There is a positive side in getting to know your neighbours. And it goes beyond borrowing a cup of sugar. The positive aspect is better safety and security at home.
Your neighbours are the closest to you while you are at home. They are the ones most likely to see or hear suspicious activity or signs that you are in distress.
Building a friendship with your neighbours means they know enough about your habits to notice when things are amiss.
They are more likely to report a suspicious situation at your place and alert the police on your behalf when you are not there. This could be vital in an emergency or robbery when time is of the essence.
Also, circumstances may prevent you from calling for help yourself, says Robyn Farrell, managing director of 1st for Women Insurance Brokers.
High walls and electric fences don’t always help – Get to know your neighbours
Unfortunately, in this era of high walls and electric fencing, we don’t get to see our neighbours. Those days are long gone when we chatted over the fence while pottering around in the garden.
Today, getting to know your neighbours takes a little more time and effort. However, it is time and effort that will prove well spent should you ever find yourself in an emergency.
Knowing your neighbours means that it will be easier for you to spot and report unusual or suspicious activity,
By working together as each other’s eyes and ears, you and your neighbours can do much more to improve security.
How to get your know your neighbours
There are steps you can take to connect with your neighbours and improve security in your street.
Take the time to introduce yourself to them and exchange phone numbers. Give them the number of your home security firm, so they know who to call if you aren’t home.
Make sure you know the contact details of the local SAPS and block watch and place emergency phone numbers by the land line. Everyone should be aware of how vital it is to report suspicious vehicles, persons and activity immediately to the police.
Know your neighbours’ daily routine, when they leave for work and arrive home. What cars they drive and whether or not there are children in the home. Let them know your habits in the same way. You will quickly see if there is strange activity or sounds next door.
How to get your know your neighbours continued
Make sure that you are both familiar with the routines of your domestic workers.
Educate your workers on basic security measures such as not opening the gate for strangers and reporting suspicious activity or people.
Brief your neighbour when you are going away on holiday. However, make sure they don’t share your travel plans with anyone else as this could backfire and make your home a target.
If you know your neighbour well enough you can ask them to regularly collect your post and switch lights on and off to make it appear as though you are home.
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* Nightmare in Hout Bay. Watch the video