Over the past two decades, crime rates in the United States have steadily decreased. According to semiannual 2014 data from the FBI, burglaries dropped 14 percent, motor vehicle thefts fell by nearly six percent, and there was a 5.6-percent decrease in larceny from 2013.
Although those statistics are promising, community members and homeowners need to increase their involvement to maintain lower crime rates. So, what can you do to keep your home (and your neighborhood) safe? Here are some ways to work toward a safer community and become more involved in neighborhood crime prevention.
Know Your Neighbors
Familiarizing yourself with your neighbors is an essential step in ensuring the safety of your neighborhood. Start by getting to know your neighbors—whether they work during the day, whether they have children, and what their general needs are. If you live next to an older couple that stays home, but sometimes needs help, make yourself available when possible. Similarly, if your neighbors have younger children, look out for them.
Additionally, find out how to contact your neighbors when they’re not home in the case of an emergency. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your neighbors if you see anything out of the ordinary or suspicious activity around their homes. On the other hand, feel free to contact your neighbors if you’re not home and you would like someone to check up on your house.
If your neighbors seem like they’re hiding something, background check websites can give you peace of mind. For instance, Go Look Up, a free online information database, provides instant public background checks, arrest records, and mugshots for any person in the United States. Getting to know your neighbors can give you an idea of who is in your neighborhood and reveal any potential red flags.
Update Your Security System
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Taking measures to become involved in your community can help improve neighborhood safety, but one of the surest options is to upgrade your home security system and use it properly. According to 2017 crime statistics from the FBI, three burglaries occur per minute in the United States, totaling 3,757 burglaries per day. However, since burglars tend to skip homes with security systems, upgrading your security system is a great way to keep your home and family safe.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out high-tech smart home surveillance cameras by NewEgg. Many smart home security systems are dust- and water-resistant and provide night vision and Intelligent Video Surveillance (IVS) features. If you’re at work or on vacation, user-friendly live-streaming apps make it easy to watch real-time recordings of what’s happening at your home. And if you forget to turn the lights off, you can use your smart home security system to turn off appliances remotely. To take your security system to the next level, consider investing in smart door locks and video doorbells.
Contact Your Local Police Department
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Don’t hesitate to contact your local police department and express your desire to keep your neighborhood safe. Let your local police department know specific ways they can help improve the safety of your community. For instance, if cars speed through your neighborhood, ask the local police department to install speed radars or increase patrol. If the lack of lighting on your street makes you feel unsafe, ask the department to install more streetlights.
If other homeowners in your neighborhood express the same desire to improve safety, consider working with the department to start your own neighborhood watch program.
Improving neighborhood safety requires community involvement, but it needs to start with someone. Get to know your neighbors, express your priority to improve neighborhood safety, and try implementing some of the ideas mentioned above. Ultimately, increasing community involvement will make your home and neighborhood a safer (and more enjoyable) place to be.