Know Your Neighbors Tips

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Do you know your local police officers?

Your Street Is A Cop's Beat

Getting to know your local police officers patrolling the neighborhood is another great way to improve your home security. By having a good relationship with these officers you can communicate concerns with law enforcement more effectively.

As someone peace officers recognize rather than just another face in the neighborhood, your family and home will become more noticeable to them. This means that they might be more attuned to irregular activity around your home.

Let them get to know your children as well (what school they go to, their ages, who their friends in the neighborhood are, etc.). Anything you can do to improve child safety inside and outside your home important.

In the case of an alarm being triggered at your house, the police knowing who you are and where your house is exactly can cut down on response time. This improves the chances of a burglar being caught or a family member being rescued from a fire or other incident.

When a criminal sees that the community has a good relationship with the police department warning signals go off in their heads. A neighborhood watch and community members with strong ties to the local police, plus home security systems, equals a bad ending for burglars … and they know it.

What should I do if I notice someone suspicious in the neighborhood?

Suspicious Activity In The Neighborhood

Let other people in your neighborhood know whenever you see a stranger acting suspicious, and ask them to do the same. If there is someone you do not recognize hanging around a house in the area or talking to local children, communicating with your neighbors may prevent a crime.

By informing each other of things that seem out of the ordinary you can help each other to protect the community. Being aware of what goes on around you makes it easier to keep the safety of you and your family a priority. If neighbors are also concerned for the welfare of one another your home security is stronger.

Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Keep in regular contact with neighbors, and not just the ones next door
  • Ask them to check in on your children if you are not home and offer to do the same for them.
  • Share any neighborhood concerns you have with them so you can come up with ways to create a safe community for your families.

Is there a tenant association in your building?

Tenant Associations

The benefit of knowing your neighbors does not just apply to houses in the suburbs. Apartment buildings are their own kind of neighborhood. Get to know the people that live in your building.

If there is a tenant association that is a perfect place to start. It is similar to a local neighborhood watch. Join the group and start attending their meetings. If there is no such organization, talk to your neighbors about starting one.

Groups like this help people living in condos and apartment buildings maintain safe communities. When you know the people that live in your building it is easy to spot people who do not. Recognizing strangers in the building can prevent break-ins and other criminal activity.

Unless you recognize someone as a resident, do not let the person into your building. Letting unauthorized people through the door can often lead to burglaries, vandalism and more. If access to your building is not secure, talk to your landlord about getting this resolved with stronger locks and reinforced glass or steel doors.

Home alarm services for apartments are very effective, and alarm companies may provide a discount if multiple people in the same building order systems. This can net you a discount on renter's insurance and improve security at the same time.

How can I work with my neighbors to improve security?

Communicating With Neighbors

By getting to know your neighbors and their routines, and them doing the same for you, a lot of valuable information can be learned. If you become familiar with each other's basic schedules and routines, irregularities become more glaring.

Seeing a strange car in a neighbor's driveway when you know they are not home, or a door or window open when it should not be, could be a sign of something suspicious. Noticing things that are out of place is the most common way for a member of the neighborhood to help local law enforcement stop crimes before anyone gets hurt.

If something seems suspicious it is better to be safe than sorry. Communicating with your neighbors keeps everyone safer. Have a cell phone number for neighbors and call them if you notice anything unusual around their house while they are away. Ask them to do the same for you.

If you cannot get in touch with them you can always ask your local police to do an extra run through the area to make sure security is not compromised.

Where should I leave a spare key to the house?

Spare Me ... A Key

Everyone has one of those days where the brain and body seem to be detached and you lose your keys or lock them inside your car. It happens. Some people hide a spare key outside their house somewhere, but this leaves the possibility of the wrong person finding it.

The best thing to do is give a spare key to a trusted neighbor or member of the local neighborhood watch. It is better to leave a key to your home in a secured place like a neighbor's house rather than under a welcome mat in front of your door … unless you want a burglar to feel welcome.

Another option would be to leave an extra key inside your car. Assuming you are not locked out of your car as well, you can grab the key from the glove compartment and go right in. This eliminates the possibility of someone finding your key in an unsecured location and using it to enter your house and clean you out.

Whichever route you take, getting to know your neighbors and being comfortable with leaving them a spare can help avoid a lot of headaches. Everything from losing your keys to emergency situations when you need them to get into your house can be made much easier.

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Kristle Jones