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Taking Low Cost Home Security Measures

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - After the holidays a lot of people have new stuff that criminals would love to get their hands on. There are simple ways to protect your home that can be done without spending much money.

Most families have much more to protect than monetary items. Homeowner Colette Silvis said, "That's why we always lock our doors and windows."

You don't have to spend a lot to send thieves packing. Some law enforcement officers say small ticket items can make a big difference.

The first suggestion – buy a home security system sign... even if you don't have a home security system.

A state trooper said, "A would-be burglar is generally going to drive by scoping out the neighborhood… to see which houses do not have a security system."

Your second move – get a big dog. Barring that, pretend you have one with a "beware of dog" sign and dog bowl in the yard or by the door… the more weathered the better. "If it's slightly chewed or mangled or whatever. Again, perception is reality."

You can also take security steps inside your home by installing a cheap alarm on at least one window. When the window connection is broken a chime sounds and an alarm goes off.

Installing a sliding lock on the front door lets intruders know someone's inside... encouraging them to go elsewhere.

And finally you can find a new use for an old baby monitor. That hand held receiver can also pick up burglars. You can hide the monitor in a place where it is protected from the elements but can 'hear' foot traffic or movement.

The grand total for five low cost safety items should be under $20.

The amount is a bargain for homeowner Jim Silvis. "I thought I was clever, resourceful for such a cheap amount of money."

Regardless of the number of items you want to purchase every little bit helps and would be a great addition to make your house a safer place.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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