Great Cheap Ways To Make Your House Safer Hunt

What's it about?

It's always tricky to balance the cost of insurance, your possessions and security devices. So how can you make your home more secure without spending too much money?

What do I want you to do?

I thought I'd tap MoneySavers collective knowledge to find out... any security gurus (or former burglars for that matter!) or common sense planners out there?

Click reply to give your tips
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • Nile
    Nile Posts: 14,930
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Post
    A cheap way to protect your home while you're away is to ask a neighbour to check your home. A daily patrol around the house, especially pushing any post or newspapers sticking out of your letter box will help. You can reciprocate when the neighbour goes away.

    Another cheapish security measure is to leave a radio playing downstairs when you got out. It will sound like there's someone in the house.

    Use a timer switch to turn a lamp on in an upstairs room in the evenings.

    Ask a neighbour to park their car on your drive or in front of your house when you're away on holiday, to give the illusion that you're at home.

    If you'll be away for more than a week, ask a neighbour to use your dustbin. An empty dustbin is a sign that the house is unoccupied.
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the 'I wanna' and 'In my home' and Health & Beauty'' boards.If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected] views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.10 Dec 2007 - Led Zeppelin - I was there. :j :cool2: I wear my 50 (gold/red/white) blood donations pin badge with pride. Give blood, save a life.
  • MoJo
    MoJo Posts: 542
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    You can get a free guide to Home Security at the bottom of this page:
  • save-a-lot
    save-a-lot Posts: 2,809
    Combo Breaker First Post

    This is not necessarily cheap, but if you are planning a garden anyway then defensive planting is the way to go. It could be cheap if you buy smaller plants and wait for them to grow however.

    Some ways to protect your boundaries and under windows etc is to plant defensively, i.e. thorny shrubs that make entry a painful experience.

    Another tip, on the top of fences place trellis, this will not hold the weight of someone and will break easily if someone attempts to climb over, combine this with defensive planting and that is a good measure to stop people crossing your boundaries. Also, it looks nice and does not give the impression it has been done purposefully.

  • save-a-lot
    save-a-lot Posts: 2,809
    Combo Breaker First Post

    Done a quick search on Google and found this website that lists some good examples

  • Becles
    Becles Posts: 13,163
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Photogenic
    I had a problem with children climbing over the 6 foot back fence to retrieve balls, rather than coming round and knocking on the door to ask for it back. I was worried in case they hurt themselves, and I was annoyed with damage to plants and my garden bench as they were climbing on that to get back over.

    I bought some anti-vandal paint which only cost a few pounds. I painted that on the top of the fence. It stays sticky like tar, so will make a right mess on them if they climb over. After a couple of sticky fingers cases, the problem was solved.
    Here I go again on my own....
  • Aril
    Aril Posts: 1,877
    Combo Breaker First Post
    When we joined our Neighbourhood Watch scheme one of the tips was-don't just leave your hall light on when you go out [this is what intruders expect people to do]- it's better to a light on upstairs aswell. If you're going to be away for some time a timer is also a good idea. The other thing is don't keep large amounts of cash in the house- a friend of ours recently lost her elderly father. He had been in hospital for a month and fortunately our friend had the sense to go in and clear the house [he had a large amount in a pressure cooker!] Within 24 hours the house had been burgled and they had even unscrewed the top off the tumbler drier looking for his savings. There probably isn't a hiding place you can think of that they don't already know about.
    Aiming for a life of elegant frugality wearing a new-to-me silk shirt rather than one of hair!
  • Volcano
    Volcano Posts: 1,116 Forumite
    Best timers are those 7 day ones. They allow you to programme 5 different on/off times each day over a week. As well as plugging this into a lamp I also have it connected to the radio tuned to radio 4 with the volume turned up to conversation level (this freaked me out once when I came back from a holiday to hear people arguing upstairs!)
  • looneyleo
    looneyleo Posts: 516 Forumite
    Just a quick, simple and in-expensive solution to giving people a second thought before entering your property. Put a "Beware of the Dog" sign in your window, on your gate or door etc. We put one up for a dog we were looking after for a short time and it immediately stopped all visitors using the back entrace and they very carefully approached our front door. The dog has now left...but the sign has remained! Add a picture of a really big nasty looking dog too to make it more authentic!

  • bylromarha
    bylromarha Posts: 10,085
    I've been Money Tipped!
    Ask the local fire service to do a home safety check.

    It's free, and they'll fit free smoke alarms if you don't already have them.
    Who made hogs and dogs and frogs?
  • richcook
    richcook Posts: 28 Forumite
    keep a son at home or rather make it to comfortable for them to leave

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