Living alone for the first time in a long time can be unsettling. You’re used to having someone there, but now, the house seems a little too quiet and the solitude can be uncomfortable.
While it’s natural to experience this after your divorce, it’s important to take the necessary steps to be and feel safe in your home. Luckily, there are some simple, affordable things you can do to boost your home security. These safety hacks will make it easier to transition into your new living situation feeling comfortable and ready for the next step.
Install a Security System
According to data from the University of North Carolina, 60 percent of convicted burglars said the presence of a security system would make them target another home. While traditional security systems have been the standard for home protection for years, these subscription-based services come with a hefty price tag, including monthly maintenance fees and installation costs.
If you’re trying to save money, you can ditch those older systems for easy-to-install wireless alarm systems. Bonus: with the wireless systems, you can pick and choose the components you need, rather than paying a lot up front for security features you don’t need.
Most systems come with a control panel that syncs with motion detectors and sensors. You can add motion sensors around your house or attach them to your windows and doors. These devices send an alert if someone is on your property.
There are also some smartphone-controlled devices that can send alerts to your cell phone. The smartphone-compatible options are great if you want peace of mind when you’re away from home.
Be Careful Where You Hide Your Spare
Do you leave a spare key outside in case you get locked out? If you can avoid this altogether, you eliminate the risk of a burglar finding and using it to enter your home. If you feel you need your spare key, avoid obvious hiding spots like under the doormat or a flower pot, or anywhere within 15 feet of the front door. Try more effective hiding spots like at a trusted neighbor’s house or in a magnetic lock box under your car, according to Ackerman Security.
You can eliminate the need for a spare key altogether with electronic and keyless entry locks. Some smart locks require a code for entry and others let you lock and unlock your door using your smartphone.
Use Your Landscape Strategically
Believe it or not, your house looks more attractive to a thief if your lawn is filled with tall bushes and shrubbery. Burglars want a place to hide (from neighbors and people passing by), and your landscape can provide the perfect cover. This doesn’t mean you can’t have any pretty accents on your lawn, just make sure to keep up with the maintenance.
Still, keeping windows covered is a wise choice, stopping any passersby from being able to look inside and spot your TV, electronics, and other expensive items. When you trim down your hedges, be sure to invest in blinds or frosting for your windows to keep them covered.
Invest in Personal Defense
Smart personal defense is two-fold. It starts with learning self-defense. Thanks to the rise in popularity of these classes (one commonly practiced is Krav Maga), it’s easier than ever to find a course. You’ll learn a wide variety of techniques to protect yourself in dangerous situations, including if someone breaks into your home.
Support your newfound self-defense knowledge with a small, non-lethal defense weapon. You’ll be glad to have this nearby if your attacker is much larger than you and hard to take down physically.
So what do you need to know before buying? “The most common self-defense weapons include pepper sprays, knives, batons, and stun guns. Small, portable, and legal in most states, these home defense weapons can be kept in a nightstand or carried in a purse in case of an emergency,” explain security experts at The Home Security Super Store.
Keep one weapon in your nightstand and another in your purse, so safety is never a question, whether you’re at home in bed or walking to your car at night.
Fake Them Out
There are a lot of ways to trick potential burglars into thinking your house is more secure than it actually is. Here are a few inexpensive and easy options to try if you aren’t prepared to invest in a full security system:
- Buy fake security cameras: Fake security cameras are inexpensive and look like the real thing. A strategically placed fake camera will create the illusion that your house is under surveillance, which will deter criminals. Most use batteries to power a blinking light that makes it look even more real.
- Pretend you have a dog: Even if you don’t have a dog, fool potential robbers into thinking you do with a “Beware of Dog” sign or by keeping a large dog bowl outside when you leave the house.
- Use fake security signage: Stick alarm system decals and signs around your home; on your windows, and in your yard. Burglars don’t want to mess with alarms, and if they see the signs they may just keep on moving.
Living alone again is an adjustment but if you take the right steps to protect your home, you’ll feel safe and comfortable. Try one or all of these methods to upgrade your home security right away.
About the Author: Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than ten years and is currently a full-time writer and content marketing consultant. She’s written for Reader’s Digest, AARP, Lifehack and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07 for money-saving ideas, health tips and more.