Living on your own is great fun when you don’t feel like doing the dishes for the fifth time in a row and do feel like a little headphone karaoke.
It has its downsides, though, especially during lockdown when you’re required, by law, to stay home.
It can be even more frightening after dark when nobody is around.
If you’ve already got all the emergency numbers on speed dial on your phone, which you always make sure is fully or amply charged, and nearby, and you already have an app to alert those you trust where you are , but you’re wondering if there’s more you can do, these tips, informed by a Locklatch blog and a Security Pro article, could help.
5 ways to stay safe when living alone during lockdown
Imagine you’re a superhero or a spy, and make sure nobody knows your routine or can learn it. That means changing it regularly so that criminals cannot predict when you’re asleep or out, not posting #homealone or the like on social media (you never know which “friends” of “friends” are watching and taking notes) and alerting your armed response company to the fact that you’re home alone. It may also mean requesting a chaperone from them between your front door and your car. A good spy has allies; set up a buddy system with people you trust who are also stealthy in their ways. Locklatch suggests your system includes “meeting neighbours, joining the neighbourhood watch, and creating a check-in system with friends and family to ensure you have a supportive buddy system. A particularly helpful tool is to create a closed, private Facebook [group], Whatsapp or Twitter group that you are able to check-in regularly and keep your buddies up-to-date…”
Some potential hijackings and break-ins may rely on regularity. Set inside and outside lights to switch on and off at irregular times. Install a motion sensor outside. You can also set off your car alarm if you’re ever in a vulnerable position.
Criminal acts also rely on opportunity. Don’t offer any! Keep security doors locked at all times, even on hot days when the other doors are open. When you leave and arrive at your home and before you go to sleep, lock all doors and windows securely and check them if you’re unsure. Keep main entrances and exits locked throughout lockdown (even when you’re home and awake) and remember this includes the garage and garden shed if you have. Keep pepper sprays and any other legal self-defence tools that you are trained to use in an emergency scattered around your home in key places you know you won’t forget, even when you’re faced by an intruder. Keeping ones you don’t know how to use can result in them being used against you.
There are loads of ways to deter a person in close proximity. It starts with having an assertive (but not aggressive) attitude, and progresses to temporarily disabling your would-be attacker with various moves. Two forefingers jabbed hard and fast in the assailant’s eyes give you a few seconds to run away while they try to see again. A hard kick to the groin does the same. Youtube has great tips from qualified self-defence instructors who’ll show you how to protect yourself. Take an online course, practise often, and once you’ve graduated, make sure that the new movements become as natural to you as a knee jerk is. That criminal is going to regret s/he picked you as a dance partner!
Criminals pick homes that are easy to break into. You don’t have to invest in the security setup of a state prison to deter them, though. Don’t have an alarm? Buy a little blue, battery-operated LED light to suggest there’s one. No dogs to discourage intruders? Put up a “beware of the Rottweiler” sign anyway. Locklatch suggests you also add “a dog motion alarm that barks when people approach the door or fake security cameras that give criminals the impression that you have TV monitoring systems set up.”
Please stay safe and if you have not yet done so, consider adding bundled household and portable possessions cover to your dotsure.co.za car insurance policy. Just in case. Existing dotsure.co.za policyholders can easily add this cover via the Manage Portal platform here. Alternatively, look out for the chat bubble on our website and just pop us an instant message from there to chat with one of our super helpful consultants. 😉
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