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For the Good of the Group: Neighborhood Safety Tips

24 Jan. 2018 Posted by aadams

Terri Howard, FEI Senior Director

Last week, I was asked to participate in our local neighborhood watch program.

There have been a number of break-ins lately, and the homeowners association was interested
in recruiting additional team members to help keep our neighborhood safe. I agreed, which
got me thinking about practical steps for maintaining the safety and security of our homes
and neighborhood.

This week, I’d like to pass some of these helpful tips on to you. Employees don’t want to worry about home security while they’re at work, after all, and proper precautions and good neighborhood relationships create an environment of safety that benefits all stakeholders.

Secure your home. While this seems obvious, many of my neighbors have not yet invested in a security system or motion detector lighting. These systems have decreased in price and can literally scare danger away. Intruders don’t like cameras, and lights give the impression someone is home.

Lock the doors and windows. Living in Atlanta, I often open windows to allow fresh air
indoors. Remembering to close and lock the windows has become part of my nightly checklist for securing my home. Conducting a weekly perimeter check of your home can also alert you to
potential risks.

Hide the key with a person. If you’re prone to forgetting or losing your keys, don’t hide a spare in your car, in a faux rock or under the doormat; criminals have long known those games. Instead, give a key to a trusted neighbor or friend. These trustworthy individuals are far less likely to simply turn it over to someone who is up to no good – which is what you’re doing when you place it under a mat!

Get others involved/know your neighbors. Do you know your next-door neighbor, or the people that live across the street? Many people are likely to answer “no.” If you don’t have a neighborhood watch program, start one. And if you do? Join it. At the very least, get to know your neighbors. Look out for them and they will look out for you.

If it looks fishy, it probably is. Most of us are creatures of habit. We go to work at the same time, participate in the same activities on the weekend and hang out with the same people. If you see strange activities or individuals in your neighborhood, don’t just close the blinds. Nosy neighbors sometimes make the best neighbors.

When applicable, apply these steps to the workplace. My last two points especially can be applied to your work. Familiarizing yourself with surrounding businesses or office suitemates creates a similar “neighborhood” culture wherein everyone knows everyone else. Additionally, you spend most of your time at work; if something seems amiss, you’ll notice. Don’t shrug away a stranger or questionable activity.

Remember, you know your home better than anyone, and your neighborhood is a collective of individuals who, as a group, can labor on behalf of community-wide safety. Awareness is central to noting the activities of burglars or other ne’er-do-wells seeking to harm you or your neighbors.

Communicate with one another, watch each other’s backs and your neighborhood – or workplace – will be in good hands.

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