Posted Mar 27, 2015

Top Tips for Living Alone (and Safely) in San Francisco

Living alone in San Francisco means you can enjoy all The City by the Bay has to offer on your own terms, but it also means you need to be especially vigilant about safety and security.

Top Tips for Living Alone (and Safely) in San Francisco

Whether you’re going for a run at Golden Gate Park, checking out a hot new bar in Hayes Valley, or staying in your apartmet, here are six tips to help you stay safe and live smart in San Francisco.

1. Research Crime Before You Put Down a Deposit

From the trendy Mission district to swanky Nob Hill, San Francisco boasts an assortment of fascinating neighborhoods, but some are safer than others.

Top Tips for Living Alone (and Safely) in San Francisco - Research Crime Before You Put Down a Deposit

A crime mapping website, like SpotCrime, is a powerful tool for learning about neighborhood crime before you hand over a rental deposit. Plus, it’s easy to use, free, and offers you the option of signing up for crime alerts.

2. Make a Budget

San Francisco is a pricey place to live, especially when you’re shouldering all of the expenses alone. Even if you haven’t had to abide by a budget in the past, you might now.

Top Tips for Living Alone (and Safely) in San Francisco - Make a Budget

Fortunately, there are several free apps, like Mint, that make budgeting less of a drag. You can use Mint to create a budget, track your expenses, and gain insights into your financial health that can help you stretch your dollar to the max. Mint will also alert you of unusual spending on your account.

3. Get a DIY Home Security System 

Thanks to the advent of DIY wireless home security systems, it’s easier than ever to help protect your abode from criminals. Typically, DIY systems include the basics, like window and door sensors and motion detectors, but you can also get more advanced components, like smoke detectors and wireless light controls.

Top Tips for Living Alone (and Safely) in San Francisco - Get a DIY Home Security System

DIY home security packages start at about $100 for the equipment and around $20 per month for monitoring. Because most DIY home security systems are wireless, there are no holes to drill or wires to run. When it’s time to move, a wireless system is easy to pack up and install in a new place.

4. Invest in a Few Inexpensive Security Gadgets

If you’re not ready for a home security system, then consider buying a few inexpensive security gadgets. These small gadgets could go a long way in protecting you and your apartment.

Top Tips for Living Alone (and Safely) in San Francisco - Invest in a Few Inexpensive Security Gadgets

From patio door security bars to multi-purpose alarms, there are plenty of ways to beef up your apartment’s security for less than the cost of lunch.

5. Get to Know Your Neighbors

Making pals with a few of your neighbors not only makes living there more enjoyable, it’s also a practical move. After all, a good neighbor can tell you where to go for the best latte and which bus route will get you downtown the fastest.

Top Tips for Living Alone (and Safely) in San Francisco - Get to Know Your Neighbors

When you’re out of town, your neighbors can water your plants, feed your pets, and keep an eye on your place to alert you to any suspicious activity.

6. Use a Personal Security App 

Whether you’re headed to Haight-Ashbury for a day of thrift shopping or meeting friends at a classy cocktail lounge in Nob Hill, using a personal security app is a smart safety move. There are a variety of personal security apps on the market, and quite a few of them are free.

Top Tips for Living Alone (and Safely) in San Francisco - Use a Personal Security App

Common features include a panic alarm and GPS tracking. Some personal security apps will even notify your emergency contacts if you don’t arrive at your predetermined destination.

Living by yourself in one of the nation’s best cities offers countless perks and is sure to be a great time, but it’s important to always stay focused on your personal safety. Keep these tips in mind and, above all else, trust your gut. If a person or situation gives you a bad vibe, there’s probably a reason why.

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Top Tips for Living Alone (and Safely)

Photo Credit: gags9999Rodrigo AmorimPatrik M. LoeffJon ShaveAllan FosterWilliam Hook

Elli Bishop


Elli Bishop is a writer and safety expert from SafeWise is a community-focused security organization committed to increasing the safety, awareness, and preparedness of renters, homeowners, and the community as a whole. Compare various DIY security system solutions in San Francisco to find an affordable solution for your place!

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One response to “Top Tips for Living Alone (and Safely) in San Francisco”

  1. Lauren says:

    Living alone can be scary, but following these tips can make it easier and more safe. Doing your research about the location when picking out a new apartment is very important. Thanks for sharing.

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