Mobile home security is often not the best. The windows are easy to break and the door can easily be pried open, especially outswings door. Which is what most mobile homes have by default. But there are some excellent security improvements available to every homeowner, even with a pretty limited budget:
You can improve door security by installing an extra lock and a door security plate. The extra lock will increase the amount of time and effort required to break inside if the screen door doesn’t hold. The door security plate will make it much harder to pry the door open.
To secure mobile home windows you can use metal window screens, extra window locks and security film. Metal screens or window bars will make it harder to access the window. The extra locks will make it harder to open by manipulating the existing lock. And in case a burglar tries to break the window, the security window film will keep the broken shards in place for longer, making it more difficult to break in.
Monitor your mobile home by using a wireless security camera with motion sensor so that it can send you alerts. If someone approaches your mobile home, you’ll get a notification on your laptop or phone. If you use a subscription model (depending on the camera), you can outsource the alerts to a security company instead.
A classic alarm system that produces loud noise can also be used, together with a camera or on its own. If you plan on only using an alarm system, it would probably be helpful that it can also send alerts.
A burglar could steal your stuff, but perhaps also your entire mobile home if you’re away for too long. It depends on the type and the condition it’s in of course.
If mobile home theft is your concern, consider using a steering wheel lock and/or a wheel lock. And if this horrible scenario occurs despite of the security measures you’ve taken, a security GPS system can help track down your mobile home and retrieve it.
The logic behind these methods is fairly simple. But the real question is how to set them up so that your mobile home is perfectly safe regardless of your location. Here are more details on each of these steps and some others, along with advice on the best products to use.
Step 1: Secure Mobile Home Doors
Burglars always prefer breaking in through the door. It makes stealing larger items and running away a lot easier. So securing your mobile home’s door will deter many potential criminals and make any attempts of stealing your stuff more difficult.
First thing I suggest is installing a Mobile Home Door Security Plate (link to Amazon). It’s designed to prevent criminals from prying the door open. The installation is pretty simple:
- Remove screws from the door knob and remove the door knob
- Place the security plate on the outside of the door
- Reinstall the door knob and the screws
You can see the full result on the product page photos.
With the security plate protecting your primary lock, you can proceed to install an additional lock for additional safety. The Kwikset Mobile Home Entry Knob is very strong, durable and affordable (under $20). It can be installed on any standard mobile home door, the interior ones also.
Another good option is a security bar. It can be used to barricade the door from the inside. So you can better secure the door while you’re inside your home or if you have another way to go in and out.
A security bar with adjustable length can also be used to barricade windows from the inside as well. It can be considered as a quick and versatile alternative to permanent locks that need to be installed in order to work. As long as it’s not the only door or window available for entry, because it will prevent you from using it as well.
Security Screen Door:
If you’re willing to spend a few hundred dollars for better security, consider installing a tough screen door in front of your exterior door. It’s one more, tough barrier that the burglar will have to face.
The Woodguard Steel Security Door from Amazon is one of the more affordable options but is receiving excellent reviews by customers and security experts. It’s under $400 at the moment of writing.
More details about the door:
Includes a 3-piece 1-1/4-in outside mount frame for easy installation. Matching one-way security screws are also included.
It has 36 in. x 80 in. dimensions. Overall dimensions with frame: 39 in. x 81-1/2 in. Door includes a double hole lock box with 2-1/8 in. bore & 2-3/8 in. backset. Doorknob & deadbolt are not included.
Better secure your outswing door
Many mobile homes have exterior doors that open outwardly. If the hinges are on the outside, they could be manipulated in order to remove the door. Read my outswing door security guide to learn how to prevent this.
Secure the doggie door
Do you have a large dog flap in a wall or window, which can be used by a human to crawl inside the mobile home? Or perhaps not to crawl inside completely, but reach a door lock, window lock, or steal any items?
If either of these situations is possible, you should upgrade the doggie door, replace it with a secure dog door or remove it completely and seal the gap.
Step 2: Secure Mobile Home Windows
In case of a sliding window, use a barricade like a burglar bar or a security bar with adjustable length that I mentioned previously.
But using locks and barricades won’t prevent the burglar from smashing the window open. To prevent this from happening, you can install window security grills on the outside or on the inside of the window. Metal security grills will prevent the burglar from coming inside, unless he’s able to cut through them. Doing that would require a lot of work and produce noise so it’s highly unlikely.
In addition to this or as an alternative, consider covering the glass panels with security film. It’s a product made from strong plastic and a strongly adhesive backside that will keep broken shards in place.
Some security films can even block bullets from coming through. Check out my window security film guide for product recommendations and full installation advice.
Step 3: Install a Surveillance System
Many burglars avoid security cameras like the plague. Simply because they don’t want to be recorded and have their identity jeopardized.
So installing a security camera or two in and/or around your mobile home can be really helpful. Point them at the doors and windows.
Make sure that they have night vision otherwise they won’t be of much use at nighttime. The Zmodo security camera has night vision and WiFi connectivity so it can send you real-time alerts if it catches any movement in the monitored area.
I recommend getting this bullet camera or a different bullet camera rather than a dome camera if one of your priorities is good night vision image quality.
Dome cameras have that plastic “dome”-shaped cover which does protect the lens better, but it also reduces image quality. So keep that in mind before making a purchase.
In either case, make sure to install the camera in a spot where it’s fairly hard to reach. You don’t want people messing around with it or bashing it with a baseball bat. Sure, you’ll get an alert but it could be a little too late by that point.
