Tips to Secure Your Home on the Cheap

simple home security tips

The majority of burglaries occur during the day when no one is home, Crime Doctor reports. The most important security controls you can put in place are those effective in an empty house. Many burglaries are carried out by amateurs, and the simplest things will scare them off your property. Keep your family safe by walking through your home with an eye on where you can enhance its security yourself. Here are some tips.


All exterior doors should have a dead bolt with a 1-inch bolt. The door between the garage and the house should also have a dead bolt. There should be minimal space between the door and the frame, so someone can't get a tool in the space to pry the door open. If you must have glass in the door, make sure it's safety or triple-pane glass. Secure a sliding glass door by placing a metal bar in the track, so the door can't be forced open.

If you've just moved into the house, or if you lose your keys, change all the locks. If you frequently give keys out to house sitters or maintenance people, consider installing a lock with a keypad, so you can change the code often.

If you like to keep a spare key somewhere outside of the house, wrap it in aluminum foil, place it in a 35mm film can, and hide or bury it. If you have a dog that stays outside, secure a key to the inside of the dog collar. It is unlikely a burglar will look there.


All your windows should be triple-pane or safety glass to make them harder to break through. If you install window locks, strip the screw head or drip solder into the screw head so a burglar can't cut a small hole in the glass and unscrew the lock. Don't leave windows open if you are not at home. If you can't avoid this, put a stop on the window to prevent it from opening more than an inch or two. A window that is very close to a door lock can be broken, so the burglar can reach in and unlock the door. Try to keep the two far apart.

Outside of the House

Burglars look for easy home targets. Anything that makes a home look a little challenging will make them ignore that home. Get some, “Protected by” signs, or some, “Beware of dog” signs to post around the home. Place signs in front and back. The signs alone, whether you actually have an alarm system or dog or not, can be enough to dissuade a burglar.

These tips will help protect your house much of the time. Once you have taken the following steps yourself, consider installing an interactive home security system that you can monitor from a remote computer or from your mobile device. You can find various security companies online, from the simplest to the most complex home systems.

What tips do you have for DIY home security? Share them in the comments.

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10 years ago

I suggest a keyed deadbolt (instead of one with just a knob that turns) in any door with, or close to, a window. If you feel the need to have the key handy (I worry about fires), hang the key in a place that’s handy but not within reach of a burglar’s arm, should he/she break the window.

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