Protecting your home doesn’t have to be an expensive project. While we should never skim on such an important job, safe homeowners should know that there are easy and cheap ways to protect your home and your family without a home security system.
If you can’t afford a home security system, or are looking for a cheaper alterative, check out my five easy ways to protect your home without an alarm system.
The most popular point of entry, for you and burglars, are the doors. While every front, side or back door comes with a standard lock, there are easy and cheap ways to update your door locking system.
To start off, the difference between a flimsy lockset and a good one is only about $10. Therefore, no one should skim on this necessary home security feature.
Each exterior door should also have a deadbolt lock. There are two types: double-cylinder locks, keyed on both sides, and single-cylinder versions where the inside is controlled by a latch knob. Double-cylinder locks offer better security, but many codes don't allow them because they can interfere with the escape in case of a fire.
Most new doors are steel-clad with either wood or steel-clad edge trims. If your door has a wooden edge, install the lock as you would in a wooden door. If it has steel-clad edges, look for a plastic insert covering the lock area.
To see how you can install new door locks, check out DIY for Installing Door Locks.
The second place burglars try to enter the home is through your windows. If you have hung, casement or slider windows at ground level, burglars could easily open them if they are not locked or your current system is faulty.
In regards to sliding windows, there are window locks that let you drive a screw in the top of the upper track to keep thieves from lifting a gliding window out of its track. Several locks let you position them at certain spots within the track, letting you open the window to allow some ventilation without sacrificing any security.
Casement windows can be closed with a door-bolt that uses a key. Like a sliding window lock, this uses a bolt or big screw to keep the window from opening.
For double-hung windows, you can buy a locking pin that goes through one sash of the window and through the other sash. Some work with a key and others go through a drilled hole.
Additionally, new windows are almost always a safer and more efficient bet. See how to choose the right ones with our windows project guide.
Motion Detection Lighting
Believe it or not, it’s a lot more difficult to rob a home in the light than the dark. I always encourage our fans to save and conserve energy, so instead of leaving your front or backyard lights on all night, why not install motion detection lighting?
Before you consider this option, check with your city. This project may involve new wiring and an indoor switch.
With motion detection lighting, you are able to select the time and distance. Therefore, your light won’t be going off every time a squirrel runs by your yard. Motion detection lighting has certainly advanced over the years and homeowners have many options to choose from.
Once you have picked one out, review our DIY Tips for How to Install Home Security Lights.
Now that we have covered lights outside the home, it’s time to move inside. Automatic timers are perhaps the easiest home security addition out there.
Burglars are often scared to enter the home if they know you’re home. Lights are a great way to broadcast your presence. Additionally, lights are great decoys when you are not home or sleeping. Oftentimes, if they see one light on, in the bathroom, hallway or foyer, they will move onto the less secure home.
If you are thinking about investing in automatic timers, be sure to check out our cost estimator for installing electrical switches.
Prepare Home for Vacation
Many families choose to travel during the spring and summer, but sadly, thieves never take a vacation. As I iterated above, burglars are scared to enter the house if they know you’re home. So when you are on vacation, don’t broadcast it with piled up newspapers or mail hanging out of your mailbox. Before all vacations, homeowners should:
- Ask a neighbor to check in once and awhile.
- Notify the police of your vacation plans.
- Pause your mail and newspaper.
As you can see, there are easy ways to secure your home without purchasing a home security system. If you do not have an alarm system, I hope you take these tips to heart and implement them today.
On the other hand, we understand the piece of mind that comes with a home security system. Before you purchase an alarm system, be sure to view our alarm installation cost estimator.