I’ve had this in my files for ages, and it’s time to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it!
One of my favorite books is “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker. It’s a deep dive into people who did not trust their instinct and unknowingly put themselves in danger.
It got me thinking about what I’ve done with my own life and how anyone – whether you’re a single woman living on her own for the first time or you have a growing family – could make good use of these tips.
- Obviously, the first piece of advice that I have is probably the most important one:
Do not answer the door to a stranger.
If you weren’t expecting anyone, why would you open your door to them? You don’t owe anybody the time of day, whether you’re in your home or you’re out and about living your life. So it would be best if you strived to protect yourself in this fundamental way.
2. Get a security system or install motion sensor lights and alarms for your doors and windows. Advertise that the premises have an alarm system.
3. Have a deadbolt and a peephole that you can cover when not in use. An alternative way to look through the door without allowing entrance into your home, such as a Ring system, is ideal as well.
4. Have a chain or security lock on your door. Please don’t rely on it because if someone is determined enough, they can bypass it, and your doors can still be forced open. However, it should provide a measure of deterrence. Any deterrent that saves you even seconds is worth utilizing.
5. Reinforce doors and windows with items such as a night lock, an alarming doorstopper, a bar or piece of wood in sliding doors, or a door jammer.
6. Befriend neighbors and any police officers who may live in your neighborhood. Let them know when you will be out of town so they can keep an eye on your place if you feel comfortable sharing that information.
7. Place a pair of muddy men’s work boots outside your door and mix in some men’s laundry with yours when you’re hanging it out to dry, so it looks as though there is a man’s presence.
8. Have a weapon such as a gun, a baseball bat, taser, pepper spray, hammer, keys, knife, scissors, etc., in every room. I don’t advocate for the illegal use of weapons, so if there’s training (such as you would need with a gun), please, please, take it.
Extra tip on the baseball bat: the first instinct for someone swinging a bat at you is to grab it. Put an old sock, and all they’ll hold is the sock.
9. Carry a personal-sized weapon on you in your bag or on a key chain.
10. Always have your phone within reach.
11. Take a self-defense class.
12. Put noisemakers such as bells or bottles near entrances that will alert you to someone entering your home. You can even use something as lowkey as a kukui shell necklace. Bells are good energy for Feng shui too.
13. Get a dog.
14. Phone apps like Kitestring help alert friends if something amiss happens to you.
15. Have a plan for what you will do if someone tries to enter your home while you’re there.
This isn’t the be-all, end-all list, of course. But it should get you thinking about your personal safety, no matter what stage you are at in life.