Build a Bunker: How to make a vault without breaking the bank

The door to the walk-in vault in the Winona Sa...

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In your home, you should be safe.  When the crappy things happen and somebody decides they want what you have, how easy will it be for them to get it?   Is your home a convenience store, or is it more trouble than it’s worth?

Some people will avoid making themselves safer because they think that will make them a “paranoid nut”.  In reality, they are just making themselves easy victims.  The sad fact is that evil exists and it does not care how you feel about it.

Other people think that it will be too expensive to fix up their home.  While you can spend as much as you want on a security system, it’s possible to get started for little-to-no money and still be more effective than 95% of everyone else.

There are a few simple things you can do to make your house less attractive to thieves, and to protect what you have if they do decide to make your home a target.

  1. Lock your doors. This costs nothing, but gives you a first line of defense that can’t be beat.  If someone is going to break into your house, make them work for it and force them to be noisy about getting in.  Keep the door locked, even if you are awake and alert.  It’s a simple thing that can make a huge difference.  Most exterior doorknobs have a setting to stay locked at all times, so there’s nothing for you to remember.
  2. Reinforce your door. If you’ve ever installed a doorknob, you’ve seen the little screws they give you to attach the strike-plate.   Those screws aren’t long enough to make it through the decorative trim.   One swift kick and those screws will pop right out and let your door swing open.  The $2 fix? Replace those cute little baby screws with 3 inch screws that can reach the studs in your wall.  Do that where the hinges attach, too.  Tada!  You’ve made your house a bit more of a pain in the butt for a thief.  Don’t forget to treat the door to an attached garage the same way.
  3. Install a motion-activated security light. When a thief is thinking about getting into your house, they don’t want the lights on, so install a light for them.  If possibly, put it too high for someone to reach.
  4. Lock your screen door. If someone comes to your door, and you open your door, you are removing any protection a door would normally offer.  If you have a screen door, and it’s locked, you are gaining precious seconds to shut and lock your main door if the person on the other side doesn’t have your best interests at heart.
  5. Lock your car in your driveway. If you have an attached garage, keep a garage door opener in your car, and don’t lock your car, you are giving every crook who passes by a free pass into your home.  Lock your car and at least make life difficult for the little thug.
  6. Consider getting an alarm system. You can get an unmonitored wireless alarm system for about $100.  It won’t call the cops, but it will let you know if someone comes into your house and it’s a snap to install.
  7. Put your cell-phone charger in your bedroom. If you need to call 911, you don’t want to have to run to the kitchen to get your phone.  Keep it where you will be if and when you’ll need it.

There, seven tips that will cost you less than $150 to implement, but will go a long way towards keeping yourself safe.

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    1. Okay, we are a little behind:

      1. Lock your doors. Check, yay!
      2. Reinforce your door. Haven’t done that.
      3. Motion-activated security light. Nope.
      4. Lock your screen door. We don’t have one.
      5. Lock your car in your driveway. We park both in the garage.
      6. Alarm system. Don’t have one one yet…
      7. Cell phones in bedroom. Yep, yay!

    2. These are great tips. Another one is to keep shrubs and trees pared back so that doors and windows are visible to neighbors.

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