DIY Home Security Ideas + Easy Tips
When hearing the word “home security,” many of us imagine tall fences and high-tech systems worth thousands of dollars. However, keeping your family safe doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. There are actions both large and small you can take today to better protect your house or apartment. Best of all, many of the home security DIY tips in this article are either free or low-budget.
DIY Ideas on How to Improve Your Home’s Security Without Spending a Cent
One of the most effective ways to secure your home is to purchase an alarm system. Still, there are simple steps you can take to help protect your home right away. Easy DIY home security tips you can do for free include:
- Rearrange your home’s layout so valuables are harder to see from the street. Your fancy, flat-screen television can serve as a flashy billboard for thieves casing neighborhoods. Lessen temptation by concealing electronics, jewelry, and other expensive yet portable belongings.
This DIY security tip applies to your porch and yard, too. A bicycle propped against your deck can be plucked in a mere matter of seconds.
- You know that key under the doormat? Move it immediately. Yes, it’s convenient for your family to have a spare key located close to the door. But it’s also convenient for thieves. They know to flip the doormat, dig through the mailbox, lift a flower pot, turn over a stepping stone, and look for fake-looking rocks.
For an immediate next step, our security tip is to leave an extra house key with at least two neighbors you trust. However, a long-term solution would be to install smart locks that you can control using your mobile device.
- Set a reminder to refresh your punch code door lock a few times a year. Punch code locks present an easy solution if someone needs to access the property when you’re not home. For example, you may want a neighbor to feed your cat while you’re away. Perhaps your house cleaners regularly visit while you’re at work. The downside is that, as time passes, the number of people with the code can grow surprisingly large.
Change the passcode a few times a year to limit access to your home. Additionally, talk with your older children about the importance of keeping the code a secret from their friends.
- Trim bushes and tree branches that would otherwise give intruders privacy. What’s the secret to not being caught breaking-and-entering? Avoid being seen by security cameras and people. Thieves prefer home layouts that hide them from residents and neighbors, and tall bushes can act as the perfect shield. Keep shrubbery short and, as an added measure, embrace thorny plants.
- Offer your driveway to a neighbor to use while you’re away. Burglars prefer to rob unoccupied homes, so take small steps to appear home even while away. Invite neighbors to occasionally park in your driveway while you’re at work or away on vacation. The illusion that you’re home makes it harder for thieves to anticipate your routines or location.
- Enlist a friend’s help maintaining the house while you vacation. An overgrown lawn can mean one of two things—the homeowners are overwhelmed or that they have been away for an extended period. Some burglars look for this and other telltale signs, such as accumulated mail outside, un-shoveled walks in winter, and the absence of curbside garbage for pickup.
Before you travel, ask a friend to help with these household tasks to redirect robbers’ attention.
- Create a routine of locking doors and windows each night before bed and before you leave for work. Why break down a door when there’s an open, ground-floor window? Burglars will pursue any cracks in your home’s security, so make sure you don’t make it easy!
If you regularly forget to “lock up,” consider setting an alarm before bed or creating visual reminders for yourself.
Lighting Can Be a Powerful DIY Tool for Securing Your Home
Lights are essential to our everyday lives, but they provide the surprising bonus of helping to deter crime. Consider the following DIY ideas on how to inexpensively improve home security using light sources:
- Motion-activated outside lights. There are many benefits to installing motion sensor lights for your porch, backyard, and driveway. No longer will you hurriedly scramble for keys in the dark. Dogs can slip through the pet door to pee and immediately see better. If your spouse returns home late, you don’t have to leave the porch light on for hours, wasting electricity.
Arguably the best reason to set up motion-activated outside lights is to lessen the likelihood of crime. Vandals won’t be able to hide in the darkness. Plus, the unexpected spotlight may startle them into questioning what other security technology you installed.
- Smart lighting or timed plugs. Are you going away on vacation? Leaving lights on can give the illusion that someone is home. However, savvier thieves casing the neighborhood may note if the same lamp remains lit day-and-night for a full week.
Outsmart burglars by arranging for lights to turn on-and-off. Smart homes can let you put lamps on timers and/or control them remotely. Alternatively, buy timed plugs which you program to provide electricity to light sources only at certain hours.
Not only will you effectively thwart wannabe intruders, but you will also conserve electricity compared to simply leaving the lights on.
The Ultimate DIY Home Security Tip – Set Up Cameras and an Alarm System
Home security systems don’t have to be a splurge or a hassle to install. Blue by ADT creates products simple enough that anyone could set them up in mere minutes, no matter their expertise. Plus, you can choose month-to-month between DIY security monitoring or professional services.
Consider the following inexpensive DIY home security equipment to help keep your family safe:
- Doorbell camera – Most burglars will come to the front door, whether it’s to test if someone is home, force their way inside, or steal a package. A doorbell camera will notify you and record their actions, even if they don’t ring it. As a bonus, you can even interact with them through your mobile device.
Security tip for DIY set up – Companies like Blue design doorbell cameras to easily replace an existing doorbell. However, if your property is not wired for a doorbell, enlist a professional to handle the complicated electrical work.
- Wireless outdoor cameras – Ideally, you should be able to monitor activity beyond the front of the home. Perhaps the burglar will want to slip in through a side window, target your shed, or hijack your car. Outdoor cameras let you receive notifications and review recorded footage of unwelcome visitors before they even have the chance to come inside. As with the doorbell camera, you can talk directly through the outdoor cameras.
Security tip for DIY set up – Models like Bue by ADT’s can attach to a surface using either a basic screwdriver or the included adhesive strips. Position the camera on an elevated surface, like a porch overhang or ledge, for the best view of the space.
Check out the live security footage using your mobile device before finalizing your location. It’s a good idea to have a family member help so you don’t fumble with both your phone and security camera at once.
- Door, window, and motion sensors – As parts of a greater security system, these lightweight sensors are easy to set up without tools. You can dictate the settings and will receive notifications when someone triggers the sensors.
Security tip for DIY set up – You can outfit each window with a sensor to alert you if it opens unexpectedly. However, if you want to keep costs low, it’s sometimes cheaper to purchase a motion sensor instead. Multiple windows may fall within the motion sensor’s radius of coverage, limiting the number of products you need to purchase.
Other Inexpensive DIY Ideas for Easy Home Security Improvements
- Improve your door and window locks. Not all locks are created equal; flimsier models won’t stand up to a crowbar or an impressive show of strength. Invest in higher quality locks, as well as strike plates.
- Make doors harder to peep through by applying translucent film. Add a decorative adhesive to the glass panels in your front door. Films come in many different designs, from rice paper to mock stained glass.
- Hide your car keys in a not-so-obvious place. Outside of your house itself, the most valuable item you own is likely your vehicle. Prevent thieves who may want to slip in-and-out with your car keys by storing them away from home entrances.
Blue by ADT – Your DIY-Friendly Security Solution
What happens when you combine the leading expertise of ADT with DIY-friendly product design and packages? You get Blue!
Explore our various security systems to find user-friendly home security solutions. Enjoy the freedom of customizing your package, DIY set up, and flexible contracts.
Click here to get started