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5 DIY Security Upgrades Detroit Security Company Recommends

Updated: Jun 21

Feeling a little uneasy about your home security in Detroit? You're not alone. While professional security systems offer robust protection, they can also come with a hefty price tag. But fear not, Detroit neighbours! There are a few effective DIY security upgrades you can implement to deter potential intruders and give yourself peace of mind. 

This guide is here to help. Here, we outline five DIY security upgrades you can tackle yourself, using readily available materials and tools. Take note, for best results these upgrades are most effective when layered together to create a comprehensive security strategy. One upgrade might help, but using all of them together goes a long way to making your home that much more defended. 

Security personnel can offer insights to strengthen your defenses

1. Fortify Your Entry Points

Doors and windows are the most common entry points in case of burglary. Here's how to make them a tougher challenge:

  • Reinforce Door Jambs

Most door jambs are made of hollow wood, which offers little resistance to a forceful kick. To remedy that weakness, install heavy-duty strike plates on both the hinge and latch sides of the door frame. These metal plates distribute the impact of a forced entry attempt, making it harder to break through. 

  • Upgrade Door Locks

Standard deadbolts can easily be compromised with basic tools. Instead, invest in high-security deadbolts with a one-inch throw (the bolt extension depth) and a reinforced core. Look for deadbolts with a "bump-proof" design for added protection. 

  • Secure Windows

Install window security bars on basement windows and any first-floor windows easily accessible from the ground. Choose bars made of strong steel and ensure they're securely fastened to both the window frame and the wall to reduce the risk of their being forcibly removed. Bars are also a way to prevent more audacious thieves from simply smashing their way inside, as has been the case in many of the recent break-ins Detroit has seen.

  • Upgrade Window Locks

Replace any flimsy window locks with more high-security options. Consider adding locking window pins for extra security, especially for windows on the ground floor. 

  • Don't Forget the Patio Door

Patio doors are often large and have weaker locking mechanisms compared to entry doors. Install a secondary locking system, such as a charlie bar, which reinforces the sliding mechanism and prevents forced entry. 

2. Deter with Visibility

A well-lit and visible property is less appealing to burglars who prefer to operate under the cover of darkness. Here's how to deter them with a little illumination:

  • Motion Sensor Lights

Install motion sensor lights around your property's perimeter, particularly near entry points like doors, windows, and garages. These lights will activate when movement is detected, surprising potential intruders and illuminating the area for you or your neighbours to see. 

  • Solar-Powered Path Lights

Line your walkways and driveway with solar-powered path lights. These provide a low-maintenance way to keep your property well-lit and create a welcoming ambiance to impress any visitors to your home.

  • Keep It Bright Inside

Leave lights on in key areas like the living room and hallway when you're away at night. This creates the illusion of occupancy and deters break-ins. Consider using smart light bulbs that can be programmed to turn on and off at specific times.

  • Trim Bushes and Trees

Overgrown landscaping provides hiding spots for potential intruders. Trim bushes and trees around your property to maintain clear sightlines and deter anyone lurking in the shadows. 

3. Create the Illusion of Occupancy

Make it seem like you're home, even when you're not, with these clever tactics:

  • Radio on a Timer

Set a radio to a talk station and use a timer to turn it on and off at different times during the day. The sounds of conversation will give the impression that someone is home. 

  • Invest in Smart Plugs

Schedule lights and electronics to turn on and off randomly throughout the day and evening. This creates the illusion of activity and deters potential intruders who rely on predictable patterns.

  • Leave Up a Spare Car

If you have a second car, consider leaving it parked in the driveway when you're away. A full driveway makes your home appear more occupied. 

  • Fake Security Cameras

While not a foolproof solution, strategically placed dummy security cameras can discourage break-ins. 

4. Secure Your Valuables

It's important to keep your valuables out of sight and protected from potential theft:

  • Install a Safe

A high-quality safe bolted to the floor or wall will provide an extra layer of security for important documents, jewelry, and other valuables. 

  • Inventory Your Belongings

Take photos and record serial numbers of your valuables for insurance purposes. This documentation will also be helpful when filing a police report. 

  • Don't Advertise on Social Media

Be mindful of what you post on social media, especially when going on vacation. According to an statement from Steve Dolunt, retired assistant chief of the Detroit Police Department, “one of the best things you can do is not let people know when you're away.” Avoid announcing your absence to the world.

5. Get to Know Your Neighbours

A strong sense of community is one of the best deterrents against crime. Here's how to build relationships with your neighbours:

  • Introduce Yourself

Strike up a conversation with your neighbours. Knowing them by name fosters a sense of community watch and makes them more likely to keep an eye out for suspicious activity around your property.

  • Organize a Block Watch Program

Consider working with your neighbours to establish a block watch program where you take turns keeping an eye out for each other's homes. Share contact information and agree on a communication plan to report suspicious activity.

  • Look Out for Each Other

Be observant of your neighbourhood and report any suspicious activity to the police. This could include unfamiliar vehicles parked on the street for long periods or people lurking around houses.

Invest in security systems and personnel to protect yourself

Bonus Tip: Consider a Home Security System

While DIY upgrades are a great starting point, going all the way is a great way to ensure your home is as well-protected as it can be. Working with a professional security service and investing in a home security system can offer a significant increase in security. Consider a monitored system that connects to a central monitoring station. In the event of a break-in, the station will dispatch the police immediately, increasing the chances of catching the intruder and minimizing damage.


These DIY upgrades are most effective when used in combination with each other. A layered security approach makes it more difficult for burglars to gain entry and increases the chances of deterring them altogether. For maximum effectiveness, get creative and personalize these tips to fit your specific needs and budget. By taking proactive steps to secure your home, you can enjoy greater peace of mind and create a safer environment for yourself and your loved ones.

When you need reliable security personnel to keep your home or business safe, give Security Guard Group a call. Our personnel are trained to the highest standards, and we use state-of-the-art technology to coordinate our personnel and look after your property. Give us a call now at (313) 241-0901 and get high-quality round-the-clock protection. 

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