There are a lot of solutions and advice to improve the general security of a home. More often than not, home owners simply accept a certain amount of unease. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, roughly 51 percent of home owners are concerned about crime in their own neighborhood. This concern doesn’t necessarily translate into vigilance. A study by Consumer Reports found that 1 in 5 people don’t lock their doors when they leave.

With a spare weekend and a little bit of effort, home owners can greatly improve the security of their residence. Following just a few of these simple bits of advice could prevent burglars from thinking you’re an easy target.

Simple and Fast Do It Yourself Projects to Improve Your Home Security

Weekends are for projects. While it might be a little hard to convince yourself of the value of a new deck or outdoor pizza oven, home security is always worth the time and cost. Home owners concerned about the security of their homes can undertake a few of these simple DIY projects and build piece of mind.

Replace Broken or Old Locks Immediately

People often wait for a convenient moment to fix a broken or old lock. However, no moment is more convenient for your home’s security than right now. (Not sure if you need to replace your lock? Here’s a list of reasons you should replace the locks to your home.) A broken lock is a clear sign to any criminal that you aren’t concerned with home security and breaking in shouldn’t be too hard. Only repair a broken lock if it can be returned to a working function without compromising the security of your house.

Home owners might want to replace an old lock for a number of reasons. Rust and exposure to nature can make locks ineffective against burglars though most modern metals successfully defend against the elements. More importantly, a rusted or old lock can be difficult to use and might discourage use. Locks that are a hassle to operate might explain why 20 percent of people fail to always use them when they leave the house.

Put Tinting On Your Windows

This suggestion might not be for everyone. Though businesses are the primary market for security tint, many home owners are installing it on their windows. The decision to put tint on your home’s windows can have a lot of benefits but it’s not the right style decision for everyone. Those that decide tinting is for them can enjoy lowered energy costs and an overall cooler ambient temperature. The primary home security benefit to tinting is decreased visibility into the home. Criminals prefer to target unoccupied homes and tinting makes it harder to determine that your house is empty. Some security tinting even makes the glass in windows shatter-resistance, meaning burglars can’t enter your home by breaking a window.

Here’s a quick video showing security tint in action:

Minimize Dark or Concealed Areas in Your Lawn/Backyard

Burglars will use anything to hide. Dark areas of your yard can offer excellent concealment while burglars attempt to gain access. With minimal effort, motion activated or timed flood lights can greatly reduce concealed areas in your yard. However, home owners need to carefully plan their lighting schemes for maximum effectiveness and to ensure they’re not breaking any local ordinances.

Home owners might want to consider a bit of light landscaping as overgrown hedges and branches also provide excellent cover for breaking into houses. Security landscaping is becoming a big concern for home owners, especially as the DIY/common sense home security craze gets bigger. There are a wide variety of tips for home owners interested in this route. One fairly common security landscaping technique involves placing thorny plants, such as rose bushes, under windows.

Burglar Proof Your Doors

To be fair, there’s no such thing as “burglar proof”. In any robbery, a thief is desperately wants into and out of your home as fast as possible and certain modifications to exterior doors impedes this effort. Install dead bolt or rim locks. (For an explanation of different lock types, go here.) Clear any brush or branches that block a clear view of your doors. Also ensure that your door is properly installed. There is no such thing as an “extra” screw when it comes to the hinges on your door. Make sure that each hole on each hinge has its own screw.

For those that want an extra bit of security, you might want to think about this device that specifically prevents burglars from kicking in doors. Most are easy to install with the right power tools and truly lower the vulnerability of any home.