Home Security On A Budget
By Ralph Winn
Home security doesn’t have to be expensive. Forget those electronic home monitoring companies who want to charge monthly fees. If you’re on a budget and worried about safety, a couple of tips can help tighten your home security.
Get a Dog
It doesn’t matter if you get a Doberman or a Poodle – any kind of dog that barks is a major deterrent to would-be thieves. A dog can also double as a companion and trusty family-member, but make sure to factor food and vet bills into the cost.
The DIY Approach
Home security on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have an alarm system – if you’re handy with a hammer, why not install one yourself? Consider purchasing an alarm kit that has all of the basic components you need for a home security system so you don’t have to buy extra equipment. Hardwire kits, like the DSC Power 1832 Security Kit can easily be customized to your needs for around $100.
For about twice that price, a wireless kit, like the Wisdom wireless security system, may be a better option because installation is so much easier without the cumbersome wires. However, programming the security zones into a wireless system’s computer is slightly more complicated than a hardwire system, so be prepared to read the manual if you’re not technologically inclined. Either way, a kit allows you to choose which doors and windows you’d like to secure without breaking the bank.
Secure the Perimeter of Your House
Darkness is the perfect camouflage for thieves – don’t let them sneak up unnoticed. Set up outdoor lights with motion sensors. Be sure to buy a motion sensor with pet immunity, like a Sentrol Pet Immunity Infrared Motion Detector, so you can catch the cat burglars and not the neighbor’s cat.
Sometimes the most obvious signs can prevent intruders from entering your home. Professionally designed home security signs and window decals are an affordable, simple solution to stave off thieves. Place outdoor signs in a visible location near doors and stick security window decals on every first floor window. Not meant to be a first line of defense, these signs reinforce the other safety devices in your comprehensive home security scheme.
Invest in Deadbolt Locks
Intruders can easily bypass common commercial locks, making deadbolt locks your friends. Each exterior door to your house should have at least two locks on it. The added security of a deadbolt is a cheap, effective way to safeguard your home’s entry points.
When developing your own home security program on a budget, common sense is always the best policy. Use this checklist to ensure your home’s safety.
• Shut and lock all doors and windows when you leave home. Unlocked entry points in your home provide easy access to burglars.
• Don’t place valuable items like TVs, electronics or jewelry in view of any windows. Use opaque curtains when possible: If you can see valuable items through the windows, so can burglars.
• Don’t store keys near doors or windows where a burglar can easily knock out the glass, get your keys, and let himself into your home.
• Place your mail and newspaper deliveries on hold if you’re going to be out of town. An obviously unoccupied house is an easy target.
• Get to know your neighbors and join your neighborhood watch. Friendly relationships with neighbors, who will watch your house when you’re not at home, are a built-in security system.
Remember, setting up a home security plan on a budget doesn’t mean scrimping on safety. With the right information, tools, and a couple of bucks, your affordable home security system can be just as effective as those expensive, professional home-monitoring systems.