Be a Good Neighbor
Look Out for Each Other
Good neighbors should look out for each other. Get to know your neighbors on each side of your home and the 3 directly across the street. Invite them into your home, communicate often, and establish trust. Good neighbors will watch out for your home or apartment when you are away, if you ask them. They can report suspicious activity to the police or to you while you are away.
Between them, good neighbors can see to it that normal services continue in your absence by allowing vendors to mow your lawn or remove snow. Good neighbors can pick up your mail, newspapers, handbills, and can inspect the outside or inside of your home periodically to see that all is well. Good neighbors will occasionally park in your driveway to give the appearance of occupancy while you are on vacation.
Allowing a neighbor to have a key solves the problem of hiding a key outside the door. Experienced burglars know to look for hidden keys in planter boxes, under doormats, and above the ledge. Requiring a service vendor to see your neighbor to retrieve and return your house key will send the message that someone is watching. This neighborhood watch technique sets up what is called territoriality which means that your neighbors will take ownership and responsibility for what occurs in your mini-neighborhood. This concept works in both single family homes communities and on apartment properties. This practice helps deter burglaries and other crimes in a big way. Of course for this to work, you must reciprocate and offer the same services.
Recap or Being a Good Neighbor
- Get to know all your adjacent neighbors
- Invite them into your home and establish trust
- Agree to watch out for each others home
- Do small tasks for each other to improve territoriality
- While on vacation, pick up newspapers and flyers
- Offer to occasionally park your car in their driveway
- Return the favor and communicate often