As the year ends, it's an ideal time to look at your home, the projects you've successfully completed and your plans for repairs, renovations, and renewal. Protecting your family should top your list, but if you're a real Do It Yourselfer, protecting your home and investment should be a top-tier priority.
I live in the mountains and no one around here locks their home. It's a hold-over habit from another century. Visitors from the city are astonished when we drive off to see the country without locking anything on the property. For you, however, living this way can be a real roll of the dice. According to the FBI, there were more than 2 million burglaries in 2008, up more than five percent from a decade ago. It's scary that more than 61 percent of all burglaries involved forced entry. And victims suffered more than $4 billion in lost property.
Are Your Homes and Families Protected? Bloggers from the Discovery Network suggest that everyone have home protection systems that include one or more of the following:
For immediate, stop0gap protection, you might consider a maintenance routine to move valuables out of line-of-sight through windows, install window locks, gates, deadbolt locks, front- and rear-door peepholes, and pinned window frames. Your home insurance company may even give you up to a 15 percent premium discount if you have installed security systems.
Do It Yourself Security Outdoor motion-activated lighting can startle burglars who prefer to do their dirty work in the dark. You can find systems at most home-improvement stores. Motion-sensor and light systems are relatively inexpensive--around $30-- as are motion-activated outdoor alarms. There's a wide range of models powered by battery, so you won't have to run new wiring.
You can also find motion activated front- and rear-door lights that pop on with energy efficient LED lights that remain lit for a range of intervals. They can save you money in energy bills over a system that stays fired up all night long. Some outdoor flood models are even solar powered.
You may find it advantageous to call in a security company or contractor to bid on a full system of lights, alarms, and monitoring service. Before choosing any contractor, do your homework.