Solitary living can be great fun. Women living alone enjoy more space, greater freedom, and a cozy retreat reserved all for themselves.
That said, living alone has some drawbacks in addition to perks. The biggest downside of solitary life involves personal safety, as women on their own do not have roomies or family to regularly check in on them or keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
To contend with matters of safety, there are some very simple fixes women living alone can employ to ensure their personal security. The major actions one can take are outlined below.
Always Lock Up
Depending on where you live, it might not be de rigueur to lock doors. If you are a woman living alone (or anyone, for that matter), I recommend playing it safe and locking up at night. Even if you do not care for your personal safety, locking up at night can protect your financial safety- after all, even your renter's insurance will not cover you for stolen goods if you did not properly lock up.
Simply make a habit of locking entrances to your home every time you come inside. That way, you won't be so likely to get distracted and forget to lock your doors before going to sleep. Also, be sure to lock your windows whenever they are closed.
One excellent benefit enjoyed by women living alone is that they are free to dress however they like, presumably because nobody else is looking. But here's the thing- if you don't have or use your curtains, the whole world can see you.
Whether you want to stave off pervy peeping toms or simply keep your tendency to wear stained old sweats and college sweatshirts a secret, it is a good idea to utilize the brilliant masking technology afforded by curtains. This is a simple, but very effective fix.
BONUS: Curtains conceal not only you, but also your expensive widescreen television and large display of diamonds! If folks can't see things, they won't be so tempted to steal them.
Regularly Check in with a Safety Buddy
There is a common joke / unspoken fear amongst women living alone that at some point they'll choke/trip on something and be left alone to die, only to be consumed by pet cats/dogs and discovered two weeks later by neighbors. Clearly there is some danger in living alone in that if something goes wrong - if you don't make it home, or get very sick, or injure yourself - there will be nobody there to notice.
Because there is nobody else to check on you, the best thing to do is create your own check-in system. A protected Twitter feed that you update regarding your whereabouts and that your closest friends and family members follow.
Get Motion-Sensitive Outdoor Lights
A friend of mine once had an issue with someone lurking about outside her bedroom window at night, which is incredibly creepy. Being a very busy and important professional, she did not have time to stake out on her roof with a shotgun to wait for the offender to return, so she installed motion-sensing lights outside her house instead.
The solution is simple and effective - when intruders trip the lights, they get spooked and take off. What's more, whoever is inside will see the lights turn on and will know to be on the lookout. As a note, just be careful to make sure these outdoor lights to not disturb your neighbors.
Install a Home Security System
Many home security system companies market directly to women and it makes complete sense - when one has nobody else to check in on them of some jerk decides to swing by and break a window, it might be nice to have backup.
Much of what these systems offer involves peace of mind - one can simply rest easier knowing that there is backup. But if one lives alone in a somewhat shady area, home security systems could be life-saving - either as a deterrent, or, in a worst case scenario, as a line of final defense.
Meet Your Neighbors
If you get to know those who live around you, you may have some extra people looking out for you. When you move to a new place, make a point of getting to know your neighbors - perhaps bring over some freshly baked cookies or take some time to chat with them when you see them out and about. At the very least, you'll get to know those who live in your neighborhood. At the very best, your neighbors will keep an eye out for you- and you might even make some great friends!
Get a Dog or Cat
Many people consider pet dogs to be home security systems, and for sure, some dogs can offer protection, but it is the friendship and companionship that many pets offer that really makes a difference. Aside from keeping women living alone feeling less, well, lonely, pets also do wonders when it comes to alleviating stress. So if you have the time, resources, and space (and if your landlords allow it), consider getting a pet!
Bonus Tip: Mix it Up!
While you might be monitoring neighborhood patterns, other people might be monitoring your patterns. It is much easier to burglarize a home, snoop around, or engage in other questionable mischief when one knows the patterns of one's victim. By varying your routine and making your patterns unpredictable, you can make yourself less of a target.
Monitor Neighborhood Patterns
A lot of scares can result from seeing a suspicious car or person lurking about at night, and while some of these scares are legitimate, many result form simply not knowing who belongs around your home and who does not.
