10 Tips for Keeping Our Neighborhoods Safe

Terry Zellar, REALTOR Author - Terry Zellar

Here are 10 tips for keeping your neighborhood safe. It’s difficult for crime to get a foothold in communities where the following is in place:

You’ve finally purchased the home of our dreams in a neighborhood you’re excited to move into. Owning a home is part of living the American dream, a live-in trophy for all your hard work. You maintain it and care for it, cutting the lawn weekly, washing windows in the spring and fixing any leaks that may spring up.

Part of caring for our home includes caring for the neighborhood too. It means connecting with neighbors and knowing your children’s friends and their families. Being social is the first step in continuing to keep your new neighborhood safe. Get involved!

Here are 10 tips for keeping your neighborhood safe.  It’s difficult for crime to get a foothold in communities where the following is in place:

  1. Neighborhood Gatherings: Throw a neighborhood party! Organize a chili cook-off in fall, luminary fundraisers in the winter, bike rallies in spring and pool parties in the summer. Neighbors who play together, know each other and communicate about anything that might be suspect. 
  2. Beautify your space: Keep a well-maintained yard because homes with gardens and planters tell strangers that the people care. Open lots, and public parks can be fixed up with a little teamwork which will send a clear message to outsiders that you are invested in your community. Pride of place goes a long way to deter crime.
  3. Download notifications: There are apps such as Neighbourhood Watch and Neighborhood Crime Watch which allow you the communication of emergency alerts, crime alerts, sex offender alerts, severe weather tips, and much more. You can also upload photos, videos, and information about suspicious activity in your neighborhood, which is shared with neighbors.
  4. Neighborhood Watch: Join your local Neighborhood Watch. If there isn’t one in your community, start it! There’s also a Dog Walker Watch you can participate with or bring to your community. These organizations provide tips and work with law enforcement to teach you how to keep your neighborhood safe.
  5. Welcome Police: Invite the police to patrol your community if you are having issues with speeders, make them feel welcome with a wave when you see them pass by. Keep them abreast of any suspicious activity.
  6. Play outside: Encourage outdoor activities, so there are always people outside in your neighborhood. A hive of activity will deter anyone looking to do something on the sly.
  7. Improve lighting: Consider lobbying to bring streetlights into your region if you don’t have them already. Keeping the area lit up makes it more difficult for someone to get away with illegal acts without being seen
  8. Secure your home: Do your part to make theft and vandalism unpalatable to criminals. Keep the exterior lights on, install a security system, and if you travel, ensure a neighbor watches your house, picks up mail and newspapers, so it appears you’re still at home. Keep your curtains and windows closed at night
  9. Teach your children: Walk the neighborhood with them to discuss boundaries, safety, and suspicious activity. Children can offer watchful eyes and ears too while at bus stops or playing with their friends. Let them know they should report anything suspicious to you and/or a safe adult. Define clearly who a safe adult is to you.
  10. Be an example: Treat your neighbors with respect. Proactively participate in your community and resolve conflicts with patience and communication. Encourage your children to do the same and have zero tolerance for bullying. Promote peaceful negotiations between friends and neighbors.

These are our tips for keeping your neighborhood safe.  If you’re looking to relocate into a different neighborhood, we’d be happy to help!  Let us know what type of home and area you’re looking at, and we’ll let you know when something matching your description becomes available.