SIX CHEAP HOME SECURITY IDEAS FOR OLD PEOPLE!Posted: January 12, 2017
I am 76, vulnerable and cheap. A recent neighborhood burglary and car vandalism made me rethink our home security.
What is unique about most old people – my wife and I?
- We live alone.
- Our memories are not quite what they used to be.
- I am deaf.
- I think I am younger than I am.
- My support group is shrinking.
- I am cheap.
- I am fearful.
- Any system we use must be simple and self-operating. We can’t be bothered with any complexity.
- We travel and are frequently away from home.
I cannot protect us from everything; but, I can reduce the odds, my fear, and my paranoia. I can provide a video if I am the victim of a crime.
This is what I did.
- I turn on porch and garage exterior lights each night. My neighbors can watch. I have mixed feelings about this as there is an argument that you allow burglars to see what they are doing.
- I rewired the pyracantha along our back wall and tied the stems so that they covered the whole wall. I will let them grow taller in the future.
- I installed two interior lights on timers that go on and off automatically at various times in the evening. ($4.87 each.)
- I wired together wire tomato cages (I use these in the summer for my tomatoes. – or $2 each.) where the exterior walls adjoined my neighbor’s wall. Someone coming over the wall has to deal with the pyracantha, the wires and the cages, which they cannot see in the dark. Jail provides medical treatment.
- I installed a solar motion sensor light ($29.97) over the back door. This gives off enough light to see the back yard and becomes very bright if someone enters the yard. My neighbor can watch the burglar.
- I installed a Canary Security System and Camera ($199.95) tied into my smart phone. My smart phone beeps if someone enters my home office. I can watch whoever is there (even if I am in Iceland), activate an alarm, or call the police. The system records and retains the video for at least 24 hours, or longer if you subscribe. It is quite clear even in the dark. It goes on automatically when I leave the house, but I have to click “private” when I return home or it keeps monitoring. The BIG problem with this is that the first night I did not click “private” after I returned home. The next morning I had a video of a 76 year-old, nude man, coming out of the bathroom; now, I turn it off when I am at home.
When we are really old, our kids can access the Canary from their smart phones and monitor us. I will have to start wearing a robe.
The total cost of our security system was $239.70, plus tax.
I could have used a commercial alarm service, but that costs a lot more, and they call a neighbor, or us, giving the burglar time to get away You put your neighbor in harm’s way when they go to check on your home. If the police are called and it is a false alarm, you may get charged depending on your town.
We travel a lot, have no relatives in town, and worry about security when we are gone. This is not a perfect system, but for the cost, I don’t see how we could do more.
The net result is that I feel better, I have not spent much money, I have a simple system that even I can handle, and I will have a video of the burglar. I may even catch him by dialing 911 and advising the police where he is in my home and whether or not he appears to be armed. The video will be evidence.
In old age the geezer needs a KISS! (Keep it Simple Stupid!)