It’s an established fact that single women are a vulnerable group of people in a dynamic world confronted by various challenges, which includes rising crime levels. The reality is that homes have become targets for criminal syndicates preying on loopholes to steal valuables and injure people in the process.
One of the biggest safety concerns in South Africa are home invasion and carjacking. These crimes are often violent and can occur at any time of the day. In many cases, criminals prefer to attack when the occupants are home, arriving or leaving the premises.
What security tips can single women apply to prevent and protect themselves from crime?
Choose a safer area
One of the best safety tips for women living alone is to choose a safe place to live in. Before you move into a new property, research the area and the property that will become your new home. Crime stats, the types of neighbours and general security of the area must be checked thoroughly.
Home security system
As a single lady living alone for the first time, it is best to buy security cameras to help you feel safer. Statistics show that up to 88% burglars would not attack the home if it had a surveillance camera system. These cameras are available for the inside and outside of a house. The live footage on these cameras can be viewed on phones and mobile devices, from any location. This makes it possible to view any suspicious activity taking place while you are not there.
Close all the doors
Sometimes a thief comes from where we least expect it - the door! The simple mistake of forgetting to lock the door can be an open invitation to thieves. Whether you are at home or at work, make sure that all the doors in your home are secure and locked. Always verify identity before you open your door to any knocks on the door. You can also help yourself a great deal by creating a security checklist on important measures you must stick to inside and outside your home in order to stay safe.
Be careful what you post online
It sure is tempting to announce to the world that you're going on vacation, but think twice before sharing such info online. Don't give out clues that you're out of town, that you live alone, or that you're going out for the night.
Emergency exit plan
Create an exit strategy for worst case scenarios, such as fires or break ins. Know where to escape, whose house you can stay safe at, and call the police. Having this plan tucked away will give you peace of mind, and make handling such scary situations much easier.
If you're going out for the day, close your curtains and blinds. You don't want anyone peeking in to see what's worth stealing, or noticing the fact that no one is home. And be sure to close them at night, too. If your lights are on and the street is dark, people will be able to see through.
Keep your garden clean
The chaotic overgrown garden is aesthetically unpleasant, the worst thing, however, is to provide shelters for thieves. Make sure to cut all the shrubs and hedges and avoid growing large plants near the windows.
Never stick to a fixed routine
A thief can follow you for days to record your routine. To confuse them, don’t follow a fixed routine. For example, you can go home for lunch during your lunch break, collect your mail at different times, and sometimes make different trips.
Last but not least, stay alert. If you notice any unusual activity, or feel that something or someone seems a little “off”, trust your instincts. As you walk down the street, always check to see if anybody’s following or watching you.
The tips and guidelines provided above may not completely eliminate the risk of crime, but they will improve your sense of security and safety as a single woman.