The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Don't Waste Your Money may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.
What matters to us most is often kept inside our homes: our families and our prized possessions. Putting home safety measures in place can go a long way toward peace of mind, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start when improving home security.
Between finding the best wireless doorbell to knowing the best spot to hide your valuables, there’s a lot to consider. We’ve rounded up six reliable home security tips to help you stay safe without spending a fortune.
Add a Decoy
Don’t make your home an easy target. The more “secure” your house appears to be from the outside the better. That’s why adding security system decals, in the form of door and window stickers or small yard signs, acts as a deterrent to would-be thieves. These might come along with a new security system or you can purchase them online by themselves. Whether or not you actually have a security system is up to you; the main idea is to look like you have one.
If you’ve got a dog (of even if you don’t), there’s also a classic Beware of Dog sign. You don’t even need to add one of those bold signs on your front door (and ruin your aesthetic). Opt for a plaque or lawn sign like the one above.
Make your house look occupied even when it’s not. Usingsmart light timers in street-facing rooms, turned on and off at a random schedule, can make the home appear to be inhabited. You can go the added mile by having your outdoor porch and garage lights on smart timers as well, or install motion detectors that turn on when someone walks by, making it harder for thieves to sneak around your house.
It’s also not that hard to use them. Options like the Govee Smart Plug are as simple as a plug and play. The plug works with any outlet and connects to your wifi. You can then control timers via an app (alongside other features like voice control with Alexa and Google Home.
Buy a Better Lock
Smart locks that automatically lock themselves mean you’ll never accidentally leave your door unlocked again. Simply type in a code on your phone to unlock them. A lower-tech version would be using a keypad lock to eliminate the need for a hideaway key that could be found by an intruder. (If you still need to keep a spare key, leave it with a trusted neighbor or friend — never under a doormat or flowerpot.)
The other thing about smart locks — like the Eufy — is that they’re easy to install. While it might seem like an ordeal to add one to your home, this model only takes 15 minutes to install with the right tools, and you can control it from anywhere (and with a multitude of devices like an Apple Watch) for added peace of mind.
Upgrade Your Doorbell
The more we shop online, the greater the chance we have for an expensive package to get stolen. Doorbells are much more sophisticated than they used to be. The best wireless doorbellwill have a camera, be easy to install, and, of course, alert you when someone has approached your door. Some will even let you leave a message that plays for visitors when you aren’t home.
Mount an Obvious Camera
We already know that burglars want a place that’s easily accessible, but they also want to get away with their crime. Mounting a high-definition security camera in plain sight can deter would-be thieves from even trying. If something does, unfortunately, happen at your house, you will have an HD image of the criminals to turn over to the police.
Don’t Display the Mail
A mailbox overflowing with letters alerts burglars a home has been left unattended. To circumvent, ask a neighbor to empty your mailbox while you’re away and to pick up any newspapers or porch fliers while they’re there. If you know you’ll be gone for several days, ask the post office to hold your mail, or consider installing a larger mailbox that holds more.
If a larger mailbox isn’t an option, you can always try a locking mailbox. These boxes are secured with a key but still have a slot for mail to be added. It conceals just how much is inside the box while also keeping it safe while you’re away.
Which of these tools do you think will work well for your home? Will you opt for the best wireless doorbell or smart lock, or will you simply add a few security system decals to your windows and doors instead?
The good news is you can detract burglars with inexpensive home security solutions.
This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money.