EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- It can be hard to put a price on keeping your children and family out of harm’s way. Several online retailers have ads selling home security systems, some for $1000 a piece. Which begs the question - how do you keep your family safe without spending lots of money?
Lots of people think their home won't be the one that gets broken into.
Eau Claire police call this city safe. And they say there are several other ways to keep your family safe, without installing a security system.
“I think I'm pretty safe around here,” said 9-yaer-old Ashley Stashek.
“Have you ever seen anyone on TV, boy I was expecting this to happen to me-you don't,” said Eau Claire Police Department public Information Officer Kyle Roder.
Jenna Stashek says in the seven years she's lived on her block, she hasn't heard of any robberies. She asked us not to say where she lives.
Stashek says her goal to protect her family without breaking the bank.
“As far as our home, we lock everything up when we live; we have a key hidden on the property. We got a privacy screen on this big window (in our living room). It's shaded inside and outside, you shouldn't be able to see in. People walk their dogs through here and everything, and you can see right into the house, so that's a security measure that we do have,” said Stashek.
“If you have a dog it's a good start, dog that barks. A criminal typically doesn't want to break into the house, because they don't know what's on the other side of the door,” said Officer Roder.
When Stashek leaves her kids home they know what not to do.
“Don't open the doors for strangers, and don't look out the window,” said 9-year-old Ashley.
“Kids that are staying at home need to know their address and their phone number. They need to have a cell phone accessible, or a land line, so they can call out,” said Officer Roder.
“Unfortunately a lot of people take an after approach, when something happens-you take action,” said Stashek.
Roder says being proactive is the best bet. He says there are lots of low-cost security options can still be very effective in confusing criminals.
“Criminals usually want to target the easy locations. So if you make it difficult for your house to be broken into, or your vehicle to be broken into, a criminal is going to move on to somewhere easier,” said Officer Roder.
Officer Roder also suggests installing lights outside your home that are on a timer. But he says the best "security system" is to get to know your neighbors and watch out for each other.