Safety First: Tips for Home and Personal Protection

I’ve been single for over three years now–living alone, half the time with two young children. The true-crime fan in me has made me a bit of a worse-case-scenario type of person. I’m always thinking of how bad things can get, safety-wise.

My house is not a Fort Knox, by any means, but I do simple things and have made certain purchases to help me feel more comfortable and safer inside and outside of my home.

Safety first

Exterior protection

One of the more popular security devices you can buy right now is a Ring camera. Ring offers a range of devices and services; which can be pricey, but effective. There are also comparable options available through major retailers like Amazon and Best Buy.

If these types of options are outside of your affordability range, I would suggest dummy cameras. Now, these obviously do not offer the same peace-of-mind that an operational camera can offer. But they certainly give people the impression they’re being watched or even recorded.

Even purchasing a used Ring (or similar) device for a discounted price and mounting would make people think twice. They don’t know if it’s on or recording, but do they want to take the chance?

Exterior lighting can also be highly effective. If your house is lit up on all sides at night, it is no longer an easy target for intruders.

Interior protection

I could write a book on this subject. No matter what kind of home you have, the layout, or the neighborhood, there are options for you to feel more secure.

One of my favorite and simplest devices is a portable door lock, like an Addalock. It secures the doorknob and ensures the door cannot be opened. It’s great for everyday use as well as travel, considering it’s small and easy to remove and install. You can use it in hotels and AirBNBs. There are also a number of bars and clasps you can use to further secure your doors.

Now, let’s talk windows. An easy, tried-and-true, old-school option is to get a large wooden dowel, cut it to length, and place it in your window’s track (or sliding glass door for that matter) so it cannot be opened from the inside or outside.

If you’d like something a little more “alarming” (excuse the pun, I just couldn’t help myself), window alarms are right up your alley. And for your convenience, you can purchase them in packs to help ensure all your windows are covered. This solution works with windows no matter how they open, and they work to deter an intruder as well as alert you to the breach.

Personal Protection

My best friend, also a true crime enthusiast, has admitted to worrying about my safety since I’ve been living on my own. For Christmas, she gifted me pepper gel spray. The fact that it is gel is meant to prevent possible blowback of the spray into my own face. And the spray she got me has a convenience strap to secure the spray to my hand, ensuring that I don’t drop it. It’s great for walkers, joggers, and runners.

I also, in the case of a true emergency, carry a knife. Now, this knife is multi-functioning. It has a tip that is specifically designed to break car windows as well as a seatbelt cutter, both to be used in the event of a car accident or some other vehicular emergency.

Considering my personal safety brings me a little more peace of mind. For more tips on how to keep yourself safe and protected, click here.


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Jess is a born and raised Iowan who has lived in Vinton for the past 10 years. She has two children, 10-year-old Landon and 4-year-old Fynnlee. Jess attended Kirkwood and UNI and now operates an in-home daycare. She considers herself an independent author and has self-published a few eBooks. She enjoys attending Landon’s sporting events, spending time with her family, as well as writing and reading in her free time.

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