DIY Home Security

Most home security experts agree that homeowners have three major defenses against potential burglars:

* Light
* Time
* Noise

For the handy men and women of the world, ideas are probably already forming in your crafty heads for ways to tackle these areas of home security yourself. Do-it-yourself home security can be a very effective way to protect your family and your property without spending a bundle.

DIY Home Security: Light

Tonight, after dark, go stand in your yard. Look at is as if you are a potential thief. How dark is your yard? Are there shadowy patches near your door or windows? If you were a thief, would you feel relatively “safe” approaching your house?

If you discovered the answer to those questions is “yes,” don’t worry. As a do-it-yourselfer, there are lots of illuminating ways you can protect your home and family:

* Trim hedges and trees – especially those near doors and windows. Don’t give potential intruders an easy place to lurk. All the light in the world won’t eliminate the shadows cast by out-of-control shrubbery.

* Install motion sensor lights in your yard. For under $ 30, you can install a wireless, outdoor, weatherproof light designed to illuminate your yard anytime it detects motion. Whether it brightens the path between your car and your door, or casts light on a trespasser approaching your home, this do-it-yourself security device is well worth the money.

* Put your lights on timers when you go out of town. A house that sits dark day after day is a potential advertisement to thieves. For around $ 70, you can put your lights on timers and schedule them to turn on at various times of the day or night.

DIY Home Security: Time

Most burglars will only spend about 60 seconds trying to enter a home. Increase the time it takes to break into your home through some simple DIY techniques:

* Install dead-bolt locks on all exterior doors. Deadbolts are harder to pick and make it extremely difficult to kick down a door. For around $ 100, you can take security one step further with digital dead-bolts. These heavy-duty locks eliminate the need for keys – just punch in your access code to open your front door.

* Secure the locks on all windows. Most windows are designed to keep out the elements, not burglars. For about $ 3 a lock, you can replace your standard window locks with stronger sash-locks.

* Protect your sliding doors with a doorguard alarm. When wedged under the handle of your sliding door, this steel rod makes it very difficult (if not impossible) to open a sliding door. On top of that, a doorguard alarm emits a 120-decibel alarm if the door or door handle is moved – all for less than $ 30.
DIY Home Security: Noise

The final element to consider when tackling home security yourself is noise. If a burglar manages to creep through your well-lit yard, bypass your sturdy, time-consuming locks, and make it into your home, noise is your last line of immediate defense:

* Purchase a wireless alarm. Typically ranging from $ 200-300, wireless alarms systems are easy to install and ready to use. They don’t require programming and most of them include a piercing 110-decibel siren sure to wake the neighborhood and terrify intruders.

* Install an indoor motion detector. These security devices emit an alarm when they detect unauthorized motion inside your home. They’re easy to set up and easy on your wallet – a good motion detector costs around $ 120.

* Consider getting a dog. The ultimate in DIY home security noise is a barking dog. Not only is a dog a lovable member of the family, but it is also a great defense against potential intruders. Even a small barking dog is usually enough to deter a thief.

These are just a few of the many ways to secure your home yourself, without hiring professionals or spending a small fortune.

Ralph Winn. 35 years in the Security System industry. Home Security and Alarm Monitoring tips.