Liv­ing on your own - and safe

George Herald - Private Property - - Property News -

Stu­dents and young adults of­ten find them­selves liv­ing on their own far from home, while they study or set­tle into their first real job. And while that has ben­e­fits, in­clud­ing sole con­trol of the Wi-fi pass­word and what to eat for din­ner, there can also be some dif­fi­cul­ties, such as in­ad­e­quate se­cu­rity.

"If you are liv­ing on your own, es­pe­cially for the first time, you could be seen as a more vul­ner­a­ble tar­get for bur­glary and other crimes - and most young peo­ple can't af­ford the time or money to set up elab­o­rate de­ter­rents," says Greg Har­ris, CEO of Chas Everitt Prop­erty Rentals.

He pro­vides a few safety tips:

One of the sim­ple pre­cau­tions ev­ery­one can take to re­ally im­prove their safety and se­cu­rity is good light­ing, which is the most cost-ef­fec­tive de­ter­rent for crim­i­nals. This is es­pe­cially im­por­tant if you're ex­pect­ing to get home af­ter dark most days, so if you are rent­ing an apart­ment or town­house, choose a com­plex that has good ex­te­rior, pas­sage and lift light­ing.

If you live in a house with oth­ers or on your own, you should know that leav­ing lights on all day is ac­tu­ally a sig­nal to crim­i­nals that you are prob­a­bly not at home and is also a waste of elec­tric­ity. Rather fit sim­ple timers to your out­side lights and a cou­ple of lamps in­doors that turn them on at dusk - or bet­ter still, in­stall a few "smart" lights that you can con­trol from your phone.

Make sure that you have good locks, se­cu­rity gates on all your ex­te­rior doors and bur­glar proof­ing on all your win­dows. This should be non­nego­tiable no mat­ter what kind of home you are rent­ing, even in a se­cu­rity com­plex. To be re­ally safe, you should, in fact, get all the locks changed be­fore you move in, be­cause there's no know­ing how many pre­vi­ous ten­ants have keys.

Al­ways lock your doors or se­cu­rity gates, not only when you leave for the day but even when you're at home or just pop­ping out to hang up your wash­ing or fetch the post. In ad­di­tion, you shouldn't ever open your door to any­one un­til you've looked through the peep­hole to see who's there.

You're al­lowed to re­sort to sub­terfuge. For ex­am­ple, if you need to call some­one to do re­pair or main­te­nance work at your home, you should ask a friend to come over at the same time, to make it look like you have a room­mate. Bet­ter still, get into the habit of en­ter­tain­ing at home, and ask some of your new neigh­bours, friends or work col­leagues over as of­ten as pos­si­ble for drinks, a shared meal or a movie. Crim­i­nals are much less likely to tar­get a busy home where peo­ple are com­ing and go­ing at dif­fer­ent times. For this rea­son, you should also try not to leave or come home at ex­actly the same time ev­ery day.

Use the in­ter­net or your cell­phone to stay in­formed about the hap­pen­ings in your com­plex and sur­round­ing area. How­ever, don't brag about your up­com­ing hol­i­day on so­cial me­dia or let too many peo­ple know that you'll be out of town for a while. And don't leave a spare key any­where ex­cept with a per­son you re­ally trust.

It is im­por­tant to have the right men­tal at­ti­tude. Your safety is your pri­or­ity in any sit­u­a­tion and no one is com­pletely im­mune from preda­tors. If you feel some­thing just isn't right, don't ever be em­bar­rassed to call for help, refuse to let some­one in, or leave for a safe place like a friend's house or your favourite shop where you can call the po­lice.

Is­sued by Chas Everitt Prop­erty Rentals

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