What is a safe and secure home worth? Are major security companies and systems beyond your budget? Would you like to find a more affordable way to live a secure life? Well, you're in luck, and these options are right in front of you. You can find some cheap, easy ideas in this article.

Any time you buy a new home, have the locks changed. There is no way to ascertain how many keys the previous owner handed out. Having a locksmith replace the locks will ensure that no strangers have a key. Give a key to someone you trust in case you get locked out.

Buy a safe. You can't have your valuable personal items and jewelry out in the open for anyone to see. Keep it hidden in a hard to find location.

When placing your spare key outside for emergencies, give careful consideration to where you put it. Avoid cliched hiding places like over the door frame or beneath the doormat. Experienced criminals will check these places immediately. You could hide the key with your dog on the collar.

Fire-resistant building materials are the way to go, both inside and outside the home. This will give your home added security. Preventing a fire hazard is one of the safest precautions that you can take due to the level of destruction that it can cause.

Check out your garage to ensure that it is secure. Many people worry about burglars getting into their attached garage and then entering their home, but there is a fix. You can use a C-clamp to secure the door and prevent it from being opened by strangers.

Home protection program details may be available at your police station. There are many that offer programs that include items, such as home inspection, how to use engraving tools to mark code numbers to identify valuables if yours are stolen, and protective measures advice. Get in touch with the department to determine their offerings.

Any program to improve the security of your home should begin with complete replacement of your door locks. Perhaps you aren't sure who owned the home before you or maybe an old roommate has a key and never returned it. Regardless, changing the locks will ensure your security. It shouldn't cost too much, and the process can be completed very quickly.

A wall is a great hiding place. You can hide small valuables in your walls. Just use an unwired electric plug, light switch or phone box. If you do not have any unused plates, it is easy to install a false one.

Don't put spare keys inside plant boxes or beneath the welcome mat. While it can help you if you're locked out, you could be letting intruders inside your home. Thieves are familiar with these hiding spots. A better option is to entrust an honest neighbor with a spare key.

The alarm system you choose should protect more than just the doors to your home. It should protect the windows too. Attach the alarm to each window and ask for monitoring for them. This will help to keep your family safe.

After making major (i.e. expensive) purchases, don't dump the packaging out front if your next scheduled garbage pick-up is several days away. Having these boxes nearby can tell robbers what kind of merchandise you've got in your house.

If you move to a dwelling that has had prior occupants, make sure you get the locks changed. The previous tenants may have returned the keys, but they could have a copy. For maximum security, buy your own locks and install them yourself. This way you can be certain nobody else has a key.

Screen the references of anyone who would have access to your house. Don't be afraid of conducting background checks to determine if they have a criminal history. You might not know that the maid or contractor entering your home is a crook, and this could be a very bad mistake.

Talk to your security company about the contract; in particular, inquire about the various contract lengths that are available to you. You will probably find there are many pros and cons associated with each different contract. Long contracts may cost less each month, but it could leave you with a larger bill if you decide to end your service. Shorter contracts offer greater freedom, but may be more expensive each month.

If you keep a spare key outside, make sure it is not kept in an obvious location. Fake rocks are easy to spot. Doormats and rocks in front of the house are too obvious. A safer option is entrusting a neighbor or one of your most trusted friends to keep your spare key. If you can't, be creative where you put the key.

Always keep valuables you can't replace secure. This may include things like pictures of your children, heirloom jewelry or birth certificates. A floor safe is a great place to keep these items within the home. For ultimate security, of course, such items can be kept in an off-site location like a bank's safe deposit boxes.

Always close your curtains, especially if a passerby can easily look in your windows. You wouldn't want strangers leering into your home. If potential burglars see the valuable possessions inside your home, they may make your house their next target. Make sure your valuable items cannot be seen from the outside of your home.

If you want maximum security, make sure that your exterior doors are either solid wood or metal. Doors made of these materials are sturdy. If a burglar were to try and kick his way inside, he would have a lot of difficulty doing so. You should be able to replace each of the exterior doors in your home for a minimal amount, so do so as soon as possible.

Your budget will tell you which security measures you can put in place. When you are unable to afford these measures, however, this shouldn't mean you can't have peace of mind. The article you just read gave you some great ideas. They may be the best defense and worth the cost.