A burglary takes place in the U.S. every 14.6 seconds. Residential properties get the brunt of this with 65.8% of all burglaries. Your home security is your defense against the thieves who want to take your things and violate your privacy.

If you are looking to make your home safer without spending a fortune, what can you do?

Read on to learn about 5 ways to improve home security on a budget.

Home Security on a Budget

There are expensive home security solutions where for a monthly fee you get high-end security and automated systems. Some homes even have guard-controlled gates and patrols. These pricy solutions are out of the reach of most people.

Home security need not be just for people who can afford expensive systems. There are many effective measures you can take to prevent burglaries. Some of the low-cost solutions are surprisingly sophisticated.

The key to home security on a budget is understanding the typical house burglar. Most are not professional thieves. They are more likely to be youngsters looking for easy, risk-free opportunities.

Detering these thieves is about making your home look like a greater risk and more difficult to enter than other homes.

1. Make Your Home Appear Occupied

Burglars look for opportunities to steal from homes where they will not be disturbed. They want time and would rather not have a confrontation. Making your house appear occupied is relatively easy and inexpensive.

Setting a timer to operate lights, TV or radio while you are out can create the impression that there is someone on the property. Leave your car in the driveway or arrange for a neighbor to park in your driveway. In certain neighborhoods, you could even rent out your driveway and earn money while making your home more secure.

If you have services such as a cleaner, gardener or window cleaner have these services done when you are out of the house. As well as getting your house cleaned or lawn mowed you are deterring burglars.

A “Beware of the dog” sign can also be off-putting to a casual thief, especially if there is other evidence of a dog such as a bowl by the door. This can work whether you have a scary dog or not. Even better if you have a dog that is happy to bark at any visitor to your front door.

2. Install an Alarm

The appearance of an alarm system is a deterrent in itself. Imagine a burglar looking for an opportunity to break into a home walking down a street. Several houses have prominent burglar alarm boxes on the outside of the property and some do not.

It is easier and less risky to attempt an entry to a house without an alarm box than to investigate the ones with boxes. Even though thieves know some boxes are decoys, it’s not worth the risk to check them out when other homes are clearly unprotected.

Home alarm systems range in sophistication and price but you can find one for your budget. Even a low-cost self-installed system can include a loud alarm, passive infrared sensors, and the all-important external box. This is a simple home improvement project.

3. Vacation Security

As well as the ideas listed above, to make your home look occupied, there are some more things you can do if you are away for more than a day or two. Ask friends or neighbors to help disguise the fact you are away.

The give away signs are:

  • Garbage cans put out for collection and not returned to their normal location
  • Piles of papers and unopened envelopes
  • Uncut grass
  • Permanently opened or closed drapes

A regular visit by a helpful neighbor can create the impression that you are not away or at least that your home is being looked after. Your home is more secure and you can enjoy your vacation.

4. Hide Things Intelligently

If a burglar does gain entry to your home they will want to make their visit as short as possible. They will look for easy to grab valuables such as cash, purses, car keys and small electronics.

Develop the habit of putting these sorts of things away. Keeping car keys by the front door makes it easier for you to grab them when you leave the house. It also makes it easy for a burglar.

Some people think that putting valuables in a bedroom drawer, closet or even in the freezer makes them secure. Burglars know you think this and look there first. Spend a little time thinking about less obvious locations for your valuables.

You could even have a decoy in plain view. Have a cheap laptop, you don’t mind losing, left in plain view. With their hands full of what looks like a nice haul, the burglar is likely to leave happy but there could be a sting in the tale.

You could have tracking software installed to help find the laptop later and perhaps other stolen goods too.

5. Be There When You Are Not

You may have a small budget but this should not necessarily mean you can’t get quite sophisticated. If you have a smartphone and wifi at home you could monitor your home from any location. A secret camera like this product can be easily installed in your home or fitted to monitor your front door.

The camera can be used to monitor your home when you are not there. It can also be used to monitor activity outside your front door. If you notice suspicious activity such as a burglar checking out your home, you can take measures to prevent a burglary.

Imagine a burglar’s surprise on returning to your home to find a print out of their face attached to your front door.

What Next?

If you’ve learned something about simple steps you can take to improve your home security then do something about it now. You will regret delaying if an opportunist burglar takes advantage of your procrastination.

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