How to improve your neighborhood safety
Home security is not just your personal matter. It is much more than simply installing a home security system and calling it a day. That being said, home security systems are the cornerstone of neighborhood security. These days, with so many affordable home security systems available, every homeowner should install one. But they are just the beginning. If you want to improve your neighborhood safety, there are a lot of other things that you can do. And we will point them out to you.
Why is neighborhood safety so important?
No one wants to be afraid to walk around their neighborhood at any time of the day. We all want to live in a safe environment, after all. Thus, neighborhood safety is just about one of the most important things in life. Even if you understand all the benefits of investing in your home security, it might be for nothing if you do not feel safe when you get out of your home. Furthermore, a safe community fosters good interactions, reduces injuries and crime, and makes life better in almost every way. By knowing that your neighborhood is safe, you will be able to participate in community events and not worry about your kids playing outside.
All that being said, many neighborhoods can stand to improve their safety. While it is a communal effort, the truth of the matter is that safety improvements usually start with a single person or a single group. They are the community leaders that drive others to improve the safety of their neighborhood. And you can be that person.
How can you improve your neighborhood safety?
There are many ways in which you can help make your neighborhood a safer place. Here are the most influential ones:
- Install a home security system
- Report any crimes you see
- Get to know your neighbors better
- Involve the local law enforcement in community events
- Organize a neighborhood watch
- Try to remove “crime opportunities”
- Report any troublesome activities or problems
- Start picking up litter and encourage others to do so
- Educate children about the dangers in the neighborhood
- Walk around the block
Also, keep in mind that improving neighborhood safety is an ongoing process. There will be problems, there will be issues, and there will be squabbles. It is all a natural part of life. Some of your neighbors might not be averse to the risks of DIY home security installation and may compromise the safety of their own home, inviting potential burglars into the area. Others might flat-out refuse to comply with anything you have to say. And that is alright, you don’t need to get to everyone. And, as time passes and you and your other neighbors show them the error of their ways by your actions, even the most problematic people may fall in line.
Installing a home security system is a great way to improve your neighborhood safety
The very first thing you may want to do is to install a home security system for your home. It need not be overly expensive or elaborate, you just need that extra layer of security it provides. There are many different types of home security systems, after all, and you can certainly find one that can fit your budget. Even a single home security camera is a lot better than nothing. You will also want to talk to your neighbors about the benefits of home security systems. If a neighborhood has security cameras on every corner, it will be much less attractive to potential criminals. On the other hand, a neighborhood that does not invest in its security might become an enticing target.
Basically, the more security systems in the neighborhood, the greater the safety. And you can be the one that starts the trend.
Immediately report any crime you see
During our lives, we see countless crimes being committed. Most of the time, if a crime does not involve us directly, we may be reluctant to even report it. “Someone else will certainly do it” is a very common sentence these days. But that way of thinking is inherently wrong. All of us need to report every single crime that we see. That is the only way to reliable reduce the crime rate and improve your neighborhood safety. The severity of the crime does not really matter. You want to report any crime, be it petty vandalism, graffiti, or burglary.
Your law enforcement cannot intervene if they don’t know that the crime is happening. The more crimes you report, the more their eye is going to be on their neighborhood. And police presence, despite common beliefs, heavily influences the crime rate in any given neighborhood. Bottom line is, do not assume that someone else will report the crime, or that someone else already did so. Make the call yourself.
Get to know your neighbors
Improving neighborhood safety is a communal thing. That is why it is critical that you get to know your neighbors and that they get to know you. At the very least, you and your neighbors should know each other’s names and phone numbers. Even though you may want to improve the privacy of your home, it is not always a bad thing if a neighbor knows a bit about your home security system. In fact, it is almost always preferable if they do.
You may also want to foster a sense of community within the neighborhood by organizing and attending community events. These events are the best place to get to know your neighbors in a fun and friendly way. Don’t just talk to your neighbors when there are problems to solve, make an active effort to know them at their best, too. To start with, you may want to set a simple goal. Let’s say that your first goal might be to get to know at least ten of your neighbors better.