A simple way to resolve this issue is to pay careful attention to cars, people, and other patterns that take place near and around your home. This way, you will be more likely to take heed when something is not quite right.
Watch Those Keys!
It might seem convenient to give copies of the keys to your home to various friends and helpers, such as cleaning people or delivery people, but be extremely careful when managing your keys. Ideally, only you and people you might consider to be emergency contacts will have keys to your home. That way, you're less likely to be a victim of theft or home invasion... plus you won't be rudely interrupted by over-friendly friends who just decide to let themselves in when they're in the neighborhood!
Bonus Tip: Manage Private Information IRL
Though many of us are concerned about personal information that shows up online, it is equally important to make sure that offline personal information is equally protected. Shred personal documents before putting them out in your recycling, and do not put your phone number or driver's license on personal checks.
Manage Your Social Media Presence
It may be fun to check in on Foursquare and Facebook everywhere you go, but doing so in an uncotrolled manner may let a few too many people know about your whereabouts. Tweeting that you're all alone in your apartment with all the windows open or something... might be a bit unsafe. Also, announcing your impending trip out of town on public social media channels is practically an invitation to thieves who know where you live to help themselves to your collection of expensive electronics/rubies/Star Wars figurines.
Even if all of your social media channels are protected and only friends can see them, you may still want to limit the information you share regarding your present whereabouts. Even friends might ultimately turn on you- clearly that sounds paranoid, but a surprising number of kidnappings, assaults, and murders each year are perpetrated by individuals who know their victims.
Use Common Sense
In the end, it is simply a good idea to keep one's wits about onself- whether living alone or not.
I hope you have found these tips to be helpful, and if you have used any other tactics to protect your personal safety in your own home, feel free to share them in the comments below!
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 26, 2019:
Such important information you shared. In this time when we have so many opportunities to keep ourselves safe. Thank you so much for sharing this with us Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps
RTalloni on May 24, 2019:
Good stuff here, no surprise. :) These safety tips should be reviewed a few times a year!
Rose Jones on April 12, 2017:
I really enjoyed your approach - you obviously are a hip lady who loves her time alone, but wants to keep safe. I didn't know that renter's insurance did not protect you if you did not lock up!
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on May 03, 2015:
Great tips Simone. When I first moved into my new apartment, my brother and I checked out the security cameras and the apartments in the floor. My apartment has a deadbolt lock and blinds for security measures. Voted up for useful!
Ellaw on November 07, 2014:
I will call and leave myself a message. No throw rugs are on the floors. I try to keep a log of daily activity and make s list of things to do. I let a trusted neighbor know when I am going away. Mail and newspaper is stopped. Since I live in the country, I am in before dark or have someone drop me off and wait until I am in the house. I leave a light and music on.
Ellaw on November 07, 2014:
All this is great advice for persons on their own. I am concerned about personal safety, while cooking, getting a bath, safety moving around your home. I have placed night lights in every room, always make sure a telephone is near when
getting a bath, always use a timer when cooking. If I need a reminder for something
kym on March 07, 2014:
I was told that putting some mens work boots at your front door is a good idea.
oldpostie from Excited States on October 29, 2013:
Speaking of keys, when my sisters and I were growing up, both my mother and grandmother impressed upon us the importance of checking we had our house keys BEFORE we left the house". It was "Stop at the door, keys in hand, purse on arm, door lock turned (it was a locking-knob)." Don't just assume your memory of replacing your keys is foolproof. Outside it was " 'Try' the door (turn handle to be sure lock is engaged) as some older locking knobs might fail. And again, always lock doors even if you're inside or just in the backyard. My son came home once without his keys while I was napping . He was put out that I had locked the door even though I was home. I recalled for him the time I locked myself out of the kitchen & into the laundry room which led outside. Pounding on the outside wall of his bedroom and the window was like trying to wake the dead and I had to break a window to get in. If you're in another room and asleep there's a good chance someone could enter and very quietly take anything of value. And windows - Our house had the old wooden style that you lifted up to open. We had the bulldog locks attached . They fastened on the top of the moving window sash and you pulled down on the spring bar to release the grip. Gram liked to leave the bathroom window open a "crack" of 2 to 3 inches and felt safe as the window was also well above head height. I learned that if I could get a ladder or something high enough to stand on and could reach my hand and forearm into the gap I could use a "tool" to pull down the grip and get in. I also learned to open the garage double door that fastened at the bottom with a stand-on bolt which is still sold at hardware stores. That's another story. Ah, memories of childhood. Wow. Didn't realize how long-winded this was. Sorry.
