According to the Pew Research Center, 30% of children in America live with a single parent.

Often, the greatest challenge with being a single mom or dad is taking on the role of two. The same amount of household and parenting work is there, stretching single parents thin. Single parents also have double the pressure to keep their homes safe, secure and running smoothly.

It’s impossible to be in two places at once, but adhering to home safety best practices can ensure 24/7 security for your home.

Home Security Tips for Single Parents

  1. Develop a security network. While your extended family may not live nearby, neighbors and close friends can provide assistance in keeping your home safe. Get to know families nearby, and foster trusting relationships with neighbors, who can keep an eye on your home or alert you of suspicious activity.
  2. Practice mindful privacy. Be choosy of who receives your personal information, including your phone number, home address or work details. Though it may seem paranoid, withholding personal information is one of the best methods of keeping dangerous strangers at bay. Most importantly, be selective about posting information—specifically your location—to social media, which can notify followers when your home is most vulnerable.
  3. Identify vulnerabilities in your schedule. Do your children ever return home from school to an empty house because you’re still at work? There may be blocks of time throughout your weekly routine where home security is most vulnerable. Assess how you can mitigate these risks by adjusting your schedule, hiring a regular babysitter or working with your children to ensure they’re using proper safety precautions, such as closing blinds and keeping doors locked, when you’re away.
  4. Practice cautious dating. Though it may seem like you’ve met Ms. or Mr. Right, be cautious about welcoming a new date into your home. Instead, meet at a neutral place until you develop trust and confidence in his or her intentions. Most importantly, do not provide your companion with a house key, security codes or other sensitive information until you have established a long-term relationship. If your relationship ends on bad terms, immediately update your locks and home security access settings.
  5. Install a home security system. While maintaining privacy and following personal security practices are integral to keep you and your children safe, a home security system is the only sure-fire method to protect your home. Around-the-clock monitoring for burglar, fire and carbon monoxide alarms saves you critical time and provides peace of mind in the event of an emergency. Furthermore, smart home devices including thermostats and smart lights provide convenient energy management and money-saving opportunities.

Are you a single mom or dad? Share your tips for maintaining home security in the comments below!