Another good option is to mount a cheap dummy camera in a visible spot and hide the real camera in a different spot.
Even if the intruder is aware of both cameras, he could be reluctant to mess with either one as you’ve obviously taken the time and effort to set up your defenses, meaning that there could be more surprises around the corner.
Step 4: Install Motion-Sensing Lights
Bright lights are a great burglar deterrent. Especially if they’re motion-triggered security floodlights because it lets you and everyone else in the area know that someone’s there.
If you’re using a security camera, lights can be helpful for improving its night vision image quality as well. There’s an excellent all-in-one package of motion detecting light, camera and alarm from the Ring company.
You’ve probably heard or seen their video doorbells which are incredibly popular with over 12000 reviews on Amazon. But for nighttime security this is the ultimate combo.
Step 5: Warning Signs and Dummies
This is the cheapest way to deter criminals. Make them think your mobile home is a fortress and they’ll be less likely to take any chances. Most popular deterrents you can use:
- warning signs about a guard dog, surveillance system, alarm system, neighborhood watch, 2nd amendment
- dummy cameras (these have a blinking red light to look even more realistic!)
Place these warnings in visible spots around your home. Even if some of them are not true, the burglar doesn’t have to know that. An empty bluff is still better than looking like an easy target.
Step 6: Use timer-equipped lights, Radio, Fake TV..
Most intruders will not approach your home if they think you’re there. To keep them guessing, you can use timer-equipped gear while you’re away. Smart light bulbs are cheap and easy to use.
This FakeTV from Amazon is my favorite device of this kind. It produces realistic TV light, making it hard to tell if you’re away from home or binge watching your favorite show at 3 am. It consumes just the power of a night-light, so it’s not gonna rack up your electric bill either.
But if the would-be criminal can sneak up to the window and take a peak inside, it can completely ruin this strategy. So in order for deterrents of this kind to work, it’s important that the light is visible from the outside, but that the interior of your home is blurry if someone decides to peep through the window.
You can install privacy window film on your windows to seal the deal. Make sure that you install them on the indoors side so that it can’t be removed from the outside.
Step 7: Talk to Your Neighbors
Being in good relations with people in your community can go a long way. They can keep an eye out for strangers. If theft or other strange activities are happening in your community, consider organizing a Neighborhood Watch.
Also consider contacting your local police station to discuss this idea, and whether it’s warranted or not depending on their assessment of the situation.
Step 8: Get Insured
Having a good insurance policy for your mobile home and its contents will make you feel safer knowing that you can replace the items in case they get stolen.
If you utilize the security tips mentioned in this article, your place will be more secure, which can lead to reduced insurance costs.
Talk to your agent about this before signing any papers. If you have an insurance policy already in place, ask your agent if these measures can help reduce your current costs.
Step 9: Protect Your Phone Number
If a criminal has your phone number, they could call to check if you’re home or not. If you don’t pick up they’ll suspect you’re not home, especially if they hear the phone ringing inside.
This is why it’s important to protect your number and any information which could lead them to your number.
Don’t share your number on social media websites and remove your name from the outside of your mailbox. Combined with the right address information, your name can easily be linked to your phone number.
To completely eliminate this security vulnerability, simply disconnect your fixed telephone permanently or while you’re away from home.
Step 10: Plant Prickly Shrubs Around Windows
Making your doors and windows harder to access is a great strategy. And for windows you can plant large prickly shrubs in addition to security bars.
Creeping Juniper, Blue Spruce and Common Holly are the top suggestions by the UK police.
The plants need to be large enough and near the window so that there’s no way of going around them without getting bruised and cut in the process.
Step 11: Store ladders, tools and appliances indoors or secure them better
Ladders can be used by burglars to access your windows more easily, or to meddle with security cameras and other equipment.
Tools such as hammers, drills and chainsaws can be used to break in or they can be outright stolen if they’re expensive enough.
The final point is also true for outdoor furniture and appliances like grills and power generators. Store these items indoors if you can. Or lock them to other objects so that they can’t be removed as easily.
Step 12: Secure the Wheels
Does your mobile home have wheels? If it does and you’re away for too long, who knows what can happen! If this is a a valid concern, I highly recommend using a wheel lock (Trimax steel chock lock is a good choice) to prevent this from happening.
As the name suggests, this large clump of metal immobilizes the wheel, so that the vehicle or trailer can’t be driven away. Without the key or a very powerful tool it’s close to impossible to remove.
Step 13: Use a GPS tracker
If your mobile home ends up being stolen, a GPS tracker can save the day. It can be used by yourself, a security company and/or the police to locate your vehicle. Keep in mind that these systems typically require monthly payments to work.
The Optimus 2.0. is a popular tracker that doesn’t require a contract so you can pay for a month of service anytime you like. For example while you’re on vacation or a business trip.
Regardless of the payment model, a GPS tracker is the best ace you can have in your sleeve in case things go terribly wrong.
Final Word on Mobile Home Security
Whether you have a stationary mobile home or an auto mobile home, it’s an attractive target for criminals. You can make it less attractive by using deterrents.
In case some stubborn mischief decides to take his chances, securing your doors and windows properly will be the second test.
In this article I’ve shared some very easy and affordable ways to implement both strategies.
I recommend combining using deterrents, motion detecting cameras and lights, along with extra locks and barriers to be on the safe side of things. Hope this helps!