Protecting your home and your family is a top priority. Yet, home security systems can get expensive. When you take into account the monthly fee for monitoring along with the cost of the equipment, you’re talking about a hefty chunk of change. Not everyone can afford the extra $30 to $50 a month, let alone the hundreds of dollars the equipment can cost.
Fortunately, there are some relatively inexpensive ways you can ramp up your home security. Even if you have a reliable home security system in place, these measures can give you an added layer of protection:
- Install deadbolt locks. This is perhaps the one home security investment that will give you the most bang for your buck. Deadbolt locks don’t keep home invaders out completely, but they do slow them down. Because many burglaries are simply crimes of opportunity, burglars often just pass up a home with a deadbolt.
- Create a clear line of sight from the road. Creating a clear view from the street to any entrance points to the home can help to deter home invasions. That means trimming trees and bushes to make sure that your front door is visible. Criminals don’t like to be seen trying to pick locks, so make sure others can see them if they try. If you live on a rural road, this may not be as helpful as if you live in a neighborhood, of course.
- Get involved with (or start) a neighborhood watch program. Neighborhood watch programs have been proven over and over again to reduce crime, especially home invasions. If your neighborhood doesn’t have a watch program, talk to your local law enforcement agency about how to get started forming one.
- Make your home look occupied. If you’re gone from the home during the day or if you’re out of town on vacation, you should still make the home look like it’s lived in. Putting your lights on a timer (preferably a timer that’s slightly random, so it doesn’t appear the lights come on at exactly the same time each day) can help to deter home invasions. Likewise, have the post office hold your mail and put the newspaper delivery on hold until you return.
- Install door and window alarms. You can purchase door and window alarms that will create a loud noise when they’re activated for less than $5 each. While these obviously won’t automatically call the police, they can serve as a deterrent. Most burglars don’t like it when attention is drawn to their activities, and so a simple alarm like this one might send them running.
Ultimately, your home’s security is in your hands. By taking a step back and looking at the big picture, you can identify those areas of your home and yard that seem vulnerable. Shore those up by following these tips, and you’ll reduce the risks of certain types of home invasions by a significant percentage.
Author Bio: Madison Parker is a home security expert whose passion for helping people stay safe turned into the blog HomeSecuritySystems.net. You can get more tips and advice on how to save money and stay safe here!