Feeling safe and being safe are different but intertwined ideas. Though safety can never be guaranteed, there are measurable ways to be more safe—the things that statistically lower crime, like locking your doors and windows. However, you can be safe, but not necessarily feel safe, yet both are equally as important.
We feel safer when our senses, especially our hearing and sight senses, are satisfied. Here we present eight ways to satisfy your senses and calm your nerves when you’re at home.
1. Brighten your surroundings.
Yes, we may associate fear of the dark with childhood (or with an old show on Nickelodeon), but it is probably the number one reason we feel unsafe. When bad things happen to people, it’s often under cover of darkness. So, we must do our best to lighten up our surroundings, even at night. This may mean installing all energy-efficient bulbs in your outside lights and keeping them on whenever it’s dark. Outdoor lights with sensors are also very useful because they help you know if something outside is moving. Inside the house, you can keep low lights on even in the lesser-used parts of the home. At night, turn on nightlights, especially near windows, so your house doesn’t appear completely dark.
2. Shut out the night time.
When darkness is coming, close your blinds and curtains. Even though you can’t see outside, people outside can see you very clearly at night if your windows are exposed. Shutting off the outside night also shuts off some of the unknown that you can’t see.
3. Avoid dark, overgrown corners in your landscaping.
Your own yard could be a source of fear if you see dark shadows outside. Clear out those corners, remove the hedges, or plant bushes and trees without low leaves and branches.
4. Fix the creaks and groans.
On an unusually windy day, you’ll probably hear a few extra sounds from your home and yard. You might have a back door that thumps with the wind, or tree branches that scrape your siding or windows. Find the sources of these noises, and take care of them. This will help reduce the haunted-house noises that no one needs to live with.
5. Play music or turn on the television at night.
Blocking out the normal outside noises may help you feel less worried about your safety. This should be done primarily if you have a security system in place that will clearly notify you and the authorities when there really is a danger.
6. Know your neighbors and your local authorities.
Being surrounded by strangers all the time is a sure way to feel unsafe. Get to know your neighbors and you can not only eliminate your fear of them, but you also have resources next door to help when you feel unsafe. If you meet your local police officers and get to know them, you’ll realize that they are a trusted source for you to go to for help. They don’t just dish out tickets; they also help keep people safe.
7. Don’t watch shows or movies that put you on edge.
This may seem like a silly point, but when you watch more murder mysteries and haunted movies you have more ideas of how someone could break in and hurt you. These ideas are not educational—they are for entertainment, and most of them are not even realistic. But they seem realistic because they are in a movie. If you don’t watch them, you’ll have fewer outlandish ideas for how things can go wrong.
8. Use a security system.
A security system is perhaps your best aid to feeling safe. A properly installed and set up security system helps improve your actual safety, which then helps you feel safer. It can also help satisfy you both visually and aurally because you can have security cameras that allow you to see what is happening around your house, and you can have alarms that sound to alert you of intruders. For more information about the security systems available and to find the best fit for your home and family, visit our Recommended Security Systems pages.
The best way to feel safe varies from person to person. It’s important that you identify what in your house causes you to feel insecure and frightened, and then do your best to resolve those issues. When you feel safe, every-day tasks become more manageable, and every-day living becomes more enjoyable.
Written by Hillary Johnston
A proud mother of four, Hillary is passionate about safety education. She holds a degree in Public Health and Disaster Management. Learn more