies. As funny as that scene from Us was, smart home systems can be useful in a pinch.
Have A Plan For Emergencies
Having a plan for escaping or hiding in case of an emergency is crucial for many reasons. It ensures preparedness and can increase your safety even if you’re panicked and not thinking clearly. You will be able to escape harm more swiftly.
Having designated hiding places or escape routes puts you in control and helps reduce panic. You can deal with the situation with a clear head and respond logically while you navigate your surroundings efficiently and make informed decisions to protect yourself.
Don’t Announce Your Vacation
Publicly announcing your absence can make your home a target for burglars or criminals. They won’t hesitate to take advantage of the opportunity. Broadcasting your vacation plans on social media or to a wide circle of acquaintances increases the risk of someone learning about your empty residence.
By keeping your vacation plans private, you maintain a level of personal security and reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of theft. It’s important to prioritize the safety of your home and belongings by limiting the knowledge of your absence to trusted individuals.
Leaving A Light On When You Go Out
Leaving all the lights on is a waste of electricity, especially if you’re not home. Instead, you should consider leaving just a few lights on. Even one can create the illusion that someone is home, which can discourage intruders from breaking in.
If you’re often gone for long periods of time, consider investing in timers for your lights or even a remote system that will allow you to turn the lights on and off from your phone. And if you have a TV, you can also turn it on to give the illusion that someone is home.
Immediately Lock The Door Behind You
Remembering to lock your door right away is a basic security measure that anyone can do. Also, you should never leave the doors unlocked, no matter the time of day. Even if you’re bringing in groceries from the car, lock your door in between each trip.
This way, you minimize the chances of encountering unwanted visitors who may sneak in without your knowledge. Moreover, if you notice that a door you habitually lock is open, you will immediately know that something is amiss and take necessary action.
Situational awareness refers to the conscious perception and understanding of one’s immediate environment. This involves paying attention to details, evaluating potential threats, and making informed judgments based on the available information. It’s a valuable skill that can enhance personal safety and decision-making.
A woman who lives alone can develop situational awareness by adopting certain practices and habits. Be observant of your environment, both indoors and outdoors. Also, take note of people, vehicles, or any unusual activities in your vicinity. Most importantly, always trust your instincts.
Always Check The Peephole
Checking the peephole before opening the door can prevent you from making a costly mistake. Firstly, it allows you to verify the identity of the person on the other side of the door before granting them access to your home.
Secondly, checking the peephole provides an opportunity to assess the situation outside, including the presence of any suspicious individuals. It gives you a chance to make an informed decision about whether or not to open the door and take the necessary precautions.
Always Carry Protection
This right here is something you must do all the time, especially at night. You never know when things might go wrong, so carry items like pepper spray, a personal alarm, or a self-defense keychain to provide yourself with a sense of security and reassurance.
Knowing that you have the means to defend yourself in a threatening situation stops you from making rash decisions… most times. When used, these tools provide you with a crucial opportunity to create distance, seek help, run for your life, or escape from an attacker.
Have Friends Over When Repair People Are Around
Having friends over when repair people are present might just be the safety measure you need. Your friends can offer emotional support and an extra set of eyes and ears during the repair process. They can also provide a sense of comfort and reassurance when there’s a stranger in your home.
Also, in case of a bad situation, friends can act as additional witnesses. This way, you minimize any misunderstandings or disputes that may arise during the repair process. Moreover, knowing that other people are present can discourage inappropriate behavior and help maintain a professional atmosphere.
Choose A Safe Neighborhood
No matter how many precautionary measures you have or how well-practiced you are with your defensive moves, living in an unsafe neighborhood will always pose a threat. Aside from providing you peace of mind, a safe neighborhood typically has lower rates of burglary, assault, and other criminal activities.
Plus, you gain access to essential amenities, such as well-lit streets, security systems, and nearby emergency services, further enhancing personal safety. The reassuring sense of freedom and independence you get from such a place will enable you to navigate your surroundings with confidence.
Hide Your Valuables
This one is obvious, but it’s worth repeating. Hiding your valuables decreases the likelihood of them being stolen in case of a break-in or theft. Thieves often search for easily accessible and visible items of value, so keeping them hidden can keep them safe if the thief is in a rush.
Hiding your valuables also helps to protect your privacy. It reduces the chances of people, like service providers or acquaintances, stumbling upon or being tempted by your valuable possessions. This is particularly relevant if you frequently have people in your home.
Never Let Your Date Pick You Up For The First Date
It is generally advisable to avoid letting your date pick you up for the first few dates for security reasons. By meeting your date at a public location rather than having them pick you up from your home, you maintain control over your personal safety.
Sharing your address with someone you’ve just met is quite risky. It’s important to establish boundaries and gradually build trust before disclosing crucial personal information like that. Should the date go bad or you feel uncomfortable, you can leave the situation quickly and without worry.
Get A Personal Safety Alarm
This one is a wise decision because a personal safety alarm acts as a deterrent by emitting a loud, attention-grabbing sound when activated. This sudden noise can startle attackers, drawing attention to the situation and potentially discouraging them from continuing their harmful actions.
The loud alarm can also attract nearby people who can offer assistance or call for help when you are in danger or facing an emergency situation. It is a valuable tool for individuals with limited physical strength or those who feel vulnerable in certain environments.
Lock The Car Door
Locking your car doors significantly reduces the risk of theft. Unlocked doors make it easier for thieves to access your vehicle and the valuable items inside. By keeping your doors locked, you create a barrier that deters burglars and helps protect your belongings.
