According to recent statistics, over 2.2 million burglaries will occur in the United States this year alone or one every fifteen seconds. For us southerners, the problem is even worse due to the warmer weather, making our region account for a whopping 47% of all home invasions. Generally speaking, burglaries occur during the daytime (between 10am and 3pm) when robbers know that homeowners are far less likely to be inside their houses. So what can you do short of installing CCTV or paying for an elaborate home security system? Have no fear – below are five inexpensive ways that will make any potential thief think twice before breaking out his crowbar.

  1. Giant Water Dish

Perhaps nothing deters a robber more than a giant Rottweiler or German Shepherd that’s ready to literally take a bite out of crime. But what if you don’t have a dog or instead of a pit bull, you opted for a tiny little poodle instead? Here’s what you do: leave out a giant water dish or dog bowl right next to your front door. If a criminal sees it, for all he knows, there’s a beast on the other side of that door and as such, he moves on to the next house.

  1. Dummy Cameras

While you can certainly invest in a functioning multi-camera CCTV setup, the reality is most thieves will be scared off by any cameras, whether they work or not. So spending big money isn’t really necessary; just purchase a few dummy cameras that blink and place them at every entry point of your home.

  1. Security Company Stickers & Signs

Additionally, placing home security company stickers next to each door and/or signs on your front lawn is an even simpler way to protect your house. Again, most burglars do not want to go through the ordeal of noisy alarms and sirens going off for the entire neighborhood to hear. Seeing one of those stickers will probably deter them from breaking open your window.

  1. Securing Sliding Doors

A popular entry point for a break and enter are the sliding doors, which are much easier to pick than the traditional front door. While this can easily be fixed with a long block of wood placed in the track of your door, there are now much more aesthetically pleasing alternatives for protecting patio doors. Try installing a ‘Charlie Bar’ or ask your local hardware store about any other inexpensive gadgets they may have.

  1. Making Sure Your Home Looks Occupied

If a robber sees newspapers and bills stacking up on your front porch, you’ve basically let him know that no one is home and that your house is free for the taking. So always make sure your home looks occupied even if it isn’t. During the day, park your car in the driveway instead of the garage. And if you go on a vacation, ask your neighbor to pick up your mail and have them park their second car in your driveway.