DIY home security

Alternatives to Alarm Monitoring: 20 DIY Tips to a Secure Home

alternatives to alarm monitoring

Depending upon your needs, there are many methods to make your home more secure and to decrease the risk of burglars trying to break into your home. If you talk to an alarm company, they will quickly tell you that you need to spend quite a bit of money to make your home as secure as it can be.

It is important to understand how burglars work. Burglary is a burglar's job, with each new job they do they must consider the risks and rewards like any other person with a job. If your home appears too risky for them, they will simply move on to another one that appears less risky. Below are 20 tips to make your home appear to risky in the eyes of a burglar.

  1. Get a dog: Dogs are a great way to deter burglars from trying to enter your home, especially one that barks at people when they come on your property. It doesn't need to be a big dog, small dogs work pretty well too.
  2. Sensor lights: Put sensor lights in the front and back of your house that go off when people walk in front of them. Burglars that work at night try to prevent being seen and a sensor light can quickly scare them off.
  3. Basic alarm system without monitoring: You can easily install a wireless alarm system on your own that triggers a loud siren or strobe lights when it is tripped. This will likely scare off someone making an attempt to break into your home because of the fear that neighbors will see and the thought that police will likely be dispatched.
  4. Prominent display of alarm company sign: Even if you don't have an alarm system, the threat of you having one will greatly increase the risk for burglars which can significantly deter them from attempting to break into your home.
  5. Indoor light timer: Most burglaries take place when people are on vacation. An indoor light timer will make it seem as if someone is still home. Be creative with how you do this, have you ever seen the movie Home Alone? Burglars may learn the exact time timers go on and can be a sure signal you are away.
  6. Put hold on mail while away: Having mail backing up in the mailbox is a sure tell sign that you are away. Either have someone take it in daily or don't have the post office deliver it until you get home. It is important to not make it obvious there is no one home.
  7. Deadbolts on doors: Deadbolts make doors a lot more secure. Normal door locks can easily be picked by experienced burglars and can provide easy entry into your home.
  8. Trim bushes & tree branches: If you have bushes that go above your windows it hides activity going on inside your home. Burglars don't like to be seen, so having a clear view into the home from outside by neighbors or people passing by can deter burglars because it increase their chances of being seen. Also, cutting tree branches that are close to upstairs windows can prevent access to areas of the home that may not be as secure.
  9. Leave curtains slightly open: Closing curtains can be a tell tale sign that no one is home. It is also a good idea because it leaving curtains open can give make inside your home more visible to your neighbors, which can deter a burglar from entering.
  10. Don't leave valuables in sight: Since it is a good idea to leave open curtains and keep bushes from blocking the windows, it is a good idea to keep valuables out of plain site. Even though having a view inside your home increases risk for the burglar, if they see something of value this can also increase the reward to them as well.
  11. Replace locks if keys are lost: You never know who is going to get their hands on keys that you lost. Maybe your keys were stolen with the intent of burglarizing your home. Changing locks is typically a quick and cheap process that greatly outweighs the potential losses you can incur.
  12. Be careful about hiding keys: Hiding keys in places like under doormats, on door trimming, on window ledge, fake rocks or under flower pots are very obvious and the first place burglars will look. Avoid these locations if you must hide a key. It is best to not hide keys at all.
  13. Hide boxes of recent purchases: Did you get a new TV or some nice new expensive addition to your home? Try not to make it obvious. Do not leave these types of boxes on the street or in plain view. Take apart these boxes and fold them in a way that the labels cannot be seen. When you have to put them out to be picked up by recycling, do it first thing in the morning on the day of the pickup.
  14. Consider taking down that privacy fence: Privacy fences give burglars cover to operate under without being seen and can increase your homes risk. If you want to keep that fence, be sure to install sensor lights inside the area that go on when someone is inside the fenced in area.
  15. Keep a clean yard: Burglars typically don't go around carrying tools to break in, they will find them on the property and use them. Things such as ladders, sticks, garbage cans, and anything else that can make for easy tools fur a burglar to use to break in.
  16. Increase outdoor lighting: Having well lit entrances around your house can decrease the chances of burglary. Being will lit will make it more obvious that a burglar is breaking in.
  17. Leave radio or TV on when not home: This is one method that is effective at night and during the day. Doing this will make it seem as if someone is still home.
  18. Peepholes within viewing level: The most aggressive burglars may try to enter your home when you are home right through your front door. It is important to never open your door to someone you don't know. Have peepholes installed in your doors is very important for every home to protect against this type of burglar.
  19. Windows reinforced with glass protection film: The majority of break ins happen through forced entry through a window or door. Treating your windows with a glass protection film can greatly decrease the chances of a burglar entering through a window.
  20. Good doors: Since the majority of break ins happen through forced entry through doors and windows It is suggested that you have solid wood or metal doors. These doors should have hinges that are reinforced with 2 to 3 inch steel screws.

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