Do-it-Yourself Home Security on a Shoestring Budget

When you're forced to choose between putting food on the table and the monthly expense of a home security alarm, many people have no choice but to leave their safety and security up to chance. But when financial times are tough, the last thing you want to do is leave your home and your valuables at risk of being stolen from you. Not only will having to replace your life's belongings add to your financial burden, you may never be able to restore your sense of security and peace of mind.

Difficult financial times doesn't mean having to forego home security. Just as there are many creative ways to cut corners and stretch a dollar, there are a variety of creative and affordable ways to protect your home and keep the bad guys out. While I can’t cover every security tip in an article, the following are a few inexpensive, do-it-yourself home security measures that you can easily put in place to keep you, your home, and your family protected.

Do-It-Yourself Home Security Devices

Two of the most vulnerable entry points of a home are the sliding glass door and windows. This is because the locking mechanism on these types of barriers is really nothing more than an aluminum latch that can be easily defeated. The following are some simple and low-cost ways to increase the security of these entry points and deter criminals.

Track Blocker - Many sliding glass doors can be easily pried open at the latch. This is why it's important to have a security mechanism in place that prevents the door from being slid open once unlocked. This can be as easy as placing a solid wooden rod or dowel (such as a closet rod) or a piece of rebar cut to size in the track of the door. Both materials are inexpensive and can be purchased from any home improvement store. Most stores will also cut these materials to size for you at no additional cost. All you need to do is provide the measurements.

Homemade Anti-Jimmy Plate - Another way burglars gain entry through sliding glass doors is by lifting them right out of their tracks. This is where having an anti-Jimmy plate comes in handy. To make your own anti-Jimmy plate, screw a strip of metal or wood into the recess of the upper track of the door. The strip should be thick enough to fill the vertical space between the sliding door and its frame while still allowing the door to be easily slid open.

Another simple way to prevent a sliding door from being lifted out is to install a few large sheet-metal or wood screws into the upper track of the door. Each screw should be placed a few inches apart and screwed in just deep enough to where the top of the door barely touches the heads of the screws when it slides back and forth.

Homemade Window Security Devices - To prevent windows that slide vertically (up and down) from being opened, install a large screw a few inches above the top of the window on both sides of the frame. This will allow you to open the window to enjoy fresh air when needed, yet prevent the window from being opened any wider than a few inches. For your safety and the safety of your family, however, make sure you have a hammer or similar tool to shatter the glass in case the window is needed as an escape route during a fire or other emergency.

For windows that slide horizontally (from side to side), use the same security measures discussed above for sliding glass doors.

Other Tips and Tricks

Another effective yet inexpensive way to deter burglars and other would-be intruders is to add a few psychological deterrents around your home. Here are a few suggestions.

Dummy Security Cameras - Security cameras can be quite effective in deterring criminals. However, if you can't afford the real thing, there are inexpensive dummy cameras on the market that work just as well. While you can find phony security cameras with a variety of features that simulate real cameras, the simple ones that have nothing more than a flashing red light are very effective in fooling would-be criminals.

Man's Best Friend - In addition to making great companions, dogs are naturally loyal and protective of their owners and home. But as far as a stranger is concerned, being confronted by a dog—especially a large dog—can be intimidating. In addition to the psychological effect that a dog can have on a potential intruder, a dog is like an alarm system with sharp teeth. The moment a dog sees or hears something out of the ordinary, it will often bark out of instinct as a way to alert its owner and warn the offender. For an intruder, attempting to break into a home that's protected by a dog means running the risk of being seen and quite possibly apprehended by police—not to mention bitten!

Beware of Dog Signs - If you don't have the means to care for a dog, sometimes all it takes is to create the appearance that you own one to deter criminals. This can be easily accomplished by purchasing and displaying "Beware of Dog" signs around the outside of your home. Purchasing signs with the name or picture of a large, protective dog breed such as a Rottweiler, German Shepherd, or Doberman Pincher can also add to the psychological effect of the signs. You can also add to the appearance that you own a hefty sized dog by placing a large dog bowl on your back porch or outside an entry door (such as the side door that leads into your garage).

Security Alarm Signs and Decals - Just as Beware of Dog signs can deter criminals, so can displaying home security alarm signs and decals around your property. In addition to displaying signs outside the exterior of your home, place a security alarm decal near the latch on the interior of each of your at-risk windows and sliding glass doors.

What's important to remember is during these challenging financial times is that literally any level of security is better than no security at all. Though simple and inexpensive, the above security measures can be extremely effective at keeping the bad guys on the outside of your “home sweet home.”

Jordan Frankel, commonly known as The Security Sensei develops revolutionary security products and solutions that protect both lives & property. Countless agencies and corporations such as NASDAQ, the US Military, and law enforcement entrust Mr. Frankel with their security and safety. Jordan Frankel is also frequent media guest addressing the personal and financial consequences associated with home invasions, burglaries and other serious threats. In addition, Mr. Frankel's security products & inventions have been featured on Oprah, FOX news and in countless publications. Jordan's ability to outsmart the proverbial bad guys - coupled with his commitment to making security an affordable reality for everyone is the key to Global Security Experts Inc success. Mr. Frankel (The Security Sensei) is available for media interviews by appointment only.

Mr. Frankel is a proud member of:

The American Society for Industrial Security.

The International Association for Counter Terrorism & Security.

The Society of Professional Locksmiths.