frugal

6 cheap, effective home security solutions

Alarm systems
Alarm systems © Leena Robinson/Shutterstock.com

To alarm or not to alarm? There's no right answer. An average alarm system costs $400 to $500 to install, says Long, and monthly monitoring ranges from $43 to $58. "People will buy a system and have it installed as a result of a life-stage change; they're looking for some peace of mind" says Long. However, once they're settled, they may become lax and not use it.

That's what happened to Schwartz, who stopped setting her alarm regularly prior to her house being burglarized. It's those times when other methods can help deter intruders. Multiple layers of home security make your house a challenge for burglars, who are usually looking for a quick in and out. With a properly lit entryway and nowhere to hide, the final line of defense can be the alarm, scaring away those individuals who are afraid they'll be caught.

Long says, "The very presence of the system is a deterrent, and with any loud noise, in most cases, folks who like to do harm will not take that risk."

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