Stretching Your Dollar : Beefing Up Home Security

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It is that time of year when we are taking weekend trips traveling to see the leaves in the mountains, or to visit family for the holidays.  If you have a home alarm system, good for you.  Make sure you set it when you leave.  But you can add another layer of security to your home without spending a fortune.

We went to a home improvement center and found everything you could need to make your house more secure.  Start at the floodlights.  If you have a system that needs to be turned off and on, consider the socket inserts that are light sensitive.  They will turn on when the sun goes down and turn off at daybreak.  We spend $6.17 for one.  Keep in mind it also saves money on your electric bill, no more flood lights left on in daylight.

Most break ins happen pretty quickly.  The crook's favorite point of entry is a door on the back of the house.  If you add a door security bar, we found one for $19.95, you make it that much harder for the bad guys to break in.

Window locks are easily popped.  Measure the distance between the lower sash and the top of the window frame.  For just a couple of dollars you can have a piece of wood cut that will make it impossible to move the window sash up and down.  There are also kits for small window alarms.  They will run you closer to 25 dollars.

If you can leave a car in the driveway make sure you empty it of all your valuables.  Don't give crooks any reason to smash a window.  And make sure if you have a garage door opener, you remove it from your car.

One the best ways to protect your home is to have a network for friends and neighbors keeping an eye on your home.  Make sure someone brings in your mail and your paper.  Having a nosey neighbor is added security, and it is free!