High-quality home security systems can be expensive, mainly when you include the cost of installation and maintenance. There are several ways to keep your home safe without an alarm for people who don’t want to pay a monthly monitoring fee. 

Follow these tips to learn how to secure your home without an alarm system. 

1. ADOPT A DOG

Before the invention of electronic alarm systems, one of the top answers to how to prevent home invasion was to own a guard dog. Dogs are a fantastic theft-prevention system. Although you shouldn’t get a dog just for home protection, it’s an excellent bonus. Train your dog to bark when strangers approach the door, and you’ll always be alerted when someone tries to sneak in.

However, try training your dog to only bark when strangers approach, or you might become immune to the barking. Some dogs like to bark at everything, including rainstorms, blowing leaves, or passing cars. To have your dog be an effective security system, focus on reducing their reactivity to stimuli you don’t care about and rewarding barking when someone comes to the door. 

While many people think of Rottweilers and German Shepherds as security dogs, these breeds are also exceptionally high energy and require experienced dog owners. Smaller dogs, like West Highland Terriers, American Eskimos, or even Chihuahuas, are also prone to barking but are easier to train. The person on the other side of the door won’t see your dog, so, as long as they have a loud bark, they can be small.

Ensure you have the time to devote to training and caring for a dog for years to come. If you’re too busy or travel often, you might want to invest in a motion-activated sensor that plays a dog barking sound when someone gets too close.

2. MAKE YOUR HOME SMART

One way to deter burglars, especially when you’re out of the house for an extended period, is by leaving lights on. However, this tactic can run up your electricity bill, and burglars might notice if your lights are on for several days straight while you’re away on vacation.

Consider installing some smart light bulbs and a smart home hub. Most options allow you to set your lights on a timer and to control them remotely. If you’re away for several days, you can set them to come on for a few hours at nighttime to make it look as though someone is home. This option is also fantastic for those who work the night shift.

3. ALWAYS LOCK YOUR DOORS AND WINDOWS

Although this tip might seem obvious, many people living in rural areas or small towns leave their doors and windows unlocked. Additionally, people living without air conditioning may leave their windows cracked during the day to allow for air circulation. However, a cracked window makes your home an attractive target for an opportunistic burglar. If you must leave your windows open, only do this on the second floor, and ensure you have cameras covering them. 

Whether you’re home or away, make it a habit to lock your door. Be careful about who you give your spare keys to and, if you must leave a spare key outside, ensure it’s well concealed or in a locked box. The first place a burglar will look is under a fake rock or in your flower pots.

4. PUT UP SECURITY SYSTEM SIGNS

Even if you don’t have a security system, you can make burglars think you do. Put some signs up from a well-known security system company near you, stating your home is protected. This option is cheap and takes little time. Although it might not deter the most determined burglars, it could make opportunistic ones move on to a different, less-protected house.

You can place signs in your yard or stickers on your windows.

5. KEEP YOUR VALUABLES OUT OF SIGHT

One way to attract burglars to your place is by having your valuables on full display. While many families remember to lock up their expensive watches or diamond earrings, they often forget about the costly electronics. Many homeowners install extensive home entertainment systems that can cost thousands of dollars. If you have your TV set up in the front room, curious burglars may become interested in your home.

While you don’t need to have a windowless room for your entertainment setup, try to keep your blinds down or curtains pulled, especially if you are out of the house. If you can, consider using a back room that looks out on your backyard.

The same thing goes for high-end musical instruments, particularly portable ones like electric guitars or violins. If you have a collection, consider storing it in an interior room. 

For small, precious items, you may want to store them in a safe if you’re going on vacation. Hide the safe in the back of your closet. 

6. GET ALARM DOORSTOPS

If you aren’t happy with your door locks or live in a big house and worry you wouldn’t hear an intruder coming through the front door, invest in a few alarm doorstops. Before you go to bed, wedge these under your front door. If someone opens the door, a loud alarm will sound. For those who live in a houseshare with questionable roommates, these are also fantastic for helping you sleep better at night.

Like the window alarms, these are small and portable.