Feeling safe in your apartment is priceless to your comfort and peace of mind. However, it is also important to feel safe outside your home. There’s a good chance you’ll be spending a lot of time in your neighborhood, and a little research and preventative action can go a long way toward keeping you safe.
- Learn about the area. There are several ways you can educate yourself about your neighborhood. If you’re brand new to the area, talk to your neighbors to hear about their experiences. You can also talk to local law enforcement about the most common crimes and specific tips on staying safe. Websites such as www.spotcrime.com and www.everyblock.com have crime registered by type and location for different areas. You can also use the national sex offender registry, www.nsopr.gov to see if there are any registered sex offenders living near your home. Data such as economic status, population and income levels of the residents can also be helpful to gain a better understanding of the neighborhoods.
- Invest in your neighborhood. Studies have shown run down neighborhoods are much more likely to experience crime than well-maintained neighborhoods. Signs of neglect in streets, buildings and other property show a lack of community interest, which enables crime. Talk to local officials about the upkeep of your neighborhood, as well as their policies on stopping crime. A well-kept neighborhood not only looks better, but it is also much safer for those who reside there. Involving the residents in the community, especially youth, can also have a large impact on the level of crime.
- Start a neighborhood watch program. Neighborhood watch programs are an effective way to have residents look out for each other and keep everyone informed. Those that live in the neighborhood know when something is off or seems suspicious. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, over 50%of studied Neighborhood Watch programs were effective in reducing crime. Neighbors can also help look after your home while you are on vacation, or even out running errands.
- Stay alert. No matter how safe you feel in your neighborhood, crime can happen anywhere. It’s always better to be safe and stay aware of your surroundings, even when you feel comfortable in the area. Put away any distractions when walking alone, especially at night. According to OnlineCollege.org, only 2% of people can effectively multitask, so if you are listening to music or texting on your phone, you will not be aware in case of an emergency or imminent danger. You will also be more susceptible to scams and theft if you have your smart phone, iPod or other gadgets out while walking through your neighborhood.
- Practice safe habits. Trust your instincts. Avoid walking alone at night and always make sure someone knows where you are. These easy precautions help increase your safety awareness and guide smart decision-making. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and better to be impolite than unsafe. Be wary of how much information you offer about yourself to strangers. From one simple conversation, someone could learn where you live and when you are away or home alone. You don’t need to be fearful, but be cautious about what you say and do when out around the neighborhood.
Staying safe can be simple, as long as you stay informed about your surroundings and practice safe behavior. Everyone deserves to feel safe at the place they call home, and your neighborhood should feel just as safe and secure for you too.
This was a guest post by Stephanie Yang from SafeMart.com.
SafeMart® has redefined home security. Delivering revolutionary protection and peace of mind, SafeMart delights customers across the country. The company leads the industry with its interactive Plug & Protect® wireless alarm system that empowers customers with cutting edge protection and control. SafeMart provides unbeatable value and exceptional service with its award-winning LiveWatch alarm monitoring service. The company (a division of LiveWatch Security, LLC) is the most recommended security company in America. Recently, it was named the #1 Wireless Security Company in America, #1 Alarm Monitoring Company in America and won a national award for e-Commerce Customer Service.