If you live alone, whether it’s an apartment, condo, or your own home, there are several steps you can take to ensure that you remain safe at all times. Some of these may seem obvious, or even a bit silly, but surveying burglars will yield some of the most interesting results.
1.Check for security weaknesses
Before you even move in, walk the exterior of your home or rental unit. Look for broken windows, locks, or unsecured doors. Have these issues addressed prior to moving in so that your first night’s sleep is a good one?
By simply walking around your property and searching for weaknesses, you are doing what any would-be burglar would do. Trying to find a weakness to exploit and find a way into your home.
2. Know your home security system inside out
Ensure that you fully understand how the home’s security system operates. Having a security system is a great way to prevent unwanted intruders in your home.
Approximately 84% of burglars said that if they approached a home and found evidence of a security system, they would move on to another target. A security system only works if it is armed.
Make sure that if you have inherited a security system from a previous owner that you understand how it works and that you reset all of the security codes. If you have any questions, check with the rental office or the security company and ask for another demonstration until you are comfortable with the system’s operation.
3. Get a dog
Dogs are referred to as “man’s best friend,” unless you are a burglar. Then they are your worst enemy. Dogs are another deterrent to a burglar because they are an unknown factor.
Would-be burglars cannot tell how a dog, especially a large one, would react to their unexpected, unaccompanied presence and the barking would bring unwanted attention.
4. Lock all your doors and windows
Burglars look for easy targets and many enter through unbelievably unlocked doors.
Keeping your doors locked at all times increases the difficulty of entering your home and discourages burglars.
Make sure that you lock all of the doors, not just the front entryway. Unlocked side and back doors provide access to your home just as easily as the front door.
5. Close the curtains
Keeping valuable out of sight is an important aspect of keeping burglars at bay. Closing curtains and blinds prevent outsiders from seeing the locations of your electronics, purse, and jewelry as well as from noticing that you are home alone.
6. Address maintenance issues immediately
A window that is stuck open or a security light that quits working only increases the attractiveness of your home to burglars. Do not allow these issues to go unchecked.
In an apartment complex, demand that maintenance address these issues the same day. If you live in a home, make sure you have a toolbox and take the time to address these issues immediately.
When faced with an issue you do not immediately know how to fix, a quick Internet search or a call to a trusted friend can provide assistance. If necessary, call a professional.
7. Be aware of your social media footprint
Social media is fun and it is an easy way to share your daily goings-on. However, if you are away from home and posting pictures from your great beach vacation with tags like “We’re here all week,” you have issued an open invitation to your home. More than burglars, sometimes teens target empty homes to hold illicit, and destructive, parties.