At one point in our lives, we all attempt city living. Whether we’re self-professed country bumpkins looking to expand our horizons and experience new horizons or have chosen to simply move for a job, it’s inevitable that at some point, the magnetic pull of the ‘bright lights’ will take us.
What the ‘big city’ constitutes will depend very much on the individual, of course. For some, a small town of 50,000 might seem overwhelming, while for others, only the major urban metropolitan hubs of London and Manchester might fit the bill.
Regardless, we thought we’d pull together a few top tips that everyone moving to the city (or large town) for the first time might want to take into consideration if they want to protect their new home, their family, and their stuff.
Changing the locks
The big one here. City-based homes tend to have a significantly higher turnaround of residents than homes out ‘in the sticks’. This means there is more likely to be former residents lingering around with spare keys they ‘forgot’ to hand in to the estate agents.
In a block of flats, you might even have neighbours who have been given spare keys in the past. So, the first thing you should do upon moving to a new place is to change the locks on the doors and windows.
If you’re living in the city then chances are you also work in the city. This often means many late nights, either due to after-work drinks or frequent all-nighter sessions. That means you are likely to be away from your home in the evening a lot.
Particularly if you live alone, that means it’s vital to have some semblance of security measures in place. A good start would be to install timers on your lights, so they automatically come on when it gets dark and make it seems as if you’re home, even when you’re not.
Report suspicious behaviour
One of the key benefits of city living is the increased police presence. This means that, if you spot anything around your home or block of flats that appear suspicious, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact the authorities.
The average crime rates are significantly higher in urban areas than in rural areas. In 2018/19, the rate of violence was 20.2 per 1,000 population in rural areas compared with 29.5 per 1,000 population in urban areas. In such a climate, it might be advantageous to invest in a reliable home security system.
Whereas these systems were once bulky, expensive, and difficult to install, modern security solutions are more subtle and cost-effective. Wired and wireless solutions are available and you can decide how far you want to go. From CCTV cameras and intruder alarms to access control panels and monitored security systems. Whatever your budget or situation, there is a solution to suit it.
Stay safe on foot
Whilst home burglaries are more common in urban areas, you are more likely to be accosted on the street. By far the most coveted item for street thieves is your smartphone so before you leave the house, ensure your phone is locked, register it with immobilise to help the police track your phone and avoid taking it out as you leave any public transport area as these are the most common areas for thievery to occur.
Staying safe in the big city is, fundamentally, all about common sense and shifting your expectations. There are more people in a smaller area, so there is bound to be a greater risk.
However, if you properly equip yourself and your new home and take the right precautions, you should be able to truly enjoy your new life as a happy city mouse.