Do you know your neighbors?

by Rick Overholt on February 9, 2015

How well do you know your neighbors? Are you on a first-name basis with the people living to your right and left or across the street? These days, it seems that many folks are “friends” with more people in online social media than they are with their actual neighbors. That’s a shame, because the more connected we are with one another, the better we can protect ourselves and our property against criminals interested in targeting peaceful communities.

In an effort to boost ties between neighbors with a modern twist, Nextdoor is now helping people set up private social networks for their neighborhoods. Some 49,000 U.S. neighborhoods use Nextdoor to keep up with what’s going on in their neck of the woods.

Nextdoor has built-in privacy features to keep your information safe while you interact with the people living in your neighborhood. You can check to see if someone has already started a network where you reside, or become a founding member and invite your neighbors to join with you.

This looks like a great way to meet your neighbors and keep up with what they’re doing. You can also learn more about things going on in your neighborhood, particularly suspicious activities or outright cases of vandalism, burglaries and other crimes.

Nextdoor isn’t just about boosting home security. People use it to sell or give away items they no longer need, hold online discussions about pressing neighborhood issues, make recommendations about local businesses and keep neighbors informed about upcoming events in the local area. Nextdoor asks people to use their real names and to present themselves honestly, which are the building blocks of friendship and cooperation.

You access Nextdoor using a browser on your computer or with the Nextdoor app on your Android or Apple mobile device. Imagine seeing an unfamiliar vehicle slowly cruising through your streets, but never seeming to stop or do anything. Is it a burglar casing out the area? You can post your observations and see if anyone else has noticed people or things that look out of place.

Maybe one of your neighbors will be out of town for a week, and would like others to keep tabs on the property. When they’re in your Nextdoor social network, you’ll easily see the request and can quickly act as another pair of eyes to help keep things safe and secure.

Another interesting aspect of Nextdoor is how it lets you connect with public agencies. This lets local and national public safety entities put up timely posts, such as updates on crime stats or to coordinate activities during a disaster.

At OMNI Fire and Security, we applaud such efforts to strengthen ties in our neighborhoods. Encouraging neighbors to stay in touch and keep an eye out for one another is more important than ever. If you have additional safety concerns and would like to learn about protecting your home with a state-of-the art security or fire alarm system, please contact us today for a free consultation or to set up an appointment.

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