Considering the fact that societies today are organized into neighborhoods and communities, it’s safe to assume that your home is flanked by other homes. Naturally, this means that you have neighbors.  Human beings have been living in makeshift societies for many, many thousands of years now. At a certain point in time, we realized the importance of living in communities due to the many benefits it provided. One of those benefits was the realization that there is safety in numbers.

While we may no longer live out in the open where the elements, predators, and other clans constitute threats to our collective survival, there are still dangers that we need to be aware of. One of the most pervasive threats to our safety, both personal and for our possessions is burglary.

According to statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a burglary takes place every 13 seconds in the United States. According to The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, a burglary is defined as ‘the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft.’

Here’s how you can reduce the chances of not only your home becoming the site of a burglary, but your neighbor’s home, too.

Neighborhood Watch

A neighborhood watch is essentially a group of citizens belonging to a particular community who come together with the aim of preventing crime in their neighborhood. This crime prevention scheme involves members of a community coming together to patrol the streets and watch out for each other’s properties.

This is an excellent example of when neighbors come together and collectively undertake the responsibility to be vigilant on behalf of the community. There’s an age old saying that goes ‘two eyes are better than one’. A neighborhood watch employs all available eyes to ensure, as far as possible, that no leaf stirs without the knowledge of the whole community.

The communities which have active neighborhood watch schemes also put up signs to indicate that the particular neighborhood is being patrolled and monitored. This is intended to act as a further deterrent to criminals by making them aware of the fact that patrols are out in this area.

Rest Easy on Vacation

Statistics show that many burglaries take place when the home is empty for a long stretch of time, such as when you go off on vacation. Studies have been carried out in which it was found that burglars would actually watch homes and try to determine whether the family in question was off on vacation before deciding to break in.

The eyes of a Burglar Are Well-Trained to spot tell-tale signs of an empty home. Here’s what they may look for:

• Unkempt lawn.

• Piles of newspapers on the driveway.

• Mail unattended on the porch or in the mailbox.

• No lights.

• A general appearance of a place which hasn’t been cleaned in a while, especially from the outside.

If you or your neighbors are planning to go off on vacation, here’s how you can help each other out and reduce the risk of your home being vandalized or broken into:

• Pick up each other’s newspapers and mail.

• Make sure the lights are on, especially at night.

• Keep the exterior looking clean.

• Put the sprinklers on and water all plants.

• Mow the lawn.

• Park one of your cars in the others’ driveway to make the home look inhabited.

In addition to all of these steps, you can also offer to be extra vigilant by keeping a close eye on each other’s properties.

Surveillance Options

Another method to deter any sort of criminal activity in and around your property is by Installing Surveillance Cameras. Any would-be burglar is going to be highly put-off by the sight of an ominous camera watching their every move.

Speak to your neighbor, provided that you trust them thoroughly, about installing cameras in all the most strategic points around both of your homes. This will ensure that both your properties are less likely to become the site of a burglary.

One of the many benefits of living in a community or neighborhood is added safety. As the saying goes, there’s safety in numbers. By working together as a community, especially with your neighbors, you can come up with a number of steps that can increase the safety of your neighborhood. Furthermore, since many burglars have admitted to scouting potential targets beforehand, sustained efforts on your part to actively reduce the likelihood of crime in your neighborhood may make your community an undesirable place for criminals to commit any crimes.