Easy Home Security Projects You Can Tackle in a Weekend

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Nearly 1.6 million burglaries occur every year in the US—that’s one burglary every 20 seconds. But your home doesn’t have to be a burglar’s next target. We’ve got eight easy home security projects to make your home more safer.

No home is burglar proof, but tackling a few of these weekend projects may go a long way toward making your home less vulnerable to a break-in.

1. Get rid of the "hidden" house key

It won’t take you long to accomplish this security project, but it could help thwart a burglary. If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve “hidden” a house key somewhere outside your home, like under the door mat or in the shed. Burglars know where to look, and if they find your house key they won’t think twice about using it. Instead of hiding a key outside, give it to a trusted neighbor.

Install an electric or smart door lock

Consider installing an electric keypad deadbolt that offers the option of entering a code rather than using a key to unlock the door. 

Or, install a smart door lock that unlocks via a mobile app.

2. Illuminate your home’s exterior

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One way to help ward off burglars is to shine a light on them. Break out the toolbox and install a floodlight camera or motion-activated lights to illuminate dark areas around your home.

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Some cameras have lights too

No burglar wants to be caught on camera; look into installing a few outdoor security cameras around the exterior of your home. Look for ones that double as floodlights, like the Ring Spotlight Cam.

3. Trim shrubbery to minimize hiding spots

You probably haven’t considered your landscaping as a hiding spot for criminals, but that’s exactly what it could be. Trim overgrown foundation plantings so burglars can’t conceal themselves while breaking into your home.

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Thorny shrubs are your friend

Plant thorny bushes, such as holly, under windows to make your home even less appealing to burglars.

4. Fortify windows

If you were to check your home’s windows right now, chances are you’d find some were carelessly left unlocked or have inoperable locks. Fix or replace broken window locks and install a one-inch diameter wooden dowel. Cut the dowel to fit securely between the window and the jamb to prevent an intruder from being able to open it.

Install contact sensors

Attach contact sensors to your home’s windows and you’ll know right away if someone’s trying to get in.

Video: More ways to use contact sensors around your home

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5. Replace weak locks with strong deadbolts

Installing a strong deadbolt is easier than you think and doing so could help save your home from being burglarized. When shopping for a new locking solution, look for those that come with a Grade 1 deadbolt, which mean it’s earned the highest grade security certificate. Once your home is outfitted with a robust deadbolt, don’t forget to use it.

We've done the research for you

Ready for a new deadbolt? Check out our favorite door locks for home security.

6. Evaluate the strength of your home’s doors

If a burglar tries to open the front door of your home and finds it’s locked, they could try to kick it in.  Replace doors that are hollow, made of low-quality wood, or are otherwise easy to breach, with high quality steel doors or solid wood doors.

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There's a gadget for that

You can also purchase a device like the Defender Security Reinforcement Lock to give door kickers a hard time.

7. Put up window treatments

Install window and door shades so criminals will have a hard time telling when your home is unoccupied. Opt for window and door treatments that let in natural light during the daytime, but conceal what’s going on in your home at night.

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Window blinds are smart too

Put up smart window treatments like Yoolax and use a home automation system to control them from your connected device. In addition to keeping prying eyes from seeing inside your home, smart window treatments may help reduce your home’s energy consumption.

8. Install a monitored wireless home security system

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SimpliSafe Home Security
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There are several advantages of outfitting your home with a monitored wireless home security system, not the least of which is you can complete installation yourself in about 30 minutes. Plus, wireless security systems are often considered more dependable than wired systems because a burglar can’t cut phone lines to render the system useless.

It might actually save you money

Your insurance company may discount your homeowner’s premium by up to 20% when you install a monitored home security system.

Video: How to install a DIY home security system

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Alexia Chianis
Written by
Wanderlust junky and mom of two, Alexia is a former police officer and U.S. Army Captain who draws on her experiences to write about a myriad of safety topics.

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