Cheap and effective ways to improve your home security

Burglaries are a constant threat, but just because you don’t have an expensive and high-tech home security system doesn’t mean your home should be at the mercy of crooks. With enough foresight, you can protect your home, belongings, and your safety effectively and at a low cost.

Here are ways by which you can improve your home’s security:

Front door

Did you know that about a third of break-ins happen with the perps entering through the front door? Interestingly, a lot of these crimes also happen because homeowners themselves forget to lock their doors in the first place.

If you tend to forget to lock your door, you can leave yourself a reminder in an area you frequently visit, such as the fridge. Make sure you write the note yourself and by hand, as research suggests this improves your memory of the message.

Avoid basic locks as most burglars are equipped to thwart them. Different types are available in the market at affordable prices, so be sure to take full advantage of them.


Windows are another popular point of entry for burglars, so you need to keep them closed when you leave the house, even if it’s to do something as quick as taking out the trash. Secure your windows by installing window locks – which type you need will depend on your window’s design.


Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras are among the most effective burglar deterrents, but both the hardware and installation costs can be pricey. A cheaper and almost as effective option is a Wi-Fi camera. You may even install them yourself to save up on the money. Just be sure to place them in areas that are out of reach and which will provide you with the best area of visuals.

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A well-placed alarm will effectively deter any attempt at burglary. You can install them in most openings, such as doors and windows, and some can even detect smoke or release pepper spray. To save money, you may opt for wireless alarm systems as they are cheaper, although they need frequent battery replacements.


Motion-activated lights are great for areas in your house that get really dark at night – their sudden activation can scare off potential burglars. You may also use lights – by keeping your TV on, for instance – to make it appear as if you’re home when you are, in fact, away. (Related: Pro tips: Simple ways to keep your home safe from burglars.)

A few more tips to keep your home secure

According to data, the typical burglar is a teenage male from your own neighborhood, and most of them will spend just 60 seconds at most to try and break into your home. There are exceptions, of course, but what this means is that most of the time, most of what you need to protect your home is a bit of creativity.

Make it appear like you are home

Burglars do not want to be caught red-handed, so they will try to avoid houses that are occupied. You can make it look like you are home even while you’re at work or on vacation with these tricks:

  • Set a timer to turn your radio or TV on at random times throughout the day.
  • Do not put your garbage cans out as these can indicate your absence.
  • If you are away for prolonged periods, ask your friends to collect your mail from your mailbox for you. You can also ask your postal service to stop delivering mail in the meantime.
  • Ask your friends to trim your lawn or get a gardening service that will do this for you.
  • Ask your friends to park your car differently every day or if you want extra cash, rent out your driveway while you’re away.
  • Do not post vacation-related content on social media.

“Own” a dog

Dogs do not just make for great companions, they are also effective security investments. But even if you don’t like canines, make sure everyone else knows you “own” one anyway. Signs that warn of dogs in your house are an effective burglar deterrent, according to experts. You can even leave dog feeding bowls outside as “proof” that you have a pet.

“Own” a home security system

As mentioned previously, a home security system boosts your chances against burglars, albeit being quite costly. However, you don’t actually have to own them to reap their benefits. As with the dog, you can buy signs that warn of concealed cameras and decals of security services to make it appear as if your home is well-protected.

Be friends with your neighbors

Your next-door neighbors may also be your most trustworthy partners in ensuring your home’s security. They can collect the mail for you, cut your lawn, or do vacation checks when you are away. Just make sure to return the favor once they entrust the same task to you.

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