If you stop to think for a bit, the traditional styles of neighborhoods, where everyone knew each other were the safest places around. These days, those places are few and far between. But with some effort, they can make a comeback. It is all about fostering a community sense and having people realize that the more they know about each other, the safer they will be.
Foster a good relationship with local law enforcement
Aside from getting to know your neighbors better, you should also make an effort of fostering a good relationship with the neighborhood’s law enforcement. Try to invite the members of the local police and fire department to your community events. Many people consider the police to be a “bad presence” but they are anything but. Those brave men and women work to keep you safe and respond to your emergencies. The least you can do is get to know them a bit and share a laugh or two with them.
By creating a positive relationship between the residents of the neighborhood and their law enforcement, the whole area becomes safer. The reason is mutual trust. When you know someone and that someone knows you, they will be at least a tiny bit more effective in dealing with your problems. They might even give you some tips on how to install a home security system! There are few people that know better how criminals bypass security systems than the police, after all.
Organize a neighborhood watch
A neighborhood watch program is an amazing way to improve your neighborhood safety. The program will, at the very least, improve awareness of what is going on in the community. It will also provide valuable crime experience to all of its members, and make them capable of recognizing a crime before it even happens. You can join the national neighborhood watch program, or start your own. At the very least, you may want to join (and invite others to join) a neighborhood safety app.
Another benefit of neighborhood watch programs is that they bring people together and unite them. You will be “fighting” against a common enemy, after all. And nothing brings people together like adversity. And the best part about the neighborhood watch is that you will get to meet like-minded people. Walking together and helping make the neighborhood a safe place might even be one of the things that you look forward to the most!
Remove any crime opportunities that you can
Sometimes, even a small negligence can “invite crime”. Not locking your car, for example, or failing to trim a bush. What you can do is think about your lifestyle and the things you can do to take away any crime opportunities that you can. You may have all sorts of different types of home security cameras within the neighborhood but if there is a bush blocking the way, they are just expensive pieces of electronics. Take some time to think about what you can do, and then expand the same thinking outward. If your neighborhood has frequent similar crimes, you may want to figure out what the root cause is. It is usually something that can be rectified simply by changing a few habits.
Report strange or troublesome activities and problems
Even if you are reporting every crime that you see, are you reporting anything that is out of the ordinary or generally troublesome? For example, most people will not report any junked cars in the street, nor will they report garbage piling up. But these eyesores can easily invite more crime into your neighborhood. They provide an outlook of “no one cares” to the neighborhood. And this is extremely enticing to the criminals.
When you think that “someone ought to do something about it” be the first to act. You are doing your neighborhood a service, no matter how many protests you get. The fact of the matter is that reporting these things will sometimes draw the ire of some of your neighbors. But the fact is that if you do not do anything, and no one else does, your neighborhood’s safety will be compromised.
Clean up your neighborhood
Lastly, you will want to do your best to keep the neighborhood clean. A clean neighborhood deters criminals on its own. It shows that the residents care about their surroundings. And that is the most frightening thing to a potential burglar. Keeping the neighborhood clean is not something you can do on your own, though. What you can do is make sure that everyone knows how important it is. Every now and then, try to arrange a community cleanup and take pride in your neighborhood. Before you know it, more and more people will join these events and your community will be richer for it.
Educate children about the dangers in the neighborhood
No matter how safe your neighborhood might be, it is very important to educate the children on potential dangers. You don’t want them taking anything from strangers, or god forbid following them anywhere. Furthermore, you will want to teach your kids proper conflict resolution, as well as keep an eye on children that might lack this skill. Bullying is a real problem these days, and you want to make sure that you nip it in the bud. Encourage your neighbors to do the same with their kids, too.
Walk around the block
We’ve saved the simplest, and most effective, tip for last. Simply walking around the block can do wonders to improve your neighborhood’s safety. You will be able to meet your neighbors and get to know your neighborhood better at the same time. Don’t be afraid to start a friendly conversation with your neighbors and get to know them. Make it your business to walk around the block and promote neighborhood safety and before you know it, others will follow.
For more information on home security and the best home security systems, browse and explore the Consumer Opinion Guide. We are here to help you make your home and neighborhood as safe as they can possibly be!