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Living Alone –Tips to Stay Safe!

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By Samuetta Hill Drew

This time of year many young males and females take that giant step toward adulthood; they purchase/rent a residential space for themselves to live alone. Most have recently graduated from school, while others are in college, but desire some additional freedom and privacy. No more parents, no more siblings, no dormitory life or roommates, just living alone in their own space, living by their own rules. Free from the scrutiny of parents or others. Yes, this giant step eventually happens for us all, but it is important to note that having your independence and being careful are not mutually exclusive. It is essential that you look out for yourself by adhering to some basic yet meaningful safety tips. Below are just a few.

Get to know your neighbors. Meeting them doesn’t mean you have to become best friends, but it is important to have an extra set of eyes watching out for you, especially when you live alone. Be a little cautious about giving out personal information until your know your neighbors well and feel you can trust them. If you feel your neighbors are trustworthy, you may want to let them know when you are out of town so they can help monitor your residence. Timers on your lights in key areas of your home are a good idea. This way a potential burglar can’t detect if you’re at home or not. An unoccupied home is eye candy for a burglar! Many will drive through neighborhoods looking for signs of unoccupied homes.

Before you unpack the first moving box, walk around your new apartment or home and look for security risks. Does the deadbolt lock work? Are the lights functioning in and outside of your apartment, especially in the parking lots or garage? Do doors and windows shut and lock properly? If you discover some security problems, notify your landlord immediately to have them fixed. If you purchased your own home, you are the landlord so you must address the problems and rectify them immediately.

Install security devices such as motion sensor outdoor lights so if anyone approaches your home the lights will come on immediately. Intruders don’t like lights. Also install a home security system to protect your home and yourself. Advertise your system with a yard sign and stickers on your windows.

Keep your phone always within reach. Also, if your car keys have a panic button, sleep with it next to your bed and set it off if you hear someone enter your home. Have a plan for what you will do if someone tries to enter your home while you’re there.

You may want to consider getting a dog. It’s a great noisemaker, company keeper and makes a wonderful alert system. You may want to consider purchasing a gun, but make sure you learn how to use it properly.

Close your curtains! Family and friends know you live alone, but don’t advertise it to the bad guys.

You may want to download a personal telephone security app like Kitestring or others. There are many currently on the market now and many are free. This is extremely helpful because it will help alert friends/family if something amiss happens to you because it’s crucial that you Keep an Eye on Safety!