Home Protection on a Budget
When it comes to home protection, there are so many “over the top” ways to achieve a personal feeling of security that you could literally spend a small fortune—even more than the cost of the home itself—in making it “bulletproof”.
Fortunately there are also ways to achieve this for literally pennies a day or less if you know what you are doing. Here are some of the best ways to secure your home with only minimal investment.
Home Protection: start with the basics for zero money
- The first of the basics I will make note of is the fact that 90% of opportunistic break-ins or thefts happen because you were lazy. Oh yes, it’s true. How many times have you left you car in the driveway with the doors unlocked and your wallet in the glove compartment? Or your cell phone on the seat? Careless attractants for thieves will also lead them to believe that you might be careless about your house security as well. If they don’t stroll up to your door and give the door a try, you can be sure that they will start to watch your house for other signs of opportunity. Keep your door and windows locked when you close them in both the house and the car. Sounds really basic, but it works.
- Don’t leave tempting items around – this includes keys, money (even spare change can initiate a smash-n-grab), wallets, credit/bank cards or jewelry (yes, your Mickey Mouse watch counts as jewelry).
Visibility—if you look out your home window and all you see is the back of a hedge, then you have created the perfect hiding spot for an intruder. This also means that you cannot see someone trespassing on your property, tampering with your vehicle, beating up your kid or placing a flaming bag of dog poop on your front stoop. Every window should afford a view.
- Have meetings with your family. Once a month for fifteen minutes is not too much to ask of your homegrown teenager to get off the iPhone or Xbox. Talk about what the family has to do in an emergency like a fire or a suspected home invasion. Have a plan and write it down. Go over it once per month and add amendments to it whenever someone comes up with a good idea. Offer rewards for good ideas that get put into the plan.
Home Protection: Minimal cost security
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Is there a price too great for the safety of your loved ones? Luckily even the most basic model two, four or six pack smoke detector set available at your local big-box store is only a few dollars and they will save your life. You know that already? Then why do almost 40% of American households lack operational smoke detectors and 70% of American households lack carbon monoxide detectors? Have you tested yours recently? Replace the batteries every year? Are you sure?
- Adequate indoor and outdoor lighting. Lights do not have to be expensive. Even cheap lights throw light. With the flick of a single, easy to access wall switch, you should be able to successfully illuminate an entire room, open area of a house or an outdoor portion of your property. Lights are scary to invaders.
- So you’ve got your hedges clipped and your windows are wide and exposed. You can see outside perfectly during the day but at night all the neighbors can see you walking around in your pajamas. For minimal investment a good set of blinds or shades will solve that problem. Don’t allow someone to case your home by sitting in a car at the street and stare in at your 70” Hi-Def television.
- Obstacles—locks and latches. I mentioned locking your doors and windows, but are those little knob, twist-buttons good enough to keep out an intruder? A minimal investment on dead-bolts and higher-quality handle locks can be all it takes to make a burglar realize that your house is just not worth the trouble.
- Go bag or Bugout Bag. You DO have a “go bag”, right? No? What happens in an emergency? Ever been in a hurricane? How about a tornado? Earthquake? Flood? What do you bring with you if you need to get your family out in a real hurry? Or, conversely, what if you’re trapped in your home for an extend time with no access to resources? Your go bag is the short term solution to a major problem. A sturdy , waterproof duffle bag is all it takes to store a change of clothes for the entire family, a supply of common and prescription medication, non-perishable food and water, some basic tools, a few survival items (rope, knife, water purification tablets, lighter, tinder, sewing kit, first-aid kit, etc…) baby supplies and personal grooming needs. Basically anything compact enough to fit into the bag that could be detrimental to be without. It should be checked and restocked as necessary and a great time to do so is at your monthly family meeting.
Home Protection: Small investments
- These types of small expenditures represent an extension of what you might already have in the above mentioned security features. Things like motion detector lighting that will illuminate an area of your property, a monitored alarm system that can be had for any level of monthly payment you care to make, a charged cell phone with emergency numbers ready for auto dial is always handy to have around and of course, a dog could be one of the most popular deterrents that you can have (of course, my dog would probably lick the intruder to death rather than scare them away).
- Also to be considered as a distinct defensive possibility is a firearm of some kind, but that is a whole discussion unto itself.
With even a small investment here and there, it is possible to effectively secure your home from the concerns that generally come with modern day family life and the needs to keep your loved ones safe and secure. While home protection is never going to be a 100% guarantee against some form of dangerous occurrence, peace of mind and the ability to sleep at night has it’s own rewards.