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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?
Those bars can be purchased from some of what I refer to as "junk catalogs" that I get in the mail. However, deadbolt locks, and having windows so far off the ground that they can't be crawled into is good. I have also read articles saying people should plant low growing shrubs that have thorns on them underneath windows, I don't know that those bars would be that great, I have a hunch if enough force was put on the door the door the bar might give. If I had lots of expensive jewelry, and a lot of really expensive electronic equipment I would invest in an alarm system. I have a friend who has a small safe that she keeps her jewelry in. She has so much good jewelry that she can't wear it all at one time and a couple pieces that she would never be able to replace because they were her late Mother's. She also has insurance riders on all the jewelry too. Myself I don't have anything a burglar would want.
Timers on which you can adjust the time to switch appliance as lights, radios, TVs on and off might help when you are not home. An answering machine you can access from elsewhere might be of some use. You can call your own number, listen to your calls and return any or erase any so the machine will not sound full to an caller who is simply trying to find out if you are there. Unfortunately, if they want in, they are coming in and the best you can do is be prepared to deal with them quickly.
Where I live there is a lot of problem with people entering occupied homes. Granted this usually because of carelessness of the occupant, but a person never knows.
You can put a screw in the window to screw the window shut. You do have to make sure you have a screwdriver handy in case you need to get out during a fire. Also QVC has a really neat door add on that really protected you.
Redhatterb has some good advice. let me add this: if you are putting on windows bars or barricades make sure that you can still get out in event of an emergency such as a fire. When I lived in the city years ago not a month went by that you didn't read about someone trapped in their burning home behind burgler bars that they couldn't get open.
We were poor so our solution was to stack glass jars along the inside of windows. if someone broke in, the glass jars would get pushed off, break, and form a hazzard that the robber now has to get through. when stacking the jars we put colored beach glass in some of them and broken CDs in others to act as suncatchers.
Yes the lock you are referring to is called a "police lock", It uses a metal bar as a leverage device. We had one installed in a NYC apartment I lived is as a child. I suggest you Google "police locks" to get a list of locksmiths in your area who sells and/or installs them.
Someone told me many years ago when answering machines were getting popular to always leave your answering machine on do not cut it off anytime. This is because if you cut it on only when you leave your house it will not take long before a crook will realize that. You can listen to your calls and pick up on the ones you know. I have been doing this for many years now. It also helps if I am busy or have my hands in water I don't have to rush to answer the phone.
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! :)