Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Cheapskate's Guide to Home Security

We just got a security system installed. The whole experience prompted me to blog on some cheapskate home security ideas.

The whole point of cheapskate home security is based on deterrence. Here's my ideas:

(1) Find a friend who pays for security service and get one of their signs. Security companies usually give two or three with an installation. Perhaps, your friend has a spare. Once you get the sign, put it up in your front yard.

(2) When on travel, use some timers for your indoor lighting. Here's an Amazon search of indoor light timers.

(3) Consider using random security measures for your house so that someone planning an burglary doesn't get a good read on your routine. Here's some ideas:

(a) Cycle between your outdoor lighting scheme. Rather than have all of your outdoor lights on, cycle between using your lights for your front door, back door and/or garage
(b) If you have a garage, don't always use it.
(c) You can probably come up with a few others.

(4) If you're traveling, stop your mail or have a friend pick it up.

(5) Consider a baseball bat or other weapon near your bed. This may be suitable if you're not scared of conflict and you don't have a sophisticated alarm system (with sensors for windows, glass break sensors, etc).

(6) Plant thorny bushes near potential access points.

(7) Set up motion sensors on your exterior lighting.

(8) Get a dog. A cheapskate alternative is if your neighbor has a dog that shares your fence line. We've got this situation and their dogs always bark when I walk in my back yard.

(9) Consider getting signs such as "This house protected by Smith and Wesson" and/or "Beware of dog." Even if you don't have a dog or a handgun, it could be a deterrent.

(10) Keep your grass cut, don't let your newspapers pile up.

(11) Get dead-bolt locks.

Adopting all of these ideas is certainly not cheap. However, a homeowner or renter could probably take a few of these ideas and come up with a low cost alternative. Additionally, if you're a real cheapskate, remind yourself of the true expense of having a home intrusion/burglary occur (might be a little incentive to open the wallet/purse).

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