How to Secure Your Home Without an Alarm
High-quality home security systems can be expensive, mainly when you include the cost of installation and maintenance. There are several ways to keep your home safe without an alarm for people who don’t want to pay a monthly monitoring fee.
Follow these tips to learn how to secure your home without an alarm system.
1. Adopt a Dog
Before the invention of electronic alarm systems, one of the top answers to how to prevent home invasion was to own a guard dog. Dogs are a fantastic theft-prevention system. Although you shouldn’t get a dog just for home protection, it’s an excellent bonus. Train your dog to bark when strangers approach the door, and you’ll always be alerted when someone tries to sneak in.
However, try training your dog to only bark when strangers approach, or you might become immune to the barking. Some dogs like to bark at everything, including rainstorms, blowing leaves, or passing cars. To have your dog be an effective security system, focus on reducing their reactivity to stimuli you don’t care about and rewarding barking when someone comes to the door.
While many people think of Rottweilers and German Shepherds as security dogs, these breeds are also exceptionally high energy and require experienced dog owners. Smaller dogs, like West Highland Terriers, American Eskimos, or even Chihuahuas, are also prone to barking but are easier to train. The person on the other side of the door won’t see your dog, so, as long as they have a loud bark, they can be small.
Ensure you have the time to devote to training and caring for a dog for years to come. If you’re too busy or travel often, you might want to invest in a motion-activated sensor that plays a dog barking sound when someone gets too close.
2. Make Your Home Smart
One way to deter burglars, especially when you’re out of the house for an extended period, is by leaving lights on. However, this tactic can run up your electricity bill, and burglars might notice if your lights are on for several days straight while you’re away on vacation.
Consider installing some smart light bulbs and a smart home hub. Most options allow you to set your lights on a timer and to control them remotely. If you’re away for several days, you can set them to come on for a few hours at nighttime to make it look as though someone is home. This option is also fantastic for those who work the night shift.
3. Get Security Cameras
Having wireless hidden cameras for your home can help you relax while away. If you have a few outside, you can catch potential burglars scoping out your home, while having some inside can provide evidence after a break-in.
There are many options for home security cameras. For the best coverage, ensure your cameras have night-vision, are motion-activated, and film in HD. If you’re away often, you may want to invest in cloud storage for your video, so you always have access to past footage.
However, check the online storage is entirely secure since it will contain footage of your home, including where you store your valuables. If you want to place some cameras outside, ensure they are rated for the outdoors. Bad weather could destroy cameras intended for indoor use only.
4. Always Lock Your Doors and Windows
Although this tip might seem obvious, many people living in rural areas or small towns leave their doors and windows unlocked. Additionally, people living without air conditioning may leave their windows cracked during the day to allow for air circulation. However, a cracked window makes your home an attractive target for an opportunistic burglar. If you must leave your windows open, only do this on the second floor, and ensure you have cameras covering them.
Whether you’re home or away, make it a habit to lock your door. Be careful about who you give your spare keys to and, if you must leave a spare key outside, ensure it’s well concealed or in a locked box. The first place a burglar will look is under a fake rock or in your flower pots.
5. Get an Electronic Lock
If you constantly lock yourself out or often have dog walkers, construction workers, or cleaners coming to your house while you’re away, electronic locks are a fantastic way to keep your home secure. Unlike traditional locks, which require physical copies of keys, electronic locks use a computerized code to unlock the door. Many also pair with your smartphone, allowing you to unlock remotely or change the code while out of the house.
Most electronic security door locks allow you to program several codes. This option means you can keep your main code to yourself, only sharing it with those who live with you while creating special codes for everyone else. Once used, you can remove these codes, so there’s no chance your dog walker could return later and enter your home illegally.
Instead of changing the code every time, you can also program it to only work during certain hours or set it up before leaving.
An electronic lock also eliminates the need for a spare key stored outside and reduces the possibility of you losing a key while out and about. Just remember when setting your codes to use unique ones. Take special care to ensure the four-digit code is distinct from any debit card PINs, known phone numbers, or birthdays.
6. Park Your Car Outside
While parking your car in the garage may be good for protecting its paint job, it can also make it look like no one is home at night. Parking your car in your driveway is a statement someone is home, which could deter burglars from attempting a theft.
However, you may not want to follow this tip if you have a luxury car or you tend to leave valuables on your seats. Before coming in from work, check you haven’t left anything in sight and lock the doors. You may want to invest in a car cover or anti-theft lock for your car.
7. Put Up Security System Signs
Even if you don’t have a security system, you can make burglars think you do. Put some signs up from a well-known security system company near you, stating your home is protected. This option is cheap and takes little time. Although it might not deter the most determined burglars, it could make opportunistic ones move on to a different, less-protected house.
You can place signs in your yard or stickers on your windows.
