The Poor Man’s Guide To Home Security

Your home is your castle, and your family your greatest asset, so you want to keep everything safe. But if you’ve priced home security systems lately, your checkbook might be hurting a little at the thought.

I’m not going to tell you not to buy an alarm system, but if you’re not at a point where you can invest (at least) a couple thousand dollars, and you just want to do a few things to make your home safer, this article is for you.

I’m going to give you a list of tips you can use to make your home safer without spending any money.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that burglars are lazy. Like most people, they want the highest reward with the least possible risk and effort. The more challenging you can make your house appear, the more likely the burglar is to pass on by and pick on somebody else or (hopefully) go away altogether. So, how do you make your home appear secure without screeching alarms, video surveillance cameras, barbed wire fences, and a yard full of Dobermans?

Keep on reading.

  • Trim shrubs back from doors and walkways (this ensures would-be thieves don’t have any shadowy nooks to hide in).
  • Keep tree branches trimmed back from windows and your roof.
  • Keep the lawn mowed and the exterior of the house maintained (a messy or overgrown appearance suggests that you’re away from home a lot or that you just don’t care enough about your house to worry about security).
  • Plant thorny shrubs beneath first-story windows (if you wouldn’t want to climb through a tangle of thorns to reach an open window, chances are a burglar won’t either).
  • Lock your storage shed and don’t leave tools out in the yard (burglars can use ladders, shovels, etc. to gain access to your home).
  • If an outdoor light burns out, change it right away. Don’t display your valuables conspicuously (i.e. huge plasma TV on a living room wall that is visible from the street), as this only tempts thieves.
  • When you make new purchases (such as said plasma TV), don’t leave the boxes by the curb to announce the presence of valuables in your home- break the boxes down and stuff them in your recycling bin.
  • Don’t stash the spare housekey under the doormat, a rock, etc. Thieves- and everyone else– are wise to those tricks. Consider something a little more original, or maybe even look into a keypad lock.
  • Make sure the garage doors are sturdy (no loose panels or damaged corners), especially if the garage is attached to the house.
  • Check your garage door opener if you haven’t changed it from the factory setting. There’s usually a row of 10-12 switches. If all except one is pointing the same direction, the combination is easy to break (the thief has a 1 in 10 or 1 in 12 chance of getting it).
  • Always shut and lock your doors when you leave the house.

Hopefully these tips will help you make your home less of a target. Remember, home security is as much a matter of employing common sense as it is a bunch of expensive gadgets.

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