Being safe and secure starts at home

Single Files



These seem to be really uncertain and sad times. More so than usual even.

On a global level, our hearts go out to the victims of all the latest tragedies, whether they were wrought upon us by Mother Nature or the cruel nature of mankind.

Personally, I also recently lost a beloved neighbor who was cherished and admired by our entire community.

In all the cases, the families and friends of those who have passed on greatly mourn their losses.

With so much tragedy invading our world these days, sometimes it just doesn’t feel safe “out there.” And to make matters even worse, there seems to be no escaping the fear, as we are constantly bombarded with up-to-the-second reports of trauma—bringing the reality of events right into our homes and everywhere we go.



Even if you stick your head in the sand or declare news block-outs for yourself, you will still hear about all the disasters from people who are only too happy to share the bad news.

So what can we do to help ourselves feel more protected and secure, especially when we live alone or go places by ourselves?

Although there are never any guarantees in any situation, it helps to take ordinary precautions to avoid extraordinary situations.

According to, it can be as easy as creating a feeling of security inside your home. For instance, “Keep your doors locked at all times and your curtains or shades drawn,” are words of wisdom from the site for anyone, especially those of us who live alone.

In my case, I have the added bonus of what I refer to as my LRD, for Little Roaming Doorbell, my sweet dog, Abbey. She seems to know her main duty is to be a watchdog, so she’ll bark when she hears things. It also amazes me how much comfort the little 10-pounder can offer to me by her mere presence alone.

As to feeling safe when outdoors, it seems that’s a little tougher. But I guess every little thing we do to assure our safety— indoors and out—counts. For example, in addition to taking security measures around the perimeter of your home, like having outside lighting to make it difficult for someone to hide, Livestrong suggests “leaving a man’s pair of boots outside on the stoop to make it seem as though you do not live alone.”

In all cases, it’s important to make safe choices, says the site, like paying attention to your surroundings. Also, “avoid daily or weekly patterns when leaving and returning from work, going on errands or exercising. Check in with a family member or friend at a designated time each day, refrain from announcing that you are leaving town on social media websites, do not park your car in dark, poorly lit places and report suspicious activity to security guards or police,” Livestrong says.

The Acorn and other publications and websites often print security measures offered by local police departments. It’s important to stay on top of the latest scams and neighborhood issues.

Livestrong advises: “Wise up to common tricks used by burglars, such as posing as hired workers to gain access to your home or looking for easy access through open windows. . . . Know your neighborhood. Being aware of the surroundings in your neighborhood can also improve your personal security.

“Get to know your neighbors . . . so you can look out for each other. Familiarize yourself with the layout of buildings and landscape. Identify and avoid areas that can be dark and empty at certain hours.”

The same thing applies when you are going to new and unfamiliar places.

And whatever you do, don’t let fear stop you from having a happy life. Just do the best you can as far as your own security and that of your friends and loved ones is concerned.

I am dedicating this column to my dear neighbor, Phyllis, who recently passed on. You are missed, dear friend.

Ela Lindsay is a single writer in Ventura County. To catch up on her past columns, visit For comments or suggestions, email