Living alone can be an exciting new experience for anyone. Living by your own rules rather than following someone else's desires and routines can feel liberating, but it also comes with some important safety concerns. Especially if you are a woman, living alone requires more precautions in order to stay safe. In order to minimize safety threats, women living alone should follow these basic security principles:
First, do not advertise that you live alone. Be smart about the information you give out to the general public. Avoid making unnecessary comments about your living situation to anyone, such as the cashier at the grocery store or a new acquaintance you've met in any setting. Your mailbox should say only a first initial and last name; the same goes for avoiding identifying information on your answering machine. Keep the curtains closed. An open window giving view to a woman who is constantly alone will make you appear to be an easy target.
Call in for safety checks. Does your mother still say "call me when you get home" anytime you leave her house? Do you ever follow through? If not, you should! The same goes for times when you're heading out to a date, to the bar, or anywhere else alone, particularly at night. Even though you don't have a roommate, you can check in with friends. Always make sure that a friend or family member knows where you are at night and when you plan to be home. Start this habit now so that someone will notice if you don't come home when planned. If you have other friends who live alone, offer to do the same for them.
Don't let strangers into your home for any reason. If you must call a plumber or repairman, have someone come over so you're not alone. Never let strangers in if they arrive unannounced, even if they seem to have a really good excuse. Even opening the door to say 'no' can be a dangerous threat to your home security, as they can easily overpower you and force their way inside.
Protect yourself and your home with security devices such as window and door alarms and pepper spray. These simple alarms will alert you to anyone trying to come in your home, while pepper spray will reduce your chance of becoming a victim of physical assault. Every woman should have these tools at her disposal, whether living alone or with others.
Date carefully. Never give out your home address to someone you've just met; instead, arrange to meet them in a public place, such as a restaurant or coffee shop. If possible, have a friend tag along; at the very least, let someone know where you're going and who you're meeting.
Be cautious when in common areas of the apartment complex. Gyms, mail rooms, parking lots, and laundry rooms can be relatively deserted, especially at night, and are often targeted by thieves and other criminals. Talk to the building managers if these areas are not well lit, and always pay attention to your surroundings when there. Never let strangers into your apartment building, and avoid fumbling with your keys by the door.