5 Free or Cheap Home Security Tips that You Don't Want to Miss
Whether you're a young adult just getting on your feet, someone who has been in an relationship that included financial abuse, someone who helps other people out to your own demise, or anyone else who is broke, violence won't skip over you because you don't have the money to defend yourself.
Maybe you are considering leaving an abuser. Maybe you recently left one. Maybe you're dealing with a stalker. Maybe you're a college student or a single woman and you just want to feel safer in your home. If you want to improve the security of your home with little to no money, this article is for you.
Although I have upgraded to security cameras with night vision and the like, when I first became aware that my life was in danger years ago, I was completely broke. I was a single mom raising my two kids on $10,000 a year. A security system that cost hundreds of dollars was a pipe dream for me. I learned the home security ideas in this article out of necessity and I used each of them.
A bonus tip and a gift will be waiting for you at the bottom of this article, but the 5 main tips we will cover are:
use peep holes or look out your window first
flip locks (aka swing bar locks)
pile things in front of your windows
rearrange your house after a breakup
Use peepholes or look out your window first
The advice here is pretty simple, look to see who is at the door before you open it. Your home can become a pretty dangerous place if you let the wrong element inside. Your doors should be locked at all times anyway. Only allow access to people you
believe are safe.
"The vast majority of the time it is a boyfriend, domestic partner, or roommate. Sometimes it is a date or a friend of a friend who initially seemed harmless...take a close look at those you allow into your home and especially those you choose to become intimate with, as an abuser is far more of a threat to you than a random criminal." - C.R. Jahn
Magnetic alarms are inexpensive and really helpful. They’re battery operated, so there’s no wire to cut and they can be used on doors and windows. They alarm when the door or window you have them on is opened because the contact between the two sides is broken. These can be bought at a Walmart, on Amazon, and at many local hardware stores.
Flip locks (aka swing bar locks)
Keep your doors locked whether you’re home or not. Deadbolts are the best option. (Doorknob locks will only keep out people who wouldn’t break-in in the first place.) If you want something to secure the door while it’s opened a couple of inches, or if your landlord won't let you cut into your door and door frame to install a deadbolt, flip locks are a good option. The longer the screws you use to attach it, the more secure it will be. You can also find these at Walmart, on Amazon, and at many local hardware stores.
* I believe these locks are better than the chain locks because chains can be cut or broken.
Pile things in front of your windows
If you don't have the money to buy alarms for your windows, putting things under or in front of the windows that will crash loudly if someone tries to get in will work as an improvised alarm.
Rearrange your house after a breakup
I want to refer back to the quote above from C.R. Jahn, author of the No Bullshit Guide to Women's Self Defense (a book I highly recommend). The biggest threat to your safety inside your home is a current or ex partner. You ex likely knows the layout and decore of your home. Why make things easy for them to come back and hurt you? Rearrange furniture, even change the room locations up (I made traded the locations of my bedroom and the living room once).
Security cameras can be helpful both as a deterrent and to identify people after a crime has been attempted or committed. Dummy cameras also work as a deterrent if you can't afford real ones. There are battery operated dummy cameras that move and blink like real ones. Most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
YOUR FREE GIFT - Safety Plan Worksheets
General Home Safety Plan
If You're Living with Your Abuser
In my book In Case I'm Murdered, I have an entire chapter on home security. Click here to buy your copy, available in ebook and in print.
You may also find these related articles helpful:
Finally, if you have a free or cheap home security idea, please share it in the comments! Let's help each other.