7 Ways to Improve Your Home Security Now, Practically for Free
Whether you’re already using a home security system or not, there are several ways you can vastly improve the security of your home – without shelling out a ton of cash.
Yes, we strongly urge every homeowner to consider installing a high-quality, monitored alarm system. Research shows that simply having the alarm can reduce your chances of being burglarized by up to 20 times. And when an emergency does occur (burglar, fire, carbon monoxide, etc.), your alarm system will alert the monitoring center to send help right away.
But beyond that, there are several other things you can do to ensure your safety at home – very simple, practical things that are free or close to it.
- Close and lock doors and windows.
Simple – don't go to bed or leave the house without locking everything up. An open window or door is an invitation for an intruder.
- Lock sheds and garages.
Sheds and garages are prime targets for burglars. Items can be stolen easily and quietly. And if the garage is connected to your home, it's an extra access point to your living space. Keep all shed and garage doors locked and closed.
- Installing a pet door?
Use the right kind.
If you plan to install a pet door for your dog or cat, consider one that opens automatically when triggered by a sensor in the pet's collar. This isn't free, of course, but it's a smart alternative to ordinary pet doors, which are often large enough for intruders to enter or to use other means of unlocking the door.
- Make sure window A/C units are secured.
Could an intruder gain access to your home by removing the A/C unit from the window or simply pushing it inside? If so, you need to secure it immediately. Most A/C units come with instructions on how to firmly attach them to a window frame, so they can't fall out or be easily removed.
- Make sure all doors have deadbolts.
A door without a deadbolt can be easily compromised. High-quality deadbolts aren't expensive, and installing them is a generally simple DIY project.
- Hide keys and garage remotes.
In the event that an intruder does get inside, you don't want them taking the keys to your car, house and garage! Don't make the mistake of hanging keys right by a door or window. Keep them out of sight.
- User timers to turn on lights when you're away.
If you'll be gone a while, these timers will make it appear like someone is inside, thus scaring the bad guys off.