scrooge mcduck's gold
You don’t need McDuck’s riches to keep your family safe

Do you remember Scrooge McDuck? He’s uncle to the more famous Donald, but he’s most memorable for the piles and piles of shiny, golden coins stacked in his cartoon mansion. Favorite pastimes: Pinching pennies, counting gold, diving head-first into shiny coins, and swimming around in his mountains of money. Oh, to have Scrooge McDuck’s problems, right?

While we can’t all have Scrooge McDucks limitless riches, we’re still like him in a few important ways. We have families and homes to protect, and we’re careful with our dollars. That’s why I’m happy to highlight some of my favorite, inexpensive ways to burglarproof your home. Because you don’t have to spend McDuck’s fortune (or even a pretty penny) to protect your home.

1. Install an Alarm System

You can purchase a DIY security system for as little as 25 dollars online. The least expensive systems are incredibly basic but do one thing really well: sound the alarm! You’ll get a keypad and door sensors (maybe a few window sensors) with your initial purchase; one quick installation later, and your system is primed to shrill if a burglar breaks in. When you free up extra funds, you can add-on to your system: window sensors, wireless keyfobs, motion detectors, and more.

Relevant Products: GE Personal Security Window/Door Alarm System, DollarDays 6-piece Home Security System, SAM Security C5 Self-Activated Monitoring Alarm System

Note: A monitored home security system through an alarm company really is the safest, most secure option for protecting your family and home. The monthly fee can be more affordable than you think – less than one dinner out for two – and the added security can save your possessions and lives. Consider it.

close your curtains
Ready-made curtains are economical, attractive and a good burglar deterrent

2. Deadbolt Your Doors

Did you know that 34% of intruders enter through the front door and another 22% enter through the backdoor? That’s a startling statistic, but it provides an amazing clue to beefing up our security: Start with your doors. One of the easiest and most cost-effective solutions is to install a deadbolt. Please don’t go with the $3 cheapie from the local dollar store; instead, invest in a quality deadbolt (they usually run about $25). And, of course, use your deadbolt at all times – even when you’re home.

Relevant Products: Master Lock Single Cylinder Deadbolt, NU-SET Jimmy-Proof Inter Locking Deadbolt Lock

3. Curtail With Curtains

Experienced burglars like to “case” a home before they ever break in, so they can determine whether your goods are worth the risk. One of the easiest things you can do to make your home burglar-unfriendly is to install curtains or blinds (go cordless if you have young children) – and then use them. If a thief can’t see in, s/he will likely move on to the next potential victim.

Relevant Products: Solid Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtain, Elegant Comfort 2-Piece Sheer Panel Window Curtains (multiple color options)

4. Secure Sliding Doors

If you have sliding doors in your home, place a wooden rod (a cheap curtain dowel will suffice) in the track frame.

trimmed landscaping
Landscaping can be beautiful without providing a safe hiding spot for would-be burglars

5. Lock Up

Free security improvement of the day: lock your doors and windows! (And the garage, too.) This applies also when you’re at home, especially when your guard is down (for example, when you’re sleeping). Even the best locks can’t protect if you don’t use them.

6. Garage Timer

The garage door is one of those security holes that is just too easy to overlook. Maybe you were loading the trunk. Maybe your son was taking his bicycle out on a sunny afternoon. Maybe you were washing the car. It’s easy to leave the garage door open and even easier to forget that you have. The solution: A garage door timer (less than $40) that automatically closes after a preset period of time. (There’s a manual override, in case you purposely want to keep it open.)

Relevant Products: Garage Guardian Automatic Garage Door Closer and Timer, GT-100A Automatic Garage Door Closer

7. Be Safe

You can buy a small, fireproof safe for under $40. These are perfect for storing important documents, valuables, jewelry and even cash. If the safe is small enough to carry, bolt it to the floor (or a piece of furniture) to make it more difficult for a thief to make off with.

8.Eliminate Flowery Hidey-Holes

Make sure your landscaping does not provide convenient hiding spots for would-be burglars. Trim large bushes and trees that obscure entrances to your home, and eliminate shrubbery around your home’s perimeter. If your green thumb is itching to do something near the windows and doors, plant burglar deterrents: thorny, spiked, and otherwise pain-inducing landscaping.

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