It’s easy to get caught up in our own lives, rushing from appointment to appointment, and barely spending time in our own neighborhood except when we’re in our homes, eating or sleeping. But taking a little time to get to know your community, stroll the sidewalks, and meet neighbors can be an important factor in improving your safety. A community that doesn’t communicate or look out for one another is an easy target for burglars, so be the neighborhood that stays in touch. Here is why befriending your community could enhance your safety.
Differentiate residents from strangers
If you get to know who does live in your neighborhood, as well as who their regular visitors are (between friends, family, boyfriends, and girlfriends) then you can also quickly identify when someone doesn’t live there or know someone who lives there. Having a general awareness of who regularly comes and goes from your street will help you notice any suspicious characters who look out of place.
Extra eyes on your child
It never hurts to know the other parents in your neighborhood and have an extra set of eyes on your kid. If your neighbors know your face, and your child’s face, and know that you are your child’s parent, then they will immediately know something is wrong if they see someone other than you putting your child in a car. On a lighter note, they can also just notify you if they saw your child doing anything that could potentially put his safety at risk.
Reduce package theft
When you know your neighbors and they know you, it’s much more difficult for package thieves to walk across your porch unnoticed. The community will know that that individual doesn’t live in your house, and shouldn’t be picking up your boxes.
Discover crime patterns
Being aware of the most common types of crimes in your neighborhood is important in preventing them. But you can’t know about crime patterns if you don’t touch base with your neighbors. Once you get chatting with others, you could learn that it’s quite common for thieves to break into cars parked on the street in your neighborhood. From there, you can know either not park on the street, or at least to park under a bright light.
Help each other in a natural disaster
You can save one another in a natural disaster. Communities that are already close before a natural disaster have the best chance of surviving and thriving once a natural disaster occurs. You can know who has what resources, and you already have a bond so you want to help one another.
Eyes on your home when you travel
When you leave town, wouldn’t it be nice if your neighbors took notice of a strange person lurking around your property? But they’ll only notice that if you’ve introduced yourself, and made them aware of your travel plans.
Getting petitions going
Should you want to petition the city to put in speed bumps, add streetlights, or put up a fence around an area where children play, you’ll need pre-established relationships with your neighbors. If they already know your values and like you as a person, they won’t see you as just another stranger bothering them with a clipboard. Instead, they’ll take an interest in what you’re petitioning about.
Give your kids a safe place to go
It’s important that your children—if you have any—know and are comfortable with your neighbors. That way, if something should ever go wrong and you were unable to help your kids, they would know which houses they could run to.
Be aware of scams
Certain scam artists target certain neighborhoods. Scam artists choose neighborhoods based on all sorts of things like average income and other demographics. If scam artists have hit your neighborhood a few times, you could be next. But you’ll only know to be wary of them if you talk to your neighbors.
Your community can be a great asset in keeping you and your family safe. So, don’t be a hermit who never says hi to your neighbor. Get to know each other so you can help each other.