Anyone can become a target to a burglary or a home invasion. The primary focus of the burglar is to get your valuables. Therefore, homes that come across as rich might be their first target. However, despite your wealth status, if you come across as an easy target, chances are good that intruders will pick you to be their victim.
People that live alone are often targeted because their homes will be easier to monitor and they may seem to be less of a physical threat, especially the elderly and women living alone. Here are some security tips if you are living alone in a home or apartment that might get those thieves looking in a different direction.
1. Do Inspection First
Look around your street, neighbourhood and at your home and notice what might attract the criminal. Can you see your flat screen TV through the window and is there plenty of hiding places around your neighbourhood? Is the light around your home a little dull or do your doors and windows seem weak and like an easy access point?
Knowing what might be attracting the criminal is your first step towards improving your security at home.
2. Secure the Obvious
Doors and windows are the typical access points which criminals will force to open and get inside your home. You can reinforce your doors by replacing regular locks with stronger deadbolts, and you can swop those wooden frames with steel frames. Make sure your windows lock correctly by installing window latches which will double the security around your windows. Also, make sure the intruders cannot see your valuables from the outside and to have curtains or blinds to hide you belonging away from those criminals who might be scouting for their next target.
If you have the budget, the best option, of course, will be to install a home security system. This can range in prices, depending on your needs. Also, if you are renting a place, do not just assume that the landlord has changed the locks. Make sure you are the only person with that key and hound the landlord to change the locks on the doors if you must.
3. Make Your Home Unapproachable
Intruders will think twice to approach a home where there is no hiding place and where they will be noticed quickly.
Make sure the view of your doors are not blocked from your neighbors so that it will eliminate the chances of a home invasion. Too many shrubs or bushes can also make a great hiding place for thieves, so make sure to trim them if they are too close to your home.
Another great way to keep intruders away is to have a light at your front door, either one that is motion sensitive or one that you can leave burning all night.
4. Fake Your Security
If you are renting a place or you do not have the budget to install a fancy security system, then you will have to pretend like you are covered.
You can have fake security cameras around your home or a dog motion alarm that will bark when people approach the door. If you a have a car alarm, remember that the alarm button can scare off criminals if you suspect someone is trying to get into your home.
Fake signs are also a great way to pretend that you have an alarm system or security cameras. You can even get yourself a doggy water bowl to place outside and a “beware of the dog” sign. If you want to be different and have the intruders walking wide circles around your home, you can even go so far by placing a “caution, snake breeder” sign in the window.
5. Have Support
If you are not too much of a loner, knowing your neighbour is an excellent way to create extra support. Friendly neighbours always look out for one another, and one might help you out by keeping an eye on your home while you are out. Neighbours that work together are more likely to realise if anything suspicious is going on around the neighbourhood.
Make sure you know who to call in case of an emergency. The best option would be of course to have a security system that alerts the authorities right away. However, one can also find various emergency apps online that one can use in case you suspect an intruder in your home.
If you were out with a friend or family member at night, call each other at the end of the evening to check if each one has arrived safely inside their house.
6. Appear to Be Living with Someone
The idea is not to make it evident for criminals that you are living alone. Try to give the illusion that you and more people are at home by keeping on a couple of lights on or installing timers for certain lights at scheduled times. Leaving the radio or TV turned can also be useful and fool the burglar.
When you have the maintenance guy over, make sure to invite a friend so that it seems like you have a roommate. Be sure to never tell strangers that you are living alone!
7. Always Be on Guard
Home invasions can happen anytime during the day or night, so never let your guard down, even if you think attackers will not take their chances in daylight. When approaching your front door, always have your keys prepared and be aware of your surroundings and whether anything looks out of place.
When you are getting all social online, remember that friends of friends with bad intentions might be seeing your social media post as well, so never make it public when you are home alone or away from home.
Leaving an empty box of an expensive appliance that you just bought next to your outside garbage bins is a good advertisement of your belonging, which you should be cautious off.
It is unfortunate that we live in such a world where we need to fear for our safety, but it is a reality in specific areas. Instead of complaining and living inside a box, we can get informed and prepare ourselves for the worst case scenario.
Becoming physically and mentally prepared is the best way to stay safe and secure whether you are in your home or on the street. Carrying some pepper-spray and going to self-defence classes will give you the upper hand during a home invasion.
Author: Matthew James
Matt James is a freelance writer specialised in home improvement, smart technology, architecture & design. He has a love of outdoors and spending time with his dog Cooper. You can reach him on Instagram and Facebook.