DIY Home Security Systems

If you understand the necessary components of a good home security system, it’s possible to install a do-it-yourself home security system that will give you and your loved ones peace of mind.

Home security must be viewed as a layered system. The more layers there are and the more coordinated the layers, the more effective the home security system will be.

In the home security industry, there are three foundation blocks upon which all security is built. These foundation blocks are:

  • Time
  • Light
  • Noise

These three components will be centerpieces of this article and should be central to any effective DIY home security scheme. Statistics indicate strongly that applying these components to the security system will discourage burglars. At the same time, not deploying all these components leaves the home more vulnerable than should be comfortable.

It must be understood that even with these three components covered in multiple layers, a home security system is only as effective as the trained and consistent discipline of the inhabitants. If the homeowner and the homeowner’s loved ones do not regard burglary as a serious potential risk, any home security system can be breached.


Time can be a big deterrent to burglars. The longer it takes a burglar to gain access to the home, the less likely the burglar is to strike. Naturally doors and windows should be closed and locked when nobody is home and even when persons are home. When people are in the home, a screen door should be closed and locked and first floor windows must be screened and only open in rooms that are in use.

However, while those practices will discourage potential burglars, they are not enough. Homeowners should understand that burglars do invade homes when residents are on site and in the house.

Of course the biggest risk is when the home is vacant, when  residents are on vacation, at work or away. During these times, a good locking system, properly installed doors with hidden bolts under the trim and frame can cost the burglar valuable time and gain the attention of neighbors.

Steel doors with hard-core security locking systems are affordable with outstanding security. Steel doors are one of those layers of defense that should be considered by the do-it-yourselfer. Most properly installed steel doors cannot be accessed with a simple crowbar.

Any sliding glass doors should be doubly supported with planks enforcing the interior sliding pane. Window locks should also be checked regularly and the windows must be tight and secure. Screens and storms do provide one thin extra layer but first floor windows with rods between the lower panel and the upper frame are truly effective.

Another error homeowners make is not securing home tools and equipment that could be used to access the home. This includes ladders. It is good practice to secure outbuildings and garages with equal enthusiasm.


Burglars do strike during the daytime. However, a good exterior security lighting system is deters nighttime home invasions. The security system may include sensory activated floodlights on the exterior and a number of interior sensory activated floodlights. The interior warning lights can flash on and off, thus sending a message to neighbors that an intrusion is in progress.

The do-it-yourselfer should devise a sound lighting scheme. Make sure your exterior floodlights cover the entire periphery of the house and that there are no dark spots. Once the lights are installed, perform a little do-it-yourself testing and adjust the lights as needed.

Inform your neighbors that when interior lights are flashing, something is awry and ask them to contact authorities, even if you have a security system. Proper illumination is considered a major deterrent.


Burglars like to be quiet and do not appreciate alarms and other noisy distractions that might call attention to their activities. While some security systems feature silent alarm systems, burglars do not like noise. They may know how to cut service quickly but a good, loud alarm serves plenty of warning to residents and neighbours. Some homeowners use loud alarms to protect the silent alarm that goes directly to the security provider.

Home security systems should also feature loud fire alarms and smoke detectors. These need to be checked very regularly.


Every home security system should have multiple working parts and rehearsed exit strategies that are understood by the occupants. This is part of the discipline the residents must embrace.

Home burglaries in the UK are trending slightly lower than usual, but if the economy does not improve, more burglaries are likely to be attempted. When designing your security system, include the three elements of the foundation blocks and instil discipline in the home. Residents will soon forget the momentary inconvenience of your system and respect how safe and secure they are!

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