Avinesh Prahladi from Chandigarh on October 28, 2013:
I must say that it's a great hub for all those females who are living alone.
Keep up the good work, Cheers !!!
Toy Tasting from Mumbai on October 04, 2013:
It has become really difficult to survive alone. These tips are an amazing way to gauge security and safety. Thanks for sharing these tips.
vibesites from United States on October 04, 2013:
These tips are really important for me, as I'm currently living alone in my apartment! Thanks for the time and the research you've put into this hub. Up, useful and shared.
oldpostie from Excited States on July 21, 2013:
@Mary615, gun lock boxes are available which are "keyed" to your fingerprints. I'm sure they cost more than a regular box but the investment in safety and the ease of opening for the gun owner would be worth it.
Tarun on July 20, 2013:
Advanced Locking is also essential for better security.Really useful tips I found here.
Michelle on June 05, 2013:
I always have outside lights on. I understand the comment about "the baddies being able to see around your place" but at least neighbors can potentially spot them lurking around. I have a lot of close (in proximity) neighbors so this is comforting. Also, I definitely have curtains. As soon as the sun goes down, those curtains are closed. I have a Border Collie that would go berserk if someone broke in. Lastly, I have a loaded gun right by my bed. I have trained with it so I am familiar with handling it. If someone comes in, I'll have a flashlight and gun pointed right at their head. This gives me comfort ;)
j on June 03, 2013:
tht girl pulling the curtain is too creepy, change it
Lizett from The Great Northwest on May 22, 2013:
I lived on my own and preferred it for a while before I married. One time my apartment was broken into. At the first sign I noticed it, I walked out and called the cops right away. Looking back, if I lived alone now, I'd have a gun, no doubt. Most of the time it's just paying attention. I was a latch key kid at 11 so I had good practice before living on my own. Great tips BTW.
And my husband gets irritated that I lock up by habit cause I've locked him out sometimes. Yikes! But it is habit. What didn't exist in my living alone days was social media presence in our lives. Single women must really be careful nowadays.
FullOfLoveSites from United States on May 22, 2013:
Great tips there! I am living alone presently and your hub is a tremendous help to me. I can get myself paranoid at times especially at night -- being alone naturally keeps me alert and cautious. Thanks for sharing. Up and useful, shared.
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Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on November 05, 2012:
Those are great tips, and I am TOTALLY going to think of my landlords' dogs as "Perimeter Alerts" now!!!
oldpostie from Excited States on October 31, 2012:
I used to turn on all my outside lights at night but a friend suggested I was making it easier for the baddies to see their way around my place. So I changed to motion sensor lights and an alarm system. Dogs are the next best things to an alarm system. I once lived down a dead-end street. A dog lived at the top of the street and whenever he barked, my dog would bark as well. "Perimeter Alert" is what I named the "top" dog. I had a cat as well that would sit down and cock her head if she heard something outside at night. But she left the alerting to the dog. Once I caught on, tho', I always "listened" to her.
Linda Crist from Central Virginia on July 27, 2012:
What a great Hub. Great tips and explanations!
Elder DeBorrah K Ogans on July 27, 2012:
Simone Smith, Nice Hub! Great tips to help keep safe when living alone! Thank you for sharing, Peace & Blessings!
Tim Mitchell from Escondido, CA on July 26, 2012:
Great tips. The comments offers many more. I have lived alone and am a guy. They try to talk 'ya with the good guy BS intimidation causing agreement not wanting to say 'Gee I didn't know. I guess I'll buy it."
I get home usually after midnight and do the walk to the mailbox down the block a piece. When I don't walk it is noticed and always an inquiry of are you still going to. Half the mobile home park is retired and alone many times. The only culprits that ever give me a challenge or those masked bandits in the trash and few slick possums scurrying through a crack in the skirting. Mostly whipper snappers.