8. Keep Your Valuables Out of Sight
One way to attract burglars to your place is by having your valuables on full display. While many families remember to lock up their expensive watches or diamond earrings, they often forget about the costly electronics. Many homeowners install extensive home entertainment systems that can cost thousands of dollars. If you have your TV set up in the front room, curious burglars may become interested in your home.
While you don’t need to have a windowless room for your entertainment setup, try to keep your blinds down or curtains pulled, especially if you are out of the house. If you can, consider using a back room that looks out on your backyard.
The same thing goes for high-end musical instruments, particularly portable ones like electric guitars or violins. If you have a collection, consider storing it in an interior room.
For small, precious items, you may want to store them in a safe if you’re going on vacation. Hide the safe in the back of your closet.
Check with your homeowner’s insurance if you have collectibles, high-end jewelry, or musical instruments. Your insurance might not cover them fully, and you may want to purchase floater insurance, which would mean receiving full reimbursement if you do experience a theft.
9. Set Up Outside Lights
Installing motion-activated home security lights can help to scare off burglars before they even get to your front door. These lights also let you know someone is on your lawn, which gives you time to decide how to react. After a quick look to confirm a potential intruder, you can grab your phone to call the police.
Outdoor lights also make it safer for you when coming home at night. If you live in a rural area, the lights can reveal any dangerous wildlife near your house before you get out of the car, such as coyotes. For those nearer the city, these lights can show if there’s someone near your home.
Additionally, if you choose to get a puppy to ward off burglars, you can benefit from these lights during the house-training stages. For families with teenagers, motion-detection outdoor lights can also help stop attempts at sneaking out.
10. Ask Family and Friends for Help
Everyone knows the annoyance of getting junk mail, whether that’s credit card offers or advertisements for new restaurants. If you’re going out of town for several days or weeks, your mailbox could overflow, which acts as a signal to burglars the house is empty.
To avoid showing signs you’re away, ask friends, family, or neighbors to come by and pick up your mail and newspaper. While this may be unnecessary for an overnight trip, anything longer than a few days could result in mail build-up.
If you have a vacation home or need to travel for a month or longer, consider having someone come by to mow your grass or rake the leaves. Especially if you live in a community with an HOA, you may need to follow specific regulations for the height of grass or clearing your yard. If you stop the upkeep because you’re away, it becomes apparent in comparison to your neighbors’ homes.
11. Disguise Your Trash
If you have just bought an expensive TV or computer, don’t merely place the boxes in your trash. Unless you have an enclosed trash area, passersby can see you have a brand-new item in your home. Before throwing out the container your TV came in, try to disguise it by ripping it up or putting it in another bag.
12. Track Your Online Orders
With 36 percent of Amazon buyers reporting a stolen package in 2019, it’s clear porch pirates are a danger. While most of these thefts are opportunistic, if the thieves realize you regularly order high-end items, they may graduate to robbing your house. Additionally, getting your money back or receiving a new item can be a time-consuming process.
To reduce the likelihood of this type of theft, track your order carefully and ensure someone is home during the delivery window. If that’s not possible, consider using a designated Amazon drop-off point instead of having your package on your porch for hours while you work.
13. Set Window Alarms
If you have a lot of ground-floor windows, consider installing window alarms. These discreet devices will go off if someone tries to open the window, letting off a loud sound that startles the burglar and warns you of their presence.
If you have small children, these alarms are also excellent for keeping them out of your gun safe or medicine cabinet.
14. Get Alarm Doorstops
If you aren’t happy with your door locks or live in a big house and worry you wouldn’t hear an intruder coming through the front door, invest in a few alarm doorstops. Before you go to bed, wedge these under your front door. If someone opens the door, a loud alarm will sound. For those who live in a houseshare with questionable roommates, these are also fantastic for helping you sleep better at night.
Like the window alarms, these are small and portable.
Protect Your Home Without an Alarm System
At The Home Security Superstore, we understand everyone has differing budgets and needs. You can find a wide range of home surveillance equipment in our store, from HD night-vision cameras to Wi-Fi baby monitors for every budget. Protect your home with our variety of combination locks, outdoor floodlights, and safes.
To keep your family safe when they’re on the go, look through our selection of personal protection items, including pepper spray, stun guns, tasers, and knives. We know it’s essential to have a way to defend yourself in case of an attack or a home invasion, and our store can help you prepare.
- How can I protect my house from burglars?
By installing motion-detection lights, asking friends to look after your home while you’re on vacation, and always locking your doors and windows, you can reduce the chance of a home invasion.
- Do I need a home security system?
While a home security system can increase your protection, you don’t need one. Using a variety of tools can help you keep your home safe without a home security system.
- Do I really need security cameras?
You can opt for a home alarm system that simply uses door and window sensors instead. However, security cameras are an excellent deterrent for thieves and, if a robbery does occur, cameras can provide hard evidence.