If you want to protect your home from burglars and intruders, here’s a simple approach: Think of effective home security as a series of layers that start at the front door and continue throughout the house. 
With a little research, you can find a top-rated home security system that protects your home without breaking the bank. Best of all, you can choose a DIY home security system that you can install yourself.

Why Home Security Matters
The numbers don’t lie. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte surveyed more than 400 incarcerated burglars about their tendencies and reasons for committing their crimes:

About 83 percent said they would try to determine if a home security alarm system was present before attempting a burglary. Of those, 60 percent said they would seek an alternative target.
Most burglars reported entering open windows or doors, or forcing them open. 
Nearly 60 percent said indoor and outdoor video cameras and other home video surveillance systems were a major deterrent.

Want more proof? According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, 34 percent of burglars enter through the front door, while 81 percent choose some type of first-floor access, including windows.

Who’s At the Door?
Let’s start there. Since burglars prefer to work when no one’s home, their first move is often as simple as ringing the doorbell. If no one answers after several attempts, they feel it’s safe to continue. If someone answers, they invent an excuse to justify their presence.

That’s why motion-detecting video doorbells are rapidly gaining in popularity. The research firm Strategy Analytics estimates that more than 3.4 million video doorbells will be purchased this year.

You can use your smartphone to see, hear, and speak to anyone who comes to your door, even when you’re not home. Making the burglar think someone is home will often steer them toward another target.

Police are also becoming big advocates of video doorbells. They’re not just a potential deterrent; they’re also a great way to help identify perpetrators.

Come Inside, Get Into Trouble
Door and window sensors are the next line of defense for a monitored home security system. If a burglar enters, the door sensor immediately signals the control panel. Indoor home security works best when it’s professionally monitored, providing quick 24/7 response whenever there’s an alarm.

It’s tough to imagine any burglar successfully slipping past a door or window sensor. But if they take the gamble, it’s easy to install motion detectors that make it even more difficult to go undetected. 
High-quality motion detectors will typically ignore pets under 40 lbs. Fortunately, most burglars are considerably larger.

Look Into Indoor Video Cameras
Indoor home security cameras are probably the most versatile solution when used as part of a video surveillance system. They not only an extra layer of security, but they’re also a practical enhancement to your lifestyle.

Watching live or recorded video through your phone can make life easier:
See that the kids get home safely – especially when there’s no one else home – and that they’re not getting into mischief.
Millions of homeowners keep track of their pets with indoor home video cameras. It’s not only practical, but also fun: Imagine taking a few minutes just to take a break from work and relax by watching your pet.
Keep an eye on housekeepers, caregivers, babysitters, or anyone else who’s working in your house. It’s a new twist on the “nanny-cam.”
Indoor video cameras typically have two-way voice capabilities, so you can speak and listen to anyone you’re watching.

Remember the Largest Door
How often have you pulled out of the driveway, only to get a few miles from home and wonder whether you closed the garage door? That’s why smart-home garage door controllers make typical garage door openers look like relics.

Instead of heading back home or calling a neighbor, you can check the status of your garage door through a smartphone app. If it’s still open, use the app to close it. If a would-be intruder tries to open it, you’ll get an instant alert.

And, of course, it’ll open your garage door when you get back home.

Location, Location, Location
Part of the advantage of an easy-to-install DIY home security system is the ability to place your equipment wherever you want. But it’s also a challenge to place your equipment to create the best home security coverage.

Here are some quick, easy tips: 
Read the installation instructions, since they often include best practices for optimum placement.
Since you’re protecting individual rooms with door and window sensors, place motion detectors in areas like hallways or stairwells where a burglar would move between rooms.
It’s natural to place video cameras in areas where people typically congregate, like a family room. But think about other useful locations: not just a nursery, but a gun safe, liquor cabinet, home office, or other areas that are normally off-limits.

If you find that your original placement isn’t effective or is triggering false alerts, DIY installation makes it easy to move the device where it will do the most good.

Advantages of Home Security Monitoring
The best home security systems let you monitor activity from anywhere with your smartphone. But it always helps to have a second set of eyes, particularly when there’s a serious emergency and time is precious.
That’s where 24/7 professional alarm monitoring companies provide a crucial asset for home protection. Any alerts come to an Emergency Dispatch Operator who is trained to quickly verify the alarm and contact first responders on your behalf.

Layers of Protection
A comprehensive home security strategy that includes a video doorbell, door and window sensors, motion detectors, video cameras and professional monitoring creates multiple levels of security – especially since stationing a guard outside your house around the clock isn’t a practical solution.

Robert Ogle has been a writer and editor for more than 20 years, with extensive experience as a journalist and freelance contributor. Robert focuses on home security, smart-home technology trends, and the impact of disruptive innovation on U.S. industries. Connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/robertogle/.