Vacationing this Summer?
Make sure your Home is Safe
July, 2006 - Issue #21
If you are one of the thousands of SCV residents taking off for a night or a month away this summer, take heart - Santa Clarita residents enjoy crime rates that are well below the national average, meaning that your home and belongings are probably safe while you are gone. According to FBI statistics from 2003, the City of Santa Clarita experienced a total of 681 burglaries and 2,003 larceny or theft claims in a year.

Still, taking safety precautions, especially before you leave your home for vacation, is a practical idea that will also bring you peace of mind.

Before your next getaway, consider incorporating the following into your schedule:

  • Program a timed device to turn lights on or off during your absence. Not only will your home look "lived in," but the lights will deter burglars who prefer to work in the dark.
  • If possible, keep your car in the driveway. If that's not an option, offer the prime parking spot to a trusted neighbor while you are gone.
  • If you'll be gone for a length of time, arrange to have your front lawn maintained.
  • Consider halting your newspaper service and mail for longer trips, or have a trusted neighbor pick up your newspapers, circulars and mail.
  • Solicit the assistance of your trusted neighbors to keep an eye on your home while you are away.
Increasingly, homeowners are also turning to professional security companies to help them protect their family and property year-round. Statistics show that homes without security systems are about three times more likely to be broken into than homes with security systems, good odds for people who don't like to take chances with their safety.

"A variety of security systems are now available that can make peace of mind obtainable and affordable," Matthew Mattley, president of All Systems Go
According to Matthew Mattley, president of locally-owned security company All Systems Go, the variety of systems now available make it easier for people to find one that is affordable and provides peace of mind. "Whether you are a family with six kids or a single guy, there are options. The newest technology provides touch screens that tie into other home automation systems. And you can set systems up to fit your lifestyle. If you're worried that the kids will set it off accidentally, the police don't have to be called. Instead, we can call a cell phone, a neighbor or a patrol service. There are ways to install panic buttons that appear to be off, but are actually still summoning help. The choices are nearly endless," he says.

And what about when people are on vacation and the chances of a child setting off the alarm are slim? "When you work with a local company, you get to know your security provider. We answer the phones, not a machine, and we deal with local police departments all the time. If you are gone, you let us know, and we switch the first call we make to the police station," says Mattley.
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