Great Cheap Ways To Make Your House Safer Hunt



  • OK, I can't argue with your logic above. For (hopefully relatively few) burglars who aren't deterred by the distinct prospect of a real alarm bell sounding, after they've 'appraised' the house from outside, I agree they would be more likely to relax and spend longer prowling around, if no bell is heard after all, as with a dummy alarm box.

    Another thought is to install the loudest possible siren INSIDE the house to make it uncomfortable or almost impossible for the intruder to hang around for long, because of the pain caused to his ears. I understand the limit of the normal sounders is about 125db. I wish I knew where I could buy a sounder which produces nearer to 150db or more.


    I have put a couple of these up inside my house - they were sold as sound bombs and I really think they should be effective. When I worked for a large Tesco store they had these on the ceiling above the spirits section, they were probably in the tobacco kiosk too - if its good enough for them its good enough for me.
  • Here are my tips -

    1 - Window locks. if you have sash windows, do not put the locks right above the top of the bottom opening window. law of physics really, any burglars can lever the window open and break the locks. instead put them, about three - four inches aboe the bottom openig window in the side of the frame. This means that the window will only open a little amount and reduce the leverage the burglar has.

    2 - the rule of thumb is if the head can fit through it then the body can too. it s amazing the spaces they can fit through including sky lights.

    3 - Always use a chubb lock, yale locks can be slipped really easily. Chubbs take a bit of time and are more obvious and noisy to try and break.

    4. Always lock your work/garden tools away, otherwise they will be used against you. Spades crowbars etc, this means they don't need to carry them to the jobs, and they have access to a wide variety. Makes it so much easier for them to escape, plus if they get stopped they have to think of a reason to be carrying a crowbar!

    5. Get your alarm connected to a company like ADT etc. When alarms go off, the only reason people ring the police is because it annoys them after 30 mins etc. Too late by that time, also make sure you give a friend the key and code to the house, so if you are away there is a key holder the police can contact and they can arrange for forensic visits and let the police in to start the investigation even while you are away. ADT etc will contact the police quicker and even sometimes a silent alarm means that the burglars will be caught in the house.

    6. Be careful of people, coming to the door, pretending they have lost their cat, guinea pig etc in the garden, or they need a glass of water etc. Never let anyone you don't know into the house ; if you do want to help leave them on the doorstep. Go do whatever, but make sure you shut the door, securely.

    7. The trellis is a great idea as it can look quite pretty but is unstable enough to break and not be something to pull up on.

    8. Before you go on holiday wipe down all inside windows frames and window ledges. This leaves nice clean surfaces which will help with fingerprints etc.

    9. Dont forget mailboxes if you like in a block of flats. Maintain the box and its locks. Communal front doors are always left open, held open etc. Mail boxes are easy to break into and ID fraud is on the increase!!

    10. Finally, ask the local police station for the crime prevention officer to come round. Get a group of neighbours together and they will talk to the group. Thay way you can all look out for each other. They will have the latest knowledge about this area, plus they can provide discounts. They always prefer this as prevention is always better that the cure!!

    Sorry its long!!!
    Hope it helps

    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
    in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways -
    Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up,
    totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO, What a Ride!
  • Smiley_Mum
    Smiley_Mum Posts: 3,836 Forumite
    I've been Money Tipped!
    beaker141 wrote:
    I have put a couple of these up inside my house - they were sold as sound bombs and I really think they should be effective. When I worked for a large Tesco store they had these on the ceiling above the spirits section, they were probably in the tobacco kiosk too - if its good enough for them its good enough for me.

    Looks like you can pick them up pretty cheap, certainly worth a look. Thanks for the post, I'll mention them to my folks.
    “Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” - Oscar Wilde
  • kalico
    kalico Posts: 211 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    beaker141 wrote:
    I have put a couple of these up inside my house - they were sold as sound bombs and I really think they should be effective. When I worked for a large Tesco store they had these on the ceiling above the spirits section, they were probably in the tobacco kiosk too - if its good enough for them its good enough for me.

    I have these two and my thinking is that I want to give the burglar who gets in enough of a shock that he just makes to leave as quickly as possible. They are also hellish painful to be near. I have them throughout the place, rigged into the regular burglar alarm. Prepare to have to change your bed sheets if they go off in the middle of the night whilst you're sleeping though :eek:

    I take the view that to stop a burlgar targetting me, I need to make my neighbours houses look like easier targets.

