Detective Reveals 10 Tips Everyone Should Do When They’re Home Alone

By Nick Hadji 9 months ago

1. Don't Overshare On Social Media

Image Source / RedditIt's great if you love sharing your life and home with people on social media, but you have to be careful when you live alone. You may want to rethink posting a picture of your cute socks in front of a glass of wine with the tagline "GETTING READY FOR A COZY EVENING AT HOME ALL ALONE" for the world to see.

2. Have An Emergency Card In Your Wallet

Image Source / RedditWhen you live alone, there's nobody else to help you or explain your medical needs if something should happen, like you suffer a fall, go unconscious or are involved in an accident. Having an emergency card in your wallet which tells emergency services who to contact or what to do in this type of situation will keep you safe.

3. Try To Be Besties With Your Neighbors

Image Source / RedditIt always helps with your own security when you're home alone to know that your neighbors have your back. Neighbors can then be updated with your routine so they know when they might need to worry or check on you, and can also be great for watching out for any suspicious activity around your home. Your neighbors can then call the police if they need to.

4. Keep A Busy Home (Or The Illusion Of One)

Image Source / RedditTry to throw parties, invite people around or create some hustle and bustle, so that your home always seems like it's full of life and always with people coming and going, even if you live alone. This will make your home seem less of an easy target. Of course, this can be nightmare fuel for an introvert who wants to live like a hermit, so if you don't want to throw a party, try to give the illusion of a busy home somehow! (You could always do what Kevin McAllister did and use cardboard cutouts of people).

5. Have Your Keys Out Ready Before You Get To Your Door

Image Source / RedditYou don't want to be fumbling for your keys in the bottom of your bag for a good ten minutes when you reach your front door. Somebody targeting you could then take this opportunity to attack you when you're distracted. This is more likely in a poorly lit street or very late at night - so have your keys out ready, get inside and lock the door behind you!

6. Put A Wooden Dowel Into Your Sliding Door Track

Image Source / RedditSliding doors are great for aesthetic purposes - not so great for security if someone manages to break through. But there's a great safety tip you can try so that the door cannot be slid open, even if the lock is picked or the glass is broken. Simply put a wooden dowel into the track when you're going to bed or when you're not using the door to stop it from being moved across.

7. Make Your Own Emergency Exit Plan

Image Source / RedditThe worst can still happen no matter how safe you try to be, so what's important is having an exit plan. Whether this is for a fire, a home intrusion or anything that prevents you from staying safely in the home, you need to know how you can get out. Is there a window you can easily climb from? An alternative door? A neighbor you could go to straight away once you've made it outside? Work out a plan!

8. Get A Dog

Image Source / RedditGetting a dog when you live alone can be one of the best things you can do to feel safer, and hopefully deter crime. One thing that can put off intruders in particular is knowing that you have a dog - even better if you have a large one that's a recognisable guard-dog breed. So if you're in a position to have a dog, and you want one anyway, it can only be a good thing for your personal safety.

9. Or, Pretend You Have One!

Image Source / RedditIf you're not in the position to have a guard dog, or at the very least a canine companion, you could always give the illusion that your home is protected by one. Put up a sign of having a dog on your gate. Leave something outside, like a dog toy. Or, get a recording or dog's barking to press play on if you hear something outside late at night. You never know!

10. You Could Always Foster Dogs, Too

Image Source / RedditIf you don't want the commitment of your own dog but you do like the idea of the extra security, fostering dogs is always an option, too. That way you'll always have a dog in your home, on consistent short-term basis, to deter intruders - while giving animals in need a good temporary home in the meantime!

11. Keep Your Loved Ones In The Loop

Image Source / RedditText a friend or loved one when you get safely inside your front door after a night or day out. Send them a general text to let them know you're okay. Or you can even speak to them if you feel uneasy about being home alone or think you heard something. Obviously the police should be the go-to when you think you're in danger, but friends and family can also have advice about staying safe in non-emergency situations, too!

