Unless you're currently on the wrong side of a Colombian drug lord, the kind of criminals who would break into your house are of the opportunistic variety. Use your car alarm to send them running
Photo by epredator.
Most home intrusions are crimes of opportunity where the criminal seeks to get things of value as quickly as possible and get out without confronting the home owner or, worse, the police. Burglar alarms are a strong deterrent not because they make your house a fortress of impenetrable defenses but because they're loud and they often call out immediately to contact the police. What if you don't have a home alarm and installing one isn't in your budget? Over at the frugality blog Wise Bread they suggest using your car alarm's panic button:
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 neighbours will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want that.
Nobody wants to be burgling a house with an alarm going off and the cops potentially on the way, very true, but your mileage may vary widely on whether or not your neighbours get involved. Have a home alarm? Think using your car alarm for double duty would work well enough? Sleep with a gun under your pillow just like Bond? Sound off in the comments below.