Many women over 50 find themselves living alone for possibly the first time in their lives. How best can we ensure that we are safe and secure in our own homes ? We asked a personal safety expert for his top tips.
Recent government statistics show that the majority of people who live by themselves especially if they are living alone for the first time in many years and are used to having someone else around have a real fear that they may become a victim of crime.
It’s not surprising really is it when you think about it, that old saying about “safety in numbers” rings very true and it’s only a natural reaction to feel more “vulnerable” and slightly insecure until you at least get used to the situation.
Although crimes of these sort are reassuringly rare it seems that every time you open up a newspaper or turn on the TV nowadays someone seems to be a victim of crime.
So without falling into a trap of “paranoia” and “fear” what sensible steps could we take to make sure that we feel safe and secure in our home.
Tips to secure your peace of mind when living alone
Here are a few tips to secure not only your property but also your peace of mind:
• Always secure outside doors with hinge bolts available from any DIY store and have then fitted professionally
• Fit barrel locks top and bottom
• Fit barrel locks top and bottom to all your internal doors as well
• Buy inexpensive battery operated door and window alarms from any reputable DIY store and fix them to all external doors and windows, you don’t need an expensive “all singing all dancing” complete alarm system
• If you have to use a key, keep it in a safe place away from the door, where you can find it quickly in an emergency, you may need to use the door in the event of fire
• If you’ve just moved and you think that other people such as previous tenants could still have keys that fit, change the locks
• Don’t give keys to workmen or tradesmen, as they can easily make copies
• If you wake to hear the sound of an intruder, only you can decide how best to handle the situation
• Even if you’re on your own, call out loudly to an imaginary companion most burglars will flee empty handed rather than risking a confrontation
• A telephone extension in your bedroom will make you feel more secure as it allows you to call the police immediately, without alerting the intruder
• Draw your curtains after dark and if you think there is a prowler outside – dial 999
• If you see signs of a break-in at your home, like a smashed window or open door, don’t go in. Go to a neighbour and call the police
• When you answer the phone, simply say ‘hello’, don’t give your name or number
• If the caller claims to have a wrong number, ask him or her to repeat the number required
• Never reveal any information about yourself to a stranger and never say you are alone in the house