12. Always Keep Your Cell Phone Charged

Image Source / RedditWe know the feeling when your phone battery dies when you're in the middle of browsing social media in front of the TV, and your charger is just too much effort to go and get - so you leave your phone off. But this is a big no for personal safety - making sure your phone is fully charged at all times means it's always on and ready to call for help during an emergency situation.

13. And Take Your Phone To Bed With You

Image Source / RedditWe don't mean stay awake all night scrolling funny cat videos, but make sure it's at least in the bedroom with you on a nearby table or within arm's reach. Don't leave it in the living room or kitchen when you go to bed because this means you won't be able to call for help if you're trapped in the bedroom and there's an intruder, or other issues.

14. Switch Your Bedroom Door To Something Solid

Image Source / RedditYou're giving yourself a better chance at safety - as well as just feeling more secure whilst in your bedroom at night - if your bedroom door is made out of something solid, like thick wood. So if you're someone who doesn't have a door at the minute and has a curtain pulled over or something, you might want to rethink that!

15. Better Yet, Switch All Your Doors To Something Solid!

Image Source / RedditSleeping alone in your bedroom at night leaves you most vulnerable, but of course staying safe whilst alone is about any hour of the day. So if you have the means to, switch all the doors in your home - especially the front door - to something secure, durable and solid. Time to replace those doors hanging off their hinges!

16. You Might Also Want To Put A Lock On Your Bedroom Door

Image Source / RedditBecause the bedroom is the place most likely to be targeted during a night-time robbery, if there's one door to put a lock on, it's your bedroom. Not only will it make you feel more safe, but it'll give you extra time to slow the intruder down while you grab your phone and call the police.

17. Keep A Night Light On

Image Source / RedditNo this isn't about being a proper adult who's afraid to sleep in the dark (though we wouldn't blame you for wanting a cute panda lamp or something on at night to help you sleep). A night light is great for personal security, not only because it gives the illusion through the window that someone is still awake in the room, but also because it means you can actually see what's going on if you're woken up by something.

18. Always Close The Curtains Or Blinds At Night When You're Relaxing

Image Source / RedditYou don't want to be sat alone in the middle of your living room with all the lights on and the TV blaring, only for anyone walking past to be able to see inside your home. This means an intruder could easily just stand outside the window and stare in at you, to not only see what valuables you have, but to easily spot the fact you're alone.

19. And Definitely Close Them In The Bedroom!

Image Source / RedditEspecially if you're taking the previous tip about leaving a night light on. Even if your bedroom is high up on a top floor, you don't want to risk someone being able to see through the window, because an intruder will use any means necessary, like climbing up to the higher windows.

20. Install Lights Outside Your Home

Image Source / PinterestIntruders are bound to lurk outside your home, especially if you have a huge garden or yard. It's hard to keep track of what's going on outside if you can't see anything with no outside lights. Worse still, if you're coming home and walking through your dark garden to the door, this could be prime opportunity for someone to attack you.

21. Or, Better Yet, A Motion Sensor

Image Source / RedditOne step better than general lights outside your home is a motion sensor light. This can be a great deterrent for intruders passing by and getting caught in the sensor, and it's also great at alerting you when you see the lights come on outside at stupid o'clock or when you know nobody should be out there! Always a chance it's a cat, but it's worth knowing.

22. Don't Talk Loudly About Being Alone

Image Source / ImgflipThis one sounds random, but think about it - you've just parked up at home and you're talking on your phone at your front door, loudly, to your friend, telling them you're going to be home alone all week. Anyone passing by or an intruder that's already targeting you home could overhear that great news that you're going to be alone and vulnerable.

23. Stranger Danger! Don't Answer The Door

Image Source / RedditIt goes without saying for most millennials that you should run and hide whenever the doorbell rings, but it's so important to not open the door to someone you're not expecting. If someone is knocking on your door and you don't know them, you've every right to tell them to go away or just ignore them.

24. And Definitely Don't Let Them In

Image Source / RedditIf you do open the door to a stranger - if you're expecting a parcel or think it's someone else, for example - definitely don't then let them into your home, even if they ask to. Some people might ask to quickly use your phone or bathroom, but don't let anyone you don't know into your home, even if they seem nice.

