On her way to work one morning, Katie noticed a bicycle and snowblower were missing from the garage.
"I was just really really frustrated and irritated and a little, more than a little angry," Katie said. "And secondly felt a little foolish because the side door of the garage had been-was unlocked. it had an old lock on it, we didn't have a key, so it wasn't secured."
But security doesn't have to cost a fortune. installing deadbolts on your doors can be done for about $100 a lock.
"It cost less than $200. You know and that included the cost of the deadbolt lock and the keys. It was worth it because the bike was worth well more than that, and the snowblower."
Choosing a lock can be confusing but certain standards help you out
"When selecting a lock you need to realize that not all locks are created equally so you want to check with the American national standards institute to find the rating for each lock you are considering," Angie Hicks of Angie's List said.
Once you choose a lock--make sure it's going on a strong door
"Check your door frame to make sure it's in good condition and then make sure you've got a solid door," Hicks said. "If you knock on the door a solid door will sound "dead" when you knock while a hollow door is going to echo."
After locks, check your lights.
"A lighting system will keep you safe, your home safe in a couple of ways. one is well lit pathways, stairways and safer to navigate, plus you'll be able to see tripping hazards if those exist. the other thing is that those of criminal intent would prefer to work under the cover of darkness, so a well-lit home will discourage those sorts of activities," said Ralph Redmond, a lighting contractor.
Censored lights also work really well. If you call in an expert for help, don't forget to do your research.
"Make sure that you are using a reputable, local locksmith. they should come in a marked vehicle and you should be able to pay by check or credit card," Hicks said. "You should not be expected to pay in cash."
Also talking lights---it's not a bad idea to have a security lighting plan inside your home, especially if you plan to be away for an extended period of time.
The best timers will allow random settings ---so there is no fixed pattern to signal the homeowner's absence.