In fact, the commonly held view that modern society is full of people who hardly even speak to the neighbours, let alone help them out, is blown out of the water by the survey’s results.
40% are ‘really good friends’ with neighbours
Forget streets where social interaction with those living next door might be limited at best to a cursory nod; nearly 40% say they actually consider their neighbours to be really good friends.
Rather than shying away from getting to know those living next door, it would appear we turn to our neighbours for friendship and help without fear of being rejected with disinterest and sullen looks.
It’s a stunning result for a society that many thought had become far too atomised and individualistic.
51% on polite speaking terms
And while some have neighbours they don’t perhaps consider to be best friends, 51% say they are at least on polite speaking terms.
Only a tiny minority, just over 2 in 100, say they don’t actually know or want to know their neighbours
Good neighbours make good security guards… and spare key carriers
Of course, there may be some understandable self-interest at work here; a good neighbour who knows you can make a decent security guard for a home.
The survey backs this up, showing that some 80% would investigate strange noises if they heard them coming from a neighbour’s property, while only 4% say they wouldn’t.
And it’s not only for burglar deterrence that having a neighbour as a friend can be useful.
If you lock yourself out of your home, all you have to do is simply pop next door to get back in; nearly one in three, 30%, say they leave a spare door key with neighbours for emergencies, so trust is clearly high.
Sense over spare keys
In fact, when it comes to where we leave spare keys to help avoid such mishaps, the survey results show Brits to be a pretty sensible bunch.
You might have thought there are plenty of people who simply tuck a set under a stone or bin at the front of the house, but clearly most aren’t so daft.
Only a tiny percentage, less than 1 in 100, leave spare keys under plant pots, door mats or similar easy-to-locate places. Although nearly 4% say they do leave them somewhere in the front or rear garden.
Most commonly, apart from leaving a spare set with neighbours, householders leave keys with parents, siblings and close friends.
But many clearly don’t have to worry about leaving without their keys as some 31% haven’t got a spare front door key at all. While they might not worry about it, unfortunately for these people, accidentally locking themselves out could mean having to smash windows or knock down doors.
For such carefree types, we would suggest adding emergency cover to their home insurance policies. At least they should then be able to get back in quickly, and be covered for any necessary new sets of keys and locks, and damaged entry points that may need mending or re-fitting!