Special Report: Inexpensive ways to protect your home
FRESNO, Calif. (FOX26) —
There’s tons of technology aimed at helping you protect your home and family, but a lot of it costs a lot more than you want to spend. What if you could protect your home on the cheap?
“There’s a lock on this side, and a lock on this side. I want to make sure that when this door opens, they can’t just pull it and get it open. And what you’re trying to do is build layers of security. Make it more difficult to get into your house,” said Dan Cervantes.
Cervantes is a special investigator with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department, and co-founded a group called Survival Actions in violent Encounters.
Cervantes walked FOX26 News around his own home, pointing out things a burglar might be searching for, and how he’s protected against it.
“One of the things you can do is make sure your landscaping doesn’t obscure your windows. You don’t want to create a hiding space for burglars to be working on those windows,” said Cervantes.
Cervantes has a nice camera system at his place, but also opts for cheaper protective measures as well.
“All it is, is just a brace,” said Cervantes, showing a fixture on his sliding glass door. “It’s a bar and it folds up out of your way when you’re not using it and you can open the door. Or, you can set it in place. And the nice thing about this particular type is that you can open it, and that’s as far as you can open it.”
FOX26 wanted to check out just how cheap exactly this stuff is. So we came to Fresno Ag, and it turns out they actually have an entire aisle dedicated to just door handle and doorknob protection alone.
Vang Vu has worked at Fresno Ag for years now.
“It’s one of the simplest things you can do to your door hinges, you door strike plates. Make these screws longer so that they now go into the frame of the door instead of the door jam. It just adds more reinforcement to it so it’s harder for them to physically break down. And again, this is fifteen cents,” said Vu.
Safety is not all about strength; it’s also about being aware.
Cervantes has a fortified screen door at his place so he can see who’s knocking without letting down any barriers. That runs a couple hundred dollars.
If that’s outside your budget, you can consider installing a peep hole in your door.
“They have them in different sizes, depending on how big of a view you want. And you can see – the smaller one is six dollars. Smaller viewing angles, but definitely smaller price points to match that,” said Vu.
Some people put up signs saying they have a home security system even if they don’t actually have cameras installed.
“Three bucks! Every little thing helps. If it’s enough to make a person think twice about coming in, then it’s done its job,” said Vu.
“Put your mind in the mind of a burglar. Their goal is to find the weakest spot they can find. So if they see a sign, their goal is to find someone who doesn’t have an alarm system,” said Cervantes.
There are other security measures you can take that don’t cost a dime.
Get to know the people next door so they can notice if there’s something out of the ordinary going on around your house.
Better yet, form a neighborhood watch.
If you’re going on vacation, halt deliveries – having boxes and flyers and newspapers outside just shows burglars that you aren’t home.
And most importantly, lock your doors!
Cervantes also recommends doing a security survey of your home. Go around checking every door and every window to make sure you’re comfortable with how secure every potential entryway is.