Yard signs and stickers that say your home is protected by a security system can scare off potential burglars. Generally, thieves look for homes with an easy entry and escape, but security systems don’t allow for that. Now the question lies in whether you should fake a home security system or install more secure equipment. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of fake home security signage and explore additional ways to secure your property.
The Benefits and Risks of Using Fake Security Signs
Pros: We’ll start with the good news. There are a number of benefits of faking a home security system, including:
- The most obvious benefit of using yard signs and window decals instead of a security system is that it’s much cheaper. Purchasing yard signs and stickers with home security logos will only set you back about $10, and many of the most popular security brands’ logos can be purchased online.
- Time Investment. It only takes a few minutes to slap stickers on your doors and windows and stick a yard sign outside your house. You won’t break a sweat with this burglary precaution.
- It could work. Depending on whether or not you have a brazen or gun-shy burglar, this method could actually work. “Could” is the operative word here, but faking it might be enough to spook some intruders.
Cons: You’ve probably heard that “you get what you pay for.” By faking a home security system presence, we’d say that that saying applies to you. Consider the following risks before you test your luck with fake signage:
- Signs may be unconvincing. Fake security system signs may display brands that sound and/or look fake, or display no brand at all. If you’re actually going to go this route, make sure it’s looks the part.
- You can be outsmarted. Smart thieves can Google the company displayed on your fake signs and verify their authenticity. If it looks bogus to them, your cover will be blown.
- You could get into legal trouble. There are possible legal ramifications for unauthorized use of copyrighted material, so make sure you’re not infringing on a company’s name before you use it on your home.
- Nothing will happen if your home is broken into. If you have a home security system, it will alert you and the monitoring center of the breach. Without it, the burglar will call your bluff pretty quickly and make off with your belongings.
Alternatives to Fake Signs
Faking a home security system is as barebones as you can get—and as risky. Luckily, there are some middle-of-the-road options as far as security and cost go and full-out home security systems that can help keep you safe. Here are some options to consider before you go the fake sticker route:
Install a home security system.
Not only does a legitimate home security system protect your home and loved ones against break-ins, it can also alert authorities to other emergencies such as fires, flooding, and power outages. It can of course prevent theft too.Home security systems come with cameras that thieves can see—and see them—and alarms that make a commotion. Some security systems also include 24 hour monitoring, and even have guarantees that cover your home in the case of a break in. By purchasing a home security system, you’ll be opting into the most protection and will hopefully be able to scare thieves off before they break into your home and do any damage. To compare features of different security systems, check out our rankings of the Best Home Security Systems – 2016.
Get a dog.
Dogs are the original security system and have been called man’s best friend for centuries for a reason. A reliable deterrent to intruders, even small dogs can make enough noise to scare away an attempted burglar.Plus, having a dog can improve your health! Studies show pet owners are far less likely to suffer from depression than individuals without pets. So Sparkles can add to your health, wellness, and safety in a number of ways.
While it may be tempting to plant bushes or shrubs directly below windows for additional privacy and aesthetic, it gives thieves a place to hide out while casing or evaluating your home. Weed out tall or thick plants so you have clear lines of sight to all windows and doors on your property. If a thief feels nervous that they might be caught, they probably will pass you by.
Put up motion detecting outdoor lights.
Nothing makes burglars run faster than bright lights flooding the cover of darkness. If you have exterior doors or windows that are hidden from view of the street, consider installing motion sensing lights. This doesn’t require a full-fledged home security system and motion sensing lights can be purchased for a pretty cheap sum. On Amazon, you can find motion-sensing flood lights for $15 and up. Find the one that’s right for you by comparing motion sensing lights with the help of our guide.
Install window and door alarms.
Again, you don’t have to break the bank to enhance your home’s security. You can buy battery operated, motion-sensing alarms to put on your windows and doors for as little as $10 a piece. If an intruder tries to open a window or door when they’re armed, they’ll be in for a loud surprise. At night, it will wake you up so you can call the cops. During the day, it will cause thieves to flee since their cover will be blown.
Put in smarter locks.
Locks involve so much more than a key these days. You can buy a smart lock that allows you to make sure your home is secure while you’re away. With a corresponding app, you can lock and unlock your door from anywhere. If your kids forget a key and need to get in, you can help them get back inside. If you think you forgot to lock up, you can make sure you did or arm the door from your smart device. Some smart locks even alert you when the door has been unlocked, so you know exactly who is coming and going from your home.As to be expected, this technology isn’t cheap. Most smart locks start at about $175, but they will give you convenience and peace of mind.
Install fake security cameras.
This method is along the same lines as having fake home security signs, but it might be enough to keep intruders away. You can actually buy fake security cameras on Amazon starting at around $10 and help deter burglars from coming into your home. They look like real security cameras and even have red blinking lights to add to the charade. However, just like with fake security signs, burglars might realize you’re faking a home security system and break in anyways. It’s just a cheap and easy idea to consider if you don’t want to invest in other security measures. If you decide to try this, put up fake security cameras by your doors and on visible points like your garage where potential thieves can see them.
Look like you’re home.
It’s not likely that someone will want to break into your home if they think you’re there. Park in the driveway instead of the garage to show thieves that you are around (even if you’re on vacation). Leave a light on at night that can be seen through a window. You can even buy smart lights that turn on at certain times to make it look like you’re home when you’re not.
What You Should Do
Real peace of mind will come with real security measures—whether that means installing better locks, real security cameras, motion sensors, or, as SafeWise recommends, a monitored home security system. There are a handful of security companies out there with varying offerings and pricing. Compare top companies today to find a security system that fits your needs and budget.
If you’d like to weigh in on the pros and cons of fake security system signs or decals, please do so in the comments.