Home Security Systems That Cost Less


Home security systems could be thought of as a group of burglar deterrent methods-products working all together to provide overall home security. Most often, we think of home security systems as alarm systems. Another way to go about it could be to simply add a number of preventative deterrents for the typical home burglar. And they don’t necessarily have to cost much…

The objective is to keep the home burglar from breaking into your home with deterrents that he can see and hear, or anything that provides resistance as a first line of defense.

A burglar will scout the home first, and will move on to easier prey if he believes a break-in will be unsuccessful or met with resistance. Effective deterrents can be surprisingly inexpensive, and may include any of the following items.

Home Door Stop Alarm
This simple, yet highly effective door stop alarm will not only alert you if someone gains entry through a doorway, but it will more than likely cause the would-be burglar to flee.

Electronic Barking Dog Alarm
If you don’t already have a dog that will bark if someone is near your home, then this electronic barking dog will be a great deterrent for the home burglar. Most will move on somewhere else if they hear a dog barking (especially a vicious sounding dog).

Door Security Bar
You may have the best door lock there is, but this simple door security bar will ultimately prohibit a door from being pushed open. The harder it is pushed, the more it resists. It creates peace-of-mind where there may be concern of break-in.

Fake Security Camera With Blinking Light
This dome security camera looks so real, you won’t tell the difference. It even has a blinking light to appear more authentic. The last thing a burglar wants to see is a security camera (or several)!

Fake TV Burglar Deterrent
This home security device is very innovative. It creates the illusion that there is a TV turned on in the house by the flickering that appears through the windows as seen from the outside at night. When there is a TV on, the burglar assumes that someone is up (awake) and at home.

Security System Window Warning Stickers
Even though you may not have an alarm system installed, you could ‘stick-on’ these security system stickers to your windows. Again, the burglar will think “home security systems”, and move along…

Rab Super Stealth Motion Lighting
This particular motion light (the Super Stealth models), made by RAB lighting, is the best. I’ve had these for years, and they ‘see’ all around and very far. It is well worth the installation process to put up a good quality motion light.

These are only just a few items to get you thinking about it. There are many more things you can do for home security and deterrence.

Leave a comment with your additional thoughts or ideas ..


  1. This is a fantastic article! My wife and I were just talking about this yesterday. It is something that we think about literally every time we leave the house. We have to much invested (in many ways) to have some POS robber come and burgle our place! If we ARE there if it happens than they will meet the cold muzzle of a……well, you get the idea :) Anywase great, great thread!

  2. One of the best and most overlooked security device is the “BABY MONITOR”… They can be purchased at garage sales for a few dollars, position them around your house, you can hear the neighbors talking from across the street..they are that sensitive.

  3. Another simple and cheap thing you can do is put a few lamps on timers around the house. Keep them relatively random though. While no one wants to get their neighbor in trouble, the truth is, you want to make the criminal move on to the next house. Good lighting can be a big part of that, and timers are cheap.

  4. Get a real dog. Having a fake dog barking in a place that doesn’t allow them won’t deter many.

    I prefer German Shepherds. Get the dog trained. Treat the dog like family, he or she is family. Do not get into a fight that you will lose before the dog is engaged(biting the perp). Part of being a dog is to go with the winning side. Would really suck to have your dog go after you.

    Extreme lead poisoning, not the paint, should not be ruled out. Tried by twelve or carried by six?

    Be well.

    1. I agree with getting a real dog – IF you can. Please don’t get a dog unless you are willing and able to care for it as a member of the family. The security they provide is fantastic, and security may even be your primary reason for getting a dog. Just remember that they bring a whole lot more to the table.

      1. Completely agree with keeping a good guard dog in the family. Don’t know about everywhere, but we got our dobie/rott mix from a local no-kill rescue shelter, and he’s the best dog (of many) I have ever had. I might have just got lucky, but a good dog with a little training and love will be the best “early warning/15 second head start” against an intruder you could have.

  5. I second putting lamps on timers. I run them all the time so that even if I don’t make it home, the lights go on and off on their own. I prefer the electronic X-10 units over the mechanical timeclocks as the mechanical ones tended to only last a year or two when I used them. The X-10 units also allow you turn on all your lights in the house with a single push of a button.

  6. Here’s an interesting idea that I received via email from a regular reader…

    Occassionally, I’ll put a post-it note on my entry door that says something like…

    “Chuck, let yourself in. BUT DON’T WAKE ME UP! And don’t let the dog out like last time!”

    The name “Chuck” sounds kinda masculine and the note makes it sound like there is some guy that comes around regularly but not sure when. The part about don’t wake me up gives the impression that someone is home and that person is not a nice person if they are awakened. And the part about the dog, well, no bad guys like houses with dogs and this dog sounds like he is fast and uncontrollable.

    So, it sounds funny, I know. But it also appears as real. Maybe it would impart just a little bit of doubt in someone that is cruising the neighborhood looking for a target.

    1. Leave a note: “Ron, I’ll be back in 15 minutes. Please wait.” You could change it to “an hour” or whatever works for you.

      No one knows how long ago you left and “Ron” is expected to show up at any time.

      1. Good one. I like it! 15-minutes is soon enough to deter about anyone… who has no idea if it already has been 10 minutes, etc.