25. Always Ask To See Identification, Too

Image Source / The Providence JournalSome people will turn up at your door looking, and acting, official. It could be a police officer, a fireman asking about your fire alarms, or someone claiming they're from the electricity company. Always ask to see official identification, and if you're still not sure, tell them you need further checks and you're not comfortable letting them in. If they're legit, they'll understand.

26. Always Keep Your Door Locked

Image Source / RedditLock it behind you the moment you step inside the house. As I'm sure most parents will tell you, back in their day they never had to lock the door, but times have changed. Intruders and other troublemakers may try their luck in seeing if your door is unlocked by trying the handle. If they can stroll right in, it doesn't say much for your personal security.

27. Get A Fan Instead Of Opening Your Window At Night

Image Source / RedditIf you're just too hot when you're trying to sleep, especially during the peak summer, don't be tempted to throw your bedroom window wide open while you sleep. Get a fan instead to keep your room cool, while your bedroom window stays securely locked and closed! And the same goes for any window in your house.

28. Double Check Your Garage Doors

Image Source / RedditGarage security can often go amiss because it's separate from the main house, and you may forget to properly secure your garage door - but this can be the first port of call for someone trying to break in. So always be sure to close and lock your garage doors after you, and don't feel tempted to leave them open while you pop into the house.

29. And Don't Leave Valuables In Your Car

Image Source / RedditIf you're parking your car in your garage and an intruder does manage to get in there, you then don't want to have valuables in full view inside your car, even if it's locked inside and inside your own garage. They're only going to break into your car to get them - or it could then indicate the type of valuables you're likely to have in your home.

30. Get A Full Security System

Image Source / RedditThis one might be costly, but there's no doubt it's worth it, and it's the most obvious thing you can do recommended by police and security experts if you live alone. Kitting your home out with security features - especially visible ones, like an alarm or camera, to deter intruders - will help keep you and your home safe.

31. Don't Overshare To Delivery People

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We can understand if you live alone - and especially if you work from home alone, too - why you might want to tell delivery people all about what's going on in your life when they drop off a package. It might be all the conversation you have all day. But oversharing won't keep you safe if you're telling them that you live alone, how you're always home (alone) and any other info that might be helpful to wannabe burglars.

32. Double Check You've Locked Your Door Before You Climb Into Bed

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We know how it works: you tell yourself you're going to snuggle down in bed to read a bit of your book, or watch a few episodes of your latest Netflix binge. Next thing you know, your alarm's going off and you fell asleep with your iPad on your face. This is a problem if you didn't double check you'd locked your door before getting into bed, because you just thought you'd do it before 'officially' going to sleep...

33. Do A Home Safety Check Before Bed

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When you live alone, you can't depend on others to do things like turn the kitchen lights off, check the stove is off, check the windows are closed etc. It's a good idea to do a quick home walkthrough before bed to check every room, and check everything is switched off, so you know you're safe to go to bed!

34. Don't Be Tempted To Take The Garbage Out Late At Night

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You've had a busy day and you forgot to take the garbage out until 11pm when you were just about to go to bed. It's good that you still make the effort to do it, but if you're walking out of your home alone at night - with no one in your home knowing whether you've come back or not - it can actually make you a good target for criminals lurking and looking for opportunities of people alone and vulnerable.

35. Don't Leave Your Door Propped Open While You Do Something

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It's so tempting to do this when you're just quickly doing something, like leaving it ajar when you nip to the bottom of the yard or garden, or just nip out to get something from your car. But those few seconds are all it takes for someone to see an open door and take advantage of it by getting into your home - and you might not even see them do it...

36. Get A Video Doorbell

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At best, you'll get some funny videos, as seem to be all the rage over YouTube at the moment. But video doorbells, like Ring doorbells, are important modern home fixtures to keep people safe, know who's calling and even to have video evidence if the worst does happen. This is even more important if you're home alone!

37. Or Get A Peep Hole

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If video doorbells aren't your thing, or maybe you can't afford one, it's a good idea to at least get a peephole installed in your door, with a wide angle. This will help you to double check who's at your door and see what's going on before you decide to unlock and open your home!

