We’ve been in our current house for about three years. We moved out of the city for a good school system, cheaper property taxes, and to have a yard for the kids to play in. We also were looking for a neighborhood where we could meet other families and, of course, feel safe.
We thought we found the perfect place, then there were a bunch of break-ins. No one was hurt, but it was still a scary situation. Luckily, we already had some tools in place in our neighborhood, so I want to share them with you. Robberies or violence can happen anywhere. It’s better to be prepared so your family can feel safe.
Tip #1 Nextdoor
From their website:
Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. It’s the easiest way for you and your neighbors to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world. And it’s free.Thousands of neighborhoods are already using Nextdoor to build happier, safer places to call home…Nextdoor’s mission is to use the power of technology to build stronger and safer neighborhoods.
When we first moved in, I didn’t know any of our neighbors, and we couldn’t really go out with the twins needing to be isolated. I happened upon this website, and signed up. The really cool thing about it is if you’re one of the first ones in your neighborhood, you can set up the borders, pick the address of all your neighbors, then the site will send them postcards telling them where they can sign up. That way, you don’t need to know anyone’s personal information, like email. The website takes care of it for you…for FREE.
By signing up, I got a chance to “meet” our neighbors before even meeting them in person. We introduced ourselves and our families, and actually arranged for play dates. I also found a book club, have been able to advertise rummage sales, and I’ve seen many people find their lost pets.
The best part, when we had the break-ins, everyone was able to communicate with each other, and keep an eye out for each other. It was also the way we set up a meeting to discuss a neighborhood watch…which leads me to tip #2…..BUT, before I get there, if you click-through any of the links to Nextdoor and are the first to sign up in your neighborhood, both you and I will get a $25 Amazon Gift Card once your neighborhood is all set up. How cool is that? So, just click HERE and get started.
Tip#2 Neighborhood Watch
Back to the neighborhood watch….this is a really great way to feel safe in your neighborhood. My neighbor down the street called our local Police department, they gave her a few dates they were available, then she had a meeting at her house. The Police brought everyone signs for their windows, gave us a bunch of great safety tips, and we’ve noticed a greater presence in our neighborhood now too, which is wonderful.
We aren’t going to have regular meetings, but we are all to watch for suspicious cars or activities, and report them immediately. We also alert everyone on our Nextdoor website.
It really got everyone thinking of safety, and also thinking of how we can watch out for each other.
Tip #3 Home Safety
While having an alarm system might offer the best protection or give you the greatest piece of mind, there are other things you can do to keep your house safe.
- Make sure to lock all your doors, even when you’re home.
- Lock your car doors, even when the car is in the garage.
- Lock the door from your garage to the house, even if the garage is down.
- Turn on your porch light at night.
- Get timers for your lights if you will be out-of-town.
- Notify your neighbors if you’ll be out-of-town, and stop your mail (or have someone pick it up.)
- Remember to lock windows too.
Well, those are just some basics to get you started. I think the key is to communicate with your neighbors, and really to look out for each other. Everyone wants to live in the safest possible community, and working together can make this happen more effectively.
How do you keep your neighborhood safe? Do you have a neighborhood watch?
All great tips. I am a little ashamed to say that I really don’t know any of my neighbors (other than to nod hello) and I have lived in my house 10 years! Sad that we have to think of these things for our safety but a necessary evil these days it would seem. Hope you feel safer now in your home.
Dana Peller (@Pellerini) says
We use Next Door as well and it is perfect for communication within the neighborhood. Aside from talking about the neighborhood itself, there are also requests for handymen, people selling items, etc.
Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says
Shortly after I first moved into my house, my brother in law was in my garage one day and my next door neighbor didn’t recognize him (because we had only lived there for a few days) and came running out of his house with a shotgun LOL.
Rachel Mouton says
These are great tips, especially with the holidays around the corner. Crime always goes up around the holidays. Thanks!
Neely (@Neelykins) says
My husband is in securities engineering and keeps our house like a fortress! These are all great tips that we use for sure. I hope everyone reads this!
I grew up in a small very family oriented street (for the most part) in a town where you never heard of anything bad every happening. One morning my brother and I awoke to find the brand new CD players we had just had installed in our cars ripped out and our cars vandalized. We were shocked! The ended up finding the kids who did it but our new installed CD players were trashed beyond repair. When you are 18 and 16, that is pretty devastating to your world.
So thank you for this post! I think sometimes we get so comfortable in our surroundings that we let our guard down. It is always better to be safe!
