New York Preventing crime doesn't have to cost you. If you are worried about break-ins in your neighborhood, there are plenty of cheap alternatives to safeguard your home.
From Gerri Willis of Money magazine, here are three tips for stopping crime without the big expense:
¢ Fake out crooks. There are numerous ways to make it seem like you are home when you're not. Timers that turn on your lights cost as little as $10. You can also buy systems that open and close your blinds for about $90. There are other common-sense things you can do. For example: When you go on vacation, stop your mail and paper delivery. Don't leave any messages on your answering machine that broadcast that you are away.
¢ Make your home an unattractive target. Burglars don't want to be out in the open. If you trim shrubs and trees and install motion sensors for your outdoor lights, this will cut down on hiding places. You can also slow down the time it takes for them to break in by securing doors with deadbolt locks and double-pane windows. Also remember to pick up the extra key from under the welcome mat or in the flower pot. An experienced burglar knows the places to look.
¢ Get your neighbors involved. Your neighbors can serve as one of the best alarms around. They know the area you live in and notice when something is not right. When you go on vacation, ask your neighbors to serve as lookout. You can also ask them to park their car in your driveway or make tracks through the fresh snow leading up to your front door.