As a kid growing up, I lived in a house with security that rivaled Fort Knox. Every exterior opening was fitted with an old-fashioned hook and eye latch, which my mother would latch from the inside each and every time someone left the house.

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As one who would leave from time to time, I can report that it wasn’t easy to get back in. I would have to knock and wait for her to come to the door to unlatch it, let me in, then she would re-latch the door behind me. While my mother’s security system was never breached, it made for an annoying way to grow up.

Thankfully, these days, there are much better ways to make our homes safe and secure that are also friendly to all who live therein.

While it’s impossible to put a price on the value of protecting your home and family, there are inexpensive yet highly effective ways to beef up security to create a strong defense against intruders.

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Door Stopper

Very much like The Club that millions use to keep their cars secure, The Door Club secures any exterior door in your home so that it will resist more than two tons of force. That’s a lot of security for less than $30. This device is easy to install, a cinch to engage and offers tremendous peace of mind.

Patio Doors

We installed Ideal Security Patio Door Security bars (about $20 each) on the three sets of sliders in our home. This system works like a dream, and the installation was easy, too. We can open a slider just enough to provide ventilation even while a door is in the fully locked position. The bar easily swings up and out of the way when we want the door open all the way.

Window Locks

These days, local police typically advise homeowners to install secondary locks so windows cannot be opened by force. Good advice. The type of lock that qualifies is one with a metal clamp that attaches to the frame of the window above the sash.

For less than $3 per window, Defender Security Window Lock more than meets the minimum standard. The lock is adjustable to fit up to one-half inch thick rails. And you can lock it in “ventilating position” which allow the windows to be slightly ajar, while completely secure against forced entry.

Firearm Safe

If you own a firearm, safety should be your top priority. For the money (about $60) the AmazonBasics Security Safe with electronic lock and two emergency override keys is a great choice.

This safe comes pre-drilled with the hardware required to bolt it to the bottom of a drawer, floor, shelf or wall. Now you can stack things on top of it and no one will be the wiser. The hinges are even concealed so no giveaways there. This compact safe is a winner in both functionality and price point.

Fake TV

One of the cheapest ways to make it appear that you’re home, even though you may be on a two-week Caribbean cruise, is to leave a television on. The flickering light is a dead giveaway yours is a house burglars don’t want to mess with.

But here’s the problem with that: TVs consume a lot of power. A much better idea is to invest $40 in a FakeTV. It turns itself on at dusk and off at dawn. It consumes the power of a nightlight while filling a room with light just like a TV.

FakeTV accurately simulates scene changes and fades on-screen motion in thousands of colors just like a real TV. This gadget gives the impression that you’re home even when you’re away.

Spotlight Motion Detector

Install this light on the outside of your house to kick your home security efforts up a notch. At less than $20, Mr Beams Wireless LED Spotlight turns on in the presence of any kind of motion, and will do more than just keep your home more secure.

It will automatically light the way when you need to empty the trash or take the dog out. The LED light is extremely bright and fully weatherproof. Installation is totally wireless and the light gives 350 square feet of coverage. Awesome.

Home Security System Package

If rather than piecemeal your home’s security you prefer a complete system complete with optional monitoring, take a look at Simplisafe2 Wireless Home Security System and service offered by SimpliSafe. This is a wireless system that you order and install yourself in minutes. All the sensors arrive pre-programmed and ready to be mounted. No tools required, no wires and no hassles.

This system does not use phone wires that burglars can easily cut to disarm the house. The system offers monitoring plans starting at $14.99 a month with no contract, and there’s no phone line required.

SimpliSafe uses smart technology including motion detectors, panic button, carbon monoxide detection, wireless keypad, and keychain remote. You’ll even get a couple of window decals alerting all who might intrude that they need to get out. Fast!

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