By working to increase your neighborhood’s overall security you may also raise your own security levels at home. We’ve talked to you before about the importance of Neighborhood Watch programs and we’ve also given you tips on how to be a better neighbor so that your home doesn’t become a security problem. What we’d like to talk to you about today, however, are the simple things that you can do in order to individually keep a better watch over your neighborhood.
Be On the Lookout For Traveling Neighbors
When your neighbors take off for vacation, do your best to keep thieves from finding out. Some of the things that you can do include setting your neighbor’s trash cans out on collection days (and returning them after the trash has been collected), not allowing newspapers and flyers to pile up while they are away, and making sure to keep a lookout on their home, in general, just to make sure everything looks the same as it always does. Now this doesn’t mean that you should go peering into windows and creeping about their yard, but just give it a quick once over as you pass during your daily activities. Should anything appear to be unusual, of course, contact your neighbor if possible or call the authorities right away.
Offer to Mow the Lawn
If your neighbor doesn’t have a weekly gardener tending to their lawn, there is a chance that a busy schedule, illness or a physical limitation may prevent them from staying on top of their lawn’s care. Not only is it neighborly to offer a hand, but helping your neighbor keep a tidy lawn also reduces the likelihood of someone breaking into their home. Burglars often look for houses where shrubs and grass are overgrown. These homes send a signal that occupants are too distracted or are otherwise unable to tend to these matters. High grass and shrubs might also provide hiding places to or help camouflage a sneaky thief.
Take a Vacant Home Under Your Wing
Vacant homes are very enticing to thieves looking for a place to stow items or hideout while working. Some criminals even use vacant homes to run scams on others or to engage in other illegal activities. Eliminate this enticement by taking it upon yourself to keep an eye on any vacant homes and reporting suspicious activity right away. If possible, also try to remove trash or flyers that may accumulate while the home is in transition.
Monitor Neighborhood Children
It is no secret that children sometime like to explore and engage in wild adventures. Unfortunately, certain children, particularly teens, will sometimes also push boundaries by partaking in things that they shouldn’t, like burglary and vandalism. Now there’s no need to suspect every young person as being criminally prone and you don’t need to hover over neighborhood kids like they’re up to no good, but it won’t hurt to pay attention to what young people in your neighborhood are doing. Should you witness any illegal behaviors, do your best to find out how to contact a parent and kindly let them know– or contact authorities when you feel it necessary to do so.
Report Unusual Occurrences
While this has been a general theme in all of our posts, it is worth mentioning the importance of reporting suspicious activity each and every time you witness it. We live in a world where people are often too busy to do this or they just don’t want to be involved in reporting crime. Many will even rely on someone else in the neighborhood to do the reporting. Don’t be this person. When you see something out of order, it only takes a minute to make a phone call to local security or to a local police department.
Listen To the Neighbor’s Dog
Incessant dog barking can be a nuisance. If your neighbor’s dog is being that nuisance, realize that there may very well be a good reason for it. Don’t grow so accustomed to hearing these sort of alerts that you become immune to reacting to them. Instead, make a mental note of what time the dog started barking, how long he barked and, if possible, note any other noises that you may have heard around that time. While we strongly advise against entering a neighbor’s yard to find out what’s causing alarm with the dog, just reporting the time and duration of a dog’s barking can help police piece together information useful in catching a criminal if, in fact, it happens that a crime actually took place.
Spread the Word About DIY Home Security
Perhaps the most useful thing that you can do to increase your neighborhood’s security is telling your neighbors about the plethora of devices and gadgets that can help keep a home safe. If you’ve recently purchased a burglar alarm, monitoring service or other security items, be sure to let your neighbors know about it. The average homeowner often feels a need for such items, but may not take the time to research where they can purchase security products until it is too late and their home has already been broken into. Doing your part to keep the neighborhood safe can be just as simple as introducing other homeowners to Home Security Store!