Can't Afford a Home Alarm System? You Probably Already Have One
Home alarm systems can be expensive. A basic alarm system can be hundreds of dollars. Move up to the home-monitoring systems of ADT and Brink's, and you're talking big money. Installation can cost over $1000, and the monthly monitoring fee can be upwards of $40 a month. But, chances are, you already own a pretty good alternative. (See also: The $25 Gadget That Keeps My Home and Family Safe)
This tip was sent to me by my mother-in-law, which she found in a copy of a local workplace newsletter called "The Cherry Creek Leak." The advice was given by a neighborhood watch co-ordinator, and it is both simple and surprisingly effective.
Put your car keys beside your bed at night...
Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: Put your car keys beside your bed at night.
If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get into your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key chain fob. It works if you park in your driveway or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the intruder won't stick around. After a few seconds all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want that. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there.
And then, another great tip...
Also, you can extend the distance your alarm will activate by holding the key fob under your chin making contact with your skin. Your body is a natural antenna and will help extend the length you can transmit the signal. Try it and see from a farther range with and without contact to your chin.
This is all great thinking! I have set off my own panic button a few times by accident and it is deafening. My VW Passat sounds like a foghorn on crack, and it causes no end of annoyed looks and stares. But if you're in trouble inside your own home, it will still scare away any would-be thief (or someone even worse). Of course, this is not going to work if you're not at home, but it is certainly a great way to give you a little peace of mind without spending any more money.