    Alarm bell boxes should be front AND back, especially if you have easy access to the rear of your house.

    I have cameras outside too. Not the toy ones, but real camera housings are not too expensive.

    Microprocessor vibration sensors are good for garage and shed doors. The local kids might soon learn that it's fun to set them off, but that's a minor worry compared to being robbed.

    I've got 4 inch nails hammered through battens around the garage roof to stop anyone climbing over, but be sure to put up warning signs every 10 metres (they cost about £4 each) if you do this.

    You can also get (though not sure where anymore - let us all know if you find a supplier) a 'doorbell' that sounds like a viscous dog barking. Much better than a 'ding'dong' type since many burglars will simply ring your door to see if you're in. If you answer, they will pretend to be selling double glazing or similar. If you don't, then they know the house is empty. If you have any electronics experience, you can wire one of the vibration sensors to the dog-barker, just in case they knock on the door instead of ringing the bell.

    Other than that, radio on whenever house is empty (Radio 4 best) and timers on lots of lights.

    A decent dusk to dawn sensor that can be rigged to a lighting circuit costs about £10.

    Flahsing LEDs are cheap and make it look like your alarm could be more expensive/comprehensive than it is. Use them front and back near doors and/or in the corners of a window.

    Lastly, PIRs are useful, but often the best place to put them in a room (ie for best detection) might not be the place they can easily be seen if looking through the window. This is because they are not so effective if you walk straight towards them. Imagine a fan of invisible beams spreading out from them. Ideally, the intruder should walk across the beams. In some cases, it's worth fitting more than one in a room, if only so one can be seen from the outside.

  • If you go to your local poice station (in Scotland anyway) you can pick up a little card that you simply fill in and return which notifys the police of your absence from your property whilst your away. Any police patrolling the area will also check on your property (i.e doors, windows, signs of disturbance). Its very reassuring, particularly to my 84year old gran leaving her house to go on holiday!!
  • across
    across Posts: 1,648 Forumite
    be nice to people you live near that way they will look out for you when youre not in and they know youre reliable to look out for them too!!!!!!!
  • Nile
    Nile Posts: 14,930 Ambassador
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Post
    Hello kirstenmcg

    Welcome to the MSE site.:wave:
    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 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.
  • whitelabel
    whitelabel Posts: 2,217 Forumite

    Control centres are usually set up to contact the police on your behalf should you have an intruder. This is something you would need a security installer to do for you - there are no DIY options due to regulations for police calling systems.

    There are other alarm systems (e.g. Yale) which will call you should your alarm go off.

    there is an other option as well whis is the one i use on my Friendland response SA5 5 (check ebay for bestprices) alarm but also available in comet currys b&q etc and has an auto dialer. This can be used to call up to 5 people in the event of an alarm activation OR has the option to be monitored with optional group 4 response if you prefer. this is a DIY install wireless alarm and monitored via Myguard ( i think BT uses REdcare)

    you can buy the alarms from them and have them fitted but they offer the following Monitoring and Installation Options

    Domestic Monitoring (add £79.99)
    Domestic Monitoring with Group4 Patrol Registration (add £91.99)
    Commercial Monitoring (add £79.99)
    Commercial Monitoring with Group4 Patrol Registration (add £199.99)
    No Monitoring

    Installation by MyGard Authorised Installer (add £140)
    No Installation

    may be a cheaper option for any one wanting monitored alarm

    (ps i dont work for them !)
  • Hi I found a great little freeware program. It is called CATSPY, and basically it uses your web cam as a security camera. when there is no movement in front of the camera the program is in idle, but if anyone or thing should pass in front of the lens the pc starts to record for as long as the movement continues. the image is then saved and can be viewed using windows media player. time overlap can be set manually and the files will be kept for a user-defined length of time, before being overwritten, this should ensure that the hard drive doesnt become stuffed with hours of useless video files. best of all, its totally free............or the cost of a camera if you dont have one

    copy and paste to your browser
  • pilgjo
    pilgjo Posts: 13 Forumite
    Volcano wrote:
    Just an addition to chumfatty's post:

    For upvc windows you will need specific upvc window locks which aren't as cheap as wooden window locks. Last time I looked B&Q didn't sell these at all.

    Thanks for this link. My main problem is my 1 year old "cherub" opening the front door when someone knocks. Been struggling to find a chain / safe t-bar for a upvc door but this site has one for under a tenner
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