5 Cheap and Easy Ways to Protect Your Home from Burglars
If you’re after quick, cheap ways of making your home more secure and less likely to be a target for burglars, we can help. Protecting your home doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Follow the advice below to help make your home less of a target for burglary.
Burglars will usually scout out a house before attempting to break in. They are looking for three things:
- High-value items that are easy to grab, making it worth the risk
- How easily they can get in and out: unseen, fast and without interruption.
- How likely they are to get caught: if it’s likely they’ll be busted burgling a home, they’ll usually avoid it.
To give you quick cheap ways to boost your home’s security we’ll focus on the first two. The third, how likely they are to get caught, is best countered with home security or surveillance systems.
While there are security systems out there that are a relatively affordable one-off cost and easy to set up and use (like Cocoon for $399, with no ongoing subscription fees) it’s important to make home security accessible for everyone.
For that reason, this article focuses on quick-fix home security options that cost less than $50.
1) Stickers and Decals
Most burglars will enter a home during daylight, through the front or back door. By placing a sticker or sign somewhere visible, near those doors, you can warn would-be burglars that your home is protected – even if it’s not!
It isn’t a foolproof system but may help deter a burglar before they try breaking in.
2) Fake Being at Home with a TV Simulation Light
For about $20 you can buy a light that, from the outside of your home, resembles the flicker of a TV screen. Most have light sensors so will automatically come on as the sun fades into the evening. You shouldn’t see a drastic increase the cost of your electricity as they’re designed to be low energy and you can set a timer so it’s not on all night.
3) If You Have a Garden, Keep it Tidy
As home security measures go, this is one of the most simple to do. A messy garden can mean easy hiding places for burglars, giving them cover as they’re scouting out your home and preventing anyone from seeing them break in. Leaving tools and equipment (like ladders, hammers or wheelbarrows) outside can make it even easier for them.
As Fraser, a reformed burglar explained in an interview with This Is Money – “You don’t want to get caught with tools on you. Most burglars will improvise and just use something you have left outside the home.”
So the advice here is simple. If you have a garden keep it tidy. Trim hedges, mend fences and put tools away when you’re not using them.
4) Reinforce Your Doors
There are lots of ways to strengthen the doors into your home, and we’d recommend exploring options.
An incredibly simple way of making your door less easy to force entry through, is to use longer screws in the hinges, locks and bolts. Simply take out and measure the ones you have, then find some longer screws at your local hardware store. The longer the screw, the harder it is to pry out of place.
We’d always recommend choosing doors that are reinforced. If it’s too late for that, or you’re renting, applying an anti-shatter film to the glass door helps. It makes it more difficult to smash the glass into your home, and as burglars tend to look for fast and easy break-ins, may also act as a deterrent.
5) Put the Spotlight on Burglars with Security Lighting
While most burglars strike during daylight hours, there are always those who break a trend. If they attempt to burgle your property at night to avoid being seen, shining a light on them may make them scarper! And with solar powered lights you can keep electricity bills low too.
A poorly installed outdoor light can actually aid a burglar rather than improve security. If you’re installing a motion sensor light to improve your home security, be sure to consider the following:
- Only install lights that shine on areas that are easy to watch over, like gardens and main doorways. They can make any suspicious visitors visible to you and your neighbours. Having lights in places you can’t monitor defeats the purpose. If you are lighting hidden areas it is not only a waste of energy but may actually help a burglar to find their way around your house.
- Motion sensors are better than timed or static lights. They work as a trap. The intruder must be relatively close for the sensor to trigger which will mean they’re more likely to scare and run.
- Be careful of glare and the angle of the light. For example, don’t have the light pointing towards the peep-hole in your front door, as you won’t be able to see who triggered the sensor. Angle the light onto the space you want to see, and that it’s not reflecting off nearby surfaces.
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