Welcome to Dollar Stretcher Community Sign in | Join | Help
in Search

The Dollar Stretcher Community has a new home!

Feel free to read the great frugal living tips, ideas and discussions readers and community members have posted here. But if you'd like to post something or start a discussion, please click here to go over to our new community site and create an account.

Please contact Brandy@stretcher.com for questions about these forums.

Frugal security

Last post Wed, Jun 30 2010 9:26 AM by Juneflower. 19 replies.
Page 1 of 2 (20 items) 1 2 Next >
Sort Posts: Previous Next
  • Fri, Jun 19 2009 11:11 AM

    Frugal security

    There are too many details to give here but the simple fact is I'm single and suspect someone has been going into my house when I am at work.  The only thing I can think of to do at this point (I've already changed the locks) is to buy a "nanny cam" system (with the camera embedded in a stuffed animal or knick knack).  This doesn't seem overly frugal but I need to figure out what is going on.  I had this intuition twice before and both times found out that "yes", a person was breaking into my house.  The first time was my own stupid naivete (the previous owner's son still had a key and I never changed the locks) and the second time was neighborhood kids skipping school by coming through a window.  Is there any other way short of a nanny cam to determine if someone is coming into your household?  Someone suggested to me sprinking talcum powder on the floor but I have cats so that it is a no go.

     As an aside, nothing has gone missing from my house even though there is change laying about and other tempting items but there have been things I'm sure were moved and a couple lights I thought I turned off that were on.

  • Fri, Jun 19 2009 11:36 AM In reply to

    Re: Frugal security

    Now that's scarey!  Here are my suggestions:

    1. Penny nail the windows shut on the first floor, about 2-3 inches above the top pane.  If someone is opening a window, it will bend the nail.

    2. Tape the doors shut with clear tape...generally down at the bottom of the door frame (or at the top since you have cats), where someone will not notice it.  (old Bond trick)  I would also do this to cabinet drawers...because I'm just that way. 

    I don't think a nanny cam is such a bad idea.  It's your personal safety that I wouldn't put a price tag on. 

  • Fri, Jun 19 2009 11:38 AM In reply to

    Re: Frugal security

    I would call the non-emergency police number (not 911 unless there is an actual threat) and report what you suspect. An officer may come out and visit with you and decide to have a patrol car swing by your house more often during your work hours. Do you have neighbors who are home while you are gone that could sort of "watch" and report back to you any suspicious activity?

    Are your work hours during the day or at night?

    Good luck!



  • Fri, Jun 19 2009 11:58 AM In reply to

    • Toni B.
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Apr 5 2008
    • Seneca Falls NY
    • Posts 3,826

    Re: Frugal security

    Never doubt your intuition. Small cameras run about $99 at radio shack. We put dowels in sliding windows and I imagine that you could do the same with windows that slide up and down. You may want to check with your local law enforcement to see if there have been any other break-ins and to see what other suggestions they would have.
    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Stages of Life
  • Fri, Jun 19 2009 1:48 PM In reply to

    • misscas
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Jul 23 2007
    • Kansas
    • Posts 233

    Re: Frugal security

    If you rent, it's a possibility that you have a messed up landlord.  But this is illegal to enter without notice that something needs to be fixed or you are informed they are going to do maintenance/spraying.

    If any of your keyholders are control freaks, snoops or psychologically messed up people, you need to change the locks.  Always change the locks on a new house or after you take back the keys from a keyholder, pet sitter, friend of sigificant other when breaking up.  

    I actually had an encounter with a psychopath with a violent history and his family of enablers.  I had a habit of leaving my keys in my purse or sitting next to it when visiting.  I did wonder if they would stoop so low as to copy them to get in so I changed the locks.  It's better to be proactive that to pay for it!  I always keep my keys on my person while visiting anyone now except relatives. 

    Never, ever leave the windows open while you are away.  They should always be latched too.  Put a sawed off closet pole or broom handle in the track on the sliding door too.  Never ever hide a key outside either.  A locksmith will only charge you $20-30 to pop the cylinder on the lock to get in.   

     You might also be starting into paranoia from a mental illness.  You should talk to a professional if you change the locks and still feel this way.   

  • Fri, Jun 19 2009 1:57 PM In reply to

    Re: Frugal security

    The Tortoise:
    I have cats

    Train them to attack when you're gone?? Wink

    I would try the methods listed... put a stick or dowel in the window so it can't be opened easy except on the inside. Change the locks if you can.  Don't be afraid to let the police know either... they are there to serve and protect. 

    I'm not confused. I'm just well mixed. ~Robert Frost
    Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction. - Anne Frank
    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

    Married my Blessing 10-16-10 :)
    Became an Auntie 12-10-10 :)
  • Sun, Jun 21 2009 1:02 AM In reply to

    Re: Frugal security

     Since your intuition has been correct twice before, I would trust it.  The nanny cam may not be cheap, but the tape is evidence.  The broom handles work for sliding glass doors, but if you have already changed the locks & still feel uneasy, I would use a nanny cam, or borrow a video recorder. The object in which you embed the camera needs to be high in the room, so it sees the entire room, & preferably views of the central halls as well.  It would not hurt to call the non-emergency police number either, & ask for their help. Some police stations will send either a marked or unmarked car through the neighborhood a couple of times while you are at work, expecially if you have already changed the locks.

  • Sun, Jun 21 2009 4:31 AM In reply to

    Re: Frugal security

    Cameras are cheap now.  You can get a pack for a $100 that you can hook up to a DVR or VCR.  You could even get a $20 kids digital camera and hook it up to your computer and leave it on then just watch your house.  The posibilities are endless.  I would also call the non emergency number of your local police.  

    You teach people how to treat you -- Dr Phil
  • Wed, Jun 23 2010 10:41 AM In reply to

    • ziggee
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Jun 18 2007
    • Posts 70

    Re: Frugal security

    I knew a person who would leave there window's open a little bit when they were gone.  They had cats and said if they came home and the cats were not in the house then they would call the police because they would know if someone had broken in.  They also said if someone ever broke in they would throw one of their cats at the burglar if they had to.



  • Wed, Jun 23 2010 10:42 AM In reply to

    • ziggee
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Jun 18 2007
    • Posts 70

    Re: Frugal security

    I need to add that you can also deter a burglar by planting things under widow's that are thorny, like rose bushes and maybe Aloe Vera.



Page 1 of 2 (20 items) 1 2 Next >

The Dollar Stretcher has a new community!

Feel free to read the great frugal living tips, ideas and discussions readers and community members have posted here. But if you'd like to post something or start a discussion, please click here to go over to our new community site and create an account.

About Us    Privacy Policy    Writers' Guidelines     Sponsorship     Media    Contact Us

Powered by Community Server (Commercial Edition), by Telligent Systems