Be Safer, Leave a Light On

South Orange Trustee Michael Goldberg has a very simple idea that he feels will make South Orange safer. Leave your porch light on at night.

Back in October, Trustee Goldberg and South Orange Police Chief Chelel were invited to go on a “Light Walk” by Seton Hall University SGA president Melissa Boege. The purpose of the walk was to show Goldberg and the Chief what the streets surrounding the university look like to students. Goldberg was struck by the lack of light.

From his blog, Goldberg states, “The most glaring issue I noticed was the huge number of homes that did not bother to simply have a porch light turned on outside. In all neighborhoods, especially where the homes are relatively close to the street, the light provided by porch lights makes an enormous difference in the perceived (and real) safety of the area. We all love the gaslights in South Orange, but everyone knows that they provide limited light, resulting in dark sidewalks…”

Goldberg has even gone as far to start a Facebook page called “Light the Night” and is urging everyone in South Orange to ‘like’ it. He has posted on Maplewood Online about saying “I urge you all to “Like” the page and help spread the word to your friends and neighbors, in order to improve the safety both for our homes and pedestrians walking along our sidewalks.”

Baristaville’s other gas lit town, Glen Ridge, is also quite dark at night, charming though it might be. GR and SO residents, do you routinely leave your porch lights on at night or do you feel it spoils the mood?

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  1. The section of South Orange that shares its boundry with Newark is so-so.
    The remainder seemingly is safer than Montclair for sure. Too many people in S.O. leave their cars & trucks out all night in their driveways, and thouse are the cars that get stolen. In garages that does not happen. Guns & knives in attacks are few. Ditto in Maplewood, but again, the highest police reports center around the area of Maplewood that shares boundry with Irvington.
    Home invasions are growing in THAT area, and the market for BMWs & Mercedes makes that area a fabulous “shopping area” for them. Garages are filled with junk and $85,000 BMW 7-Series Supercharged sedans live in the driveways all night long. Owners get paid from insurace and our rates climb. At least 4 are reported every week in their town’s newspaper.

  2. You seem to focus on the victims of crime Sandy, rather than the perpetrators. As if their duty is to have suitably junk-less garages with which to protect their cars so that YOUR rates don’t go up.

    Their settlements and coverage are frankly none of your concern.

  3. Not that it addresses the point made here, but I recently had my exterior garage floodlights connected to a motion detector device – cost about $20 at Home Depot and installed in just a few minutes by a handyman. Makes ME feel a lot safer. And uses very little energy since they are set to go off 5 minutes after the motion ends.

  4. I leave a porch light and a side door light on all night, and have been for years. Most of the homes on my street leave porch lights on.

    I’ve converted my garage to accomodate up to 12 illegal workers who pay me $20 a night for the warm space, a porta potty and access to 3 vending machines I’ve placed there for their convenience.


  5. Glen Ridge Police have asked residents to leave porch lights on and have
    motion sensitive rear yard lights as well. The gas lamps throw piddling light. But it’s disconcerting when your own or your neighbor’s yards flash on and off for no apparent reason.

  6. I trust, Mellon, that you have decided not to install a smoke alarm in said garage.
    Bravo for manifesting a proud and mighty defiance in the face of the usurping and socialist nanny state.
    After all, who are they to tell you what to do with your own garage, anyhow?

  7. You seem to focus on the victims of crime Sandy, rather than the perpetrators


    Their settlements and coverage are frankly none of your concern

    oh yes they most certainly are ss i oen property neear there, and crime is growing in that immediatr area juming over from drug-infested Irvington.

    The police havbe listed some common sence guidlines for homeowners:

    LOCK DOORS, do not leave bikes outdoors, put cars in your garage, shut & lock garage, purchae & use windoe locks, put anti push-in brackets under window 1st floor air conditionrs, inform trusted neighbors to keep watch when going away and/or the police.
    Think of what you stated, that I care more about the Perps than the homeowners. NOBODY knows in advance whom is gonna steal their property BUT there is a whole lot that the home/property owners can do to secure their property and safety.

  8. $240/night Mellon? That’s sweet. I didn’t realize housing illegals was so lucrative. I might have to get a piece of the action.

  9. Sandy, your rates go up based on the general profitability of your insurer and your chargeable points and/or your comprehensive claims. NOT because your neighbors have insured vehicles stolen.

    And, auto insurance is one of the many things that will continue to increase in cost, year over year. Just the way it is.

  10. I live in Bloomfield. My automobiles are registered in Bloomfield. None of them are registered in either South Orange, nor in Maplewood. So, I was NOT thinking of myself. I do not reside, nor have automobiles parked on that property. I own the property, other than the property, nothing moveable or removable belongs to me.
    The homes that get broken into are targeted at random, by these thieves based upon how easily the residents make it for them. Residents must play the part of being steps ahead of those looking for opportunity to steal.
    Maplewood is very safe, except the small area that shares boundry lines with Irvington. 80% of the crime is located in 10 percent of the town.
    Unless they uproot my rental property and load it onto a truck and cart it away, I personally am not affected. The “getting is good, over there” simply because the residents are lax in protecting their property, having good locks,
    and using common sence. As long as crooks are successful they will return.
    This also goes for South Orsnge near the Newark boundry. Other than those two sections, South Orange and Maplewood are extremely safe towns, to reply to the 1st posting on here. As a child, teenager and into early 20s I & my parents resided for over 25 years in Maplewood. (The Jefferson Section) and our home was never broken into, nor did we ever suffer any loss of property, nor damage.

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