DIY Home Security System

This is my personal and budgeted DIY home security.  It’s worth noting that I am self-employed and work from home (if I worked long hours in an office, I would also have some sort of home security monitoring service).


The items here are as follows:

  • Shotgun (Mossberg 500) ($200 + $35 stock)
  • Wireless IR Cam (Foscam nVision FI8918W) ($240 for 3 cams)
  • Smartphone (Samsing Galaxy S4) (“free” with my continued indentured servitude to Verizon)
  • Eskrima Stick ($15)
  • Door Stop Alarms ($10 for 2)
  • Window/Door Alarms ($5)
  • Pepper Spray ($15)
  • Samsung Galaxy 2 Tablet ($100)
  • Knife (Kabar) (This was a gift…but a decent knife can be purchased for $20).

Total: $505 (excludes the unnecessary shotgun stock and Samsung Galaxy tablet).

Shotgun (pictured here: Mossberg 500) 
The “gun in the home” question is controversial in some circles.  I believe it’s a good idea for responsible people to own a gun for home defense.  By responsible, I mean someone who will actually learn how to properly use and store their firearm.  I would not recommend owning a gun for the mere sake of owning one, and not learning and adhering to safety protocols–especially if you have children in the house.

A shotgun is quite often cited as the best gun for home defense (it is certainly one of the more affordable!).  In my case, I was able to pick up this Mossberg 500 for $200.  I have since added a tactical stock. If you do choose to go shopping for home defense firearm, be sure to read: G&A Basics: How to Choose your First Home Defense Gun

Wireless IR Cam (pictured here: Foscam nVision FI8918W)
Wireless cameras are more affordable than ever.  I have recently picked up 2 Foscam FI8918W’s and one Foscam FI8910W (the latter of which, I don’t recommend due to an annoying glitch).  I have these cameras covering the the area surrounding my front yard, and I am able to stream in live time through a browser, as well as my phone and tablets.  I can even watch it on my large HDTV using my Chromecast.

Smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S4)
I have phone here for 2 reasons. 1- Dialing 911 should always be a priority during a home invasion.  You’ll want easy access to your cellphone in case the intruder has cut off your phone line. 2- With my phone I am able to access my Foscam camera feeds from my bed.  Since I make it a policy not to have a TV or computer in my bedroom, being able to simply see the cam feed through my phone when I hear suspicious noises outside saves me needless trips to the computer.

Eskrima Stick
A blunt weapon of some sort is always recommended.  In my case, I have some training in Eskrima (Filipino stick fighting) so I am able to do more than simply swing it in a general direction.  If I do hear noises outside and I need to investigate, I usually go with a stick and my pepper spray (I do not recommend walking around outside with a loaded gun, unless for whatever reason, the circumstances call for it).  A baseball works just as well.

Door Stop Alarm
One of the most overlooked and possibly underrated items, the doors top alarms will let me know if someone is trying to come in through the door.  Needless to say, make sure everyone is actually home (or at least not out and expected to be home soon) when you place these under your door(s).

Door/Window Alarms
These banshees will go off if someone tries to come in through a window or door.  Definitely a must for houses with sliding doors.

Pepper Spray
I picked up this can of Sabre Red for about $15.  A great defense item since you can use it from 15-20 feet away.  Keep in mind the spray dissipates and spreads–so not necessarily ideal for using in an enclosed area.

Samsung Galaxy 2 Tablet
Similar to the smartphone, I use this to monitor my Foscams from the comfort of my bed.  The larger screen makes it easier to discern what (if anything) is going on outside.  this is especially handy since I generally read on my tablet in bed.  Monitoring what’s going on outside is as simple as switching apps.

Knife (Kabar)
I keep this close to my bed in case I ever had to use it in a pinch.

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