    2. … you’re assuming the numb nuts breaking into your house can read…

      1. @LG, that made me laugh ;) There is much truth to your statement! Maybe you can come up with a sketch drawing to get the point across instead…

  7. I know it may sound crazy, but I have two extremely neurotic and insecure cats. They’re both “found” cats, but they deal with myself, the Wife and Little Ancona just fine, but hwenever they sense or hear someone else they go nuts. The fat one will run from window to window trying to see who/what it is. The crazy orange one will sit in the room nearest the suspect sound/person and stare in the direction he hears the noise, and “meowl” [part meow, part growl]. It can be pretty amusing sometimes, but one day the cats went in to berzerko mode, running from room to room. I went out front and saw some knucklehead in my front yard looking in to the front window of my Nissan Titan. I went out front and said, “What the hell do you think you’re doing a$$hole?”. To which he responded, “F**k you!…….Want some?” [as he started to walk briskly toward me]. I reached under my shirt tail and grabbed my Glock 30, fully intending to have to blaze one through this idiots chest wall. Seeing the weapon, he turned tail and ran. I called the cops [who responded 15 minutes later] and they proceeded to drive up and down the streets south of me. They found a suspicious looking character, picked him up and rolled back around. They asked me if I had a problem with giving a positive ID. I said I would do it, walked over and ID’ed the a$$hole, after which, he was promptly arrested. It turns out he had three outstanding warrants, two in Florida and one in South Carolina. When he is eligible for parole, it will be 2029.

    So, cats may seem to be aloof and out of touch with anything but themselves, but mine are sufficiently crazy to act as a perfectly good early warning system that does not bark or make a lot of loud noise, but draws just enough attention to make you want to investigate. Most of the time it is a raccoon, a possum or another cat, but sometimes it is something more dangerous.

    Naturally my cats are not my primary security prep, but they are a nice little ancillary system that doesn’t cost very much and works at all hours of the day or night. We like our five camera set-up with the 100gb solid state memory module. Our cameras are ultra low light model with the auxiliary IR source. The resolution is better in full light situations, but still quite good for what it is.

  8. I will speak from over 3 decades of LE, including two stints as a dog handler.
    I use a steel bar with brackets over my outside door, we use the garage door.
    POS will not be able to kick the doors open. The goal is to get them to go away and once they realize they can not get entry easy, they tend to go away.
    Yes, I have a shepherd, guess I always will but my head of security is a 14lb Affenpinscher. They are the true big dog in a little dog body. Mine has hearing that would have put my late furry partner to shame. She can not hurt a flea with her tiny teeth but her bark will get me attention.
    That is all I want.
    Yep, I have an alarm, cameras, dead bolts but they are just a piece of the puzzle.
    I also use window locks or screws in the frames-can only open windows a little.
    Great article

  9. I believe security is best with multiple layers. Don’t just rely on one security system. We have multiple systems. Big dog, reinforced door jambs, security screen doors, multiple motion detector lights, windows with screws in the frame so windows can only be opened a little. Sound activated night lights (sound of breaking glass will cause the light to come on). Also have used the note on the back door when no one will be home for several hours. We also have security signs.

  10. The problem with security systems is most folks have signs saying “brinks” or other in their yard or on windows. The problem is if a burglar knows how to beat this system you are telling him what kind of system you have and he will break in and disable your system. I have seen this happen a lot and know from experience that the best way to protect your home is NOT to advertise what kind of system you have. If you DO have a security system in place just put a sign saying “warning security system” and leave it at that. This way the burglar doesn’t know exactly what kind of system you have and will pass up your house for one he knows he can bypass. Door bars are a good idea but you cannot set them from the outside so they are only good if you are home. Dogs have been protecting things for hundreds of years and a big dog that is aggressive towards people is a good way to stop an intruder from entering your property but they can be killed so…. The fake cameras are a good choice but for what you pay for them you can have real ones that will record whatever it is pointing at. I have a sign that says ‘ trespassers will be shot…survivors will be shot again” this is good and bad as it tells whoever I will shoot but also tells whoever I have a weapon in the house. Your BEST defense against a home burglary is to have motion detectors and NOT those magnetic ones as all they have to do is break threw the window and not open it. This is a very bad time of year for thefts as a lot of desperate people will seek Christmas gifts you have under your tree. I realize you want to have your gifts under the tree, it looks good to you and a thief. Having a recorded message saying ” in the kitchen will be there in a minute” or something like that works well and having timers on lights and the T-V is helpful. DON’T leave your outside light on that is a dead give away that you are not home as why would you need a light when it isn’t dark? Also make sure you get your mail and any papers left on your driveway. That is a very fast way to get robbed because if you were there you would pick them up. If your on vacation have your Nabors get your mail and papers. One last thing… the police say that 90% of all robberies are done by people that know you and your habits, this problem is very hard to solve as you go to work and come home at certain times and you drive so when they see your not at home the feel it is a free lunch and rob you.

    1. Yes we just have a generic sign, don’t actually have a security system, just a sign. Not likely to deter everyone, but it will work for some. They just might decide to look for easier pickings.

      1. That is possibly true as most thieves are looking for an easy mark and not one protected.

  11. Thanks for sharing this! I know a lot of people who are hesitant on purchasing home alarm systems because of pricing.

  12. A home security system could also be terribly sophisticated, or it will be fairly easy. a customary home security system can in all probability contain door and window sensors and an effect box. once the system is armed and somebody breaks in through a door or window, the alarm sounds

  13. Good article. These are all good techniques to prevent robbery but it’s good to have a security system installed in our house. I have bought one ‘Indoor Wireless Pan/Tilt IP Camera’ from security professionals. It can give direct notifications on your computer or smart phone about any activity at your home or office space..

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