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16 Cheap and Easy Ways to Protect Your Home from Burglars

Updated on August 13, 2017
davidlivermore profile image

David has had a variety of life experiences which he loves to share with his readers.

Neighborhood Watch Sign

A brand new neighborhood watch sign.
A brand new neighborhood watch sign. | Source

Deterring your Home From Burglars

Protecting your home is not about securing it from break-ins. It's about deterring a criminal from breaking in altogether. There is only so much you can do to secure your home, even if you live in a fortress. Even the White House has been broken into and it should be the most fortified building in the world!

Criminals want an easy target with the lowest chance of getting caught. If they see a home not focused on deterring them from committing the crime, then they will focus on that house. If they even suspect a house might have ways of catching them in the act, they will move on. Learn how to do that without the use of an expensive security system.

Has your house ever been robbed?

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Alarm on Gate

An alarm on a gate, which will sound if it's opened.
An alarm on a gate, which will sound if it's opened. | Source

Light Through a Window at Night

A light seen on the inside of a home at night.
A light seen on the inside of a home at night. | Source

Lock on a Door

It can take as little as five minutes to add a latch and a lock to secure a door.
It can take as little as five minutes to add a latch and a lock to secure a door. | Source

Maintain Your Home to Prevent Home Invasion

Having a well maintained household, inside and out, will help deter criminals from wanting to break into your house. Use the following tips to prevent your house from being victim to a burglar:

  1. Have a clean and well maintained yard. If criminals see grass overgrown, leaves piling up, and weeds sprouting everywhere, they will assume the house isn't being lived in or well maintained. So regularly maintain your yard. Even if you expect to be gone for awhile, you can hire a gardener to maintain it.
  2. Clean the inside of your home. Burglars will often peek in the windows. They not only want to see the loot they can make off with, but the condition of the home. If they see a nice, orderly home, they may not break in if they feel someone is there. However, a home in a contant mess they may break into. After all, it's hard to prove someone broke in if the house is a total mess anyways.
  3. Hide away your valuables. Don't have your iPad, laptop, and other expensive devices just laying out in plain view. Tuck them away. The same goes with jewelry. If a burglar sees nothing of value in plain sight, they may move on to another house. Closing curtains and blinds will prevent burglars from getting a peek inside as well.
  4. Pick up the mail, newspapers, etc. Don't let newspapers pile up, even for a day. Pick up all of your mail. Gather up the business cards left at your doorstep each day. If someone sees those pile up, they will assume no one is home.
  5. Lock up your gates and doors. Lock up your doors, windows, and gates. It can be annoying having to fiddle with keys and locks all the time, but if someone sees you take the time to lock up everything, they won't want to make the effort to break in.

Overall, you always want to give the burglar the impression someone is home. They won't want a confrontation with someone in the house. If they believe someone is there, they will more than likely move on.

Door Alarm

A door alarm that activates when the door is opened.
A door alarm that activates when the door is opened. | Source

Window Alarm

The back of a window alarm showing that the window is protected.
The back of a window alarm showing that the window is protected. | Source

Security Door

A heavy-duty security door.
A heavy-duty security door. | Source

Cheap Ways to Secure Your Home

There are multiple ways to secure your home without the use of a security system. Some of them very inexpensive. Consider the following when finding ways to secure your home:

  1. Light the inside and outside of your home. If your house is completely dark, then a burglar can assume that no one is home. In fact, if you are sleeping, that leaves you vulnerable. So you can use timers on lamps inside of your house to turn on and turn off when you like. Also, porch lights, solar lights, and lights with a motion detector on the outside can startle and turn away a burglar.
  2. Use neighborhood watch. Talk to your neighbors and agree to watch each others homes. Let everyone know when you go on vacation and ask them to watch your home while you are away. Use neighborhood watch signs, but only new ones. Show criminals you have an active community that is willing to protect your neighborhood.
  3. Install a security door. I have a heavy duty metal door that allows me to look outside to see who is at my doorstep, but doesn't let the person see me. They don't know what I look like, who could be with me, and so on. That protects me and deters them from sizing me up.
  4. Place security alarms around your home. Small devices can be attached to your windows to make a loud sound whenever the window is disrupted. The same can be said with door alarms and motion detectors. While they won't be hooked up to a company that can dispatch someone to check the residence, the high pitch sound can distract a burglar, as they don't know if someone is home and will react to the noise.
  5. Use fake security signs. For just a few dollars, you can buy fake security stickers to place around your house. Some even provide signs to post. A burglar won't know each security company out there, and they may not want to take the chance if they believe your system is real.
  6. Use a fake camera. You can find a variety of fake cameras you can post above the entry ways to your home. Some even provide lights that make the effect that much more real. Don't go overboard in placing them. Just one or two will be sufficient.

