Affordable Home Security Options You Can Do Yourself

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Affordable Home Security Options You Can Do Yourself

When your budget is so tight you can barely afford to pay for the roof over your head, it’s common for home security to be placed on the back burner. But what if a burglar was to break into your home? Can you afford to lose the valuables you’ve worked so hard to provide for you and your family? The answer is likely a big fat NO. 

While it would be nice to be able to afford an alarm system or surveillance system, there are a variety of affordable home security options you can do yourself to protect your residence. A tight budget is no excuse for leaving your home unprotected. All it takes is a little know-how and creative thinking. 

The following are a few ways you can keep criminals out of your residence without breaking the bank.

Affordable DIY Home Security Devices

There are two highly vulnerable areas of a residence that burglars use to gain entry. They are windows and sliding glass doors. The locks on these barriers are typically aluminum latches. Such locks are not designed to keep thugs out of your home. 

To better protect these vulnerable areas in your home and deter criminals, here are some helpful do-it-yourself tips:

  1. DIY Window/Door Track Device: For sliding glass doors and windows that slide sideways, it is essential to have a device in place that prevents the door or window from being opened, even when unlocked. This is as simple as placing some type of rod in the tracks. To be effective, be sure the rod is constructed of either a sturdy metal (such as rebar) or solid wood. The rods should also be sized to the length of the track. There should be less than an inch of space between the track and the surrounding frame. That way, if the door or window were unlocked, it still cannot be slid open. Making your own rods for your window and door tracks is very inexpensive. If you don’t already have the materials in your home, go to your local home improvement store and purchase some solid wooden dowels. You can probably even have them cut to size for free if you provide the store representative with the measurements.
  2. DIY Anti-Jimmy Plate:  Sliding glass doors and windows are also at risk of being lifted from the tracks. This is why it’s important to have a mechanism such as an anti-Jimmy plate in place. This is an easy, do-it-yourself home security device that can be made with a screw and a wooden or metal strip. Simply cut the piece of wood or metal to fit into the space between the top frame and the window or sliding door itself. It’s important to leave a little space so that the door or window can still be slid open. The screw is used to hold the strip in place.
  3. You can also create an anti-Jimmy plate by placing a few screws (preferably wood or sheet-metal screws) into the upper tracks. The screws should be spaced several inches apart and deep enough to prevent the window/door from being lifted out of its track but still allows it to be slid open. 
  4. DIY Devices for Vertical Windows:  For windows that slide up and down (vertically), install a sturdy screw on each side of the frame just a few inches above the top of the window. You want to leave enough room so that the window can be opened a few inches to let in some fresh air when desired, yet prevent an intruder from opening it enough to climb through. SAFETY ALERT! To ensure you and your family can still use the vertical windows around your home as an escape route if needed during a fire or some other emergency, keep a hammer or another device you can use to remove the screws or to shatter the glass nearby. 

Other Affordable Home Security Options You Can Do Yourself

Psychological deterrents can be very effective in preventing burglars and other criminals from targeting your home. Here are a few affordable home security options you can do yourself to help deter criminals. 

  1. Dummy Security Camera: A security camera does not have to be real to deter a criminal. As long as it looks authentic, you can fool burglars and other criminals into thinking they are being recorded. There are a number of fake security cameras that are both authentic looking and inexpensive. A dummy camera that has a flashing LED light is best, as it will make it appear that the camera is actively recording.
  2. Security Surveillance and Beware of Dog Signs: Home alarm systems and dogs can be effective deterrents for burglars. This is because most burglars don’t want to encounter anything that may attract attention to them and risk being seen or caught in the act. If you can’t afford a home alarm system or a dog, burglars don’t have to know that. To keep your home from appearing as an easy target, prominently place some home security signs around the outside of your property that make it appear your home is being monitored by an alarm system and/or surveillance system. A Beware of Dog sign can also be an effective way to deter criminals, especially signs that communicate a large, protective breed such as a German Shepherd or Rottweiler. Such signs can be purchased for just a few dollars at a local home improvement store or security business.
  3. Timers for Lights and Electronics:  One of the ways you can deter criminals when you are away from home or asleep in your bed at night is to make it appear someone is up and about in your home. You can easily do this by installing a few inexpensive timers for lights and other electronics, such as a TV or a radio. Such timers can be set to turn lights and other electronics on and off at certain intervals. Keeping your curtains and/or blinds will also add to the psychological effect and prevent a burglar from seeing what’s going on inside your residence.

Affordable Home Security is Better Than No Security

Even if your budget is as thin as a dollar bill, you don’t have to leave your home or your family unprotected. The above affordable home security options you can do yourself are better than no security. So get to it and protect against the bad guys before they figure out that your home is an easy target.