Inspiration Indulgence says
I feel super safe where I live….we live in a small town and it’s one of those places where nobody locks their door. Still, you just never know what could happen…
In our town people move in and out pretty regularly, the Nextdoor program sounds like a great way for the neighborhood to develop cohesion. We don’t have a neighborhood watch, but our neighbors all keep an eye on each other.
Erica Musyt says
When I was little we had a ‘code word’ to use in case a stranger tried to pick us up. It was a word that only me, my brother and my parents knew. It’s not a bad idea if you have little kids that walk or car-pool to school.
Wow, that NextDoor site is a really great idea! We live in a good area too, but stuff happens anywhere. My car was broken into right in the parking lot of our apartment complex – someone smashed the window. It definitely shakes you up when something happens, so the more prepared you can be the better!
I have heard good things about Next Door. That is wonderful that your community is looking out for each other!
Feeling safe at home is so important! So amazing that there are such good programs out there for free, too!
Thanks for the tips
We don’t have a neighborhood watch but we live in a gated community and we pretty much know the families around us. One thing that can help keep a neighborhood safe is getting outside of your house once in a while. This helps everyone know the familiar faces which should be there. If someone notices someone out of the ordinary it will be a lot more obvious. I love the Nextdoor idea! I am going to check that out asap!
Very cool! We are about 1 week away from completing our escrow and will be moving soon! Safety in our new house is a must. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Nextdoor is a great idea, thanks!
Liz Jo says
Love your tips! I agree about always locking your doors no matter whether your home or not. I wish we were always in a safe neighborhood but it’s not the case. I also wish we had a better neighborhood system.
liz jo @ sundays with sophie
Thank you. Maybe you can start something?
Great tips. So scary to think of someone breaking in.
Yes! Thank you.
tara pittman says
Break ins happen even in the best of neighborhoods. We need to take steps like these to be safe.
thanks for the comment, and love the tips!
You’re welcome, and thank you!
miss (@thedealmatch) says
I signed up with Next-door website last year. I keep getting an email alert, pretty cool
Shannon P says
We use NextDoor and I love it!
Nextdoor sounds like such a useful app. We’ve had a lot of break-ins lately in our neighbourhood (including our home) so it’s good to know things like this are popping up!
Oh no! I hope everything is OK. Definitely check out Nextdoor and maybe start a neighborhood watch.
Great idea to keep the family safe although we don’t have a neighborhood watch. My neighbor are the most watchful people I have every met.
Great tips! It’s definitely scary when something happens close to where you live. We have an alarm system. Even more important though is really good locks. Lots of people overlook these and old locks are so easy to break into. We have a bolt buddy so it’s pretty near impossible to break in, plus shatter proof film on the windows by the doors.
I’ve never heard of bolt buddy, so I’ll have to check that out. Thanks!
Love these suggestions Shann. We live in a tough neighborhood so we’re always on watch. We’ve had a lot of break ins lately so the hubs is thinking about adding a home security, especially since I work from home and most break ins occur in the daytime.
But the ultimate goal is to move as soon as we can into a safer neighborhood. We’ve had enough of the drag races and gun shots. 🙂
Thanks for the tips! Hope you had a great day!
Yikes! That sounds scary. I hope you get to a safer area soon!
Karlyn Cruz says
I always lock my doors. You can never be to safe anymore.
We also have a lot of turn around in our neighborhood. The NextDoor program sounds great! I love how you don’t have to know anyone’s info to invite them.
Exactly! It’s so helpful!
Lindsay Carreiro says
Nice tips! I’m always so scared to be home alone and I always put every damn light on when I am!
Ha! Me too!
Claudette Esterine says
Sounds like an excellent idea and way to live in a ,modern day community.
Amber NElson says
I always lock my doors. I used to live in a huge city so that is a habit of mine.
204 Park says
You can never be too safe! Great post
I have never head of NextDoor, but it seems like a really great site to really know your neighbors. It’s crazy that people don’t know their neighbors. When we go for walks, some people don’t even bother to wave back (unless my toddler is screaming hi! lol). We need to get back to having a village instead of living in such isolation. Of course it needs to be used correctly without people overstepping their boundaries! Great post. I will definitely be trying NextDoor!
Exactly. I agree. I always make it a point to say hello to people as we’re walking in the neighborhood.
Stella Chiu (@stellachiu97) says
We live in nice neighborhood. We have alarm system installed so that the situation is not that scared. But we can never be too safe. Will look into NextDoor.
