Home Security

Dos and don'ts of DIY home security

Home security is a major issue, and there are definite dos and don'ts when it comes to what you can do yourself and what you should leave to the professionals. Home security options for the do-it-yourselfer typically focus on improvements that make the house harder to breach, thus reducing your chances of being victimized by a burglar. However, there are DIY home security mistakes you'll need to avoid if you're intent on saving money by taking this important task into your own hands.

DIY Home Security: Dos and Don'ts

First, know the "dos" of DIY home security:

  • Install a strong, sturdy door. An elaborate, high-end lock on a flimsy front or side door won't pose much of a challenge for an experienced burglar.
  • Add deadbolts. Throw bolts are the best deadbolts you can get, as they physically lock down the actual door frame.
  • Use deadbolts on interior doors in addition to exterior doors.
  • Use motion-detecting lights on the exterior of your home. Thieves rely on the cover of darkness and they'll move on to another house if yours is flooded in light.
  • Install wireless camera systems to deter criminals and capture images and video in the event of a break-in. If you can't afford a wireless home security camera system, simply set up fake cameras around your property's exterior. A criminal won't know the difference.
Home Security

Avoid these DIY home security "don'ts:"

  • Don't rely solely on DIY home alarms that aren't linked with a company offering around-the-clock monitoring. While their shrill sounds might deter some burglars, these alarms can easily be silenced.
  • Do not obscure major entryways to your home with bushes, shrubs, trees or other objects. They will only give thieves a shield to hide behind during a break-in.
  • Do not rely solely on your doorknob locks for home security. They're too easy for criminals to break.
  • Never leave valuables within easy reach. Always lock valuables away in a secure safe, especially if you're going away on vacation.

While all homeowners are looking to save money, taking shortcuts is not a good idea when it comes to home security. You'll want to invest in effective protections for yourself, your valuables and your family.