Budget-friendly home security tips

Chad Banken
Chad Banken
Published on December 27, 2021

Nationwide, crime is skyrocketing. Sadly, we recently saw the homicide rate explode to the highest rate “… in modern history,” according to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studies.

Non-violent crimes, or crimes against property, have also increased, although the rate is far less than the homicide rate. Last year, for instance, there were 2.5 million burglaries in the US.

Home invasions (when someone violently breaks into the home), burglary (home break-in) and larceny (when someone saws the catalytic converter off of your car parked in the driveway) are the crimes homeowners are most concerned about.

Yet, only 17% of our homes have security systems. (policyadvice.net)

The remaining 83% of homes, according to FBI statistics, are 3 times more likely to be robbed than those with some sort of security system in place.

This holds true whether you live in a city or a rural area.

Providing your home with security features doesn’t have to cost a lot, either. Let’s take a look at how to choose the right security system for those on a budget.

Which parts of the home do you need to protect?

Sure, it would be great if we could all afford a top-of-the-line home security system. With inflation currently raging and escalating prices for everything from gas to food, budgets are tight.

Instead of a whole-home system, consider protecting the most vulnerable area of the home, the front door. The pros at ADT claim that 34% of burglars use the front door of homes.

Next, consider safeguarding first-floor windows. Twenty-three percent of bad guys and gals will gain entry through these windows.

Backdoors and garage doors are next on the list.

Choose the areas of most importance if you’re on a tight budget.

The absolute cheapest way

“Alexa, I’m leaving,” is the magic phrase to use if you need rock-bottom priced security.

You’ll need an Amazon Echo Dot, which you can purchase for as low as $19.99 at Amazon.com. Then, download the Alexa Guard app.

“Think of Alexa Guard as a tattletale that specifically listens out for breaking glass, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors,” explains Michael Bizzaco and Erika Rawes at digitaltrends.com.

“If the far-field microphones hear one of those danger sounds, Alexa will notify you by sending you a 10-second clip of the sound,” they conclude.

While the basic Guard is free, Amazon offers an upgraded subscription-based version for only $5 a month.

Experts caution that this solution shouldn’t take the place of a more comprehensive home security system. But, for those on a tight budget, it’s better than nothing.

Learn more at pcmag.com.

Security cameras to fit your budget

Once priced way out of the average American’s budget, security cameras are now readily available for everyone.

“Get a camera and make it visible,” an incarcerated burglar told reporters at KTVB.com.

The tech pros at cnet.com recommend the Wyze Cam as the best overall security camera and the Blink Mini as the best indoor camera. Both are available at amazon.com for as little as $24.99 and $19.99, respectively.

Alarms work

The folks at KTVB-TV, Channel 7 in Boise, Idaho sent a questionnaire to 86 incarcerated burglars. One of the questions asked was whether or not an alarm would dissuade them from robbing a home.

“Most intruders said they would leave immediately if a security alarm went off,” they said.

You’ll pay more for an alarm than you will for a camera, but the extra security you’ll receive may be worth it.

The Ring Alarm (around $140 right now at Lowe’s) integrates with Ring doorbells. Named “Best Security System for 2021,” by CNN Underscored, you can purchase it online at amazon.com, lowes.com, bestbuy.com and others.

Until you decide on which type of security you’ll use, the aforementioned burglars recommend that prior to leaving home, turn the TV on, loud. Also consider trimming bushes and trees that may block the view of your front door from the street.

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