Low Cost Home Security Tips
© 2013 Express10
No matter where you live or how much or how little you have, it's yours and you've likely worked hard to acquire it. Once your things are damaged or stolen, you will not easily regain your peace of mind in your own home. There are many ways that you can prevent a theft, assault, or worse by being vigilant and mindful of the things that you do. You don't have to purchase a home security system or move into a gated community if those are not things you wish to do or can't afford to do. Home security should start with your habits and this is just one of many low cost home security tips.
Keep all of your windows and doors locked and teach your children and visitors to do the same. This includes screen and storm doors. Make sure that all window and door locks work properly and repair or replace ASAP if they do not. If you enjoy getting fresh air, make sure you lock the windows (and any entry doors) when you leave that room, don't leave windows and doors open for extended periods of time when an area or room is unoccupied. Crooks can make quick work of getting in, even during broad daylight in the best of neighborhoods.
Some homeowners prefer out swing doors because they can be more difficult to be kicked in and do a noticeably better job of keeping wind and weather out of your home when installed properly and kept in good repair. The same principle is at work if you can choose casement or crank out windows. While these aren't among the lowest cost options, they can be helpful security wise and contribute to the energy efficiency of your home as well. Another low cost home security option is putting a deadbolt on your door. Don't neglect to actually use it.
Spare Keys, Refuse To Live In A Fish Bowl, Lights
Never leave any spare keys outside your home and be sure to take your keys out of the door immediately after you've opened it. When the sun begins to set, make sure that all of your blinds and curtains are closed. This is one of the best low cost security tips that too many people simply ignore. You may need to keep your windows and blinds closed during the day or night to keep people from looking in, studying, literally casing the material things you have and your habits to help them plot a burglary or suggest one to a criminal minded friend. Take into account how close your home is to the street or sidewalk and the typical times of day you spend at home. At night it is very easy to see inside a home with even the faintest of lights on inside when the windows are not well covered.
In addition, make sure your exterior lights are on at night or switch to motion sensing lights if they are allowed in your neighborhood. You don't need floodlights on 24/7 to tell crooks they are not welcome. You should also consider plugging various items into a timer such as lamps, t.v.'s. or radios when you are away. This gives the impression that someone is at home and many crooks would find somewhere else to go. Set the timers to activate the items during the day or night, whenever you are gone. These timers can be found at many hardware stores and online. You may wish to get a timer for your exterior lights as well.
Privacy To Reduce Crime, Window A/C's
Keep your belongings as well as comings and goings off of the web and out of the neighborhood gossip. Too many people seek attention online and off but they don't think about the potential consequences of this dangerous and silly behavior. Never mention anything online about trips, gifts, new purchases, electronics, etc. More than a few people have had their homes burglarized with the assistance of this information. Others have suffered burglaries, attacks, or worse all because they chose to share private details online. Monitor your child's activities online to make sure they always adhere to this rule as well. Bullies, pedophiles, and others could take info your child puts online and put you all in jeopardy.
Having a neighborhood watch could be helpful, but in too many neighborhoods the term neighbor doesn't mean much. In some unfortunate cases, you may find that at least a couple of your neighbors are among the very people you are trying to protect your home and belongings from. You may also find that other neighbors use any and all interactions with you as their prime gossip topic. This behavior happens regardless of what type of neighborhood you live in or how much your home is worth. Crime has no boundaries. You will simply need to be careful of which neighbors if any, whom you trust with personal information or access to your home.
If you have a window A/C unit, especially on the first or second floor, make sure it is screwed into the window sash or frame. It's most common for thieves to push in the A/C on the first and second floors of a home, don't be tempted to think they won't bring a ladder or create one to get up to the second floor as well. As for windows on the third floor and higher, you still should be careful not to leave your windows unlocked and be sure any window A/C's are securely screwed in. While it's highly unlikely a crook will bring a 30 or 35 foot ladder to get into your home or apartment three stories up, stranger things have happened.
Also, don't leave piles of debris, tools, furniture, etc. outside. Lock down or remove ladders and other things that may be used to break into your home or simply could be stolen. The idea behind low cost home security is to take away any opportunity and to make your home less desirable to thieves. Make it as hard for them as possible so they don't even try.
Dogs And Security Systems
While some might argue with the low cost aspect of home security, getting a yippy dog or two might deter intruders. Having a dog inside and one outside may be even more of a deterrent. Seeing the first dog outside the home could make thieves find another target to rob and hearing a second dog inside the home may ward off anyone who slipped past the exterior dog. In case your home is burglarized despite having interior and exterior dogs, that person could know you and have something very personal against you. This type of problem is more dangerous than random thieves.
Get a security system and use the window stickers or lawn signs that are provided. The costs of getting a home security system could well be worth it. It simply doesn't make sense to wait until you are robbed to get one. If you don't wish to go this route, remember that you can also purchase security cameras from stores such as security stores or even Wal-Mart and mount these on each exterior side of your home or at entryways. If you are not very tech savvy, you can have someone set everything up for you or you could get a professional security company to secure your home. Sign up for a monitoring service that allows you to view your home from interior cameras while you are away at work or on a trip. Monitoring systems are also very handy to see what the babysitter, repairman, nurse, or nanny are up to.
Another low cost home security tip is to never leave your garage door open for extended periods, even while doing the lawn or having a "quick" chat. Just one criminal minded passer by or even a neighbor can see what type of entry door you have leading into your home through your garage and try breaking into your home. Others may simply love the tools or vehicles they see and covet them so much they decide to make a go of stealing them...whether you're home or not. It is common for crooks to sneak into the garage to afford themselves more cover and time to break in through this weaker entry door. If your garage door that leads to the interior of your home is the typical builder's grade door, it will be easy to get through or will likely even be unlocked. Crooks know this. Get a steel entry door that leads from the garage into your home for extra security and make sure it's locked unless it's in use.
If you have any valuables in your home, don't ever think that you are "hiding" them in your master bedroom, it's closet, or under your bed. Find a less obvious place to locate a safe and your valuables or simply do not keep cash or jewelry or other valuables in your home. You can get a deposit box at a local bank, put a safe in a detached garage, in your laundry room, in your pantry, a kitchen cabinet...the less thought of places are numerous.
Also, avoid leaving delivery boxes, electronics boxes, or Christmas gift boxes outside for anyone to see. If you receive deliveries regularly and this is not possible, at the very least put up a sign that tells people entering delivery areas/entryways that they are under video surveillance so they will think twice about walking up and walking off with your things. If they are bold enough to actually do so, you'll have evidence. Break boxes down and put them into trash cans so they cannot be read by anyone who isn't willing to go through your trash to see what you may have. Coordinate deliveries for your place of work, family, friend, or a stay at home neighbor that has proven to you that they can be trusted. You may also request to pick up your delivery at a local depot or store if this option is available.
Contact your local police station for additional low cost home security tips that may help you and your family stay safe. Vigilance is key to security no matter where you are.
© 2012 Express10
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