Creative and Cheap Tricks to Keep Intruders Out
If a burglar really wants to get into your home, odds are that the person will get in. However, there are many cheap or free ways to make the job more difficult. Thieves tend to take the path of least resistance, so if they find it too hard to get into your house, they might very well move onto the next one. Check out these wallet-friendly security tricks for quick and easy ways to make your home more secure.
Check Your Locks
It may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people don’t lock their doors and windows. This is a terrible idea, even during daylight hours. Some burglars try breaking in when people are normally at work, so it’s always worth locking doors, even in the daytime.
Keep Your Life Off of Social Media
Social media has made it easy to keep in touch with friends and loved ones, but it’s also a resource for all kinds of criminals. For instance, burglars can use your accounts to keep up with your schedule and when you leave home.
Don't Flaunt Your Stuff
It’s okay to be proud of what you have, but don’t leave valuables out in the open. Instead, try using unassuming spots to store things. Rather than laying jewelry out in the open, hide it in a place where a burglar is unlikely to look.
Use a Safe
A safe is one of the best places to hide things. Good ones can’t be broken into or bypassed, at least not by the average burglar. If you get one, try hiding it under a pile of clothes or clutter so it is not easily seen.
Put Motion-Activated Lights Up Everywhere
Many people that use motion-activated lights only install them in one or two locations. The problem? That still leaves a lot of blind spots. It doesn’t take long for a burglar to learn where there is easy access to a house, so they’ll probably just take an approach that doesn’t trigger them.
Change Up Your Nightly Routine
There is probably nothing a burglar likes better than a routine, since it makes it easy to identify the prime time to hit your home. Make your home less attractive to burglars by changing your bedtime light routine.
Put Alarms on Your Doors
If you can afford a good security system, get one. If you can’t, however, there is a cheap way to do something similar. Dollar stores and large retailers often have cheap alarms you can place on your doors. When the door is open and the alarm is activated, it makes a loud shrieking noise.
Add Security to Your Windows
Burglars are as likely to use windows as they are doors. One solution is to use the same cheap door alarms mentioned above, since they work on windows as well. The high-pitched noise should scare off anyone who isn’t expecting it.
Reinforce Door Jambs
One common yet noisy way that burglars enter homes is by literally kicking doors in. It’s usually not as easy as it seems on TV, but if the burglar knows where to kick — the door jamb area — it is very possible.
Use Longer Screws on Door Plates
When installing door knobs and plates, use longer screws to make the door more secure. The short screws do no good against a well-placed kick since they can easily fall out. It’s a good idea to go through your whole house and fit every door knob and plate with long screws.
Secure Sliding Doors With a Solid Pole
Put a solid pole along the tracks of sliding doors. If a thief tries to open your door, the pole will stop it from opening. Be sure, however, that the pole won’t break in the process.
Stop Leaving Your Key Under the Mat
Leaving a spare key under the mat is a well-known secret — one that burglars are in on. If you are still leaving your key under the mat, stop right now. Instead, buy a locked key box, like the kind many realtors use when showing a house. Only give out the code to the box to those who absolutely need it, and periodically change the number.
Use a Wider-Than-Average Peephole
Peepholes are a necessity for any door that strangers might approach. However, as handy as they are, most peepholes only provide a limited view, and some criminals have figured this out. All they need to do is move a little to the side and they can’t be seen.
Use a Security Mailbox
Your mailbox provides a lot of information to a thief. Mail has personal information inside of it that thieves can use to steal your identity, but even the envelopes can be used against you. Just by learning a parent’s first name, criminals can get kids to listen to them by suggesting mom or dad sent them. Additionally, if your mailbox is piled with mail, burglars may assume that you’re on vacation.
Change Your Garage Door Opener
Many people have garage openers on a keypad right outside their garage. This isn’t remotely safe. For starters, anybody that looks hard enough can see you putting in the number. Someone with a good camera can even be across the street and see it. Second, because the keypad is sitting outside, it’s accessible to everyone. Anyone with some hacking skills can get in without your code.
Secure Your Overhead Garage Door
Many people don’t realize how easy it is for people to get into a garage. While the noise of a garage door guarantees you’ll know someone entered while at home, that’s not a problem for burglars when you’re not home. This is especially a problem when the owners are out on vacation.
Get Security Cameras
Having security cameras around your home is always a good idea. When burglars see them, they usually decide they’d rather target a different house. You can spend a fortune on cameras and monitoring if you choose, but budget options also exist.
Add Reinforcement Panels to Garage Side Doors
Garage doors are a common point of entry for many thieves, but you can minimize that risk by reinforcing them. Screw in a panel straight to the door to start. Then add a plank across the top and the bottom.
Add Tint to Home Windows
Window tint isn’t just for limousines. For one thing, it can decrease your heating and cooling bills. More importantly, it can deter potential thieves. If they can’t see through your windows, they won’t know what is going on in your home.
Use a Deadbolt Protection Device
Deadbolts provide an extra layer of security over a regular doorknob, but they can still be picked by experienced burglars. Make it harder by adding a deadbolt protection device. These are available in many different forms, but they all provide the same result.
Get Thicker Locks
For doors with an external lock, such as those found on a shed, bolt cutters are a thief's best friend. Unfortunately, they often have them on hand. The good news is that you can make it hard enough to cut through a lock that they might just give up.
Make a Burglar Box
The majority of burglars are not interested in dawdling in your house to search for things. TIme is of the essence once they enter your home, so they need to find what they want quickly and go. You can help them out with this.
Use Door Stoppers
Have you ever tried to open a door that is blocked by those little rubber stoppers? If so, you know it is nearly impossible to do. A burglar would, at the very least, make a lot of noise trying to get in.
Add Extra Door Locks
The more locks you have on your doors, the better — as long as you actually use them. In addition to a regular door knob lock, you should add at least a door bolt. These are the locks that you see on hotel room doors. They are incredibly strong and very hard to get through.
Check Your Door for Cracks
When a door doesn’t fit in its frame all the way, there’s usually a crack somewhere around the edge. This is bad for two reasons. First, it can allow outsiders to look inside your house. Second, it can also help them get inside the door.
Add Security Signs?
Even if you do not have a security system, you can make people believe you do by putting up security signs on windows and in your yard. This often deter thieves because even if they’re not certain you have a system, they still don’t want to take a chance.
Leave on the TV
Years ago, people used the TV as a burglar deterrent. They would leave it on so that the noise and lights would make people think they were home or awake. However, if the owners were away too long, the TV would eventually cut off on its own.
Get a Smart Security System
On a similar note, smart security systems allow you to control various security features remotely. You can double-check locks, set alarms, change the temperature setting and more depending on the system you choose, and all from your smartphone.
Add a Safety Door and Storm Windows
Safety doors and storm windows can cut down energy costs down, but they also add an extra layer of protection to your home against burglars and anyone else trying to break in. In fact, good ones can be beaten, kicked, and more and still be standing.
Have a Spare Car Key
Do you ever valet your car or have it detailed? Are your car keys on the same key ring as your house keys? It’s very easy for a determined criminal to make a copy of a key. Sometimes, they don’t even have to go to the store to do it.