Safety Ideas from my personal experience.I have added these safety ideas in the hope that they may be helpful for you to keep yourself and your family safe and secure.
After my house mate attacked me I had to make a number of changes in my life and in my household. After I obtained a stalking order, I still knew I was the person most responsible for my own safety.
Cell Phone: My cell phone is with me day and night. I make sure it is fully charged and I have the local sheriff's number programmed into it. I know that many people today carry a cell phone and it is one of the best safety ideas that I know, but I also know that there is the expense issue. However, most cell phones, even if they are not activated with a cell company, will still call 911. Even if you have an older phone, or if you cannot afford to activate a phone, still carry it with you. You should be able to check with the original carrier about its ability to call in an emergency. Also many women's shelters provide phones for women to use in an emergency, so if you do not have access to a phone it would be worth asking at your local shelter.
Locks: I changed all the locks on all the doors. I installed deadbolts on all outside doors and safety bars on sliding doors. I also installed window locks on the windows of the rooms I used, and actually screwed some windows shut in areas that I was not using.
Note: If you have been the victim of a crime such as assault, you may be able to claim some compensation through your local court. Ask your district attorney's office
Windows: I installed heavy curtains or blinds at the windows, especially on the windows overlooking the street. I make sure these are pulled as soon as it becomes dark and before I switch on any lights.
Lights: I have interior lights on a time switch so that I never enter a dark house and it also appears as though someone is home.
Surveillance: As I had already purchased a surveillance system to see what my sister was doing here in my absence, I exchanged the spy cameras for outdoor ones, and positioned them at strategic places round the house. This was how I saw and proved to a court that she was indeed stalking me. I bought day/night cameras and have never regretted paying the extra money. These cams pick up things in the dark that even I could not see if I was outside. I was even able to help neighbors with my safety ideas when they had a fire at their home, and my cameras could watch their house also.
Outdoor lighting: I installed outdoor lighting with motion detectors. I have one set on my side gate with the camera positioned so that it 'sees' the gate and picks up any movement with either the light on or off.
Motion Detectors: Another safety idea is a motion detector on a light by my front door, thus if anyone comes to the door in the dark, I get advanced warning. I can then look at the camera for that area of the house before I open the door.
Gates: I installed locks on all gates to my yard and where it was not possible to put locks I used chains and heavy duty padlocks. I also have a large security light in the backyard which comes on at dusk and off at dawn.
Phone Number: I changed my home phone number to an unlisted one and am very careful to whom I give it. I have caller ID so can usually tell who is on the line before I answer.
Driving: When driving I make sure my car doors are locked at all times. I carry pepper spray in my car and also in my purse.
House: I cut back the bushes close to my house, especially near the front entrance. I keep an outside light on at the front door all the time.
Handgun: Finally I went and got my concealed carry permit for a hand gun and I carry my gun all the time when I am out at night, and in the day depending on where I am going. I know this sound s a bit like overkill, but as I have a woman stalking me, who is a known drug addict, and who has threatened to shoot me, and who owns at least two large caliber handguns and a couple of rifles with scopes, I felt justified in doing the best thing I could to protect myself.
You may not need to implement all these safety ideas, but they are useful for anyone, especially a woman, living alone. We do hear about home invasions and it is as well to be prepared.
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This page updated 2013