Maybe you just moved somewhere new and you want to cover all your home security bases. Maybe your neighbor’s place got broken into, so you’re looking to beef up your own safety solutions.
No matter your reason, we have some suggestions to get you started as soon as you step away from the computer.
How to stay safe at home
These five guidelines will help bolster your safety and make you feel more at home in your neighborhood.
1. Know your neighbors
Get to know those who live around you. Be friendly, introduce yourself, and offer to do neighborly things.
Forming friendships with neighbors is nice in itself. You could unexpectedly find yourself game night competitors or wine night buddies.
But it also means that you have allies—whether you need someone to help during an emergency, babysit your pet, or watch your home while you’re away. Exchange contact info with neighbors who are comfortable with it, and stay connected to see if you can help them too.
2. Protect yourself and your family
Be cautious when walking alone, especially at night. Download self-protection apps like Noonlight, and learn about your phone’s built-in safety features.
And think proactively about your kids’ safety. If you just relocated to an unfamiliar neighborhood, or if your child has a long walk home from the bus stop, consider getting them a GPS wearable.
3. Protect your home
Whether you adopt a vocal dog or install a home security system, it’s worth it to invest in protection for your home. Simply adding a security sign to your yard can deter criminals, but it’s better to get the real thing.
There are plenty of options available, and it’s possible to find a system that works for even the tightest budget.
4. Use common sense
Common sense lays a great foundation for your safety strategies. Here are some free habits for staying safe at home:
- Always lock the door.
- Don’t sleep with the windows open.
- Keep numbers for emergency services on your fridge.
- Double-check that all entrances are locked before turning in.
- Decorate in a way that doesn’t showcase valuables when windows are open.
Here are safety solutions that will cost you a little cash:
- Add a deadbolt to the front door.
- Keep the lights on when you’re not home.
- Reinforce sliding windows and doors with steel rods.
And here are ways to add security that could cost a bit more:
- Take down bushes or trees that could double as hiding spots.
- Add a fence to your yard.
5. Advocate for community resources
How would you describe your neighborhood? If you’re tempted to say it’s a “good neighborhood,” “bad neighborhood,” or “unsafe neighborhood,” pause to pull apart possible biases.
Sometimes a neighborhood is deemed inherently bad or unsafe when the reality is that it’s underserved. Public safety involves much more than detecting crime.
In underserved neighborhoods, people often face under-protection from systemic discrimination, over-enforcement from police, and under-resourced built environments.
If your neighborhood has these disparities, how are you building your community? Consider helping initiatives that provide resources for food justice, mental health, homelessness, addiction recovery, and abuse victims.