When you find yourself living alone in a new city or neighbourhood for the first time, it can be both exciting and terrifying at the same time. To minimise the cons of living alone, many people prefer to look for apartments and societies that have surveillance cameras, intercoms, 24-hour security guards, and other features that give the impression of good security. While this is not a bad precautionary measure, you cannot simply assume that you are completely safe and out of danger.
There is risk everywhere, and the only way to ensure your security is by taking the necessary precautions. Here are a few safety tips:
Whenever you move into a new apartment or house, you should change the locks as soon as possible. Keep track of the whereabouts of all key copies at all times, and never hide your key outside your house – like under a stone, carpet, or flower pot.
It is important to have a lock that cannot be opened with a key from the outside, so you can avoid intrusions.
It is not a good idea to have your door open, or to interact with strangers at night – even for food deliveries – especially when you live alone.
Learn to be observant, looking around frequently while opening/closing your windows and doors so you can spot suspicious people lurking around.
You will become familiar with your neighbourhood over time, but you should try to learn different routes and places, and identify the safer ones and those to avoid during certain times of day or night. It is also a good idea to find a friendly and trustworthy neighbour.
Keep your emergency items somewhere you can easily access them. These may include a spare key, torchlight, batteries, baseball bat, etc.
Security systems are becoming increasingly advanced to deal with changing criminal tactics. You can choose to install window sensors, door sensors, motion sensors, and other sensors that sound an alarm in the event of an intrusion.
Lastly, have a backup plan. Despite your precautions, things can still go wrong, like losing your keys or noticing strange movements. If you feel uncomfortable or something does not feel quite right, whether it is a stranger, a neighbour, or the walk home, take precautionary measures. You could, for instance, alert a friend of your situation and possibly stay with them for a few days while you investigate the peculiarities.