Prepping on a Budget: Cost Effective Home Security Tips

In the most recent study conducted by the US Census Bureau, the median income for the average American household sat just under $52,000 a year.  Finances for any homeowner can become stretched when we factor in things like rent and mortgage payments, car loans, healthcare, and children. On top of all these normal living expenses, being a prepper can quickly become a pursuit that costs more than we can afford.

If you find yourself in a situation where you constantly have to weigh your prepping budget against other day to day costs, then perhaps it’s time to look into a few prepper DIYs that can keep you as ready and secure as possible without some of the higher cost alternatives.

Fake It Until You Make It

It’s been shown time and time again that the act of simply putting a sticker or sign advertising a home’s use of a security system dramatically cuts down on the likely hood that the residence will be the target of thieves or invaders.

Alarm systems can be quite an investment for most families, so until you can afford the real thing, consider slapping up an alarm sticker on a front window or door or signage on the premises can help. While they’ll do nothing to report crimes as they happen, there’s no harm in deterring potential criminals until a security system becomes more feasible with your budget.

Like the alarm sticker, a DIY dummy surveillance camera can achieve the same effect but with a fraction of the cost.  To make this happen, all you need to do is pick up an inexpensive web cam and some cheap mounting supplies (readily available at any home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowes).

Place one of these cameras around entryways to your home, making sure they are at once visible to anyone who might be entering.  For the purposes of deterrence, making any false security equipment immediately obvious is the way to go. These can also be used with real pieces of equipment placed in stealthier locations to reduce the odds of vandalism to your real gear and improve their effectiveness.

Keep Landscaping Neat and Trimmed

Part of a good home security regiment is keeping the area around your home tidy and trim.  For the science behind this, look no further than the broken window theory.  As the theory has demonstrated again and again, when things look disorderly, the environment tends to attract crime where it might otherwise not occur.

Keeping the landscape around your home trimmed and tidy can do a lot to prevent crime from even happening in the first place. It may sound like a no-brainer, but make sure to stay on top of yard mowing, trimming and weeding. Also, make sure you are on top of clearing excess flyers or advertisements off of mailboxes or front doors.  These may give the impression that no one is around the home, and thus make the premises an easier target.

Defending Doors and Windows

If you haven’t done so already, you should take a look at your home’s door jams to make sure they are properly reinforced.  Reinforcing a door-jam is not nearly as complicated as it may sound and can literally be done in a few minutes with the right materials on hand.  All you will need to accomplish this task is a tape measure, a drill and of course the reinforcing plates.

Much like your doors, you will want to make sure your windows prescribe to the same level of safety.  A super-easy window DIY task is simply cutting a dowel and placing it in the window track.  If you’d like to take it a step further, you can fashion your own anti-lifting device.  This can be accomplished by inserting screws halfway up the window’s track.  This prevents the window frame from being removed when it is closed.  If you’re having a hard time visualizing, you can take a look at this how-to guide on Youtube.

Of course there are plenty of other preventative measures that can be taken that aren’t discussed here. You can also bolster your entryways with chain locks, shatter-proof window films, sliding door anchors, and other small, inexpensive modifications to your windows and doors. If you have other ideas that I haven’t discussed here, feel free to chime in with your thoughts in a comment below.

Naomi Broderick is a prepper author with Protect Your Home who provides ADT Security in Madera, California.

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