With a little smarts and some low-cost DIY technology you can stay safer(er) from burglars and thieves. Professional security systems can cost thousands, but a few simple changes can help keep the bad guys at bay.

Add deadbolt locks to exterior doors. It is surprisingly easy to defeat a door knob lock. All it takes is a pipe wrench or a hard, two-handed twist. 

Your garage door needs protection. Roll-up doors have a pull cord that will allow the door to be opened when the power goes out. Burglars use a common coat hanger to reach through and *unlock* the door. You may guard against this by placing a zip-tie through the locking mechanism. Easy.

Sliding doors make you easy prey. Use a broom handle or other piece of sturdy wood and lay it in the tracks the door slides on to prevent the door from being opened if the lock is breached.

3 Words; Motion. Detector. Lights. If there's anything burglars don't want, it's to be visible.

Increase their pain. Windows make us vulnerable but a thief who has to climb through a bed of thorns may be deterred. Pyracantha, Bougainvillea and European Holly all have sharp thorns or leaves and can help keep you safe.

Open up your entry spaces. Trimming back overgrown plant material eliminates the hidden spaces around your home. Clearing a very visible path to your front door makes it obvious when someone is sneaking around in an inappropriate area. 

Install timers on lights, radios or even your television to make it look like someone is home. Burglars look for accumulating newspapers and solicitations, so ask a neighbor help you out and pick them up while you're away.

Do you have other ideas you are utilizing to keep safe. Please share your ideas as a comment here. I would love to hear from you.

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