A few sneaky Petes knocking on doors tell'n them if they don't move the car in the fire lane it will be towed. Ambulances need entrance now and then. Those are the ones who snicker when you walk to the mailbox on a Thur afternoon. Another tip is to make sure you tell those single ladies, many in the 70's and later their roses are much, much better than yours (wink).
Mary Craig from New York on July 26, 2012:
People living alone sometimes need to be reminded how to keep safe. This hub is a perfect reminder with lots of useful hints. It irks me so when people announce on FB that they are going away on vacation...hello, I'm not going to be home for two weeks, would you like to rob my house?
Voted this up and useful.
Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on July 26, 2012:
Excellent tips! I don't live alone, but I have a few friends that do. You could never be to careful. Another tip would be to keep hedges trimmed low. Potential bad guys could easily hide behind hedges/bushes and break in via windows or attack while they are entering their home.
Mary Hyatt from Florida on July 26, 2012:
Great Hub. I have a miniature Schnauzer, Baby, who is my watch dog! No one comes on my property day or night without her barking and letting me know!
I can't imagine anyone living without curtains!
I keep a loaded gun in a lock box near my bed. If anyone tries to come in my house, I will shoot them (if I can just remember the combination on the lockbox!)
I voted this Hub UP, and will share. Mary
Danson Wachira from Nairobi, Kenya on July 26, 2012:
These are very handy tips to ensure ones security. Am very touched by the story in Julia's comment. This is a social society problem and must be addressed. Thanks for sharing this, voted up, useful and shared.
Anamika S Jain from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India on July 19, 2012:
These are valuable tips for anyone living alone. It is better to be safe than regret later. Hub voted up and shared on FB.
Sandra M Urquhart from Fort Lauderdale on July 18, 2012:
That was supposed to say: " I live in an older house, and these things maybe only found on older houses I'm not sure." This is what happens when you dictate your response on your cell phone.
T4an from Toronto, Ontario on July 17, 2012:
Great hub! I am going to share this with my neice who is moving into a new condo in a few months. Thank you! Voted up!
Sandra M Urquhart from Fort Lauderdale on July 16, 2012:
This seems like a good information for someone who is going to live on their own for the first time. Aside from a security system, there are window grates. They're like metal grates or shields for the window that protect the glass and prevent break ins. I live in an older house, and he sings maybe only found on older houses I'm not sure. However they are very effective in preventing someone from getting it. I've already had 2 attempted break ins that failed because of the guards.
Nicole Quaste from Philadelphia, PA on July 16, 2012:
This is such a helpful hub! Voted up :)
ajayshah2005 from Mid Asia on July 16, 2012:
Great and very informative Hub!Really good tips.
beccabit from Utah on July 16, 2012:
This is great info. A lot of these things young girls who are newly on their own wouldn't think of. Some nights can feel pretty scary!! Thank you.
masmasika on July 16, 2012:
Great tips. I used to live alone but not now. Living alone is sometimes scary especially if your neighbors are a distance away.
HendrikDB on July 16, 2012:
tradingideas on July 15, 2012:
depends on WHERE you live, too, doesn't it? :)
Bredavies on July 15, 2012:
Amber Lynn on July 15, 2012:
This is a grat hub full of useful advice. Being single, I do some of these, such as automatically locking my door behind me, but others, such as my facebook status, I did not really think about until reading this. Thanks!
LacretiaHardy from Arizona on July 15, 2012:
Excellent tips, Simone! I am one of those scaredy-cat women that is always concerned about these types of things and it amazes me how much personal information people share online these days. I'm glad you addressed this topic and I hope it gets a lot of reads because it could very well save a woman's life.
fjohn from india on July 15, 2012:
Great hub dear!! well written
Sage in a Cage on July 15, 2012:
Great topic. I lived on my own for a few years and I definitely agree that something as basic as having good curtains can make such a difference. When I closed the curtains at night I felt psychologically so much safer knowing that I could not be watched and also I found I worried less when I was not looking out windows into darkness.
Pamela Dapples from Arizona now on July 14, 2012:
I enjoyed this hub. Voting up and useful.
