A single mom wants to prevent home intruders

Cheap Home Security

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Practical and Frugal Home Security

Protect Your Home from Crime

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Alone and Afraid

I need some cheap home security so I'm trying to find information on making my home safer at a very minimal cost. We live out in the country, but close enough to neighbors to discover that we have a convicted rapist living within a few miles from us. I am soon to be a single mom with all girls at home. Any info would be a great help. Also understand, that our income will be less then $900 a month.
Please help. Thanks.
Mary H.

A Dog Provides Security

I think the best home protection device is a dog. I have read many articles interviewing convicted burglars and they always say they stay away from homes with dogs. Even if your dog is not ferocious, they bark and can be intimidating to those who aren't familiar with it. It is especially intimidating if you leave large chew bones or dog bowls out in plain sight. A "Beware of Dog" sign is a good idea also. I am always much more comfortable at home alone when I have a dog.

Cheap Precautions

I recently started volunteer work with a group called Safenest. You may have one in your area. It's a group designed to help those who are victims of domestic abuse. Part of our job is to teach safety planning in case the offender returns. One thing we suggest it to line cans like veggies, soup etc up against a door or on a windowsill. If someone tries to get in you'll hear the cans fall and hit the floor. It won't keep anyone out but will give you a warning so you can escape. Keep a cordless or cellular phone within reach to call 911 and make an escape plan for every room in your house. And avoid going into a bathroom to hide. Most often bathroom windows are too small to climb out of. Whether you have a convicted rapist or not living nearby, everyone should do a bit of safety planning wherever they live.

How to Improve Security

For the soon to be single mom living in the country with a convicted rapist in the area:

I have read many articles & have friends in the police department and I keep hearing the same advice:

  1. Get a dog and even put a "Beware of dog" sign out even if it is just a noisy little dog.
  2. Increase lighting outside with motion detectors, if possible.
  3. Give the appearance of people being at home by putting a lamp on a timer and leaving a radio on near the front door. Go to Goodwill and get a pair of big, well used men's work boots, put a little mud on the bottom and leave them by the front door, as though a man is in residence.
  4. Use the locks. Teach your kids to lock doors and windows. Close your drapes, especially at night. And teach the kids not to trust strangers and to be observant.
  5. Get to know your neighbors. Watch out for each other. Be interested in their welfare and share their lives. It will not only keep you safe, it will increase the quality of your life.

And since I am a Christian and believe in the power of prayer, I heartily recommend that, too! Be smart and don't live in fear. "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world."

Security Lights and a Dog

I am married to a retired police officer. Every night all of our outside lights are on. Perhaps someone can install motion detection lights for you. A large dog is good for your kids but also a deterrent. Remember any weapon can be taken from you and used on you. Mace and flashlights are a must also. You can install motion detection devices on you lights inside the house.

Next, call or go visit your local police officers and ask them for information. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, dead bolt locks mounted correctly so that someone can not break the glass and just reach in.

Cheap Home Security: A Few Ideas to Consider

In my opinion nothing is safer than an alarm system. But since the cost may not be in your budget, here are a few things that we have done in our home which makes me feel safer:

  1. Install sensor lights near the front, garage, and back doors. These will go on automatically when someone or thing is in the area.
  2. Use dead bolts, not the kind you can break a window and turn latch from inside but the one you unlock from both sides with a key.
  3. Do not hang keys near the door or a window. They can be reached from the outside if a windowpane is broken. Place them in a drawer near the door or a kitchen cabinet.
  4. Keep all hedges/bushes trimmed, especially if near doors or windows.
  5. Put lights in walkway, they sell the sensor kind at Home Depot, which charge during the day and stay on all night. They are not too bright to keep you up but illuminates walkway. Relatively inexpensive and super easy, just push them in soil.
  6. Have multiple telephones and make sure your children know how to dial 911 and give address, etc. Make sure they know how to lock up securely and do not let just anyone in the house. Test them with a friend from work that they haven't met yet.
  7. I like having lights on timers, so there is always a light on in the house. Use the energy saving type to keep the cost down.
  8. Don't be afraid to call 911. Better to be safe than sorry.
  9. Keep all doors locked even in the daylight and you are home.
  10. Keep car doors locked too.
  11. Most importantly, be aware of your surroundings. If something feels wrong, follow your instincts.

I also suggest that you call the police and ask if someone could come down and walk through the house and make suggestions to you on things you can do. Another good idea is to take a personal protection class. The police might be able to recommend one to you.

Home Security Input from the Police

In the city where I live, the police department will come out and do a free safety inspection and recommend things to do to make the house more secure. This is a free service. They would rather help prevent than deal with the aftermath of crimes. Call your local police department and ask for the crime prevention department and ask if they offer this service.

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