Our safe and secure neighborhoods are two reasons why so many have chosen to settle here and raise their families. Exemplary leadership and strategizing over the years by our City Council and the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station have resulted in safer streets and a continued reduction in crime.
However, everyday citizens also play an important role in ensuring that Santa Clarita remains such a wonderful place to live. Over the past few years, the city of Santa Clarita and our local sheriff’s station have collaborated on educating the public about the 9 p.m. Routine, which is a series of simple steps to take each night to protect your home and your family.
With so much time spent at home these past few months, it can be easy to develop a new routine and neglect doing the simple things that will enhance security and reduce the risk of property crime. It is important to review your home safety plan or create a new one that is easy to remember and complete each night.
First and foremost, make sure that all exterior doors and windows are closed and locked before you go to sleep. This includes double-checking that car doors and trunks are secured, especially if the vehicle is parked in a driveway or on the street. While you are checking on your car, don’t forget to close your garage door as well. It may not have closed all the way when you came home from your last outing.
Be sure to remove all valuables from your vehicle, including any electronic devices, cash and wallet, as thieves are likely to break into a car to snatch goods that they can see. It is a best practice to do this any time you park your car, not just before you turn in for the night.
Once you are certain that your vehicle and garage are secured, check that you have turned on your home’s exterior lights. Shady business often takes place in the dark, so having your porch light on – or installing motion-activated lights – will help deter would-be criminals.
Inside your home
The 9 p.m. Routine is not just about keeping the outside of your home safe. It is also essential to reduce the risk of problems inside the home, and this is something that each member of the family can help complete.
Did you and your family enjoy a nice home-cooked meal? Take a second to see that you’ve turned off the gas to the stove or propane to the grill. As you and your little ones brush your teeth before bed, make sure the faucet has completely stopped running – even a little dripping water can lead to an enormous problem later.
Each of these steps adds just a few seconds to your day, but they can help pay off big-time by keeping you safe and reducing the chance that you become a victim of property theft or damage. Before you turn in for the night, don’t forget to finish your 9 p.m. Routine.
Bob Kellar is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].