15 Home Security Ideas That Don’t Break the Bank

In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be burglars, looters, and thieves.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Desperate folks are always gonna be around. And that number’s only gonna multiply once SHTF.

After you’ve stockpiled your water, collected your non-perishable and shelf-stable food, and assembled your survival gear, make it a priority to safeguard your fortress.

Otherwise, you may just wake up to your worst nightmare.

Wanna up your home protection game? Installing a cheap security system here and there can make a big difference. Here are some home security ideas to help you:

Home Security Ideas Worth Considering

You can’t afford to take any chances with your home security, even during the good times. Someone’s always gonna be lurking and wanting to take your hard-earned stuff.

It’s worse when SHTF. When society collapses, the most basic items will suddenly become hot commodities. And there’s a high chance that even the most law-abiding citizens can turn into minor-league thieves who would do whatever it takes to fill their bellies with food.

Your home, with its fully stocked pantry and top-of-the-line gear, will be the ultimate jackpot. It should be protected at all costs.

Now, we’re not saying it has to be on the same level as Fort Knox. Heck, you don’t even have to blow your entire life savings on home fortifications. A cheap security system can do the trick. You just have to be clever, too.

The items below can help you deter looters or even stop ’em from breaking into your home. The best part? Most of these home security ideas are fairly inexpensive.


Signs are the first and most simple of the home security ideas on this list.

Nothing screams stay off my property better than the perfect sign—literally.

A few Beware of Dog and Secured by ADT signs here and there will give the impression you’re the wrong person to target (even if you don’t actually own a dog or have a legit alarm system).

Of course, you’ll need more than signs if the trespassers are desperate and won’t leave you alone. Still, they work pretty well as a first step to deter unwanted visitors.

Alarm System

If an intruder smashes a window or finds their way inside your door, an alarm system automatically notifies the alarm company, which then gets in touch with your local law enforcement.

But while having a solid 24/7 alarm system can help you sleep better at night or give you some form of peace when you’re away, it’s not entirely perfect.

Law enforcement may get to your home when it’s too late. And though the alarms can startle the intruder, those won’t stop them from breaking in if they’re desperate. The system also won’t be any good during a power outage if it’s not battery-operated or if you don’t have a backup power source. It’s not so cheap, either.

Security Cameras (Real or Fake)

Security cameras aren’t necessarily affordable, but they’re worth the price. Install them around your property to keep an eye out for home invaders.

If you don’t have the cash to spare for the real cams, you can buy dummy surveillance cameras or even just make your own—like in the video above. This cheap security system may trick potential thieves into thinking you’ve got a fully guarded fortress.

Motion Sensor Lights

Motion sensor lights are a nifty and cheap security system. They get triggered when someone—a trespasser, maybe—walks by.

Criminals don’t want to be discovered, so when your motion sensor lights detect their presence, they’ll scatter like cockroaches.

Install ones that are battery or solar-powered in case of power outages during emergency scenarios. Place them around your yard and be careful not to put them in dead zones.


Dogs won’t hesitate to defend their masters and protect their turf. They also can sense danger way better than humans can, making them perfect companions for preppers. Your canine pal Bruiser may be harmless when you give him belly rubs, but when he sniffs out and senses an intruder? Fierce guard dog mode activated.

Plants, Plants, and More Plants

Make your landscape part of your home protection plan.

Be strategic about it. You want enough trees or hedges to give you privacy, but at the same time, you don’t want invaders to use your landscape to conceal themselves from you.

We also suggest planting thorny shrubs outside windows and near fences to provide obstacles to trespassers. Roses, blackberry vines, and bougainvillea are good options. They’re sharp enough to threaten the bad guys but are still easy on the eyes.

It wouldn’t hurt (for you, at least) to have a few cacti inside your home, either. Place them under windows so that unsuspecting criminals will have the surprise of their lives—if they somehow make it inside.

Planning on doing the landscaping yourself? Then you’d wanna have the right shovel for the job. TAC9ER’s entrenching tool would be a good choice, as its serrated edge makes it easier to dig through dirt.

Also, this is a no-brainer, but it’s best to wear sturdy gloves while you’re doing this. We recommend this pair (another one of TAC9ER’s best sellers). These gloves are lined with Kevlar to help protect your hands from sharp leaves and bushes.


Fences are a great line of defense against home invaders. There are many kinds available and at different costs. But based on our experience, we’d say to invest in the best quality you can afford.

Security-wise, wire mesh or wrought iron fencing is ideal because these prevent intruders from hiding.

You don’t want your fences to be too high or to look too intimidating, though—especially if you’ll stick out from your neighbors like a sore thumb.


