One of the top major concerns for most homeowners is neighborhood safety. No matter what age you are, if you’re married, or if you have kids, the safeness of your neighborhood factors largely into whether you choose to stay in your neighborhood. Similarly, for homebuyers—the quality of the neighborhood should help sway your decision. According to Consumer Affairs, “What’s the neighborhood like?” should be one of the first questions you ask yourself. But whether you are moving into a brand new neighborhood or have lived in one for years, thinking about you and your family’s safety should be at the forefront of your mind. Even if you live in one of the safest neighborhoods in America, there are still steps you and your family need to take to be safe.
These steps require you to be an active member in your neighborhood as well as an effective teacher for your children about what and what not to do. So what are some key steps everyone can take to elevate their neighborhood safety?
Get to Know the Neighbors
Being an active member in your neighborhood requires you to really know the people who live near and next to you. Why is getting to know your neighbors so important? First, it gives you peace of mind to know your house and property are well looked after while you’re away on vacation or for any other reason. Also, your children have an immediate point of contact should anything happen while you’re gone. It also enables you to have a better grasp of who may be a suspicious character if you have an idea of who you see and speak to often.
Protect Your Property
Even if neighborhood safety isn’t the highest priority, it is necessary that you have a robust security system installed. You never know who might come through your neighborhood and it is key to be prepared for the worst. Investing in a smart security system gives you the ultimate control and insight into your property. Companies such as ADT are at the forefront of home security with their offering of home automation products. Control your home’s functions as if you were there at all times with automated lighting, smart locks, and thermostat features, just to name a few.
Educate the Whole Family
Another key to neighborhood safety is to educate the whole family about what to do on a daily basis and in the event of an emergency. Teach your kids what emergency contact numbers they should call, where they should go, how to use the security system, etc. Always be aware of where your family is in the neighborhood whether you are home or not as well—set perimeter limits on how far outside of your area they can go.
Report Suspicious Activity
A simple tip, but one that could make all the difference. The slogan for national security also holds true for your neighborhood—“If you see something, say something.” If you see a car you don’t recognize parked near your or your neighbor’s, keep a watchful eye for a few minutes and contact authorities. Or if people appear to be walking back and forth in and out of the neighborhood, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call 911. Always go with your gut when you feel something or someone looks off in your neighborhood. You might feel too cautious, but when you know something is off, you could make the difference between saving you or your neighbors a real headache. Teach your kids this same thing—their preparedness is just as important as yours.
Start a Neighborhood Watch
If you are committed to neighborhood safety ensuring crime stays clear from your home, there is no better way than to start a neighborhood watch. You can start it alone and build interest or begin with a few other neighbors. Make sure you gather enough interested households required by your local authorities. Think of a meeting place (someone’s house or apartment, for example) and have an agenda of issues that you’d like to address, so the meeting stays on track. You can even invite a police officer from your neighborhood’s jurisdiction.
Also make sure you and your neighbors have accurate facts about crime in your neighborhood. Reliable information is imperative to the success of a neighborhood watch. Keep everyone informed and allow meeting time to discuss and elect block captains who will act as the liaison between citizens and police. Of course, make sure to keep these meetings informative and fun. The idea is to work together and protect everyone from outside harm.
You can find out more way to protect your house with security options from ADT, visit our Video Surveillance page.
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