Here are 6 ways to improve home security with breaking the bank.
You’ve spent countless hours and energy getting your home just perfect. You’ve labored over the right paint, the best furniture and even invested in some art. But have you put in enough thought about how you are protecting your home? While you can invest in a state-of-the-art system, there are plenty of ways to improve without breaking the bank. Here are six home security tips I recommend.
- Install a surveillance systemWhile it may seem like it would be expensive, there are deals to be had on DIY home security systems. If you’re willing to spend a couple hundred dollars, you can outfit your home with a camera system that you set up yourself that constantly monitors your property. If peace of mind is your biggest priority and you have a little cash to spare, this is one of your best options.
- Trim back the bushesIf your property has thick bushes or tall hedges, it offers more places for a burglar to hide. By keeping your trees and bushes trimmed and tidy so that you can see your neighbors, it also means that they can see you if anything suspicious happens on your property. While it’s nice to have a little privacy, don’t completely wall yourself in.
- Light it upDon’t give a criminal a leg up by providing lots of dark places in which to hide. Strategically place exterior lighting around your home, concentrating on walkways, entrances and garages. If you don’t want the expense of installing new lighting, consider swapping out some of the bulbs with motion-sensor lights that will alert you if there’s any activity in the area.
- Beware of dogThere are plenty of reasons why dogs are man’s best friends. One of them is certainly because they tend to be protective of their owners. Dogs will often alert you if anything seems out of the ordinary and will deter most would-be thieves from breaking in for fear of being bitten. Don’t have a dog? You can still post a “beware of dog” sign in your window or on your gate or put a large dog bowl by your back door. Sometimes the suggestion itself is enough to scare off a potential burglar. (I prefer the real-deal home security provided by my Rhodesian Ridgeback, but not everyone is a big dog lover... especially those potential uninvited "guests".)
- Make friends with your neighborsNeighbors are usually the first ones to notice if something is amiss, so make sure to tell them when you are going to be out of town (the rules of trust apply here). It also helps to know your neighbors so if someone unfamiliar is snooping around they can be easily identified. If your community has a neighborhood watch program, join. Neighborhoods are stronger and safer when people come together and are all invested.
- Use common senseThe best home security doesn’t cost you a dime – it’s good, old-fashioned common sense. Be sure to close your garage door when you aren’t inside. Lock the gate to your backyard when not in use. Don’t leave valuables sitting outside unattended. Close and lock windows when you leave. Stop mail and newspaper deliveries when you are out of town so they don’t pile up. The best defense in home security is always a good offense.