With everything that’s happened and continuing to happen in the world and around the country, home security is probably in the front of your mind. Especially for those who have significant preparations to protect, increasing your home defense should be a priority on your to-do list and in your budget.
But as with all elements of Prepping, you can make yourself crazy with how much there is to do and how much money you can spend on any given Prep. Not everyone has the time or the available funds to install a top-of-the-line security system and replace all of their windows and doors with fortified versions. With that in mind, here are 10 ways to improve your home’s security that you can do today, with just a minimal investment.
1. Buy Locks
You should have a visible padlock on all fence gates and sheds. This is an inexpensive way to signal that you are serious about protecting your property. While you’re at the hardware store, pick up deadbolts to install on your exterior doors, or a wooden bar that you can insert into the bottom of sliding glass doors. This is also the time to replace your striker plates with security striker plates. Doors are the method that most criminals use to enter into a home, and you can easily strengthen yours.
2. Remove Valuables From Sight
Walk around your home and look in the windows. Can you see anything of value? If so, move it or obscure it from view with curtains, shades, or shutters. Don’t put your wealth on display to anyone who may want it for themselves.
3. Install Motion-Sensor Lighting
Another inexpensive item to pick up at the hardware store, motion-sensor lighting can give you an alert that someone is close by, while simultaneously scaring them away. Bright lighting can also help you identify anyone trying to enter your home.
4. Install Dummy Cameras
A full security system is of course the most desirable option that will give you early detection and also alert the authorities if you’re not home, but security systems aren’t cheap. Installing a few dummy cameras can be enough to deter would-be perpetrators who don’t want to take the chance on being caught. These are extremely cost-effective, although they won’t provide you with any footage if a break-in occurs.
5. Put Up Signage
Signs can be handmade or store-bought, notifying or threatening, but can make a big statement. “Beware of Dogs” has been a popular one on fences for years. “This home is secured by Smith & Wesson” is a more polite way of saying “Looters will be shot,” but both get the point across that you are willing to protect your property at all costs. You can spend as much or as little on your signs as you’d like.
6. Plant Thorn Bushes Under Windows
While you’re at the hardware store, pick up a few thorn bushes like roses or bougainvilleas to plant under your first-floor windows. This will make entry through those windows much less desirable.
7. Apply Security Window Film
Especially on first-floor windows, purchase and apply security window film. This will make breaking your windows much more difficult to do, without the eyesore that window bars can create.
8. Keep Garage Doors Closed
Your garage can be home to many tempting goodies: cars, lawnmowers, bikes, tools, motorcycles, etc. Make sure that you are keeping these out of sight and secured so that they don’t go missing while you’re out back using the weedwacker, or eating dinner with your family. Be vigilant about keeping your garage doors closed.
9. Lock All Windows and Doors
Sounds like a given, right? But too many people get comfortable and forget to lock windows and doors (including car doors) on a regular basis. This means that criminals don’t even have to try very hard, or damage your property, to gain entry to your things. Check every night and confirm that all windows and doors are securely locked.
10. Befriend Your Neighbors
Neighbors with good relationships will want to look out for each other. Not only can you offer each other protection, but you keep your home values high if break-ins are not a regular occurrence in your neighborhood. Neighbors that are home more often during the day, like retired folks or stay-at-home moms, make especially valuable allies.
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars, or your whole weekend, on beefing up security at your home. For $100 or less, you can address the biggest concerns of home defense. As usual, your efforts will go further than your dollars, so remain vigilant in protecting your home.