Protecting your property can get expensive, but it doesn’t have to cost the Earth if you’re savvy about where you focus your spending.
We’ve put together a list of top home security tips that can be achieved comparatively cheaply so that intruders of all types can be deterred or dealt with while your bank balance remains healthy.
Add motion-sensitive lights to exterior access points
One of the most affordable additions you can make is to install outdoor floodlights to parts of your home where any interlopers would need to pass by in order to gain access, such as garage doors, rear porches, and so forth.
The latest motion-sensitive models are stylish, discrete, energy-efficient, and an effective way of stopping burglars in their tracks, whether or not you’re at home.
Keep outdoor areas neat and tidy
Maintaining your garden or yard is a good idea not only because it will make your property look more appealing, but also because it will prevent crooks from being able to sneak close by without detection.
Overgrown bushes and out-of-control trees provide them with cover for skulking, so stay on top of your landscaping responsibilities to avoid this.
Embrace remote security solutions
Any upgrades you make to your home security should be done with remote access in mind because today there are tons of products that give you control over many aspects of your home even if you’re somewhere else entirely.
From a residential door operator to a wireless camera system with web-based streaming capabilities, small changes to your home security setup can give you a massive boost to peace of mind, without leaving you penniless.
Lock everything, including windows
Doors and windows have locks for a reason, and yet plenty of people forget that when they leave the house, every point of entry needs to be properly secured above and beyond being closed tightly.
Windows are worth double-checking because criminals know that people tend to leave them unlocked even if doors have been secured.
Be sure to keep the key for window locks close by, but not in sight of the window. This is for safety reasons since you don’t want a locked window to prevent you from getting out of your home in an emergency, such as a fire.
There’s a reason that people have ‘beware of the dog’ signs on the perimeters of their properties, and it’s not just to ensure that postal workers aren’t caught unawares.
Whether or not you have a pooch prowling the grounds of your home, a simple sign can work wonders in preventing opportunistic crooks from taking a stab at trespassing.
Store valuables correctly
Speaking of the opportunism that fuels many burglaries, you need to take responsibility for taking the temptation away from would-be thieves by not leaving expensive items laying around in the full view.
This applies to possessions that are normally used outdoors, such as bicycles, sporting equipment, lawn mowers, and so forth.
It’s also relevant for precious objects within your home. Having lots of jewelry on show which can be seen if someone glances through a window is an invitation to break in, for example, so storing such items where they can’t be observed is better.
Don’t leave your Wi-Fi network exposed
In the digital age, it’s not just the physical security of your home which should be a concern. Anyone with a Wi-Fi network needs to think carefully about how well-defended this is against the potential interference of malicious third parties.
First and foremost, you should always use a strong security password and not one which is easily guessed. Not having a password-protected network whatsoever is obviously unacceptable, and that’s why most modern routers come with a randomly generated default password which you can use if you wish.
Second, if you do give other people the password for your network, make sure that you trust them, and take the step of changing your password periodically so that even if it does get leaked, this won’t matter for long.
Remove cat flaps
You might not think that a cat flap that is only large enough for your furry feline friends to squeeze in and out of would not pose a security risk. But the reality is that it’s just as possible for a criminal to reach inside using their arms or a tool, perhaps to snag keys left on a nearby surface or access them if they’re still in the door’s keyhole.
Pet access points might be convenient, but they’re a security hazard, and getting rid of them is better than leaving them in place, particularly if you don’t have animals that actively use them.
Leave internal lights ablaze
Just as external lights are a deterrent to burglars, internal lights are a long-standing defense against criminals.
Today’s low-energy bulbs mean that having a light on while you’re away won’t cost much so you can save on your energy bills. And with smart light bulbs, it’s even possible to control them remotely, or set them on specific timing cycles when you’re elsewhere.
Final thoughts on home security on a budget
For truly free improvements to home security, it’s all about changing your habits and getting good at remembering to protect your home.
It’s still worth paying a little more to upgrade elements of your property because you’ll be saving yourself so much more by avoiding the attention of professional thieves.