DIY Home Security

On a Budget? Do-It-Yourself Home Security

The choice between putting food on the table and incurring a monthly expense for a home security system is pretty apparent when money is tight. In tough financial times, you may worry about leaving your home and valuables at-risk.

Replacing stolen belongings adds to a financial burden. Such an occurrence would make restoring peace of mind and a sense of security difficult. Home security does not have to be foregone in challenging economic times.

There are creative ways to stretch the dollar and cut corners and still have an effective home security system. A variety of affordable and innovative ideas will keep out the bad guys and protect your home. Here are just some of the inexpensive do-it-yourself home security measures you can put in place to protect your family and home. With a DIY home security system, you have to look at many different aspects, such as wireless security cameras, an alarm system, control panel, motion sensors and much more… read on to find out how to do it yourself.

Do-It-Yourself Devices for Home Security

Windows and sliding glass doors are two vulnerable entry points. The locking mechanisms are nothing more than aluminum latches that are easily defeated. The following are low-cost ways to deter criminals and increase entry point security.

Track Blockers

A sliding glass door can be pried open easily at the latch. A track blocker is a security mechanism that prevents sliding an unlocked door open. Cut a piece of rebar or a solid wooden dowel or rod, like a closet rod, to the size of the door track.

Either option can be purchased at a home improvement store. Both are inexpensive. Most stores do not charge for cutting the material to the size you need. Just provide the measurements.

Anti-Jimmy Plates

Another means of entry by burglars is to lift sliding glass doors out of their tracks. Make an anti-jimmy plate by screwing a strip of wood or metal into the door’s upper track recess. The piece has to be a thickness that still allows the door to slide but fills the vertical space between the frame and the door.

Installing a few wood or sheet-metal screws into the door’s upper track will also prevent lifting the door. Place the screws a few inches apart. Screw them in deep enough that the door top barely touches the screws when slid back and forth.

Security Devices for Windows

For windows that slide vertically, add a large screw several inches above the window tops on both sides. You will be able to open the window when fresh air is desired, but the window cannot be opened more than a few inches.

As a measure of safety for you and your family, have a tool such as a hammer to shatter the glass if an escape route for an emergency such as a fire is necessary. Use the same security measures for sliding glass doors for windows that slide from side to side.

Other Tricks and Tips


There are psychological deterrents that can be used around the house. Dogs are naturally protective and loyal to their home and owners. A stranger can be intimidated by confronting a dog, especially large ones. A dog also serves as an alarm system with teeth that are sharp.

A dog that hears or sees something extraordinary often barks out of instinct to warn the intruder and alert its owner. Intruders attempting to break into your home protected by a dog run the risk of being identified and possibly apprehended by the police. They may also be bitten.

Signs Warning ‘Beware of Dog’

Whether or not you have a dog, creating the appearance of having one deters criminals. Purchase and display a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign. You can purchase signs with a picture or name of a large, protective breed such as a Doberman Pincher, German Shepherd, or Rottweiler that adds to the sign’s psychological effect. Place a large dog bowl outside an entry door or on the porch to add to the indication of a hefty sized dog.

Security Alarm Decals and Signs

In the same way that a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign can deter criminals, the goal can be accomplished by displaying home security decals and alarm signs around the property. This signage could include Neighborhood Watch. For added security, place decals near latches of each sliding glass door or window at-risk.

Layers of Protection

Burglars use a ‘risk versus reward’ analysis when deciding which home will be their next target. The risk is being caught and going to jail. The reward is the benefit received by breaking into a home without being detected.

Electronic equipment, cash, jewelry, and other valuables may be taken. Some burglars get a sick satisfaction from harming individuals in a home. Criminals target homes that equate to fast cash.

The things they steal are exchanged for things that benefit them such as drugs or money. The goal is usually to get in and out as fast as possible without being confronted or seen. There are those who initiate physical confrontations or become violent.

The typical burglar is a male between the ages of 16 and 21. Studies have shown criminals often live near targets and are familiar with the community. The crux of a home security plan is the concept of risk and reward.

Proper security measures decrease the risk of a home becoming a target. Burglars usually scope out property first. It is essential to have a layer of security on the perimeter of a home. It acts as an initial deterrent to would-be intruders.

Install LED lighting that adequately shines a light on stairways, sidewalks, exterior hallways, and doorways. Include lights with motion sensors. Cut back any landscaping such as bushes and bushy trees where perpetrators could hide. Increase lighting that eliminates areas that are dark and shadowy.

The second layer of protection makes it appear as though someone is home. Burglars prefer to break into homes that are not occupied. You can give the impression someone is home by:

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    Leaving a TV or radio on when you leave your home
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    Installing light timers inside the residence
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    Using timers to turn on a television or radio while you are away

Any level of security is better than none at all. The security measures mentioned here are inexpensive and simple. They can be extremely useful in keeping unwanted intruders outside your home.