5 Easy DIY Home Security Projects
Do you consider yourself a weekend warrior? Put that 48-hour window to good use and invest in your safety with some DIY home security projects. Start with a property-wide audit, using a home security checklist to find opportunities where security could be stronger. Here are five of the most common improvements you can tackle this weekend. Best of all, these DIY home security projects don’t require you to be super savvy with tools.
Installing Wireless Security Cameras
One of the most powerful ways you can boost your home security is with the right camera. Deep Sentinel has a variety of surveillance cameras to choose from. Even better, every security camera system is backed by our LiveSentinel guards. These security professionals act swiftly when there’s trouble, addressing suspects and thwarting crimes before they begin.
While the guards will handle crime intervention, installation is a simple DIY task. In fact, you can install a Deep Sentinel wireless camera system in under 30 minutes.
- Find a free port on your home’s Wi-Fi router to connect the ethernet cable from the router to your AI hub.
- Plug your hub into a wall socket and power it on.
- Take out the camera and insert the included battery, turning it on so it can connect to the hub.
- Find the opportune locations on your property–for example, near the front door–and affix the single-screw mount to a wall or other surface.
- Slide the mount down, connect the camera to it, and orient the camera in almost any position to get the angle you need.
- To make sure the camera is working, activate the system and authenticate it with Deep Sentinel’s hands-over-head “hello protocol.”
Once you receive confirmation from a LiveSentinel guard, you’re good to go. Yes, you can have an advanced surveillance system in the time it takes to watch your favorite sitcom!
Deep Sentinel cameras are also a good fit for homeowners who have no interest in DIY projects. If you opt for a hard-wired PoE camera system or simply prefer professional installation, Deep Sentinel can connect you with a local installer.
Installing Security Floodlights
Security floodlights can also be a valuable addition to your home’s security. They’re easy to install, cost-friendly, and equally good for keeping visitors safe or scaring burglars away.
Once you’ve chosen a floodlight, it’s time to pick an installation location. Choose spots where you wouldn’t want strangers lurking unseen, like your driveway or backyard. That said, be careful about illuminating an area where you don’t want guests wandering–if they see a lit path, they might take it as an invitation.
Security light installation is something almost anyone can do. But it’s important to take all necessary safety precautions. The most crucial step is to turn off the electricity before you begin. To do so, open your circuit breaker box, locate the switch for your outdoor power source(s), and flip to the off position. Then, before you touch any wires, check them with a voltage tester. For about $20, this handy tool could save your life.
After you’ve turned off the relevant circuit, the remaining steps depend on your particular light. Our DIY security light installation guide has more details, but here are the basic steps.
- Use a power drill and spade bit to create a hole in your exterior wall that’s large enough for the floodlight’s wires.
- Run the wiring through this hole to your junction box, connecting matching wires with connector nuts and electrical tape.
- Follow the manufacturer-provided instructions to attach the mounting bracket to the wall, assemble your light, and affix it to the bracket.
- Use caulk or putty to seal any areas where moisture could seep in.
- Turn the power back on and test whether your new fixture works.
For most people, it takes just a few hours to complete this “enlightening” project.
Enhancing Doors and Locks
We’ve assembled plenty of tips about how to secure your doors in the past. Knock out some of these simple fixes this weekend.
Replace the screws going into your doorframe with sturdier screws. It doesn’t take long to replace the default screws in the hinges and strike plate with three-inch stainless steel ones. In fact, it will probably take you longer to drive to the hardware store and back than it will to do this DIY task.
Add a wooden dowel to sliding glass doors. Yes, a simple dowel in the track is enough to prevent the door from opening. Just measure the length of the track and cut the rod slightly shorter so it won’t get jammed in place. You can even use an old broom handle if you want to skip a trip to the store.
Install stronger locks. All locks are not created equal. If your exterior doors lack deadbolts, it’s time to upgrade to something with some staying power. You can also upgrade your traditional strike plate to a hefty box strike plate, which sits inside the doorframe and catches the latch inside a steel cup. And don’t forget to use 3-inch screws!
If you decide that brand-new door entry doors are in order, these will take more time to install. Allow four to six hours, just in case. Consider replacing your existing door with a door made of sturdier material, such as harder wood (mahogany or oak), fiberglass, or steel. And make sure the doorjamb is just as sturdy.
Landscaping with Defensive Plants
While you’re at it, especially during the warmer months, consider adding a few botanical touches to thwart crime. In crime prevention through environmental design, this is called “natural access control.”
Pick up some prickly bushes to plant alongside the first-floor windows of your home. That way, if burglars try sneaking in through a window, they’re in for a painful surprise. Gorse, berberis, pyracantha, blackthorn, and hawthorn are all known for their nasty thorns.
Or consider installing a living privacy fence of some shrubs, hedges, or small trees. Arborvitae, cypress, and boxwood are popular choices, but you can also add some visual appeal with lilacs or hydrangeas.
As with any landscaping project, check what will thrive in your area before you purchase any plants. Unless you have a green thumb, avoid invasive or fast-growing species that require lots of maintenance to keep under control. Between digging and placement, you can estimate up to an hour per bush for this DIY home security task.
Installing Window Security Film
Another way to add to your safety is to install window film (also known as security film) on first-floor windows. The film will prevent the glass from shattering when struck, holding it together and stopping someone from reaching through. More than anything, it’s a deterrent that can buy some time in an emergency.
It’s easy to purchase security film at your favorite home improvement store or even online. Clean the windows before you begin using a mixture of 1 teaspoon of baby shampoo per 1 gallon of bottled water. Once the window is clean and dry, measure and cut the film. Then, remove the window film backing and place that side of the film on the glass. Methodically smooth it out to eliminate any bubbles.
The placement and smoothing will likely take the longest in this project, but this is a critical step, so don’t rush it. This DIY home security project is best managed by the detail-oriented person in the household–the one who will be bothered by the tiniest wrinkle or bubble and won’t rest until everything looks perfect.
DIY Home Security: An Easy Way to Feel Safer
By the time the weekend is out, you’ll have several items on the DIY home security “honey-do” list checked off. These projects might take a little elbow grease and some of your free time, but that’s a small price to pay for keeping your family safe.