By Adam Ivins

Hello, friends! It really feels like this year is flying by, doesn’t it? Summer’s already upon us and that means the kids will soon be out of school and vacations will be in full effect. I don’t know about you, but every time I leave my house I’m worried that someone’s going to come along and decide they need my valuables more than I do. What I’m talking about here is a home burglary.

For anyone that’s never experienced a home break-in, it leaves you feeling vulnerable and unsafe. No one should ever have to feel like that, especially in their own home!

So, what steps can you take to deter thieves?

The Basics
The first thing you need to know: most burglars don’t want confrontation. Usually at the first sign of anyone being home, they scram and look for an easier target. Simply doing a few small things can really help you keep any would-be burglars out of your house while you’re away. The most basic thing is to always ensure you’ve locked windows and doors. Even leaving a garage door open and unattended for any period of time could invite a quick grab-and-run.

The next thing to do is really easy: just leave a couple of lights on! For example, leave the hallway light on every night. When you go away for any extended period of time, leave on that same light. Anyone who may have been casing the house wouldn’t know the difference. It’s helpful if the glow from the light is visible from the outside of your house. The next thing to do is use a couple of automatic timers plugged into lamps in two different rooms. The lamps turning on and off at different times of the night help to make it seem like someone’s home. If you did just these two things, you’ll greatly decrease the interest of most burglars.

Best of all, the only thing this will cost you is a little bit of extra electricity and a couple bucks up front for the timers.

Budget-Friendly options to up your game
Along with the basics there are a couple other things you can do to add even more security to your home without breaking the bank, such as adding some window and door alarms. These devices run off a battery, and you can turn them on/off every night or just leave them on at all times. The alarms come in two pieces, with one typically installed on each side of an opening. Once contact is broken between the two pieces, the alarm emits a high pitch noise scaring off any unwelcomed visitors and alerting you that something is amiss.

Another great option is to add security cameras. This one I highly recommend! There’s no need to go out and purchase cameras from a big name retail security company. These companies will charge you monthly service fees you may not be able to fit into your budget. You can save a lot by buying some wireless or Power Over Ethernet (POE) cameras online from Amazon® or eBay®.

The top brands in this market are Arlo™ ($99 per camera), Swann® System (ranges from $175+ depending on the package), Nest® Cam ($178 per camera), Foscam® ($60-$80 per camera), and Zmodo ($99 for a 4 pack of cameras). All of these systems are pretty easy to set up. And, for the non-tech savvy, all of these companies have a tech support number that you can call. They also come with apps that allow you to view the cameras from your smartphone, helping you to feel even more secure!

As you can see, you don’t have to break the bank to add a little physical (and emotional) security to your home. There are many other options to choose from, but the best way to add some extra security is to do your research and think about what you’re trying to accomplish. Doing this will help you determine the best system or setup for your home and help you keep some extra bucks in your wallet for your next vacation!