The 10 Best Home Security Upgrades Under $10

by Tommy Grant

A home intrusion can happen to anyone. Improving your ability to prevent intrusions is one way to easily bolster your security. Knowing what to do during an intrusion is another important step. The easy home security upgrades can help prevent intrusions or be an asset during an intrusion.

The majority of them are preventative, and it is always a good idea to reduce your risk of burglary. Here are the top ten easy home security upgrades under $10:


10. Automatic Timers

Timers can be most effective when hooked up to lights. Set timers to turn on when you leave as a cheap burglar deterrent. Setting lights or TVs to come on at dusk and stay on for a few hours while you are away is one of the more common methods to deter intruders.

If your house is being cased, a burglar may be able to tell by the exact timing that a timer is used, but many burglars are opportunists who will not study your home for long periods ahead of time.


9. Document Belongings

While documenting everything you own of value will not prevent a home intrusion, it is very helpful if you do become a victim. An easy way to do this is to record a video ‘tour’ of your home and save it in a safe place where you can access it if there is a burglary.

As always, redundancy is good in this situation, since a backup video will help if the original video is stolen. Even when it comes to digital files, the “two is one and one is none” mantra can apply.


8. Stand-Alone Window/Door Alarms

A two-pack of alarms can set you back only $10. Not only are they pesky noisemakers for intruders, but if someone looks in your home they also appear similar to networked alarms. Visibility is just as key for placement on these since you want to install them to deter intruders just as much as alert you to them.


7. Well-Known Security Company Signs

It used to be difficult to find well-known security company signs and stickers, but they are now widely available and are less expensive than when they were only sold second-hand. Burglars are three times more likely to target a house without a security system, so this is a cheap deterrent to not making their target list.

I put ADT signs and stickers up at my own house even though I have a custom security system, just because they are well-known and easily recognized.


6. Protect Your Garage

Most people don’t know about the 6-second garage door break-in, but you can quickly disable this entry method just by trimming a string.


5. Motion Lights

Motion lights are a good security upgrade for any house. Using motion detection to illuminate dark areas near your house can provide advance notice if something is there. Triggered motion lights can spook intruders, and are also useful for everyday activities.


4. Diversion Safe

A Diversion safe can keep small items safe and in an accessible area. There are many different kinds, so make sure to get a diversion safe large enough to stash valuables, but that makes sense with the rest of your decor.

We have a list of our top 10 diversion safes if you’d like to see the best options.


3. Trim Your Hedges

This is more of a time investment than costing money. Tall bushes near your house especially near windows provide intruders with spots to hide when scoping out your house. Having holly bushes or other bushes of the ‘spiky’ variety do the opposite though, and are great to plant under windows.

Either way, you want your bushes to be lower to the ground so a person cannot hide behind them while scoping out your home.


2. Door Plates

A door plate can greatly increase your entryway security. Everyone knows kicking a door just to the side of the handle can get you inside. A one-piece strike plate makes it that much harder.

They take less than an hour to install and almost eliminate a preferred method of entry for burglars. We go even further in depth in this review on the best door reinforcement options.

Even if you don’t spring for a new strike plate, you can consider getting longer screws. That is one of the easiest home security projects that makes your front door much stronger.


1. Knowledge

Upgrading your home security knowledge is not just free- it’s one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. Situational awareness is paramount in keeping your home secure. Knowing your risk is an important step in preventing home invasions. Clarity, and calm under pressure are important if an intruder makes it inside your home.

Protecting yourselves and your loved ones is a top priority, and knowing how to handle yourself is something you should practice. Prepare today for what is possible tomorrow.


The Final Word

Hopefully at least one of these home security upgrades is worth your time considering. If not, it is always good practice to review your home security plans and equipment for weak points. Staying in touch with local police or neighbors to be informed on current crime activity is also important.

Our subscribers have found these lists and guides useful as well:

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.


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