The number of households with a single person living alone has increased considerably. Statistics Canada says 13 percent of the Canadian population is comprised of single people living alone.

Various factors have contributed to the rise in the number of single people living alone. For example, delaying marriage is a growing trend. Today, the median age to get married for men is 30.4 years and 28.6 for women. In addition, more seniors are living longer and may be outliving spouses. Finally, some people simply opt not to get married, as neither men nor women are expected nor required to have a partner according to current societal norms.

With so many people living alone, a refresher course in solo safety could be in order. So here are some tips for single living.

Adopt a dog

The general consensus is a dog is not only a companion but a safety precaution. Dogs are in tune with sounds and disturbances, which can alert owners if and when things are awry at home. Dogs, particularly those who bark when someone is at the door, are built-in alarm systems. In addition, criminals may be less likely to target a home where a dog is present, even if the dog isn’t perceived as aggressive.

Get to know your neighbours

Singletons should make it a point to become familiar with their neighbours. This way, they can learn schedules and alert one another if something seems out of sorts. A good neighbour will check in on another person if they haven’t seen that person around in some time, which could help in the event of an injury or illness.

Invest in smart technology

Smart home technology can run the gamut from motion-activated cameras to remote-operated lights and thermostats. This enables the home to be safe and secure and even appear occupied when someone isn’t home.

Don’t advertise that you’re single

Those who live alone should not make a point of advertising it. For example, list “Smith Residence” on a lobby mailbox in an apartment complex rather than a single name. Also, avoid telling too many people you’re single, as word can get around and it is impossible to know who will find out. That includes spreading word online through social media.

Upgrade locks and doors

Invest in more complex locks, deadbolts, and security doors to add an extra layer of security to a home. Such locks are only effective when inhabitants remember to lock their doors at night and when leaving their home.

Develop an emergency exit plan

Unfortunately, no one is coming to a person’s aid when they live alone. That means a singleton must develop and rehearse emergency exit protocols that involve getting out of the home safely. In addition, one should pack emergency supplies and a go-bag in case a fast exit is necessary.

Living alone requires careful attention to security and taking added measures to be safe at all times.