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Author of How to Prep When You’re Broke and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course
Making your home safer seems more important than ever in these days of lax punishment for criminals. Why get a job if you can just steal from people and spend a couple of hours in jail before being released on your own recognizance? Protecting yourself by making your home harder to break into and capturing the footage you need to defend yourself against criminal charges if you fight back is more important than ever. Here are some inexpensive home security to make your home a little bit safer.
There are other ways, like securing your exterior doors with better hardware and frames or installing ballistic windows. Of course, you want to be well-armed and trained. But the options in this article are quick and easy to obtain. Anyone can put them into place, they don’t run afoul of any local politics, and they cost less than $100.
Add braces to windows.
Don’t let your windows be opened from the outside. Add simple braces to the inside to keep them from being raised up or slid over. If your home has a lot of windows, you can start out by securing just the downstairs windows. What I like about these braces is that I can still have my windows open slightly for fresh air, but they won’t be easy to move far enough to allow someone to slip in without breaking the window and making a commotion.
Unlike those fancy (and expensive) security bars that go on the outsides of windows, these braces can be easily removed for escape in the event of a fire. You don’t want to turn your home into a prison from which you cannot escape if necessary.
Add wedges near bedroom doors.
If an intruder breaks into your home, you may need to retreat while waiting for help to arrive. It could also happen when you aren’t at home, and vulnerable family members may not be prepared to engage an intruder. While it’s always best to replace interior doors with sturdier doors in better quality doorframes, a quick and inexpensive way to at least slow down the intruder is door wedges.
You can have the alarm on these on or off. I leave the alarm on when I’m at hotels but off at home. I tuck the one in my home behind the door on the floor so that I can always quickly access it. (Incidentally, I actually carry one of these in my purse, too, in the event I ever need to barricade a door.) If you don’t want the kind with a shrieking alarm, you can get these plain rubber ones. The advantage to these is the holes in them – you can run some string or ribbon through them and hang them from interior door knobs.
It’s true that there are bigger, sturdier devices, but I like the speed and ease with which the wedges can be deployed.
This suggestion will not work for everyone, but you may want to consider having a camera in your home near doors and entry points. Particularly if you are a gun owner, a camera can help to end the “I said, they said” nature of a violent interaction. I wouldn’t want a camera such as this to be set up in my main living areas for privacy reasons, but aimed at my front and back door, it seems like a pretty good idea.
It can also record intruders when you aren’t at home, which means you may have a better chance of recovering stolen goods. You may also want cameras outside your home pointing at entries.
If you choose to go with such an option, look for a device that is motion-activated. Decide whether you want the device to stream to your phone or to record on an SD card, and think about power options such as solar or long-term batteries.
Get a door intercom
Many home invasions have begun with what seems like an innocent knock at the door. But then, when the homeowner opens it, the culprit shoves their way in. Instead of a regular doorbell, consider a door intercom. Popular in secured entry apartment buildings, visitors have to ring the bell, which you can then answer inside, almost like a phone call. You can speak to them and find out who’s at the door (and why they’re there) without opening it, which adds to your safety. You can speak and provide instructions, such as, “Thank you, I can’t come to the door right now. Please leave the package on the porch.”
If your intercom is paired with a camera so you can see who is on the other side, all the better. However, the wireless intercom is a less expensive option.
Add a driveway alarm.
These are really great, and I had one when I lived in the country. A driveway alarm has sensors that alert you when someone crosses in front of them onto your property. This brand is inexpensive yet highly rated. A little more advance warning before someone gets to your door can give you valuable time to get the kids inside or just to be aware that somebody is there. These are motion-activated and play a little melody when they detect motion. You can play around with the sensitivity and angles so that you aren’t alerted when local wildlife crosses your driveway – this can take a bit of trial and error.
Small inexpensive home security changes add up.
This is by no means a complete list of ways to improve your home security. I recently added braces to the windows in my current home, and it got me thinking about inexpensive home security improvements that can be made on tight budgets. All these are renter-friendly and simple to install.
Beef up your security with one item a month and make your home a little bit safer. I don’t expect to see crime rates going down any time soon, so it’s up to us to level up our home security.
Probably the most important thing of all can’t be bought. It is being aware and listening to your gut. The book The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker is a classic for a reason.
If someone isn’t supposed to be at your house, you are under no obligation to let them in. Just because a person knocks doesn’t mean that you have to answer the door. If something feels wrong, it probably is. Listen to your instincts and you’ll be safer anywhere you are.
What are some cheap options for improved, inexpensive home security that you recommend? Have you tried any of the recommendations listed here? Have crimes increased where you live?
Let’s discuss it in the comments section.
Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites. 1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2) The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.
Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand Survival.com You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.