As metropolitan populations expand and more people fill inner-city apartment blocks, it’s surprising that more people don’t know their neighbours. Longer working hours and a desire for privacy have resulted in many people not getting a chance to know their next-door neighbours at all.
With so much crime regularly reported in the media, many of us may fear and mistrust people in our own neighbourhoods. Maintaining good relationships with neighbours is vital, delivering a range of benefits for individuals and the surrounding residents. For one, it helps build a sense of community at a time when many people, particularly the vulnerable and the elderly feel lonely and isolated. Vigilant neighbours can also help keep an eye on your home while you’re away which may help reduce the risk of your home being burgled.
The following tips can help homeowners foster good relations with neighbours and ensure the neighbourhood becomes a little more secure.
- Introduce yourself to your neighbours and make a special effort to get to know the older residents in your street or anyone who lives alone. Be aware of who may need additional assistance in case of an incident.
- Organise a street party to help get to know your neighbours. This can be particularly fun if there are lots of kids in the street.
- For those living in an apartment block, try organising a barbecue on the common area. Use the foyer message board to spread the word about social activities and attend building meetings to meet other residents. Coordinate a street garage sale, inviting your neighbours to contribute goods.
- Join other parents when walking your children to school or catch the bus with them; it’s a great way to meet other local families.
- If you have a home alarm system, tell your neighbours so they know what to do if they hear it. If your alarm system is monitored, explain that you have a response company on alert and should the alarm go off they should not risk their own safety by investigating, but instead wait until the response team arrives. Exchange phone numbers for use in an emergency if you feel comfortable doing so.
- If you see that your neighbour’s garbage bins have been left out long after rubbish collection time, move them to a less conspicuous place so it looks like they are at home.
While having good neighbours can enhance feelings of safety, ADT Security reminds home owners there is no substitute for locking up, installing an alarm and taking other security measures.
For more home security tips visit the ADT Security website – www.adtsecurity.com.au