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?