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5 Proven DIY Home Security Hacks You Need to Know

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With home break-ins and robberies on the rise, it’s never been more important to secure your home and provide protection from burglary. With the cost of intruder alarms and surveillance systems more expensive than ever, it can be hard to know how to protect your home on a budget. 

From fake security cameras to motion sensors, we’ve compiled some of our essential home security hacks to protect yourself and your home cheaply and effectively. With a little DIY, you can have a safe and secure home in no time. 

5 Essential DIY Security Hacks

Security can be as complicated or uncomplicated as you need it to be, but spending a fortune on the latest security systems will never be able to guarantee that you won’t experience a theft. 

That being said, a home invasion is a frightening experience that nobody wants to go through.

That’s why it’s best to do what you can with what you have to ensure your home is as safe as it can be. Check out these five essential DIY security hacks that will help improve your home security without breaking the bank.

Recommended reading: Home Security 101: Q&A With the Experts

An unlocked door is ajar.

1. Install Fake Security Cameras

If a burglar thinks a home is protected, they typically won’t risk attempting a break-in. Installing a dummy security camera in a visible location is one of the most important steps you can take in protecting your home, as it sends a very clear message to intruders that your house or apartment is well-secured and under surveillance.

Try to purchase a newer model, as home intruders often come to recognize fake security cameras: they typically cost less than $20. 

Tip: Burglars often operate in local areas, so avoid telling anyone, especially neighbors, that the camera is fake. 

Want to find out more about dummy cameras? Check out our post on all things fake security cameras, where you’ll find tips, tricks, and the best products on the market.

2. Download a Security Camera App

Sure, a dummy camera is an incredibly inexpensive way to act like you have a security camera, but it also wouldn’t be unwise to actually have one, would it?

If you happen to have an old smart device lying around, consider transforming it into a de facto security camera using an app like AlfredCamera.

AlfredCamera can completely transform a device into a fully-functional security camera for free, with advanced features like two-way communication, push notifications, motion detection, and more. By combining a fake camera with a real one positioned elsewhere, you can maximize home security without getting your fingers stuck in your wallet.

Interested in learning how to transform your old phone into a fully-functioning security camera? Check out our article to find out more. 

Download AlfredCamera today from the App Store or Google Play.

3. When leaving home, use timer switches

Burglars will stake-out a location to ensure that it’s empty before attempting a burglary. It’s a pretty surefire sign that you’re away or on vacation if the curtains are closed and no lights are on (or if lights are left on for days on end).

A timer switch will activate lights in your house at certain times to give the impression that it isn’t empty. If a potential intruder sees a light switch turned on or off, they will take it as a sign that a house is occupied. Amazon’s preferred choice costs less than $15.

Tip: Try not to leave curtains fully closed, as in the daytime this is a clear sign that a house is unoccupied. Blinds are more effective at blocking a view of the interior without making it seem as though the house is empty. 

4. Install motion sensor activated lights

While timers on interior light switches will protect your home while you’re away, an external light activated by a motion sensor will alert you to an intruder’s presence long before they have a chance to break in.

Be sure to install the light somewhere where there isn’t a lot of pedestrian traffic, as then you can be sure that any activation is worth investigating. Motion sensors are an indicator to any potential home invaders that you take your home security seriously, which is usually enough to deter them. 

For all things motion sensing, take a look at our crash course on motion sensor cameras, where you can find out how motion sensing works and why it is so essential to modern security. 

5. Double down on your front door security

If you live in an apartment, particularly one several stories up, the point of entry for a burglar is almost always going to be the front door (learn more about security camera placement here). For this reason, it is very important to make sure that your front door has a lock which is hard to break with force, such as a strike plate lock.

This one costs less than $10, and can withstand much more force than a standard chain lock, which are particularly weak. 

Of course, there’s more to apartment security than just a front door lock—find out everything you need to know in our Apartment Security 101 article. Or read more on security cameras for apartments.

the Defender Security E 2516 Standard Latch Strike (via Amazon)
the Defender Security E 2516 Standard Latch Strike (via Amazon)

FAQ

Where do burglars look first?

Burglars will typically observe a house for a long time before attempting a break-in. For this reason, it is important to make it look like your house is well protected at all times—particularly if you’re leaving it empty. Timer switches are particularly effective at this, as are dummy security cameras. 

How do you scare thieves?

You can deter thieves from investigating any rear entrances to your home by using ‘beware of dog’ signs, even if you don’t have one. Fake home security systems, particularly ones with blinking lights, will give the impression that a burglar alarm will be triggered should a thief try to attempt a break-in. 

What is the best way to secure my home from burglars?

A home security system is undoubtedly the most effective way to secure your home from burglaries and break-ins, but they are often very expensive. Thankfully, alternatives like AlfredCamera transform devices into ultra affordable security cameras that you are able to monitor on a smartphone, tablet, or PC while away. AlfredCamera will alert you when any movement is detected, in the same way that a motion sensor would. 

What are ‘porch pirates’?

With contact-free deliveries now the norm, parcels are often left unattended at people’s front doors and in their porches. A porch pirate is someone who will observe a delivery, and then take the parcel before the homeowner has a chance to stop them.

Check out our article on the porch pirate phenomenon to learn more about the effect they’re having on our home security and how we can stop them.

How can I secure my home cheaply?

The cheapest way to provide a boost to your home security is by using a fake camera, paired with secure locks on doors. A dummy camera will deter most burglars, and a securely fastened door will create a significant obstacle, drawing a lot of attention in the event that a burglar attempts a break-in. 

Conclusion

A common misconception is that you have to install an expensive home security system in order to protect your home from burglary. With the convenience of modern technology, this simply isn’t the case any more. 

With the simple, inexpensive DIY hacks listed here, you can eliminate any worries you may have, and ensure increased safety of your home at a fraction of the price of a top-range home security system.