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SALT LAKE CITY — Homeowners invest in home security for two reasons: to protect people and to protect their belongings. With a break-in occurring every 13 seconds, it’s essential to safeguard your home and family.
While the investment might deliver a discount on your home insurance policy, the ultimate reason for getting a home security system lies in having peace of mind. You can relax at home or away when your house is protected from burglars and safety hazards.
If you're living on a budget, however, and don’t want to pay someone to install a security system, consider a do-it-yourself home security system. Here are eight steps to building a DIY home security system at a budget-friendly price:
Conduct an audit of your home
Before you rush to buy smart locks and cameras, conduct an audit of your home to assess basic security needs.
Check any areas that could be used to enter or damage your home, including broken locks or windows and any crawl spaces or attic and basement access. Finally, walk the perimeter of your property looking for rundown fencing. Once you have a list of security items to address, evaluate how much each will cost to fix.
Work your way from outside to inside
Fix your fences and repair any broken windows or doors before they become too damaged. Some tasks could require more money upfront, such as installing siding to close off a crawl space.
To manage the expenses, look for deals at your local home improvement store and remember that regular maintenance is a basic and cost-effective security solution.
Secure your doors
Instead of replacing an existing lock or deadbolt with a similar one, install a smart lock. Smart locks give you greater control over who can access your home using keypads, Bluetooth or even fingerprint identification.
If you can afford it, you might add a smart doorbell, too. Many of today’s doorbells integrate video technology, allowing you to see who’s at the door before answering or unlocking it. Smart locks range in price from $150 to $400, while smart doorbells fall between $200 and $300.
Safeguard the windows
Windows can be vulnerable to attack, so take extra precautions with them. Many home automation providers, including Samsung and GE, offer sensors that can be attached to windows and doors. The more expensive security sensors will even send an alert to your smartphone whenever the door or window opens. You can find basic sensors for under $30.
Update your indoor and outdoor lighting
As soon as the windows and doors are taken care of, address the lighting situation. Burglars tend to avoid well-lit homes, as well as those that appear occupied. Smart lighting helps you achieve both.
Some of the lights include motion sensors, putting would-be intruders in the spotlight, while others feature timers and schedules so it always looks like you’re at home. Smart light bulb starter kits like the Phillips Hue can get expensive, but the GE and Stack models tend to be more affordable.
Keep an eye on your home while you’re away
Your next DIY security solution is the smart security camera. Placing cameras outside your home could help deter burglars and, if you regularly receive packages, an outdoor camera can help ensure packages arrive and stay at your house until you can collect them.
Installing an indoor camera can help if you have a young child or if you worry about leaving an elderly parent home alone. As for price, the relatively budget-friendly Zmodo Pivot security camera costs $99.88 on Amazon.
Remember the basics
Home security may be at the forefront of your mind, but don’t neglect common safety practices, like replacing the batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
If you want to go “smart” with your home safety, several smart carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are available on the market. The Nest Protect, for example, costs about $100. It combines the carbon monoxide and smoke detector into a single device and integrates with many smart home gadgets, like security cameras.
Choose a home security system for affordability and convenience
If you’d rather not invest the time and energy to build an all-encompassing security system yourself (or you worry about going over budget), you should consider purchasing a home security system. Many systems come in at a reasonable price point and feature smart options that allow you to monitor your home at any time and from any location.
With the eight ideas listed here, you’ll soon be on your way to a safer and more secure home. Consider researching different resources and start your audit and decide on your next steps when you feel ready. If you plan first, you can successfully stay within budget and build a DIY home security system.