I have one comment that might be helpful. About the renter's insurance not covering you if you didn't have your doors locked and a loss occurred, yes, technically, the insuring company can deny coverage. Mainly I have worked in the bodily injury departments of insurance companies investigating automobile accidents: liability and appropriate settlements. But in the five years that I worked on residential claims, including burglary, I never saw a person's claim denied because they had left their door unlocked. If the person was honest enough to admit they had not locked the door, an investigation was done into the facts of loss, the file was sent to a manager for his decision and, in each case, coverage was allowed. However, it is possible that some companies have tightened up on this aspect since the years I was in the business -- but I don't think all of them would have. I'm not advocating leaving one's front door open, but just want to say if a person's home has been entered illegally, they should call the police and then report the loss to the insuring company. (Not getting the police to attend can be more of a risk to not being covered than having left the door unlocked inadvertently.)
Dahlia Flower from Canada on July 14, 2012:
Good hub, Simone. This is an important and evergreen topic.
Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on July 14, 2012:
I like the tip on varying your pattern. That is a really good idea. People tend to be "creatures of habit" and other people know this! I
Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on July 14, 2012:
These are great tips! I especially like the safety buddy and motion detection outdoor lights. To make it harder for thieves to monitor your patterns, I've also heard of putting indoor lights on a timer so it appears you're home. This is invaluable information. Voted up and shared!
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 13, 2012:
Living alone has its challenges for sure. You have cited so many of the issues that someone who is considering living alone or who already does live alone needs to think of and mull over.
My elderly sister lives in another town several hours away. It is rather unnerving for me sometimes to know that she is alone. Her children are not far away and phone her each day so that is reassuring. She does not want a pet although I offered to get a dog (that does not bark). It is the barking that bothers her.
Something else someone who lives alone that is physically able to do so might consider is to take a self defense class. One of the school's I worked in set up a night class for us and we learned so much about how to protect ourselves.
Thank you so much for posting this. It is so important for us to be aware and alert.
Michelle Dee from Charlotte, NC on July 13, 2012:
Great topic. I have a post office mailing address for all my mail - I never give out my street address. I always lock my doors and at night have the windows locked. When I leave my car for a minute to run into the store I lock my car doors. I know the street address thing probably sounds like paranoia but I feel I don't want to give out my street address to everyone. I live on an upper floor and still lock my balcony door and have curtains.
Rajinder Soni from New Delhi, India on July 13, 2012:
I think a weapon should be kept by every women living alone.
DanjabossmamiOk on July 13, 2012:
What about weapons ? This is my second google search in this topic and no where does it say to keep a concealed weapon or tazor in either of them
Amy on May 24, 2012:
Jackie 123M - I love your comment, I'm so going to do that. I'm leaving home in a months time and I've never been on my own before so I'm fairly terrified. Wish I could be more excited, but it seems like all the negative possibilities are overriding the sense of achieving and moving forward. Bit worried I might just stay awake all night clinging to my hockey stick for safety with my phone ready on 999, or just stay in all day refusing to answer the door because everyone outside is obviously going to try and mug/rape/murder me, so I can't possible talk to them. Sigh. Maybe if I put my address on Facebook and say I'm lonely people would come and visit me... :-p
Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on May 10, 2012:
Great topic! May I recommend The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence - very useful book.
Natasha from Hawaii on May 10, 2012:
I have lived alone several times and I agree - taking extra precautions is definitely worth it. I think it's really easy to forget that, even if you live on an upper floor, everyone can see you if you don't have curtains. I have forgotten that, myself from time to time. Thanks for reminding me and for sharing these tips!
Vanessa on April 15, 2012:
I am thinking about living alone...its a little scary for me sine I've never been on my own. I love your article it give me a lot to think about...thanks
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on March 14, 2012:
Agreed, sgbrown, and I'm no exception on the naïve end. That would be perfectly fine with me. Thanks!
I hope your daughter finds this helpful, ThomasBaker!
And thanks, Mike Outdoors :D
Mike Outdoors from Somewhere in Canada on March 09, 2012:
This is good advice for anyone who lives alone.
ThomasBaker from Florida on March 09, 2012:
I just sent this to my daughter who lives alone. Thank you.
Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on March 09, 2012:
Excellent information! All of these suggestions are great. I think we as women tend to be a little naïve when it comes to our safety. I would like to link this to a hub I have written about womens personal safety. Would that be ok with you? Voted this up, useful and sharing! :)
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on January 27, 2012:
That is a pretty smart idea!!! It may very well be the ONE good use of car alarms I've heard of.
carozy from San Francisco on January 20, 2012:
I got an email forward with this advice, and I think it fits your hub perfectly:
If you live alone in a house or where your car is nearby, and you have a remote alarm on your keychain, put the keys on your bedstand at night. Then if anyone tries to break in, press your car alarm which should scare the perp off and alert your neighbors that you need help. I would tell your neighbors that you have this habit or sleeping with your keychain nearby for safety so they will call the police if they hear your car alarm go off for more than a minute in the middle of the night.
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on January 19, 2012:
Thanks Princesswithapen! The social media aspect is certainly a newer element in the equation. That said, just a bit of awareness and common sense is all that's needed to stay on the safe side of things!
princesswithapen on January 19, 2012:
"Manage Your Social Media Presence" is a point that is well raised. It is amusing to see how this issue would have never been raised a decade back. Today, your profile on a social networking site can get you stalked or worse. I have lived alone in the past and can relate to many of these tips. Nicely done Simone!
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on January 18, 2012:
Oh, nice one Jacky123m! Thanks for stopping by :D
Jacky123m on January 17, 2012:
I live in a house alone &whenever i go out i say a loud "i wont be long" and wave at my living room window as if someones in. Great article by the way
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on November 23, 2011:
Wow, Julia! What excellent advice! I had never considered carrying recording equipment with me as a form of self-protection, but I totally understand your reasoning. And REALLY good advice on getting estimates, too. An alternative to having someone male present is to do a TON of research and to call a contractor out if they're clearly trying to pull something!
Julia on November 18, 2011:
I have lived alone for many years, and had many negative experiences during that time period. I also was the only child of a female doctor, and grew up watching my mother taken advantage of by countless numbers of people. Sadly, despite what I did learn from her mistakes (in trusting people), I still lacked the 'street smarts' to protect myself. I have been robbed numerous times, car-jacked twice (the second time my face was smashed in and had to be surgically reconstructed). But in hindsight, those are some of the least terrifying things that I have experienced. One of the most unfortunate things that I can say is in today's environment - it is unrealistic to assume that one can completely trust anyone. In that light, I would like to offer a few suggestions to protect yourself as a single woman;
1) ALWAYS carry two items on your person, a small tape-recorder and small digital camera (with zoom and wide angle features) - these are critical - and even though these items are usually contained within a cell phone; it is best that you have separate units. First, this gives you backup - if you find yourself in ANY situation where you may need to use them - also - if you do need to use them - then it is easier to use them (since these are not typical items that most people do carry with them - and any ). Always record any conversation regarding business transactions - even something as simple as an inexpensive home repair, or any conflicts with anyone from close friends, family members, co-workers, etc.
Also, the use of a camera on your person or nearby you at all times is imperative. Therefore if there is any accident, or other problem, immediately take a photo. It is also a good idea to take a photo of anyone that you date, and even whomever you let into your home (from the plumber to even the movers that move you into your residence). Document and backup all files too with time, dates and relationship between yourself and whomever that person is. I don't want to sound paranoid, but my own life experiences have taught me to be extra cautious. I had once been a naïve, trusting person. I do not think that is wise to blindly trust anyone anymore based on my life experience, and the experiences of even close personal female friends. I think it is reckless and irresponsible to do so.