38. Leave Lights On In Other Rooms

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Whether you live in a huge home with lots of rooms or a tiny apartment, it's always a good idea to leave lots of lights on in other rooms you aren't using. Not only will this give the illusion that more people are at home, it also won't make it obvious which room you're in, making this room a target if someone's looking from the outside.

39. Check Your Windows Are Locked

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This is so easily overlooked, especially if you have a big property. Even if you remember to close your windows, chances are you thought 'Oh, I'll do that later' in regard to fully locking them, or just got distracted. Even windows that are closed are still a vulnerability if they're not fully locked, for someone who wants to try and break in!

40. And Don't Leave Windows Open In Rooms You're Not In

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This is more easy to avoid at night when you probably don't have them open, but think of those hot summer days when you're trying to get some fresh air into your home - it's difficult when you live alone, because you might be at one side of the property with a window open at the other end that somebody could easily climb through...

41. Be More Careful About Garbage And Recycling On Display

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You may want to invest in a shredder, or make sure you're getting rid of garbage and packaging straight away instead of having it sat outside your home. You don't want a huge cardboard box stating '70 inch TV' sitting outside your front door for a while, as it's only going to let thieves know what you've been buying recently.

42. Put A Trip Hazard Outside Your Doors

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Obviously one you're going to remember is there and don't trip over yourself! Anything that might help catch someone out if they're trying to sneak up to your front or back door, like a large garden stone or maybe even a pair of shoes. If they're not too obvious, it could make an intruder trip or make a noise that can help alert you.

43. Or Place Something There That Will Actually Make A Noise!

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If you don't want to risk whether a wannabe thief will trip over something you've left out, you could place something that would make a loud noise to make it easier. Maybe a windchime against the door behind it, that would chime loudly if the door was moved, or anything you know would flag something up for you if you heard it.

44. Get A Privacy Fence For Your Yard Or Garden

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If someone is watching your home because they've targeted it, or maybe even just passing through looking for opportunities, a privacy fence is not only going to help you stay safe by acting as a physical barrier, but also as a visual barrier. If someone's staking out your house and they always see you out in your garden - alone - at a certain time of day, they're going to know your routine - and that there's never anybody else with you.

45. Ask Someone To Stay In With You If Service People Need To Visit

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Most households will have visits from plumbers, someone who needs to change the boiler, fix the roof or check your electrics - and this is difficult when you live alone, because you have to let them in, but it also means you'll be alone with them in your property. It's a good idea if you ask a friend, family member or neighbor to sit in with you while the job is being done.

46. Get A Deadbolt - Better Yet, Get Everything

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If you want to upgrade your door security, install a deadbolt. This is more reliable than a chain lock, that can easily be cut from the outside by the right tools! But don't stop at a deadbolt - if you can afford more, get extra locks, bolts and security measures on every door! Every little thing is going to help your home security and make you feel more at ease.

47. Use Window Film For Any Privacy Issues

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Some properties have random little windows in places that look great aesthetics wise, but not so great if you don't want every passerby being able to see straight in. Especially those windows around your front door, or that go into your main rooms, you could put window film on them to make sure your space is kept private.

48. Trick Intruders With Audios Of People Speaking

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If you want to give people the illusion that somebody is home, whether in general or as a reaction to something you just heard at your back door, you could play recordings of people speaking through your wireless speakers you can easily link up to your phone - even if it's just a YouTube vid of chit chat, so it sounds like a bunch of people are in the property.

49. Change Your Locks When Moving Into A New Property

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When you've moved into a new property, and especially a rental property, you don't know how many random people have had the key before you, or even made copies of it before moving out. It's always a good idea for home security to get brand new locks installed whenever you move into someplace new.

50. Join - Or Start - A Neighborhood Watch

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Neighborhood Watch areas are always good deterrents for criminal activity, so make sure you join up if there's one going on in your community. If there isn't one, there's nothing stopping you from actually starting one yourself and getting the word out to people on your street! It's always worth looking into.