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How to Deal With Bad Neighbors: Tips for Safe Living

woman leaning against fence looking at neighbors
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No matter where you live, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to learn how to deal with bad neighbors at some point. Regardless of whether there’s a dispute with those living next door or just a certain level of distrust, it’s important to ensure that your home is protected.

Following a decade of decreasing crime rates overall, crimes surged in American cities beginning in 2020. On average, a home burglary occurs every 15 seconds — most commonly in neighborhoods. Despite these statistics, the vast majority of homeowners take only minimal steps when it comes to securing their homes. Fortunately, there are a number of quick, easy, and affordable things you can do to protect your home and belongings.

How to Deal With Bad Neighbors Tip #1: Install an Alarm System

Alarm systems are a surefire defense against break-ins. In fact, homes with an alarm system installed are around 300% less likely to be burglarized compared to those without one. Oftentimes, would-be criminals are deterred from attempting a burglary by the window and lawn signs placed by most security companies. Many homeowners, however, overlook the effectiveness of alarm systems when trying to learn how to deal with bad neighbors due to the perceived cost. But this can be combated with recent advancements in smart security systems that bridge the gap between affordability and security.

Reinforce Sliding Doors

An all-too-often forgotten weakness when it comes to securing your home, sliding doors are an easily breachable access point. Not only do they feature locks that are easier to pick than those on other doors, but the material they are made of can also be broken with little force. A swift pull backed by a bit of strength can break through the standard locks. Reinforcing these doors with wooden or metal rods can help, but for stronger protection, heavy-duty metal locks that attach to the top or bottom of the door are the way to go. This will give you additional protection where you need it most.

a man installing an indoor home security camera

Buy a Security Camera

Today, most home security systems include cameras, but they can also be purchased separately. Those looking for extra protection or to upgrade their older system can add cameras throughout their home and connect them to their phones for 24-hour monitoring. Having cameras installed can not only help bring criminals to justice but can also deter them from committing a crime in the first place. You’ve likely seen the work of doorbell cameras on social media, showcasing their ability to catch and even scare off “porch pirates”. Other types of cameras both inside and outside your home can give you much-needed peace of mind. Whether you’re worried about bad neighbors or your pets and children being left at home, security cameras are invaluable.

Install Motion Activated Lights

Although a large portion of burglaries happen during the day, there’s still an argument to be made about how lighting deters criminal activities. Motion detectors attached to outdoor lights can not only scare people away but also allow cameras to get a better view of the offender. The sudden light can lead someone to believe someone is home, they’re being recorded, or that surrounding houses may be alerted to their presence. Overall, motion-detection lighting is an easy and convenient way to protect your home.

Ensure Garages and Sheds Are Secured

Due to the nature of garages and sheds, securing them is often an afterthought for many. The truth of the matter is that many valuables are housed in these areas. Unfortunately, criminals are all too aware of this. Things such as lawn care equipment, cars, unused furniture, and items that simply have no place to be stored in the home are at risk. These types of items are likely to be expensive (or just not possible) to replace, making them the perfect target. You can protect these possessions by adding additional or more secure locks, extra lighting, and a camera.

Add a Password to Your Wifi

Physical possessions are not the only thing at risk of being stolen. One thing almost always overlooked by those trying to find out how to deal with bad neighbors is their wifi. Unsecured wifi is notoriously easy to access, leaving your data free for the taking. Hackers, even amateur ones, can connect to your home’s wifi and access your private information as well. This includes things like passwords, financial information, and more that can be used for further harm. They can also use this connection to access, and control, connected devices such as cameras and alarm systems. Make sure that your wifi always has a strong password protecting it that isn’t shared outside of your household.

Avoid Displaying Large Purchases

You’ve likely heard this one before. The box your new flat screen TV came in sitting at your curb can be a magnet for criminals. This lets them know that you not only have a brand new valuable item but that you also likely have other items of interest in your home.

By taking the time to break down your boxes before tossing them out, you can eliminate a lot of that temptation. Obscuring brands and product names on your boxes can go a long way to ensure your latest big purchase isn’t stolen right after bringing it home.

If possible, leave your boxes in your home or garage until right before it’s time for your trash or recycling to be picked up. This prevents someone from having the time to look through your boxes even when you have them obscured. You can also hold onto your boxes and take them to the local trash or recycling center yourself for the most protection.

Change the Locks and Safely Store Spare Keys

Do you know how many people have keys to your home? It may be easy to tally up this number when you’re the one that handed them out, but what if you’ve just bought your home? Do you know who was given a key by the previous owner? More than likely the answer is no.

Neighbors, family members, friends, cleaning services, babysitters, and even builders may have a key that you don’t know about. That’s why it’s important to change or rekey your locks after the sale is finalized and before you move in. You can also take this opportunity to install a more secure lock if needed. When it comes time to hide that spare key outside, do so in a safe and secure area only you know about and can access. A key under the mat, a flower pot, or on top of the door frame are the first places burglars will look.

Use a Safe to Protect Your Most Important Items

Unfortunately, sometimes nothing we do is enough to completely prevent the most brazen thieves from finding their way inside our home. When this happens, it’s simply not reasonable to think everything will be left untouched. However, you can protect your more important and valuable items and paperwork by putting them in a secure, immovable safe. This ensures that the things that matter the most to your family, like family heirlooms, are always secure even if someone manages to break into your home.

Take Additional Precautions When Going on Vacation

Criminals tend to strike homes that appear to be unoccupied most often. If it’s clear that a family has left for an extended period of time, thieves will likely take their chance. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make your home appear as if someone is there even when you’re away.

This includes:

  • Putting lights, radios, TVs, etc. on timers that turn on and off randomly instead of at the same time each day.
  • Asking the post office to hold your mail and reschedule deliveries. You could also have a trusted neighbor, family member, or friend stop by to retrieve your mail each day.
  • Offering the use of your driveway to a trusted neighbor who may be limited in parking space. You can ask that they take your trash cans to and from the curb on trash day in exchange.
  • Asking someone to keep an eye on your home in general and ensuring that your contact information is readily available for any and all emergencies.

These simple steps can make it appear as though someone is home while you enjoy your vacation, providing you with peace of mind.

Protect Your Home Today With Help From ONIT Home

It’s normal to worry about protecting your home and its belongings. Instead of endlessly searching for how to deal with bad neighbors, take a moment to make note of the above tips. This can prevent you from making common home security mistakes and give you the comfort you deserve.

At ONIT Home, we understand just how important home security is to you. That’s why we strive to provide products and technology to customers that actually make a difference in their lives. Contact us today for more information about how we can simplify and conquer your projects with trusted solutions and products. Our team can’t wait to speak with you! Call us right now at 1-833-433-0331 to get started or visit us online.

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