Technology has significantly brought down the cost of home security systems and home surveillance cameras, many of which you can install yourself. But there are also many low-tech solutions that cost little or nothing that will keep your home safer from intruders.
In the last decade, dozens of do-it-yourself alarm systems have come on the market, some with monitoring options and others that send alerts to you via email or text so you can decide whether to call police. Even a rudimentary system is likely to make a loud noise when an intruder enters the house, and sometimes that’s all it takes to scare away a burglar.
Security system or not, cameras or not, there are also free or cheap low-tech solutions that can be surprisingly effective against thieves. Here are some ways to protect your home:
Use your deadbolt lock. The basic lock on your doorknob isn’t really very good. Deadbolts are harder to defeat, and a cheap deadbolt is as good as an expensive one.
Protect your garage door. Garage doors have a pull cord that can be used to open them if the power is out. A burglar can stick a coat hanger down the top of a garage door, latch onto the cord and “unlock” the door. To keep that from happening, placing a zip tie through the piece from which the cord is hanging, this will make it almost impossible for it to open from the outside.
Secure sliding glass doors. Many older doors are easy to open from the outside. Put something in the track to prevent the door from being opened.
Make it look as if you’re home. Lights, radio and TVs on timers create the illusion that someone is home. Make plans withyour post office to hold your mail if you are going to be going on vacation.