Also, another tip of which I think is useful regards the hiring of building contractors, or any type of servicemen for repairs on anything from your house, to car, or anything else for that matter. First, when getting estimates for any service, ask a male friend to be present. I have found that it isn't even necessary for any male friend that is present with you to say anything. I have however noticed a substantial difference in the estimates of which I am given when a male is present. If this is not possible, then tell the person giving you the estimate that you need to review any possible charges with a male family member - it doesn't matter if it's a spouse, or brother, or father or even friend. Just never let anyone think that you would be alone in the decision-making process. I have remodeled three homes, and have learned that the price always drops tremendously when a woman is not thought of as living completely alone by the contractor. I also grew up watching my mother, who was a surgeon, constantly taken advantage of. Sadly, although she had much respect for her talent as a physician, she was taken advantage of in almost every unthinkable manner, simply because of being a woman alone. I also have a male friend that was inspired to go into the construction trade simply because of his frustration of watching his mother (with six children), charged high prices for simple handyman tasks. This inspired his entire choice of a career path, simply because he wanted to charge women reasonable prices rather than hyper-inflated prices. I am happy to have him work for me, because he never overcharges me and is perfectionist in his work. Out of over 30 different construction contractors that I have dealt with since 2005. Other than the above mentioned contractor, only two other men have given me reasonable estimates. I just find it
I think that many women are ill prepared by both how we are socialized into society and prevailing cultural myths(many of them fueled by Feminist ideology) to live alone. I think for any woman to live alone, is highly precarious.
Esmerelda344 on November 10, 2011:
Honestly, most of these are things you should really do anyway, whether you're living alone or not.
ershruti304 from Shimla on October 18, 2011:
A great and helpful hub. Though I live with my parents but still I would love to implement your ideas
new blossom from India on October 17, 2011:
Really useful and practical instructions which can be followed by a lonely woman for her safety. Thanks a lot Simon smith for the hub
Zoey from South England on October 17, 2011:
This is a great informative hub, and although i dont live alone, my partner works most nights and i always get a bit jumpy when i hear the slightest noise outside. I lock the doors and shut the windows but i still find myself peeking out the curtains to check no one is near the house late at night lol. Voted up :)
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on October 17, 2011:
Patty Inglish, Victoria Lynn, Nell Rose, Maralexa, and Sinea Pies, those are EXCELLENT tips! I should follow your excellent examples (though that might require some goldfish... perhaps I'll just say goodnight to my knife collection instead)!
clark farley, your comment takes the cake. I do think the key is to not behave like prey, and I also think that a lot of folks attract trouble to themselves because they're looking for it- either because they see the world as a scary, dangerous place and are driven by fear, or because they just expect the worst from people.
Thanks for reading, everyone! And thanks for the kind, helpful, insightful comments!
breakingnews from Pakistan on October 17, 2011:
Good information for women which living alone
amy11692 on October 16, 2011:
great hub! i've been looking for a place to move into, so i'm sure i'll find this information very helpful.
iamageniuster on October 16, 2011:
These are great tips. My sister just moved out and I should email her this article.
Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on October 16, 2011:
What did the strange man do, tammy???? That's freaky!
Tammy Winters from Oregon on October 16, 2011:
I don't live alone but I always lock my doors. The one time my boyfriend forgot to lock up while I was napping and a strange man walked in....scary it was. Great tips on this hub.
advisor4qb from On New Footing on October 16, 2011:
Note that getting a dog is great, but my dog is a retriever and doesn't even bark unless he is outside! It drives me nuts! I have an 80 pound dog that will lick burglars to death, but that is about it.
Marilyn Alexander from Vancouver, Canada on October 16, 2011:
Hi Simone. Excellent hub! Thank you for the important reminders. Closing curtains I think is one point that many people forget, especially if they have sheers or some other form of see-through window covers. It is important to have opaque curtains to close as well.
One more thought: if you live alone in an apartment, don't automatically 'buzz' people into building. Make sure you know who they are first.
Nell Rose from England on October 16, 2011:
Hi, even though I don't live alone, I am sometimes on my own for days, and the one thing I always do is 'do my routine' every night, check door, turn of plugs, could be a fire! and check windows. I always do this in a routine so if I forget something I know it! Oh, and I always say goodnight to the goldfish! lol not that they could help, but I would hate to go to bed without saying nite!
Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on October 16, 2011:
Fantastic hub. More people--not just women who live alone--should pay attention to such tips, as one can't be too careful these days. I lock an outside door every time I come in from the back, front, or side door--whether someone is in the house with me at the time or not. Some probably think I'm a bit anal about it, but I say better safe than sorry.
Another tip: leave lights and radio on when you're away to make the house seemed lived in....
Again, I say, great hub! Up, useful, interesting, awesome! Oh--and I loved your "vegetarian slip" comment in the comment section. haha
whynot1 on October 16, 2011:
Great ideas. I especially like the motion sensor lights. Get a friend to help you install them. In areas where there is no electricity, you can use solar lights. Great hub!
