Theft proofing your home on a budget

Theft proofing your home on a budget

Fighting's a sad reality when you have to do it yourself. But that's exactly what homeowners must do to prevent themselves from being targeted. Here’s what you can do to stop a thief on a relatively small budget.
All products featured in this story were purchased from Home Depot but can be found at many home improvement or department stores.
Stopping a thief doesn't take much time or money. You just need to know what to buy to decrease the chances of your home being targeted.

Our budget -- just $150.

Our expert -- Dennis Stricklin who owns Best Security.

He says your first line of defense should be your landscape.

"That is a big issue,” Stricklin said. "A lot of times bushes will grow up and cover a window – not a good idea."

Trimming back brush is a good starting point, but planting thorny bushes near first story windows -- will give you an extra layer of defense.

Installing motion sensor lights, especially on the side of your house and your backyard, will scare off most would be burglars. The cost? Under $30.

Solid and secure doors are a must. 80% of residential break-ins involve doors being kicked in.

One way to make them stronger is to replace the screws in both the strikeplate and the hinges with much longer ones.

"[That] makes it more difficult to kick open the door because those screws anchor that deadbolt connection better to the door." Stricklin said.

Having the proper deadbolt is also a must.

"It's very common to see a deadbolt that just has a latch,” Stricklin said. “Unfortunately, that makes it very simple for a burglar to break the glass out and reach in and flip the lock."
Stricklin says the best kind of deadbolt is one with a key. Just make sure you take the key out.

The cost? About $40.

Burglars love windows. But this self-installed window alarm, for about $10 per window, will alert you and your neighbors when there's trouble and hopefully send a would be burglar running.

Now remember, our budget was $150. But we were able to add all of those extra layers of defense for just $130 dollars.

Not bad.
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