Inexpensive Ways to Boost Your Home Security

A high-tech security system – complete with motion detectors and video cameras – may be perfect for a big name celebrity, but most folks don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on home security.

Fortunately, there are many low-tech – and low cost – ways to make your home more secure. Consider these tricks:

Prepare your doors!
Bigger, better and thicker locks will discourage burglars from even attempting to break into your house. Consider deadbolts, thick chain locks or other security latches. Reinforce locks with thick metal hardware (lock reinforcers are available at most home improvement stores). If you have the budget, consider replacing a wood door with one made of solid metal. No one – not even a pro bodybuilder – can easily kick open that type of material.

Organize your neighbors!
Neighborhood Watch programs are extremely popular in suburban areas. Call your local police department and ask for information about starting a Neighborhood Watch. Invite the neighbors in your area to a central location – like your home – for the first meeting. It helps if a police officer can speak to the group about local crime rates and statistics. Encouraging your neighbors to help increase their security is like having an extra set of eyes on your home.

Plant “thorn” bushes!
Intruders often try to enter the home through a window. One low-tech deterrent to this access point is a thorn bush! Plant it directly below the window so any burglars will get a leg full of thorns if they try to climb through the window. One caution about prickly bushes: Keep them trimmed small enough so someone would be unable to hide behind them. A very determined burglar might risk the thorns if the bush easily hid his entry from the neighbor’s prying eyes.

Keep the lights on!
It may seem like a waste of electricity, but proper lighting around your home may be enough to get an intruder to move on to another house. Burglars like to work in the dark, so having an exterior light that illuminates your property at night is a simple way to discourage a break-in. A “dusk to dawn” light that brightens the outside of your home is always a good choice. Use fluorescent bulbs so the energy cost is reasonable over time. Another option is a motion detector light, which only turns on when someone steps in front of it.

You don’t need all the bells and whistles of a fancy security system if you’re worried about possible burglars. Just use some basic common sense and a little extra precaution to make your home unattractive to an intruder.

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