Thanks for the post.
Great. Thank you!
Justine Y @ Little Dove Creations says
These are great tips. I grew up in a somewhat larger city area, and our house was on a busy street. We ALWAYS locked our front door when we were home growing up, it just made sense to me, after all, the people in the house are probably the one thing you can’t replace if someone broke in, right? I feel like a lot of my peers think I’m way too cautious, but I just want to keep my family safe!
Exactly. I’d rather be safe than sorry.
Its so important to feel safe when your at home. We always lock the door and the window when were sleeping because we don’t have a boys in our house.
Elizabeth O. says
I’ve never heard of Nextdoor before but it sounds really cool. It’s going to contribute a lot to safety, definitely.
Yes. Thank you!
Dina Farmer says
I’ve never heard of Next Door but now I’ll be using it for sure! Thanks for this Shann!
Awesome! You’re welcome…and thank you!
I love living in a community where everyone looks out for each other! The area I am in is the complete opposite, but one can dream 🙂
Maybe you can start your own Nextdoor site and get people together?
Liz Mays says
People keep to themselves a lot more these days, so it’s wonderful to see things like this happening. It’s a good idea to look out for each other.
Yes, I agree.
cindy calzone says
A bunch of cars were broken into in my neighborhood a few months ago. It’s not a good feeling when your usually safe area gets hit with crime. Good tips here! Thanks for sharing!
Not a good feeling at all. Thank you for reading!
This is the first time I heard about NextDoor. I always lock the door, especially when I’m home alone.
It’s really a great site. I highly recommend it 🙂
Stacey @ Stacey Homemaker says
I’ve never heard of that program before but I’m definitely going to check it out! It sounds like a great idea! Thanks for the heads up!
It’s awesome. Thanks for checking it out and for stopping by the blog. I appreciate it. 🙂
Caroline @ In Due Time says
Guilty! We need to be better about locking our doors! Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome! Thanks for reading!
Lisa Nolan says
Oh, my, important tips! We had neighbors who were robbed. We have a big, loud Lab, she’ll scare any bad guys away, day or night! NextDoor sounds like a great alternative!
Yes, it’s a great site! 🙂
These are all excellent tips. We have a camera system that is the greatest peace of mind I could ask for. Just knowing that no matter what, we can see what’s going on (who’s at the door, what the dogs are barking at, etc.) without having to expose ourselves or let anyone know we’re home, as well as knowing that if anything DOES happen it’s recorded, is the biggest relief to me. It’s lowered my stress exponentially!
That is such a great idea. Any ways to lower anxiety are a must.
Stephany Tullis says
Thanks for sharing–and the reminders. Sometimes I’m careless too!
We all are. That’s why it’s great if your neighbors can look out for you too 🙂
Jason Young says
I really like to concept of Nextdoor. The future of social media is small networks that have a certain niche. This will be a success for sure.
Audrey@That Recipe says
We set up a neighborhood watch this past year after our community mailbox was broken into. It was the last straw for many of us, after a rash of car break ins and other incidents.
The officer that led our meeting assured us they want us to call if anything looks remotely suspicious, like the odd motor home that has been parked in the neighborhood, but doesn’t belong to any of us or anyone visiting us. The police questioned them and allegedly they “broke down” (yet it has moved several times?) , they gave them two days to get out of the neighborhood. And we haven’t seen it back since. #HomeMattersParty
That’s great that you set up a neighborhood watch. It’s seems to have worked for our neighborhood as well.
Enzie Shahmiri says
I think every neighborhood needs a neighborhood watch and it’s good to know ones neighbours.
Great tips!! We use the NextDoor app in our neighborhood, since there isn’t a neighborhood watch. Living in the mountains though, and having amazing neighbors, we all just look out for each other – so it’s great!! #HomeMattersParty
Good tips. That neighborhood website sounds like a great idea.
Once again – it’s great to be co-hosting the #HomeMattersParty with you!
I love the tips and will be checking out nextdoor as soon as possible. We had a neighborhood watch but like yours we just watch out for each other. I think nextdoor would make it easier to do that. #HomeMattersParty
Great tips! We moved from San Diego, CA to a smaller town in central Oregon, but we still have think about safety even though it “feels” so much safer. It’s been fun co-hosting with you at the #HomeMattersParty
We have camera’s installed around the house by our home owner which a great plus regards to safety.I haven’t heard about nextdoor should check that. It’s great to be co-hosting with you.