Locked doors make it challenging to access the car, as they require effort and time to bypass. Thieves are more likely to target unlocked vehicles since they are easily accessible. So even when you are inside a parked car, it is crucial to lock the doors.
Sleigh Bells On The Front Handle
If you’re looking for an inexpensive yet simple alert system, hang a sleigh bell on the inside of your door handle. The loud ring will alert you to any intruders. These ornaments are cheap, so you can stock up and hang them on as many doors and windows as you’d like.
In addition to alerting you, the sound might startle potential intruders or trespassers. The noise will then deter them from entering immediately and may even dissuade them completely. This simple trick will keep you safe while adding some charm to your home.
Change Locks When You Move In
Before moving into a new place, make sure your locks have been changed since the last tenant/owner. Call a reputable locksmith and change the locks for your own security, even if the previous occupant returned all the keys. This ensures that you are the only one with access to your new residence.
Set of keys missing? Change the locks. Roommate leaves? Change the locks. Broken up with someone who has a set of your keys? Change the locks. By doing this, you eliminate the possibility of unauthorized entry, which provides you with peace of mind.
Keep Your Loved Ones Posted
When something happens, the first people to get worried are your loved ones. So to save them from unnecessary suffering and heartbreak, always keep them posted on your activities. This way, you offer peace of mind to your family and friends.
Also, in the event of an emergency or unforeseen circumstance, your loved ones will have a recent update on your whereabouts, making it easier for them to reach out or provide assistance if needed. Regular communication also fosters strong relationships.
Don’t Advertise Your Single Status
If you live alone, it’s in your best interest to avoid advertising her single status. Publicizing such info can attract unwanted attention and potentially make you a target for individuals with ill intentions. It may increase the risk of being approached by strangers who may have ulterior motives.
It can also compromise personal privacy and security by providing information about vulnerability or availability. By keeping your single status private, you can maintain a level of discretion, protect yourself from potential risks and maintain control over your personal life.
Never Keep A Spare Key On Your Property
Avoid keeping a spare key within your property, as it can make it easier for unauthorized individuals to gain access to your home. If someone discovers it or knows its location, it compromises the security of your residence and puts your safety at risk.
If a spare key is easily accessible, it increases the likelihood of break-ins. Burglars often check common hiding spots, such as under doormats or flower pots, in search of spare keys. By eliminating this potential entry point, you enhance the security of your home.
Don’t Walk Alone At Night
It is advisable for anyone, regardless of gender, to exercise caution when walking alone at night. Darkness increases vulnerability to potential threats, like physical assault, harassment, or robbery. Criminals may see solitary individuals as easier targets, particularly if they perceive them as more vulnerable.
Limited lighting at night can also make it difficult to see potential dangers. This can then hinder one’s ability to assess and respond to potentially risky situations effectively. So for your own safety, it’s better to avoid it because the chances of anyone helping are also slim.
Keep Your Address Private
Keeping your address private is crucial to protecting your personal safety and maintaining privacy. By limiting knowledge of your address, you reduce the risk of identity theft and potential harm. For example, if you publicly share your address online, bad people can easily locate you.
Additionally, withholding your address helps prevent unsolicited visitors and reduces the risk of scams and the likelihood of becoming a victim of burglary or stalking. This is an important step in maintaining control over your personal information and ensuring a secure living environment.
Turn On Outdoor Lights At Night
Turning on outdoor lights at night is beneficial because a well-lit outdoor area reduces hiding spots and increases the risk of being seen, as it provides better visibility. Adequate lighting makes your property less attractive for unlawful activities, such as burglary or vandalism.
Outdoor lighting aids in identifying visitors, delivery personnel, or neighbors when you need to interact with them after dark. By ensuring that your outdoor lights are on, you contribute to the overall safety of your neighborhood by promoting a sense of community vigilance and discouraging criminal behavior.
Close Blinds Or Curtains At Night
Don’t think that curtains or blinds will ruin your home’s aesthetics. They ensure that people passing by cannot see into your living space. These items create a barrier that helps maintain your privacy and prevents strangers from peering inside your home.
This way, you reduce the visibility of your activities and belongings from outside. We know living alone can sometimes make people feel vulnerable or anxious, especially at night. Thus, having blinds or curtains can provide a sense of security and peace of mind.
Keep Your Key Fob On Your Nightstand
Placing your key fob on your nightstand ensures that it is within easy reach at any time. If you ever need to leave your home quickly, having it close allows you to access your car or activate any home security features swiftly.
Many key fobs have panic buttons that can activate an alarm system or alert authorities, providing a layer of personal security and potentially deterring intruders. Also, placing your key fob on your nightstand reduces the chances of forgetting it or misplacing it elsewhere in your home.
Pack A Go Bag
Packing a go bag is an excellent way to always be prepared for unexpected situations. In the event of a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, flood, storm, or other emergency like a fire or gas leak, you may need to evacuate your home quickly.
Having a go bag prepared in advance ensures that you have essential items readily available to sustain yourself during the evacuation period. It should typically contain items like non-perishable food, water, a first aid kit, a flashlight, documents, and a list of emergency contacts.
Keep A List Of Emergency Numbers
During emergencies, time is often of the essence. Having a list of emergency numbers readily available ensures that you can quickly reach out for the appropriate help, whether it’s contacting the police, fire department, ambulance services, or other emergency response teams for assistance.
In some situations, you may experience a power outage or loss of internet connectivity, and you can’t rely on your electronic devices. In such cases, have a physical list of emergency numbers that can still be accessed easily. Also, remember to keep the list updated.