One of the biggest mistakes you can make in terms of home security is keeping windows vulnerable. Potential thieves can easily shatter or pry them open, so it’s in your best interest to beef ‘em up.

You should take these items into consideration:

Security Bars

Burglar bars do a fine job of keeping bad guys from entering your home through windows, even when they’re open or have been broken. The catch is that they’re a big eyesore. And while they prevent thieves from breaking in, they could also trap you in a fire.

If you do decide to install these bars, make sure they’ve got a quick-release feature in case you need to escape during an emergency.

Security Window Film

You could substitute your current windows with double-glazed panes to better secure your home from burglaries, but that’s gonna be an expensive job.

If you wanna save, then you can apply security window film to your windows as an alternative.

This cheap security system won’t keep your windows from shattering, but it’ll make it a hell of a lot tougher for home invaders to penetrate.

Here are other tips to help you make your windows less vulnerable:

  • Close blinds or curtains after dark.
  • Place curtains, blinds, or reflective film on garage windows to keep the contents inside from being seen.
  • Upgrade to storm windows.
  • Install window latches and sash locks.
  • Put security window well covers on basement windows.

Upgraded Doors

Ever seen those movies where the bad guy kicks open a door like it’s nothing? Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that CAN actually happen in real life if your doors aren’t the strongest ones out there.

You need to make upgrading your doors a priority when it comes to home protection.

Take the following options into consideration:

Door Jammers

Door jammers can help you delay a criminal’s attempts of breaking into your home. You know those old cartoons where they wedge a chair under a door to keep villains from coming in? Door jammers are pretty similar. Intruders won’t be able to kick their way in now.

Metal Frames

A door may have the fanciest lock system in the market. But if it’s set into a wooden frame, it’s gonna be pointless—a criminal can still easily break it. Get metal door frames installed instead. This is the best thing you can do to fortify your doors. These’ll make them way tougher to destroy.


Deadbolts are one of the most basic yet effective elements of home security.

This type of lock has a bolt that extends into the door jamb and the door frame’s strike plate. You’d want yours to be made out of tough steel. The same goes for the strike pin.

Now, you’ve got the option of choosing between two kinds of deadbolts, single-bolt and double-bolt.

The former needs a key on one end, though the opposite end can be opened with a knob. In contrast, you’ll need a key for both sides if you go with a double-bolt system.

The double-bolt system is more effective in keeping intruders out, but it can threaten your safety in a fire. Go for the single-bolt instead. It can delay the bad guys while ensuring you can flee when the need arises.

Bells or Chimes

Hang bells or chimes on your doors. The jingle jangle of the doors closing and opening can get annoying, we know. But if you’re up in the middle of the night to fix yourself a snack and hear that unmistakable grating sound, you’ll at least be alerted to someone’s unwelcome presence.

Chicken Wire

Next up on our list of home security ideas is some good old chicken wire. This can come in handy in an SHTF situation.

You could attach the wire around your home’s windows to get additional protection against trespassers who may throw bricks or swing a bat to smash the glass and enter your house. If your home has a balcony, you can also use chicken wire to block bad guys from entering through it.

Self-Defense Tools

Okay, call it a long shot, but what would you do if you discovered a bad guy (or two) cut across your defenses and wiggled their way into your house?

Well, after you get over that split-second of disbelief, the answer’s easy—defend yourself, your family, and your belongings.

While it pays to take a few self-defense classes, it also won’t hurt to arm yourself with a few self-defense tools, like:

  • Pepper spray: This is a classic self-defense tool because it’s easy to use, easy to conceal, and non-lethal. It lasts around 30 to 60 minutes, which should buy you enough time to restrain an intruder.
  • Tactical flashlight: Tactical flashlights are known to be brighter than average lights. They can startle criminals and impair their vision for a few crucial seconds.
  • Taser: The best thing about a taser is its range. You can use it to shock criminals from a safe distance (7-10 feet). No need to worry about making direct contact.
  • Tactical pen: In the right hands, this survival device provides awesome protection against enemies. It’s discreet and you can quickly pull it out to defend yourself.
  • Makeshift weapons: When bad guys are inside your home, you have to be creative and think fast. You can use ordinary stuff like keys, belts, and screwdrivers as improvised self-defense tools when you’re in a pinch.

Final Thoughts

How to fortify your home against looters? Think like a thief.

Thieves typically like to take the path of least resistance, so it pays to beef up your home security by investing in the things we’ve mentioned above.

Add an alarm system, place some menacing plants, put up a fence, and upgrade your doors and windows. Just don’t go too overboard—otherwise, you may give the bad guys a reason to pay your home a visit.

Have other home security ideas you want to share? Let us know in the comments!

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