- Consulting: Call a locksmith or a police officer for some basic tips on home security. Community programs in which law enforcement inspects a property is a cost-effective way to secure your home.
- Signage: Use “Beware of Dog” signs—one for the front door and one for the back door. And “This House is Alarmed” signs are excellent deterrents.
- Dogs: Dogs are a great form of home security…but they also can be expensive. Just buy the biggest dog food bowl possible—one bowl for the front porch and one for the back. Writing Killer on the bowl will give a burglar the impression that you have a big and vicious dog. You can even buy a barking dog alarm.
- Neighborhood watch: Have your neighbors keep a keen eye on your property when you are away, and do the same for them. Start a neighborhood watch program and set it up so everyone has a responsibility to watch one another’s properties.
- Lived-in look: Make your home seem occupied all day, every day. When you are away, put the stereo or TV on loud enough to hear from the immediate exterior. Buy inexpensive timers and plug all your lamps in.
- Outdoor motion sensors: Only 10-20 bucks. When someone is creeping and an exterior light goes on, they make a burglar think he’s being watched.
- Decent locks: Locks can be as cheap as 30 bucks. Beef up the strike plate by installing three-inch screws deep into the frame.
- Security bar: For short money, you can make a “security bar” with wood or pipe that wedges up under your doorknob.
- Screw your windows: Install small-angle brackets that prevent the windows from opening any more than five inches.
10. Install a bare-minimum home security system that includes daily alarm monitoring for short money. I use a home alarm too, and it is the best protection when you are sleeping or at work.