What matters to us most is often kept inside our homes: our families and our prized possessions. Putting safety measures in place can go a long way toward peace of mind but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start when beefing up your home’s security.
Between knowing which home security system to install to finding the best wireless doorbell to knowing the best spot to hide your valuables, there’s a lot to consider. We’ve rounded up six reliable tips to help you stay safe without spending a fortune.
Add a Decoy
Don’t make your home an easy target. The more “secure” your house appears to be from the outside the better. That’s why adding security system decals, in the form of door and window stickers or small yard signs, acts as a deterrent to would-be thieves. These might come along with a new security system or you can purchase them online by themselves. Whether or not you actually have a security system is up to you; the main idea is to look like you have one.
An ex-burglar told U.K.’s The Mirror that a “Beware of Dog” sign also makes thieves think twice, regardless of if you have a scary pup or not.
Make your house look occupied even when it’s not. Using smart light timers in street-facing rooms, turned on and off at a random schedule, can make the home appear to be inhabited. You can go the added mile by having your outdoor porch and garage lights on smart timers as well, or install motion detectors that turn on when someone walks by, making it harder for thieves to sneak around your house.
Buy a Better Lock
Smart locks that automatically lock themselves mean you’ll never accidentally leave your door unlocked again. Simply type in a code on your phone to unlock them. A lower-tech version would be using a keypad lock to eliminate the need for a hideaway key that could be found by an intruder. (If you still need to keep a spare key, leave it with a trusted neighbor or friend — never under a doormat or flowerpot.)
Upgrade Your Doorbell
The more we shop online, the greater the chance we have for an expensive package to get stolen. Doorbells are much more sophisticated than they used to be. The best wireless doorbellwill have a camera, be easy to install, and, of course, alert you when someone has approached your door. Some will even let you leave a message that plays for visitors when you aren’t home.
Mount an Obvious Camera
We already know that burglars want a place that’s easily accessible, but they also want to get away with their crime. Mounting a high-definition security camera in plain sight can deter would-be thieves from even trying. If something does, unfortunately, happen at your house, you will have an HD image of the criminals to turn over to the police.
Don’t Display the Mail
A mailbox overflowing with letters alerts burglars a home has been left unattended. To circumvent, ask a neighbor to empty your mailbox while you’re away and to pick up any newspapers or porch fliers while they’re there. If you know you’ll be gone for several days, ask the post office to hold your mail, or consider installing a larger mailbox that holds more.
Which of these tools do you think will work well for your home? Will you opt for the best wireless doorbell or smart lock, or will you simply add a few security system decals to your windows and doors instead?
The good news is you can detract burglars with inexpensive solutions.
This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money. Checkout Don't Waste Your Money for product reviews and other great ideas to save and make money.