Home Security Tips: Living Alone For The First Time
You only get to live alone for the first time once, and it’s important to make the most of it. But moving into your own place can also feel a bit daunting. There is all the stuff you need to buy, and a home aesthetic to think about.
Most of all, there is safety and security. Living alone can make you feel vulnerable, and it’s important you take steps to make sure your home security is on point when you live alone for the first time.
When you are living alone for the first time, consider installing a security system, upgrading to smart devices and programming your phone for emergencies. Get to know your neighbors and make sure you are comfortable with the neighborhood before moving in. Think about moving somewhere with a door man or a neighborhood with an HOA. If you love animals, you might want to think about getting a dog.
If you are getting ready to move out on your own, you should be excited and proud. But you should also be a bit cautious and thoughtful when it comes to your safety. There are privacy issues to consider, as well as the neighborhood you live in.
You might have wondered what type of security you need to make you feel comfortable and safe in your own home. Don’t worry, we have compiled a list of 10 top tips to think about as you get ready to live alone for the first time.
10 Tips To Help Stay Safe When You’re New To Living Alone
1. Get To Know Your Neighbors
One of the best things you can do when you are living alone for the first time is get to know your neighbors. While the odds are not every single one of your neighbors is likely to become a great friend, you aren’t necessarily looking for your neighbors to be your best friends. You simply want them to be, well, neighborly.
Neighbors can be great at keeping an eye on your place and alerting you if they notice anything suspicious. You can also rely on a good neighbor to take in your newspaper, check on your house and even a pet when you are away. This helps eliminate the appearance that you are alone, or away.
Neighbors can also be a great asset to help you get to know the neighborhood. They can tell you what areas are safe at night, where to go shopping and what (or who) to avoid.
2. Feel Out The Neighborhood Before Signing A Lease
Another critical thing to consider when living alone for the first time is the area you move into. Make sure you do plenty of research, both online and in person, before signing a lease. Don’t just rely on what a realtor tells you.
When you find a place you like, go to that neighborhood during the day, and at night, and walk around a bit. If you don’t feel safe or comfortable, you should reconsider the move. When living alone for the first time, safety in your neighborhood should be a top priority. You do not want to live in fear.
3. Establish A Safety Routine To Keep The House Secure
Another important thing to remember when living alone is keeping your home secure. Unlike living with family or another person, when you are gone, there is no one else home. So, you need to get in the habit of closing and locking all windows, making sure the doors are locked and all electronic devices are off as well.
Creating a simple but thorough checklist will help you get into this routine. It can help you save money on electricity, and give you peace knowing your home is locked and secure.
4. Install A Security System
You may also want to consider purchasing a home security system. Unlike decades prior, home security systems are quite affordable. Additionally, you can tailor your security system to make it as extensive, or simple, as you like.
Simply having a Blink doorbell at your entrance is often enough for many apartment dwellers. Sometimes you just want to be alerted (with video proof) when a motion detector goes off near an entrance.
Not only is a security system a great way to keep an eye on your home when you are not around, it is also a great deterrent for those who are up to no good. After all, no one wants to break the law when they know they are being recorded.
5. Be Smart About Your Privacy
In a modern day world where many people tend to share their whole lives, especially on social media, consider dialing back some details about your own life and living situation. When you are living alone for the first time, one key to safety is not broadcasting this fact out into the universe.
Even if you are very excited about this new independent step in your life (and you should be), don’t tell the world. Think about sharing these details only with close friends. The same goes for vacations.
Don’t tell all of social media that you are on vacation, especially when you live alone. This could alert strangers that your house is unoccupied. Think about posting your epic vacation pics after you return.
6. Use Smart Technology To Discourage Law Breakers
There are all sorts of benefits to smart technology such as smart lights, speakers and thermostats. One of these benefits is enhanced security. You might want to think about getting a few smart lights. This is especially true if you happen to have a yard or a front drive.
Motion sensors are certainly helpful. But with smart lights, you have motion sensor capabilities and so much more. You can turn lights on and off with your phone from anywhere in the world. You can program them as well. This helps from a security perspective. It also helps you if you live alone, and when you forget to turn the lights off. It’s nice to know you can do so with your phone.
7. Try Living In A Secure Building Or HOA
Being on your own for the first time can be a little challenging. So, maybe consider living somewhere where you don’t have to feel so alone. If you are looking to live in an apartment, consider living in a complex with all the bells and whistles.
Having a doorman or front desk service, for example, is incredibly helpful. This is a fantastic way to prevent unwanted guests and intruders. They are also there to make sure your packages are held for you, and they can often offer further assistance as well.
If you are moving into a home, an HOA might be the way to go. There are lots of rules that sometimes feel daunting, but they are there to keep the neighborhood secure. There is also usually a neighborhood watch and sense of community in these environments.
8. Consider Getting A Dog
Living alone for the first time is a bit challenging and scary for a few reasons. But in many cases, this is nothing a puppy can’t help with. Getting a dog when you move out on your own might sound a bit cliche, but there are good reasons why so many people do it. Dogs are fantastic at alerting you when someone is nearby. They also act as a deterrent for burglars.
Most of all, a dog is a great companion to have as you venture out into the world on your own. It can be a great way to meet people when you take it on walks. A dog also tends to bring lots of joy into a home.
9. Have Multiple Exits And An Exit Plan
Securing your exits is also very important when you are living alone for the first time. There are a few reasons why having multiple exits and an exit strategy are important. For one, there is the chance there could be an intruder and you need to escape. But it is also important to consider other dangerous events like a fire.
Make sure you have an exit strategy for any emergency. This means you must make sure any fire escape or alternative exit is well-maintained and usable. Further, make sure your fire detectors are in order. You should also make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector, especially when living alone.
10. Program Your Phone So It’s Ready For Emergencies
Smart phones have come a long way in a short period of time. Before, there was only 911. Now, there are all sorts of emergency options. The key is, however, that you need to make sure you have programmed the necessary information. You also should take the time to understand the emergency technology in your phone.
Many new phones have the ability to send out emergency alerts to the authorities and close friends. You should program those numbers and tell your emergency contacts about this. Also, make sure you understand the new SOS features available on some new phones. These are fantastic features that can come in very handy in the case of an immediate emergency.
Final Thoughts On Tips To Living Alone For The First Time
Living alone for the first time is a truly exciting step in adulthood. It’s a chance to showcase your own personal design style. It is also a time for you to explore your own independence. But when living alone for the first time, there are some safety tips to consider.
Use smart technology, like your phone, smart lights and modern security systems to keep your home secure. Make sure before you sign a lease you scope out the neighborhood, and consider living in a building with 24/7 security and amenities. Remember to be smart about what you post online, and if you are feeling a bit lonely, consider getting a dog.
Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.
More by Tom Gaffey