We’ve all seen them: yard signs and window stickers that advertise that your house is packin’. Burglars and thieves know not to mess with you for fear of setting off an alarm. Besides an alarm itself, security companies offer a number of services that protect your home and set your mind at ease. Great as all that sounds, companies like ADT and Brinks charge upwards of $1000 a month for their services. Not everyone can afford that kind of security.
Luckily it’s easy to acquire counterfeit signs that ward off burglars without having to pay for the services. For just $20 a sign, you can have that same peace of mind that intruders will think twice before breaking in, right?
Wrong. These signs are available anywhere from eBay to Home Depot. Thieves are savvy to the fact that signs are widely available, so it’s no guarantee that it protects you at all. Indeed, even if you have a system in place, that sign may be informing your intruder as to what sort of system you have and how to circumvent it. These signs are only as effective as the services behind it.
Many home robberies have been cased beforehand. Maybe that stranger who asked to use your bathroom last week was actually getting the layout of your house down. Maybe they’ve peered in through your rear windows while your neighbors were at work to see how truly secure your home is. If they discover that you don’t have an alarm, it’s not a far leap to assume that it’s all you’ve invested in security.
If you think about it, the people selling you these signs are selling you nothing; they’re selling you an ugly piece of decor that may or may not scare burglars away. Instead of wasting your hard-earned cash on bogus signs, here are a few devices that cost roughly the same as one sign and actually help keep your home more secure.
Motion Detector Lights
Install motion detecting lights. The best way to keep your home secure is to ensure that there’s nowhere to hide. Not only do motion detector lights illuminate otherwise dark corners, but it highlights movement and suspicious activity.
Window Break Alarm
When you hear a suspicious noise what do you do? Do you call the police right away, or do you wait for another noise to be sure you heard what you thought you heard? Thieves are banking on just this response. Glass break alarm systems are triggered by the combination of contact and an actual break, making sure that you and your neighbors are alerted of a break in before the intruder ever enters the house.
TV Simulator Light
Your home is much less likely to be robbed if potential robbers think you’re home. TV simulator light imitate the flickering colors of your tv and can be set to a timer, so a burglar casing your home thinks you’re there.
Nothing deters a break-in like thinking you’re home. Though these devices are all great, make sure a friend or neighbor picks up your mail and newspapers; have a neighbor shovel your driveway if it snows while you’re away. Make sure you lock all windows and doors before you leave. Keep your blinds drawn and keep your valuables away from major pathways. All of these things are more effective at keeping your home safe than a sign that means nothing.