Safety is paramount when you're looking for a new place to live. Look for these features and characteristics in a location.
Upkeep and maintenance
Take a look at how the community maintains its surroundings. Vandalism, graffiti, rundown houses, overgrown parks and lawns, and unkempt public spaces are warning signs. If the residents and local authorities look after the locale's general wellbeing, taking into account its aesthetic features, infrastructure, and cleanliness, it follows that safety is, likewise, of paramount importance to this community.
The streets should be well-lit. Visit the area at night to check whether there are ample street lights, especially on the way to your home.
Safety should also consider traffic in the area. Check the speed limit in your neighborhood and keep your eyes peeled for speed bumps, road signs, and traffic lights where needed. Look for ample and well-maintained sidewalks for pedestrian safety.
Gated communities and subdivisions provide security personnel at the entrances and exits. Talk to the personnel about their entrance policies (asking each entrant for an ID, for instance), security features (such as the use of surveillance cameras), and curfew, if any.
Ask the local authorities whether they provide roaming security presence, especially at night. Look for guard houses or security outposts and check whether they are staffed round the clock.
Low crime rate
Research the crime rate in the area on the news. Speak to the residents or the homeowners' association. Ask the local authorities at the town hall whether there are safety concerns in the area.
Approach the local authorities or the homeowners association about an evacuation plan in case of an earthquake, fire, or flood.