Better safe than sorry: Residents spend more money on locksmiths to ensure safety

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Imagine relaxing in your home when suddenly the front door smashes open without warning. The next thing you know, assailants burst into your home. 

In today's tough economy, home invasions and burglaries are sadly becoming more real. Also, many criminals are becoming more brazen by breaking into your home in broad daylight.

Whether you are home or not, the front door has become a favorite point of entry for criminals. Because it requires no more effort than a powerful kick.

Locksmiths and contractors are seeing a significant amount of homeowners investing in security devices aimed at reinforcing the front door.

Jim Hungerford owner of JLH construction responds to insurance claims where homes have been broken-in.
Hungerford repairs damages caused by burglars through front door break-ins.

"On average, I get about a few calls a week," said Hungerford.

Last month, Randy Oba's home was burglarized and ransacked when he wasn't home. The thieves entered through the front door, by kicking it in.

JLH installed the Door Sentinel in Oba's front door. The armor makes it nearly impossible for thieves to kick in the door.

"When people have this happen to them, there's an emotional effect. So I started looking for a product that we can secure these properties. My goal is to bring this to the community and hopefully make people safer," said Hungerford.

Earlier this week a southwest Bakersfield woman was home alone with her infant when thieves broke-in through the front door.

The suspects knocked, but the woman did not want to answer. These thieves were looking for an empty house and quick entry.

When they broke in, the victim called her husband and police. The quick thinking husband slashed their tires then confronted the suspects who tried to make their get away.

However, the police caught up with the suspects and arrested them a few blocks away.

Hungerford says homeowners can protect themselves and property by installing the Door Sentinel.

The armor works by reinforcing the week points of the door, the jamb, the lock area and hinges.

Heath Gallon with Bakersfield Mobil Locksmith has seen an increase in customers seeking additional protection for home security.

"It surged ever since AB 109 went into effect," said Gallon.

Gallon offers a similar door armor device that protect from door kick-ins.

The difference between a burglary and a home invasion, is you. Some thieves want you to be home while others are looking for that time when the home in empty.

Home invasions are more rare, but usually happen between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Most burglaries occur during the day while the homeowner are at work.

The average cost to install the door security device is just more than $200. But if you want to do it yourself, you can go to your local home improvement store and ask for a door jamb reinforcement kit. The cost is about $80.

For more information contact JLH Construction at 661-588-9130 or Bakersfield Mobile Locksmith at 661-588-5987.

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