Make formal introductions
Getting to know your neighbors is the first step in making any home safer. “Neighbors are an invaluable resource that can be used in times of trouble,” says Sarah Brown, a community safety expert in Utah for SafeWise.com, an online safety resource. “From keeping a spare key at a neighbor’s to finding refuge in the event of a burglary or home fire, befriending the people around you could end up saving your life.” The stereotypical movie scene of neighbors bringing cookies over to the new family in the area isn’t necessarily the norm, says Brown. “When you first move into a new neighborhood, take the initiative to meet your new neighbors. You don’t need to take a plate of cookies with you, but bringing a nice treat goes a long way toward showing that you’re invested in creating a new friendship.” You can also ask your real estate agent to send a postcard to the neighbors telling them a bit about you as incoming residents and welcoming them to make connections with you. (Here’s what one family learned about their neighbors when they left their keys in the ignition of their truck.) It’s also important that you trust the brands you use. These are the most trusted brands in America.
Get out there
Take part in activities in your neighborhood so you can meet the people who live there. “Participate in neighborhood block parties, yard sales, trick or treating, holiday cookie exchanges, or other community events and activities,” suggests Charilyn Cowan, associated broker with McEnearney Associates in McLean, Virginia. “If they don’t exist, canvass neighbors to gauge interest in starting new traditions or reviving old ones.” Here are signs you’re a good neighbor to others.