Basic Home Security Security on a Budget – What You Should Know To Keep Your Family Safe

Guest post by Malcolm Robinson

In the United States, a home burglary occurs every 13 seconds. That’s more than two million homes that are struck every year. Moreover, these break-ins are most likely to occur during the summer months, as families take vacations away from home.

Contrary to popular belief, most home break-ins are not performed by professionals. Eighty-five percent of home break-ins are carried out by opportunistic amateurs. In addition, home burglaries are most likely to happen during the day, when everyone is at work, not at night.

Here are 7 home security tips you can implement so that your house is less desireable to burglars.

Make it Look Like You’re Home

The National Burglary Institute estimates that 60% of break-ins happen when no one is in the home. Burglars are deterred when lights are on in the house when the TV is blaring, and when there is a car parked in the driveway. If you make your house look occupied when you’re gone, most burglars will simply pass it by.

Lock Up Windows and Doors

More than 40 percent of home break-ins occur without forced entry. This means many people are leaving their homes without locking the doors and windows. Double check windows and doors before you leave your house. In addition, remember windows have latches, not locks. They should have secondary devices such as wooden dowels or frame pins to prevent them sliding open from the outside. For your doors, use high-quality locks that resist twisting, prying, and lock-picking. For forced entry, upgrade your door with a heavy-duty, strike plate.They are available in most hardware stores and this upgrade alone will deter or prevent most through-the-door forced entries.

Secure the Patio Door with a Piece of Plywood

Sliding glass doors could be your home’s biggest weakness and most are secured by latches, not locks. Upgrade your sliding door with a locking mechanism or insert a blocking device in the door track. Take a piece of wood (or even a broomhandle) and place it in the track of your patio door. This will prevent door movement when you are out of the house.

Add Security System Signs on Your Lawn

Thieves will go out of their way to avoid homes with alarm systems because there is an increased chance of being caught. Place your security sign in a direction that faces high traffic and is easily noticed. This could make the difference in deterring intruders before they reach your door.

Beware of Dog!

A great solution to deter burglars is to own a dog. A dog’s sight, hearing and sense of smell are greater than their human owners. These senses allow dogs to notice an unwanted intruder long before we can. Once an intruder is detected, the dog will begin to bark as a warning to the intruder and as an alert to their owner. Knowing there is a dog on the property can help to deter potential burglars, and be an efficient alarm against intruders.

Install A Decoy Camera

If a home security system is not in your current budget, decoy camera can be a budget friendly burglar deterrent. They mimic the look and functionality of a video surveillance camera but they do not record. Install a decoy cameras near points of entry on your property. Criminals are less likely to burgularize your home if they think they will be caught on camera.

Upgrade To A Camera System

Upgrading from a decoy camera to a real camera is one of the best ways of securing your home. A camera will record daytime and nighttime activity, and when properly set up, can be viewed from a mobile device away from the property. For optimal results, safeguard all entrances to your property by installing a camera within line-of-sight of approaching intruders, and link them all back to a live video stream in the home. A camera system is more than a mere burglary deterrent. In the event that a burglary should happen to you, the video recordings can be used to identify intruders.

When you’re looking to protect your home from burglars you have a range of options to choose from. Securing your property is as simple as locking up entranceways and making it look like you’re home. Choose a low-cost solution like security system sign or a decoy camera to deter passersby, or get a dog and upgrade to a live streaming camera system and add a final layer of protection.

Meet the Author

Malcolm Robinson is a Public Relations Specialist at Night Owl Security Products. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Boynton Beach, FL, Night Owl is a leading innovator in the security technology industry providing surveillance equipment to homeowners, retailers and federal organizations across the globe. Find him on Facebook and Instagram.


  1. mom of three says:

    Get to know your neighbors, and neighborhood, let one neighbor know your going to be gone. Also if your going to be gone, get someone to pick up papers, mail, mow your lawn. I don’t know how many times I’ve mowed our neighbors front yard, or picked up mail, and package’s, over the year’s. Start turning on your front, and back porch light on when your gone and keep it up when your home. Our neighborhood, is dark when everyones front porch light is off. We also have a motion light in our driveway, keep cars locked each night too. We live in a city, if you haven’t guessed by now and safty is #1 for us. Don’t leave anything out that you want to keep fences are a good to have too. Keep a lock on garage doors, and shed doors too we have lived in the city for 20 year’s and had one bike, taken because my son, did not put it away big learning lesson for him…

    • mom of three says:

      When I mentioned I mowed, it was because we did not know our neighbors, were gone for two weeks!! When I asked the neighbors on the other side if they were gone they said yes for two week’s well your lawn does not go on vacation, for two week’s. I mowed it three time’s for them just because you don’t want creepy people, checking it out or my house either.

    • Unfortunately, my neighbor is the thief. I’ve had so many things go missing since I moved here 5 years ago, I can’t even begin to tell you. And that is the worst part, most of it is just petty theft, but you start to question your sanity, Did I really have this item, or maybe I misplaced it, ect. I have finally resorted to getting an 8 camera surveillance system along with two trail cams just to catch this guy. (not fully installed yet.) Just worried what this guy will do when the SHTF. Not feeling safe at all.

      • GregJ ,

        Nothing can make a neighbourhood “go down the tubes” faster than a thief moving in. Too bad everyone can’t get together a “slap him around” but with today’s court system he would end up owning the whole neighbourhood after he sued and won. Bad when you can’t even protect your own property anymore.

      • Crazy Joe in South Jersey says:

        5 years of stealing ? How long have you known it was the neighbor ? 4 years , 3 , 2 or 1 year ? Or just recently found out ?

    • mom of three ,

      Good advice that everyone reading should follow.

  2. Moira M says:

    Great article! It is always good to be reminded of these things and maybe find something new.

  3. The most useful advice probably does not store your precious asset in your home.

  4. Labgirl says:

    My 1 1/4 acres is fenced in with solid wire farm fencing and I have a dog. I think this deters a lot of would be thieves and sales people and possibly nosy neighbors. I always lock house and car. This is the fastest growing county in my state so I think the crime rate could definitely increase. I liked the article. Good points.

  5. My DS-S gave us a camera system last time he visited, It records to the web, and sends us messages if it is activated by movement. The cats aren’t big enough to set it off. We can turn it on and off remotely, and view the video in real time. Very happy with it.

    Signs: We have a Beware of Dog and a No Trespassing sign. The latter means that trespassers have no excuses for being on the property. “I was just seeing if you wanted any work done” doesn’t work when they have walked fifty feet past a No Trespassing sign.

    We also pinned the windows, making sure they stick out far enough to pull out if there is a fire. And several aluminum baseball bats in handy places as now and then there are occupied premises entries.

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