A high-tech alarm system will obviously make you feel very secure. And if people would just turn them on like they are supposed to, it actually would make them safer. But what if you can’t afford a state of the art home alarm system? We’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you feel like your home is your fortress:
- If you can, spend the money to get quality doors for your home. Sadly, all that pretty glass makes it both easier to see into your house and is easily broken, giving people faster access to your home. If you can’t install a heavy door, you can still shore up the door you have with some simple DIY work. Hardware and security stores sell both door and jamb reinforcement kits. These metal plates will make it harder to kick in or otherwise break the door to gain entry.
- Some people think that if they are renting, they can’t have a security system.They are concerned with the damage done to the walls when running wires during installation, and that they might not be able to live out the life of the contract in that residence. However, some companies are now offering wireless options or no-contract service agreements. These can be self-install, or the company may come out to do it. Some come with monitoring services and others simply trigger audible alarms. It depends on what you are willing to pay and what your needs are. Many of these sensors are either battery operated (similar to a smoke detector) or plug into an outlet and have battery backup. It can be a viable option if you don’t have huge security needs, can’t make a long-term commitment to an alarm company, or can’t afford a large system.
- Going low tech is another option. You can purchase a “door stopper,” a bar that you wedge between any doorknob you want to secure and the floor. It prevents the door from opening, and some have an audible alarm that will activate when the doorknob moves as well. There are also magnetic sensors that you can attach to doors or windows. You secure one magnet to the frame and the other to the door or window. If the connection between the two magnets is broken, an audible alarm will sound. Systems like these are best used when you are already in the home, as simply coming in the door would either be impossible or immediately set off an alarm.
- Video cameras have also gotten less expensive and are now a reliable way to see who is at the door and protect your home. They have gotten smaller and easier to install; some are even in doorbells or the door lock. Many can send video wirelessly to your computer or an app on your phone, allowing you to always see what is going on at your house.
Besides making you, your family, and your valuables more secure in your home, an alarm system can also lower your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. Talk to your insurance carrier to find out the details. The money you save may pay for the alarm system, and will give you priceless piece of mind.