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  • Writer's pictureAndy Murphy

Cheap Ways to Secure Your Home

Cheap Ways to Secure Your Home

Home Security on a Budget: Effective and Affordable Ways to Protect Your Home

In today's world, the safety of our homes and loved ones is very important. Home security systems have become a necessity rather than a luxury. They help provide peace of mind in a time when break-ins and burglaries are on the rise. And there are steps we can take has homeowners to fortify our property and deter crime from happening in the first place.


However, the cost of installing a high-end home security system and some fortifications can be cost prohibitive for many families. The good news is that there are several affordable ways to boost the security of your home without breaking the bank.


In this article I will explore budget-friendly strategies to secure your home effectively. From reinforcing entry points to increasing outdoor lighting, we will cover practical and inexpensive methods that can significantly improve your home's security.


And note that the title of the article is “Cheap Ways to Secure Your Home.” Sometimes the word cheap has a bad connotation to it. I chose the word cheap because it simplified the headline, but what I really mean is budget friendly and effective. Nothing I am going to share is low quality and ineffective.


Home Security Systems on a Budget


Home security systems are vital to home security because they provide comprehensive protection against a wide range of threats. These systems act as a deterrent to potential intruders, who are less likely to target homes with visible security measures.

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 With features like motion sensors, door and window sensors, surveillance cameras, and alarm systems, they offer real-time monitoring and alerts, allowing homeowners to respond quickly to any suspicious activity.


Additionally, modern home security systems often integrate with smart home technology, enabling remote access and control via smartphones or other devices. This means you can monitor your home from anywhere, ensuring constant vigilance.


A Home Security System You Install


Thanks to advancements in technology, you now have the opportunity to install a quality home security system. If you can use double-sided tape and add a device to your Wi-Fi network, then you are qualified to install a wireless home security system.


You can start your search with SimpliSafe. I found this 8-piece wireless home security system for less than $300 on Amazon.This is a great kit to get your going. These kits are discounted regularly, so be patient if you can.


Do-It-Yourself Home Security System


For less than $20 you can get battery powered sensors that can alert you to a developing problem. These GE personal security window and door alarms are great at making a loud noise that can scare away just about anyone. These are also great for outbuildings and remote areas that may not have Wi-Fi.

Home Security for First-Time Homeowners

Ways to Secure Your Home on a Budget: Doors and Windows


Securing your doors and windows is essential for home security because these are the primary entry points for most burglars. Doors and windows that are left unlocked or are inadequately fortified present easy opportunities for unauthorized access. Ensuring that doors and windows are secure not only safeguards your valuables but also protects your loved ones.


Quality Deadbolts


The doors to your home are the first line of defense against intruders. According to FBI statics, the front door is the number one way a criminal enters your home. Upgrading your door locks to include deadbolts is a cost-effective way to improve your security. Every exterior door on your home must have a deadbolt. Even the one that leads from the garage to the inside of your home.


When buying a new home, I suggest you replace the locks on the doors to fully control the access of your home. You don’t want old keys opening your new doors. You can look for matching codes on deadbolts and knob packaging to buy matching keys from manufacturers saving you money from having them rekeyed.


Secondary Locks


Chances are you have a latch guards or chain lock on your door currently. While these are very inexpensive, they also don’t work. The small screws and flimsy metal wont’ stop someone from kicking in your door. I suggest you remove these.


The best secondary lock on the market comes from FlipLok. The FlipLok is a secondary door lock that is easy to use daily and tough for worst-case emergencies. It is anchored to the door frame which helps distribute the blunt force of a boot along the length of the frame. The solid build, design, and material offer people a great way to fortify their homes.


To help you with your budget, I can get you 20% off your entire order at FlipLok with the discount code SECUREDAD. You can read my full review of a residential FlipLok here.


Window Locks


Windows can be an entry point for a burglar. The standard window locks you have now may not provide adequate security, especially on ground-level windows. Installing additional window locks can deter intruders and make it more challenging for them to gain access to the interior of your home.


Window locks are inexpensive and can be installed easily with basic tools or by screwing in a thumb screw. The only warning I have is to make sure every member of your home knows how to open the additional window lock. In the event of an emergency like a fire, you’ll want to be able to escape.

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Increase Outdoor Lighting to Deter Intruders


Proper outdoor lighting is an underrated aspect of home security that plays a crucial role in deterring potential intruders while enhancing your home's curb appeal. Strategically placed lights around entry points, walkways, and dark corners can eliminate hiding spots and make it more challenging for criminals to approach undetected. Moreover, well-lit exteriors signal to would-be intruders that your property is actively maintained and monitored, further discouraging criminal activity.


