This story was originally published in the Chicago Tribune Prime Time senior living section.
Protecting yourself, your home and your car is getting easier with so many gadgets on the market designed to do just that. Alarm systems are getting simpler while offering more capabilities. There are also plenty of affordable devices that can help keep you safe while driving or traveling. You never know when a small investment in one of these might even save your life.
SecurityMan Air-Alarm IIE (above)
Yes, you can have a home security alarm system without paying a monthly fee. The SecurityMan Air-Alarm IIE is a do-it-yourself wireless system that can be installed by you, the homeowner. It will alert you by phone if the system is triggered when you’re away. You can also dial in to arm or disarm the system remotely. The basic package comes with one motion sensor and one magnetic door/window sensor, but is expandable for as many as 60 wireless sensors. The alarm can be set to silent or audible, with voice alarm message recording capability. Price: $74 at The Home Depot.
Super Door Stop Alarm
The Super Door Stop Alarm is a quick and easy way to feel safe in your bedroom, hotel room, dorm room or in an RV. Simply place the door stop under the edge of the door and set it. If an intruder at-tempts to open the door, the Super Door Stop Alarm will prevent the door from opening and sound a 120 dB alarm. It has three sensitivity settings and an on/off switch. Battery operated. Price: About $10 at Walmart and other home stores.
Sprinkler Key Holder
The Sprinkler Key Holder hides your spare house key in a place where no one would look — inside a real lawn sprinkler head that has been modified into a watertight container. Simply unscrew the top and place your key inside. Then stick the sprinkler head into your lawn, where it can “hide” in plain sight. Price: $10 at Walmart and other discount and home stores.
Viper 3105V car alarm
If you have never had a vehicle alarm, you might want to start out with this Viper entry level 1-way security system, otherwise known as the 3105V. It comes with two four-button remotes that allow you to arm and disarm your alarm system, and lock and unlock your car from a distance. The system notifies you of light impacts to your vehicle with a chirp and sounds a full alarm after a harder impact. It also disables your vehicle’s starter when the alarm is set to help prevent unauthorized operation. The key fobs allow you to easily locate your car in the parking lot too. Price: $200 at Best Buy, which includes free installation by the Geek Squad.
No Blind Spot Rear View Mirror
Did you ever wish you could see in that blind spot while backing up or changing lanes — without craning your neck or twisting to look around? With the No Blind Spot Rear View Mirror you have a 180 degree field of vision, compared with the standard 52 degrees. This keeps you and your car safer because you can keep looking straight ahead at all times. It also reduces glare from trailing vehicles. The mirror measures 15-3/4-inches wide and clips onto your regular mirror. Price: $59.95 from Hammacher Schlemmer.