As surveillance technology enables more and more Santa Clarita Valley homeowners to better secure their homes, there are still ways of attaining effective home security without spending a dime.
The phrase “neighborhood watch” has taken on a whole new meaning as SCV homeowners secure their homes with doorstep surveillance systems such as Ring and then share that data with equally equipped neighbors.
For those with non-digital doorsteps, there is plenty they can do to secure their homes, according to officials with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
“The best practice for home security starts with locking doors and windows. Motion lights are very effective, and clearing any hiding places like bushes or debris,” Sgt. Dan Dantice said.
“Obviously, any additional security measures help, like monitored alarms and surveillance cameras, but they would require additional costs,” he said.
Before spending any money, officials say homeowners should consider a few things.
“The homeowner should be aware their home is never ‘suddenly protected’ by an alarm system,” Deputy Josh Stamsek said.
“The system is merely a tool to enhance the security of your residence, and some (systems) alert law enforcement to check on the residence if it happens to be activated.
“But, the best way to protect your residence is by locking your vehicles, outside doors, garage door and windows,” Stamsek said.
“Be sure to always double check your residence and vehicles prior to going to bed or before leaving. Being aware of these small things coupled with an alarm system are all preventive measures for the safety of your home and yourself,” he said.
This month, local law enforcement unveiled a program to help people remember. It’s called the 9 p.m. Routine.
9 p.m. routine
To join the 9 p.m. Routine program and help spread the word to your community, show your 9 p.m. Routine with the hashtag #9PMRoutine and follow the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and the city of Santa Clarita social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“We want to remind residents of the ‘9 p.m. Routine’ and to be sure to try and follow a routine every night to secure your property, residence and vehicles,” Stamsek said.
The 9 p.m. routine works like this:
- Remove valuables (electronic devices, wallets, etc.) from your vehicle.
- Ensure vehicle doors and trunks are locked.
- Check to be sure all house and property exterior doors and garages are locked.
- Turn on exterior lights.
“These are simple things the community can do, before they go to bed, to partner with us to prevent themselves from becoming a victim of crime,” Capt. Robert Lewis said.
A reminder posted on the SCV Sheriff’s Station social media this past week reads: “Please…just do it. Remove guns, valuables and LOCK your doors. When the bad guys roam the street tonight and pull on your vehicle’s door handle, what will happen? Think about it. Beep beep! No excuses,” it reads.
For those about to join the throngs of residents hooking their doorbells up to mini cameras, the city of Santa Clarita made it easier when it unveiled its Ring Video Doorbell and Security Camera rebate program this summer.
Carrie Lujan, spokeswoman for the city of Santa Clarita, issued a news release in August announcing the city was partnering with Ring to provide discounts for Santa Clarita residents on the purchase of select home security devices.
During the promotional period, residents had the opportunity to receive a $100 promotional code funded by the city and Ring, along with additional discounts provided by Ring. The approved $25,000 of city funding enabled 500 Santa Clarita residents to participate in the program on a first come, first served basis.
The promotion went into effect on Aug. 13 at 8 a.m., Lujan said, and within 56 hours the entire supply of 500 discount codes for the Ring promotion were snapped up.
Would the city run the promotion again?
“It is definitely a possibility,” Lujan said Tuesday, “since we now know it is something people saw a benefit in.”
“We are proud to live in a city that is recognized as being a safe place to live and raise a family,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste, before the promotion’s launch. “We understand that our residents want additional peace of mind knowing their homes are safe, and we are glad this discount on Ring technology can help make that happen.”
It was hoped the program would incentivize the purchase of Ring video doorbells and security cameras, which connect to the user’s smartphone or tablet via a free app (iOS/Android) when activated by the motion sensor, when someone rings the doorbell or by live viewing the camera’s video feed at any time.