Dawn to Dusk Bulbs


By far the most cost-effective and simplest way to add light to your home is to use a dusk to dawn light bulb. These screw into your existing light fixtures like a normal light bulb. They will turn on and off with the rising and setting of the sun. You can put them in and forget them.


Motion Sensor Lighting


Motion sensor lights are an excellent investment as they only turn on when movement is detected, conserving energy while deterring potential intruders. These lights can be placed near entry points, such as doors and windows, as well as along pathways and driveways.


To help save money, consider buying solar lights. Solar-powered lights are another cost-effective solution for increasing outdoor lighting. They are easy to install and you can avoid the expense of calling an electrician to tie them into your home’s existing electrical system.


Pathway Lights


Another way to add lighting to bushes, trees, and walkways is with solar pathway lights. These fixtures add a touch of class to your home’s exterior and can bring light to places overhead lights can’t get to. Note, these lights typically last about a year, so don’t spend too much on them.


Landscaping as a Natural Barrier

Home Security Assessment


Plant Thorny Bushes Near Windows


Strategically planting thorny bushes and shrubs near windows can create a natural barrier that discourages intruders from attempting to access your home through these entry points. Plants such as knockout roses, holly, and barberry are both attractive and effective in increasing your home’s defenses.


Trim Trees and Bushes to Eliminate Hiding Spots


Overgrown trees and shrubs can provide hiding spots for intruders. Regularly trimming trees and maintaining your landscaping can improve visibility around your home and reduce the number of hiding spots.


One way to do this is to raise the trim line for your bushes. This is done by trimming the bottoms so that 6-10 inches of the bottom can be seen. Not only can you see if someone is standing behind the scrubs, but it also makes your yard look neater. This simple and inexpensive yardwork can significantly improve the security of your property.


Secure Valuables Without Breaking the Bank


Securing your valuables in safes is a critical measure for protecting your most treasured possessions from theft, fire, and other potential disasters. Safes offer a robust layer of defense, making it significantly more difficult for intruders to access items such as important documents, jewelry, cash, and electronic devices.


Modern safes come with advanced features like biometric locks, fireproofing, and water resistance, ensuring that your valuables remain secure under various adverse conditions. By investing in a quality safe and anchoring it to the floor or a wall, you add a substantial barrier that can thwart even determined thieves


Documents and Small Safes


A small safe is an excellent investment for securing important documents, jewelry, and other valuable items. Safes come in various sizes and price ranges, making it easy to find one that fits your budget. Look for safes with features such as fire resistance and waterproofing for added protection.


Diversion Safes


Diversion safes are clever containers designed to look like everyday household items, such as books, cans, or cleaning products. These safes are an affordable way to hide valuables in plain sight, making it less likely for intruders to find them during a break-in. This fake whole kernel corn can that looks like the real thing and can tuck in the cabinet with your can goods. Or for even cheaper, you can create your own with very little tools.


Neighborhood Watch Programs


Getting together with your neighbors can be a positive thing. It can get your community more acquitted and closer knit so that you’ll look out for each other.


One of the most effective ways to enhance home security is by fostering a sense of community vigilance. Organizing a neighborhood watch group can help deter criminal activity and provide additional eyes and ears to monitor suspicious behavior. Regular meetings and communication can keep everyone informed and engaged in protecting the neighborhood.


Share Information About Suspicious Activity


Effective communication with your neighbors is crucial for maintaining a secure environment. Sharing information about suspicious activity or recent break-ins can help everyone stay alert and take necessary precautions. Social media groups or messaging apps can facilitate quick and easy communication among neighbors.


Final Thoughts on Cheap Ways to Secure Your Home


Securing your home doesn't have to be expensive. By employing these budget-friendly strategies, you can significantly improve the safety of your home without investing in costly home security systems. To summarize:


- Reinforce doors and windows with deadbolts, a FlipLok, and window locks.

- Increase outdoor lighting with motion sensor and solar-powered lights.

- Use landscaping as a natural barrier by planting thorny bushes and trimming trees.

- Secure valuables with safes and diversion safes.

- Participate in neighborhood watch programs and maintain open communication with neighbors.


Taking these steps will help you create a safer environment for your family and deter potential intruders. Remember, the key to effective home security is not just about having the latest technology but also about being proactive and resourceful with the resources available to you. Home security is more of a low-tech game despite what advertisers want you to believe.

Watch Cheap Ways to Secure Your Home


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Andy Murphy

Andy Murphy founded The Secure Dad in 2016 with the aspiration to help families live safer, happier lives. What started as a personal blog about family safety has turned into an award-winning podcast, an Amazon best-selling book, and online courses. He focuses his efforts in the areas of home security, situational awareness, and online safety.


Andy is a husband and father. His interests include coaching youth basketball, hiking, and trying to figure out his 3D printer.

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