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Even if you can’t afford a home security system, you can protect your home and family with some quick, easy fixes that provide peace of mind without dipping deep into your pockets.

Try these tips from HGTV, the home and garden channel:

  • Change the locks – If you haven’t changed the locks since you moved in, someone out there has a key. Upgrade the locks, and while you’re at it, check the security of your doors.
  • Remove hidden keys – If there’s one under the mat or under a potted plant, you can bet a burglar will find it.
  • Get a dog – Dogs create a ruckus that can deter the average burglar. If you don’t own a dog, put a sign on the gate warning that you do. For that matter, you can fake an alarm system by posting a security system decal.
  • Use timers – Digital timers enable you to randomly switch on interior lights and music to create the illusion that someone is at home.
  • Add lighting – Motion detector lights around the exterior of your home are an inexpensive way to deter a break-in. A light coming as someone approaches your doors is enough to send most intruders away.
  • Install a camera – Thanks to inexpensive DIY systems costing about $100, you can install a camera outside your home to let thieves know you have an eye on them.
  • Install window stops – They prevent windows from being opened more than six inches – enough to allow for ventilation but not enough to let in a burglar. For slider windows, a broomstick cut to size will bar human access.
  • Vacation smarter – When you leave home for more than a day or two, stop mail and newspaper deliveries, as a pile-up advertises your absence. Let a neighbor know you will be away and ask him/her to put at least one of your trash cans on the street and take it in again. Last but not least, tell the local police when you will be away. Most departments will be happy to do an occasional observation drive-by.
  • Don’t advertise – You never know who may be scanning your Facebook page or reading someone else’s email. Don’t announce your upcoming vacation except verbally to friends and family.

Hope this helps keep your home safe. Contact me for more tips and insights.

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