Feeling safe in our own home is important.  But beyond locking the doors and getting a home alarm system, what else can we do?  realtytimes.com is out with a list of inexpensive home security tips.

#1 - Change your locks.

When you move into a new home, change your locks immediately!  You never know how many keys the previous owner might have handed out.

#2 - Upgrade locks.

FBI statistics show 65% of break-ins happen through the front, back, or garage service door.  So, while you’re changing your locks, consider upgrading them to more secure ones.  

#3 - Remove extra keys.

The FBI also says 12% of break-ins happen when thieves find hidden keys.  Whether it’s a door mat, planter, or some other easy-to-hide places, get rid of hidden keys.

#4 - Use timers.

Whether it’s interior lights, TVs, or a radio, put them on a timer.  This gives the impression that you’re home even when you’re not.  It’s also a good idea to include motion detector lights outside.  A light that comes on just as a burglar approaches your back door might be enough to scare the person away.  

#5 - Get a dog.

Burglars tend not to break into homes where there are dogs due to barking and the possibility of a dog biting.  

#6 - Get a fake alarm.

If you don’t want to spend the money for an alarm, put up security system decals.  Thieves are looking for an easy target.  If there’s a decal or something that even resembles an alarm, chances are, they’ll skip your house.  

#7 - Install an outdoor camera.

Installing a security camera outside is a good theft deterrent.  Most cameras sell for under $100.

#8 - Secure windows and doors.

It may sound too easy, but making sure your doors are locked and windows closed all the way is an easy way to deter thieves.  You can add extra security to a sliding glass door with an old broomstick cut down to size.

#9 - Call police.

In many areas, police officers will visit neighborhoods and even homes to give advice on making your home more secure.

#10 - Eliminate the temptation to hide.

Cut back over-sized bushes or other shrubbery that’s too tall or big to reduce the chance of a nice hiding spot for a potential burglar.