All of these are cheap alternatives to a home security system, or could be used as a supplement to a home security system as well. There is never too much you can do to deter criminals.

Motion Activated Flood Lamp

A motion activated flood lamp.
A motion activated flood lamp. | Source

Area of Light for Motion Activated Flood Lamp

The same motion activated flood lamp turned on.
The same motion activated flood lamp turned on. | Source

How to Avoid Being Burglarized

There are changes you can make to your daily life to avoid the possibility of having your house broken into:

  1. Vary your routine. Don't leave the house at the same time each day and don't arrive home at the same time each day. Don't do your shopping on the same day of the week. Professionals will watch your routine and be in and out before you finish your shopping. Change up your routine to keep them guessing.
  2. Go outside often. Show you go outside and interact with your neighbors, watching your surroundings, and taking care of your home. Someone could be staking out your place, and will be less encouraged if they see you active all of the time in and out of your house.
  3. Be careful what you post on Facebook and Twitter. Don't announce you are going out of town for a huge trip, or that you just bought some new, expensive item. Some burglaries happen by people you know. You never know who you may have friended who has bad intentions.
  4. Be careful who you let into your home. If you have repairman coming by, deliveries, etc., be careful who you let into your home. If you don't trust them, then turn them away. Allowing someone into your home gives them the opportunity to get the layout of your home or even take some valuables while they are there.
  5. Be prepared to have your home robbed. In the end, you could be robbed despite doing all you can to prevent it. Handle the situation calmly, and while you may not get your stuff back, you can help law enforcement as much as possible to catch the person who robbed you.

Be protective of yourself so you can protect your home and family.

What To Do If You Are Robbed

Things you should do when you discover your home has been robbed:

  • Go outside and call the police from a cell or neighbor's phone. You don't know if the person could still be inside.

  • Don't touch anything in the house. Law enforcement may look for evidence, especially if there have been any other burglaries in the area.

  • Keep calm. It's very upsetting to be violated in such a way, so do your best to keep calm.

Are you using a security system in your home?

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How Doberman Alarms Have Helped Me

I want to share my experience and personally vouch for Doberman security alarms.

I was asleep and around midnight I heard loud banging. It was so loud that one of my Doberman window alarms was triggered and made a loud sound. I woke up, very disoriented, but started to head to the room where the alarm was going off. This caused me to make a lot of noise (I was screaming, since I was so startled), turning on lights, and moving throughout the house.

When I finally got my bearings, I went outside. I didn't see anyone around my house. Luckily my neighbor was awake and heard everything as well, so he was looking around to see if someone was nearby. I don't think it was him due to my good relationship with him. Even if it was, my alarm may have scared him off since he was at his house and not mine.

I thank Doberman alarms for alerting me and possibly scaring away an intruder. I strongly recommend using their alarms, as they are great for protecting your home.

© 2013 David Livermore

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    • davidlivermore profile image
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      David Livermore 4 years ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      I'm sorry to hear that! The more visible security devices you have around your place, the more it'll detract someone from taking the time to break in.

    • Sue Adams profile image

      Juliette Kando 4 years ago from Andalusia

      We've just been burgled. It happened in the middle of the afternoon while I went shopping. I knew the house was not secure but postponed putting a chain and lock on the main entrance metal door until it was too late. Luckily they only had time to take the new 50" plasma TV and didn't touch anything else. Oh well, you learn from your mistakes.

      I just wish I had read this hub before it happened. I shall certainly implement some of your tips to make sure it won't happen again.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      Very good suggestions. I especially like the idea of cleaning your home because a messy one is hard to prove has been broken into. If robbers look in my son's room they would know nobody could prove it was broken into. Sometimes he can't even find the bed.

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 4 years ago

      All these ideas are good ones. Tried and true. We had an alarm system installed when we took over my parent's house and it takes awhile to get adjusted to the workings. We got a great deal otherwise we would have said no. I would never get another one - the door controlled announcements drove me nutty. Useful Hub.

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 4 years ago

      This is a very useful hub. It is very important to protect one's home from burglars and all ways of doing this should be taken into consideration. For those that may not be able to afford a security system, you have provided many good alternatives and even given lots of good tips to keep homes safe and even ways to avoid being robbed.