frugal

6 cheap, effective home security solutions

Cameras and animals
Cameras and animals © zorpink/Shutterstock.com

Another trend is installing security cameras outside. Long says internal and external home cameras are one of the most popular additions to alarm systems.

While 360-degree coverage is ideal, Hsiung says that a burglar could be deterred if he sees cameras recording at the front or back doors. Even a fake camera can be a deterrent, but it has to look legitimate. "A toy camera won't fool anybody," he says.

Hsiung says prices for simple surveillance cameras are reasonable, but technology can go so far as connecting to your cellphone, so you can watch when you're not home, or snapping a picture each time someone opens a certain door. Obviously these kinds of options drive the cost higher, but it's all a matter of your home security preference.

Being a dog lover can also have its security perks. A barking dog can be a great addition to security. Not only can dogs make a lot of noise, but, "What burglar wants to deal with a possible bite?" says Hsiung.

Long agrees that dogs can be a good deterrent, putting them in the same category as an alarm sign or video camera for protecting your home.

No dog? Try posting a "beware of dog" sign, or leave a large dog dish by the back door. "It should make them think twice," Long says.

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