7 Safety Tips for When You Live Alone

By Alicia Geigel on May 30, 2024

This article is brought to you by GradGuard. We protect college students and their families from the financial risks of college life, like providing a refund for tuition or replacing a stolen backpack when your school may not. When the unexpected happens, GradGuard’s tuition insurance and renters insurance can help you get back on track.

When moving away for college, you, and definitely your parents, want to make sure you are safe. If you live in an on-campus apartment or blocks away in off-campus housing, you should always be aware of your safety. Whether it’s alarm systems or security cameras or locking your doors and windows, there are numerous ways to keep safe when living alone.

If you are currently living alone on campus or are considering doing so, here are tips to boost your personal safety and the safety of your belongings!

woman, apartment, living room, alone, couch

Image via Pexels

1. Always Keep Doors and Windows Locked: This goes without saying, but one of the simplest and most effective ways you can stay safe when living alone is by keeping your doors and windows locked at all times. Be sure to lock your doors immediately when you enter your apartment, and use a deadbolt lock if you have one. If you don’t have one, they are fairly inexpensive and easy to install (plus your landlord will probably appreciate the added safety feature on their property). Additionally, be sure to lock all of your windows before you go out or before you go to bed, especially if you live in a ground-level unit where your apartment is easily accessible.

2. Install Security Systems Inside and Outside Your Door: Security systems are incredibly popular among families and single people living alone. Firstly, an alarm system is great to have, as you can arm and disarm it when necessary. If your system is armed and someone attempts to break in, it will notify the police and likely deter the intruder from committing a crime. Additionally, a security camera, like a ring doorbell or Wyze camera, can give you an extra sense of security as you can see the people who come and go around your apartment unit. Neighbors, delivery workers, etc. are normal to detect, but if you notice someone unusual or sketchy frequenting your area, you can alert the authorities and they will look into it further.

3. Be Friendly With Neighbors: While you may not want to be best friends with your elderly neighbor or your mom neighbor with a huge family, getting to know all of your neighbors and becoming friendly with them can just make you feel more secure and like you are part of a greater community of people that look out after one another. As you familiarize yourself with your neighbors, be sure to get their phone numbers to notify them if an emergency or any kind of dangerous situation were to occur. It also helps to know their work and activity schedules just so you have an idea of when they are home.

4. Avoid Oversharing on Social Media: Social media is essentially inescapable nowadays, and if you are someone who has social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, X, TikTok, etc., be sure to be careful about what you post, especially if you have a public profile. Avoid oversharing your activities, vacations, work schedule, etc. on social media, as it can notify potential criminals when you are away from your home and leave you vulnerable to being harmed or your valuables being stolen. Also, refrain from posting identifying pictures of your apartment or greater location, and never share your exact address with the public (only to those you trust).

5. Use Smart Devices to Your Advantage: In today’s world, smart devices are not only convenient to use at home, but they’re also a simple and easy way to make your home appear occupied when you are at work, visiting friends, on vacation, etc. With smart light bulbs, smart TV functions, smart radios, and smart appliances, you can easily control each device from your phone and even set specific timers to create the appearance that you are at home when you really aren’t, which can keep intruders and thieves from targeting you.

6. Have an Emergency Plan and Contact List in Place: When living alone, you always want to have an emergency plan and emergency contact list in place that you can fall back on if an emergency were to occur. In your contact list, include at least two trusted people, like parents, grandparents, friends, coworkers, etc. that you would want to contact or have the authorities contact in the event of an emergency. In this list, be sure to include their full name, phone number, and your relationship with the person. Also, have an emergency plan in place so you aren’t overwhelmed with what to do in a hazardous situation. This can include grabbing a bag of belongings that has important paperwork like your birth certificate, social security card, credit cards, etc., treasured valuables like heirloom jewelry or photos, important electronics, and of course, furry friends.

7. Keep Valuables Out of Sight: If you live alone, try to keep any valuables you have out of plain sight, as doing so can make you less of a target to thieves and intruders. Keep your blinds down and curtains closed during the night or when you aren’t home, and try to position valuable items like TVs, video game systems, computers and laptops, etc. away from windows and out of direct sight from the outside. You can also further protect your valuables by considering purchasing renters insurance. GradGuard, a leader in tuition and renters insurance, is a great choice if you are considering renters insurance, as their policy covers belongings such as clothing, electronics, bicycles, books, etc.

Living alone is a wonderful experience that gives you the freedom to live as you please. As you live alone, be sure to follow these seven tips to keep yourself and your belongings safe.

It’s no secret that college costs a lot of money. Make sure your investment in higher education is protected with GradGuard. Our affordable tuition insurance and renters insurance plans are specifically designed for college students. Customizable plans make it easy to protect your tuition, room and board, laptop, bike, and so much more.

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