Hi, I’m Bob Vila and I’m in beautiful Winnetka, Illinois. Today we’re tackling some simple and effective home security projects. Whether you’re untrusting of modern technology or incredibly cheap, these easy preventative steps can save you a bundle on replacing stolen jewelry and electronics.

First, let’s get started securing the ground-level entrances. This particular Georgian-style home has a main entry, a side and back door, a detached garage, and eighteen windows on the main level alone. Hardly the sort of house that can be burglar-proofed overnight. But there are a few simple solutions that can deter robbers.

In the old days, people used light timers or simply left the television on to create the illusion of activity, thus discouraging night prowlers. Nowadays your average hoodlum knows better. But we can still use those fundamentals to create a more convincing deterrent.

As you can see, I’ve collected a number of promotional full-size cutouts from local fast food chains and rounded up a few discarded mannequins from a dollar store dumpster. I’ve connected these to train sets and other simple motors using ordinary fishing line. Shut the drapes, turn on the lights, and you’ve created realistic silhouettes in your front window. This is one party cat burglars are going to think twice about crashing.

When that isn’t enough, you can try an approach of a different caliber. No, I’m not suggesting you break out the heavy artillery just yet. In the great state of Illinois, a homeowner can employ deadly force only if an actual entry is made. But here’s a great non-lethal way to get your point across. All you need are some leftover firecrackers and a pie tin. Now you have a simple machine gun effect that makes bad guys think you’re a trigger-happy psychopath.

But say you’re dealing with some real wet bandits and your defenses are actually breached. Well now it’s fair game to put a little hurt on ’em… Vila style. But who needs a gun? Better and more gratifying solutions can be found right in your home. Paint buckets, old tools, even toys can neutralize thieves foolhardy enough to break and enter. All you need is a little gravity.

Try littering the floor around your windows with glass shards or other sharp protrusions. I personally like to bust out my Lego bucket when I’m out of town. You can also rig snares from above as well. Just hang a duffel bag full of wrenches upside down from storage hooks and connect the zipper to a doorknob using string. It’s a great way to turn any doorway into a potential deathtrap.

Here you can see I’ve applied the same principle using this blowtorch. Place a bucket of flammable liquid by the door and the perp will take himself out. You won’t even have to deal with charges of Criminally Negligent Manslaughter. But that’s just my personal preference. Bowling balls, lawn darts, frozen turkeys. The possibilities are endless.

When we come back, we’ll move upstairs with ways to take down the most resilient robbers in a segment called “Head Trauma Hijinks”. Stay tuned.

ΒΆ Keep the Change at BustedTees