Let’s face it, there are some really bad people out there, and tragically, independent women are often the targets of opportunistic criminals like burglars, rapists, and scam artists. A woman who lives alone is often perceived to be an easy target, but with a bit of preparation, you can prove the bad guys wrong. This isn’t about living in fear; it’s about personal empowerment. With a few simple precautions, you can truly take back the night, and greatly minimize your chances of ever becoming a victim.
Lock Your Doors
In today’s world, this is sensible advice for anyone, but independent women should be especially mindful of their door locks. Criminals enter through the front door in nearly two-thirds of home invasion cases, and all too often, the homeowners leave themselves vulnerable by failing to lock their doors. But don’t stop there. Make sure to secure your windows as well. A simple latch isn’t sufficient to ward off intruders. Consider installing additional window locks and burglar bars.
Don’t Open Your Door for Strangers
They may come dressed as insurance salesmen, home security representatives or delivery men, but don’t necessarily assume that they are who they claim to be. Criminals will don a wealth of clever disguises to gain personal information and access to your home, so if strange solicitors come knocking, just tell them to keep walking. If you don’t already have one, consider installing a security screen door. This will allow you to communicate with visitors without actually making yourself vulnerable to them. For a more cost-effective solution, consider installing a two-way video intercom at your front entrance.
Install a Home Security System
If you think you can’t afford a home security system, think again. There are systems available for homes of all sizes, and for people of all economic backgrounds. The truth is that you can’t afford to be without one. Homes without a security system are three times more likely to be invaded, and if a break-in does occur, you don’t want to be without that extra layer of protection. The mere presence of a home security yard sign is enough to deter a majority of burglars, so even if you can’t invest in a full-fledged system at this time, you may still benefit immensely from a simple sign, decal or dummy camera.
Install Motion-Activated Lights
While we’re on the subject of burglary deterrents, it’s worth noting that motion sensor lights are extremely useful for warding off potential home invaders. The vibrant light robs them of the darkness that they rely upon and exposes their clandestine activity to the world. You can even find affordable, eco-friendly solar lights that have zero impact on your electric bill.
Don’t Go to Sleep
Okay, so obviously we don’t mean this literally. After all, we all need our 8 hours (well, we try anyway), but you don’t need to make your sleeping habits apparent to the criminal element. There are simple and innovative ways in which you can give the appearance of activity at all hours of the day and night. For instance, with a fake TV light, you can project images that perfectly resemble the glow of a television, but without using any more electricity than a standard nightlight. While you’re at it, consider keeping a couple of pairs of dirty men’s shoes on your porch. This will give the impression that you’re not alone.
Carry Pepper Spray
Pepper spray is a bit of a paradox. You hope you never have to use it, but you don’t want to be without it when the need arises. If you should find yourself in the midst of a dangerous confrontation, pepper spray can quite literally save your life, and now it’s easier than ever to keep it handy. For instance, a few companies are even making pepper spray iPhone cases in a full range of colors. Even if you never need to incapacitate an attacker (and hopefully you won’t), just having the weapon at your disposal will greatly enhance your peace of mind. So take control of your personal safety and security, and live with the confidence of knowing that you will not be a victim.