As a homeowner, improving the security of your home should top your priority list. No matter how safe your neighborhood is, you cannot completely rule out the chances of a burglar targeting your property. Many burglars won’t try to gain access to your property when you’re home, but what about when you’re away?
To discourage burglars from targeting your property, you need to beef up your home security. The good news is that improving your home security does not have to cost you a fortune. You don’t have to dig deep into your pocket to keep burglars away from your property. Here are simple yet effective and cheap home security ideas to secure your home.
Six security budget tips for your consideration
1. Add inexpensive alarms to your doors and windows
Your doors and windows are the most important access points on your property. Consider securing them a necessity, not a matter of choice. Burglars hate noises. Many won’t target a property that uses burglar alarms; and those who do will run for cover if the alarm goes off during the burglary.
Install alarms in hidden areas where you or other occupants of your property don’t usually gather. It is also advisable to install alarms in poorly lit areas. Many home security experts advise attaching alarms to the doors and windows alongside the magnetic contact strip. When a burglar opens a door or window in a way that breaks the magnetic strip, the alarm shrieks, alerting the homeowner.
Many door alarms have a delay feature that gives the user enough time to set the alarm and leave, then open the door and deactivate the alarm, when they return, without disarming the unit. Most alarms are universal, meaning they work on all doors and windows. To discourage burglars, display an alarm sign on your front yard.
2. Reinforce doors, windows, locks, and hardware
Doors and windows, just like other fixtures, are exposed to the elements on a regular basis. Exposure to heat and moisture can impact the structural integrity of your doors and windows. Old and weak doors and windows are chinks in your home security armor that can serve as an open invitation to burglars.
To address this problem, inspect all entry points regularly. Replace old and malfunctioning doors that are beyond repairs with new and sturdy affordable security gates. Given that many burglars use exterior doors to gain access to a property, do not wait for too long to replace your thin, hollow core, or broken doors. For additional support, use a door barricade or affordable burglar bars.
Remember to check your door hardware regularly. The strike plate must be properly installed with screws that are long and are designed in a way to ensure that the bolt can’t be easily forced out of the jamb. Consider adding security strike plates that are larger than their conventional counterparts. In case a burglar tries to kick open the door, the impact of the kick is spread over a larger area. To ensure that the plate is attached to the studs, instead of just the frame, use at least three-inch screws. Attaching the plate to the studs ensures that the burglar would have to break the frame as well as the studs, which is not an easy task.
If you use sliding doors, consider adding auxiliary foot lock. Alternatively, place a dowel in the track that is designed to prevent the door from being forcibly opened. Add window locks and bars to all your windows. Consider replacing your ordinary window glass with tempered glass or plexiglass.
3. Maintain your front facade
Get rid of shrubbery below, next to, and partially covering your windows. Overgrown shrubbery can serve as a hideout for burglars, allowing them to check your windows without getting noticed. Maintaining vegetation in and around your windows will increase the risk of antisocial elements.
If you think shrubs enhance your property’s aesthetic appeal, transplant them to a spot between your windows in a way that they do not block your vision. It is also highly recommended that you get rid of overhanging tree branches encroaching over your boundary.
4. Light up your landscape
Antisocial elements, including burglars and home intruders, hate being in the spotlight. To discourage burglars, install ample outdoor lighting. Place lights in and near the most vulnerable areas, including front and back yards, garage, and pathways. To save on energy costs, use solar-powered lights. If you want your outdoor lights to automatically switch on and off after a certain time of the day/night, put them on a timer.
5. Don’t forget your garage
When unsuccessful in gaining access to a property, many determined burglars target the garage, because they know that several homeowners store valuable items in there. Before leaving your garage, make sure that all the windows are properly locked. Make it a habit to lock your internal and external doors. To restrict access to your garage door opener, consider keeping it in your home.
Never enter access codes in the presence of delivery people or neighbors. Use extra locks to secure your garage door and consider upgrading to an automatic garage door opener.
6. Make your home look occupied when you are on a holiday
To give the appearance that you are home even when you’re not, use automatic timers for lights. Request a friend to park in your driveway while you’re away. Ask a friend or family member to empty your mailbox regularly.
Speaking of security budget hacks, find out How Securing Your Home Can Help You Lower Insurance Costs.