We can all talk about why being smart about safety is important, but it’s even more powerful to show your neighbors rather than tell. You must lead by example. Pave the way as a safety crusader for your neighborhood.
Conduct a safety audit of your home and share the results at a neighborhood watch meeting. Be sure to note any upgrades you had to make to door locks or windows.
The more neighbors who have a home security system and display so with a yard sign, the less likely burglars are to target your neighborhood. Talk with neighbors who already have a home security system, compare providers and decide if a monitored home security system is right for you.
If you already have a security system, share its features with neighbors and explain why you think home security is important.
Remove your last name from your mailbox, plant a security sign in your yard, and eliminate safety hazards like overgrown bushes that block the view into your home.
Walk around the block. It sounds simple, but it is a great way to meet neighbors, and get to know your neighborhood while getting a little exercise. Walk at night if you are comfortable doing so, and if not, your neighborhood needs more involvement. Chat with neighbors and kids while walking, they will get to know you too.
Know the names of neighborhood kids and their friends. This can make a profound difference should there be a need for adults and young people to talk to each other in cases of emergency. It is difficult to help form a safe and supportive community for children without the adults and children knowing each other. Even those without children should know to whom the various children in the neighborhood belong. Every adult will be better able to help in an emergency and will be better prepared to discuss problems if they arise.
Make a list of landlords in your area. As owners of property in the community, landlords are responsible to the neighborhood and should be concerned with the health of that neighborhood. You can easily find out the name and address of the owner of the property by contacting your county assessor’s office. They’ll be glad that you are increasing the safety of the neighborhood and the property value of their properties.
Drive slowly through your neighborhood. Stop signs, lights and speed bumps can slow traffic down, but so can you. By regularly driving slowly on neighborhood side streets, you encourage those in a hurry to find another route rather than getting stuck behind a slow poke.
Post signs asking drivers to slow down, and to turn down their bass, if that becomes a problem.
Pick up litter near your home. Even if you didn’t put it there. Most people are less likely to litter where they don’t see litter already. You can help stop littering in your neighborhood by taking away the litter that attracts it. Pet owners should make sure they pick up after their pets.
Little things count too. Turn on porch lights at night. Spend time in your front yard. Stay in one place-long term residents create stability. Offer assistance to a neighbor in need. Ask neighborhood kids for help if you need it-they are always happy to earn a few dollars.
Most of all, be the kind of neighbor you would want to have.
For more information about The ShieldWall Network, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the ShieldWall Network website through the link on the top of the page in the article title.
Paraphrased by Derek Paulson for The ShieldWall Network.