An important part about family safety is making sure they are safe in your own home.
There is a lot of great home security content out there, but the solutions offered are almost always very expensive, or takes a lot of effort to do.
Here’s how you can start to protect your home in practical ways for under $180.
In a later article, we’ll cover what you can do in case they actually break in.
We’re not trying to build Fort Knox. We’re just trying to get the bad guys to pick another house, so you’re going to fake it till you make it.
But for now, the basic idea is that we’re not trying to build Fort Knox.
We’re just trying to get the bad guys to pick another house, so you’re going to fake it till you make it.
Show that you give a damn
Show anyone casing your neighborhood that you care about your home.
Set up rings of deterrence, starting with your mailbox.
Get one that is lockable to discourage mail theft. This also sends the first of many messages that the people in your house care about home security.
If you have a lawn, care for it. If you have bushes or hedges, trim them so they do not obscure your windows.
Leave wooden dowels in the tracks of sliding doors and windows.
Or for a little more money, you can install secondary locks and wireless alarms on them.
So the most important thing is to show anyone casing your neighborhood that you care about your home.
Fake a home security service
Home security companies like ADT, Brinks, FrontPoint, Protect America and others deter anyone casing your home.
If you can’t or don’t want to spring for a cost that recurs every month, just buy the metal security signs for your front yard and the decals for your windows from Amazon or eBay.
If you can afford to pay the monthly subscriptions, great. Get one.
But if you can’t or don’t want to spring for a cost that recurs every month, just buy the metal security signs for your front yard and the decals for your windows. These are available on Amazon and eBay and cost about $20 or so.
Fake a home camera system
As with home security services, if you can afford home security cameras, get them.
Prices may have come down a lot, but each one can still set you back by at least $100. Below is a video that shows how you can install a full camera system on a “budget” … for under $500.
Woah. That’s a lot of coin!
A cheaper workaround is to look on Craigslist or eBay to see if you can score real security cameras that no longer work.
Or, buy dummy cameras. These shouldn’t cost more than $20 each. Make sure the wiring looks legit and ditch the ones with the flashing red lights. Those don’t fool the bad guys.
Make it look like you are home
Many break-ins occur on weekdays, when people are out at work and the kids in school.
So set outlet timers in the house to turn the TV on at the loudest setting, or a radio in the garage. The lowest cost outlet timers I’ve seen were $8.99 for a pair.
In the evenings, or in the winter when the sun sets before you get home, you can do something similar with lights.
These tips work too if you are going to be gone for a few days while on vacation, but you’re going to want to do a few more things to make it look like you are home, like having someone:
- collect your mail and packages
- shovel snow in case of a major blizzard
- take out the trash (see the point about working with neighbors below).
Make it look like you have a dog
If you have a dog, leave the canine at home, and its barking would be a great deterrent to any one casing your property.
If you are not a dog person, fake having a dog with a “Beware of the dog” sign. Maybe even set a water bowl in the front and backyards. These should cost less than $25.
You might have seen a gadget that create a pre-recorded barking sound when motion is detected. These will not fool any one, so save your money.
Make it bright in the night
Consider putting a few motion sensor lights around your home. It makes it harder for someone sneaking up to your home to work unseen.
Plus, it makes things easy for you to move around.
These lights can cost quite a bit and involve some work to wire up. Thankfully, there are some LED ones that run on batteries require minimal installation for less than $20 each.
Work with your neighbors
If it makes sense to discourage a criminal from hitting your home, it makes even more sense for the whole neighborhood to get in on the act.
It might not be practical in your neighborhood, but if it is, you could hand out neighborhood watch signs and stickers to every one, and ask trusted neighbors to look out for your home when you are away.
We love this one because it cost nothing and makes our neighborhood more pleasant. Just be sure to return the favor!