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Exterior motion detecting lights do not cost a great deal more than other types of outside lighting. Of course, they're sometimes activated by leaves blown about by the wind, but I particularly like them for the back of the house as well as the alley. Battery operated smaller versions are available for interior windows and don't require mounting or electronic know-how: simply put them on the window ledge.
Anyone peering in hoping for a closer look at your possessions or wanting to break in will be under a spotlight and, if you're awake, the light going on will alert you to a potential intruder. Depending on your level of concern, consider investing in noise-making motion detectors (which can cost as little as $10 each) for your ground floor and/or basement windows. Make a note to check or replace the batteries on a regular basis.
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I am looking for low cost ways to secure my home from burglars. I can't afford a home security monitoring system like Brinks. I know there is some type of stick that you can get that goes under the door knob and to the floor. Do you know where I can buy one from or do you have any other suggestions for securing windows or doors?
I'm with Beccaj23 and her post, think about getting a dog, the bigger the better (and the shelters are full of them). When we bought our home a couple of years ago, I lost count of how many times in the first two weeks various people came banging on the front door trying to sell us homeowner's insurance, new AC systems, and, of course, home alarm systems.
And I can't tell you how many times the decibel count went up way over normal when our dog went to the front windows to "greet" these people. A friend of ours in law enforcement said that one of the biggest deterrents to a home break-in is the sound of a large barking dog.
Works for us! :)