I have been living in the same suburban area since I was five years old. As some people would put it, it’s where my roots grew and ran deep. While my peers could not wait until they turned 18 to move to the city, I decided to enter a nearby state university and open a business here afterward. I loved the neighborhood so much that I bought a house next to my childhood home when I got married and had kids.
Safety-wise, there was not much to say about it. I have lived here for over 30 years, but I have never seen anyone get ran over by a car, caught due to drug possession or illegal gambling, or at least called out publicly for trivial reasons. The most intense scene I witnessed so far was when my mother vetoed a “slow down” sign in front of her yard. She said, “How could the passersby see my beautiful plants if that sign was there?”
But despite the peacefulness of a small community, I am aware that danger can still be lurking everywhere. After all, we do not live in a gated village where people need to pass through guards and get in through the residents’ invitations. It is your typical neighborhood on the outskirts of the city that anyone can go to any time. Hence, I enforced a few measures to guarantee my family’s safety.
Install Multiple Locks On Doors And Windows
The easiest thing to do is install deadbolts on my front and back doors. I am not talking about one but two new deadbolts for each entry. Aside from those, there are also regular locks and latches attached to them. Then I had grills installed on the exterior side of the windows.
Is that too much? Perhaps, yes, but it should be understandable, especially when your goal is to keep your family safe. Even if burglars break the window, they cannot pass through the grills. If they try the doors, the multiple locks will prevent them from going in, too.
Chauffer Kids Everywhere
Did you know that more than 800,000 kids go missing in the U.S. annually? I found out about it one night when my wife and I read about the possible dangers of sending our children to school. Of course, we could not let them stay at home forever, so we decided to take turns chauffeuring them wherever they needed to be until they were old enough to drive.
Now, it does not mean that our neighbors or the school bus drivers are not trustworthy. We all live in a single area, so we are friends with everyone. The people we don’t trust are the ones who merely pass by the neighborhood. Not to sound cynical or anything, but who knows when lawless individuals come to town and take any kid they see?
Let The Children Play Where You Can See Them
My kids were fortunate to live in a block with at least ten other children. Their moms and my wife maintain a chatroom where they plan playdates at the park or someone’s house. That’s when they also decide which parents will be looking after the kids while they are playing.
I have been on-board with this scheme ever since I learned about it. It ensures that the children will always be supervised by adults who treat them like their own. Because of that, none of us need to worry about leaving our kids to an underaged babysitter who cannot protect them during an emergency.
Put Everyone—Including Yourself—On A Curfew
Every night, all the doors at home are already locked at 9 P.M. sharp. The children can stay up until 11 o’clock on Friday and Saturday nights, and we can go out with friends and family for dinner, but everyone must be inside the house before that time.
I know that a curfew seems a little too strict or old-fashioned for some folks’ taste, but we need to ensure our safety. After all, many accidents occur at night, and the best way to avoid them is by going home early and staying there until the sun rises. This rule applies to every member of my household, including me.
I have always heard people claim that accidents are unavoidable when they are meant to happen. It may be true—I believe in fate, too—but it is not a reason to try everything to avoid experiencing them. That is especially necessary when it is not only your life that may be in danger but also your family’s. I do not know what I will do if I go to work one day and then get a call about my wife or children being in real trouble in our community due to my overly trusting attitude.
Follow every tip mentioned above to keep your family safe in your neighborhood as well. Good luck!