Whereas home security is your responsibility, neighborhood security is the responsibility of everyone who lives there. In this case, one lackadaisical neighbor can place multiple homes at risk. The following are the easiest ways to jeopardize neighborhood security. Please read and make a resolution not to be “that neighbor” who places everyone else’s home in danger.
1. Leave Trashcans Outside
After your garbage has been collected for the week, make every effort to remove it from its place at the curb as soon as possible. Cans left at the curb for an extended period are a good indication that no one is at home. And, of course, burglars read that cue as an invitation to enter.
2. Leave a Security Door Open
Security doors are great for their intended purpose of keeping burglars out and are even useful in warm climates as they can allow for increased ventilation and cooling. Occasionally, I do notice homes where some don’t bother to lock their security doors when they go to work. I know this because, while their front doors are closed, their security doors are wide open. Such sends a signal to burglars that no one is home and that there is little attention being paid to security.
3. Leave Gates Open
Just like security doors, gates are sometimes left open. Instead of being closed and secured with a lock, a person who ignores home security often doesn’t pay attention to this neighborhood security breach, either. A burglar loves an invitation to a side yard or a backyard where he can do his dirty work without being seen by a passerby on the street.
4. The Lights Are On, But…
You know the rest. Outdoor lights left on all day or even interior lights burning throughout the daylight hours are a good sign that no one is at home and that they might even be away for an extended period of time. Whereas one focused on home and neighborhood security will place lights on a timer when on vacation, one who is not may just never turn them off at all.
The reverse is also true when it comes to neighbors leaving town without a lighting plan. A skilled burglar may watch a dark house for a night or two before deciding that the coast is clear enough to stage a break-in. Since they also tend to be greedy, a criminal might also decide to burglarize another home or a car parked nearby before he leaves the area.
5. Leave Papers Piling Up
Newspapers, sales flyers and telephone books that are allowed to pile up on a driveway or porch are a hallmark of bad neighborhood security. Any basic criminal scouting the neighborhood can see that such a home is an easy mark. And if one home is an easy mark, he usually figures there may be a few others in the immediate vicinity.
Avoid Poor Neighborhood Security
You can avoid being a victim of bad neighborhood security by making sure you don’t make any of these mistakes. Sharing this post with your neighbors may also be the politest way to remind them to cut it out if you find them guilty of even a single one of these. You may even want to share a few of these violations at your next neighborhood watch meeting in an effort to get your whole community on the same home security page.