Deborah Neyens from Iowa on October 16, 2011:
Great tips, especially the one about watching what you post on social media. I'm always surprised by the number of my Facebook friends who advertise that they are gone on vacation or are home alone.
Stephanie Henkel from USA on October 16, 2011:
These are great tips, not only for anyone living alone, but for anyone who spends time alone in their homes. It's just good sense to be careful of your personal safety! Oh, and thanks for reminding people about security lights that bug the neighbors - really, security lights should be lighting up your own home, not shining in the neighbors's windows! (Ask me why I know this?) Great hub, voted up, useful and important. Well, there should be an "Important" button for this...
Maren Elizabeth Morgan from Pennsylvania on October 16, 2011:
leann2800 on October 16, 2011:
This is great. Safety is always my biggest concern. I love these ideas and your writing flowed. Thanks for sharing.Up, awesome, useful
Carrie Smith from Dallas, Texas on October 16, 2011:
I love this hub, you have pointed out some very important safety tips. I am pretty aware of doing these while I'm alone at home, but I could definitely be more careful. Thanks for sharing Simone!
tendup24 on October 16, 2011:
great tips I will share with my friends.
clark farley on October 16, 2011:
drspaniel's comment above is interesting, ' ie. single woman living alone needs to 'man up'.
We are all subject to violence in the world today, men and women. What I get from the 'man up' advice is the suggestion (if even possible) that a woman should try to think like man, in terms perceiving the world as a hostile environment in which violence and aggression are natural elements.
...perhaps in line with the thinking (that I assume is behind this advice) is the suggestion others have made about the importance of 'not behaving like prey'. The fact of life is that there are predators in the world, animal or human and it is (also) a fact that predators will usually (not always) target the prey that is perceived as the weakest, the one with the best opportunity for sucessful predation.
As I said at the outset, interesting notion. Although I suspect that there will be those who will say that aggression and violence is not the exclusive purview of male-type men, and those who might say that predators cannot be avoided.
I would suggest that a lot has to do with the frame of reference of the person in question, what kind of world are they choosing to live in?
icciev from Kuwait on October 16, 2011:
thanks Simone for the great list. As I feel safe now reading your hub, I have to vote up
Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on October 16, 2011:
Excellent hub. My mom always told us to hold onto our purse when out shopping and have our keys in hand when going back out to our car. No standing there searching through the purse at the car. Voted up and useful.
drspaniel from Somewhere, where the sun shines once a year... on October 16, 2011:
Women are seen as fragile creatures who need a man for protection, but if you're living by yourself what a woman needs is to 'man up'.
Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on October 16, 2011:
I signed up for email notices from my local Police Department about area crime trends, major crimes, and especially about new scams perpetrated in town in order to get into homes - like fake AT&T survey takers that knock on the door and want to come in and case the place for valuables as they pretend to survey the resident. It's pretty useful as well.
Great Hub and rated Up and many more. Shared it with followers as well.
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on September 16, 2011:
GREAT additions, 2FarGone! I'll add them to the Hub!
And thanks naturalsolutions and ColmbnQn!
naturalsolutions on September 15, 2011:
Wonderful tips for our women, they are alone in their house they should be secured to the bad guys. Maybe you don't understand how you help those single women. Outstandingly appreciated, great hub.
2FarGone on September 15, 2011:
There are two other tips I have to add. Don't be a creature of habit. If you have easy to follow patterns that some weirdo can track, you automatically become more vulnerable.
Avoid putting your DL and phone number (as well as unit number for apts or condos)on personal checks.
ColmbnQn on April 06, 2011:
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on April 06, 2011:
Thanks for stopping by, RedElf!
RedElf from Canada on April 06, 2011:
I lived on my own in the city for years and never thought much about such things. Then I moved to an unfamiliar part of town, and really felt I had to change my ways. Thanks for the pointers.
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on April 06, 2011:
Oh yes, those are very smart and important precautions to take!
SJKSJK from delray beach, florida on April 05, 2011:
Very good tips. I also never go out alone at night, and always pay attention when walking to my car alone.