Week 7 of 52: Basic Home Security

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    Week 7 of 52: Basic Home Security

    Everyone wants to believe that they are safe and sound when they latch the windows and lock the doors. We even experience an added security boost when we live in an expensive neighborhood, a home with a security system, and an active neighborhood watch program. Today, we would all love to have Gladys Kravitz (Bewitched) as our next door neighbor. In reality, security gadgets can protect the outside of your home, but it’s meaningless if you cannot protect what’s inside. People can still be mugged, burglarized, and attacked simply by opening the door to a stranger or by leaving vulnerable areas of their home exposed. I’m going to ask you a question. Have you ever placed a key under a mat? I ask this because we all have placed the spare key under the mat at one time, and the burglars know that trick. It is not my intention to promote fear, but to awaken you to potential hazards. You want to make breaking into your home difficult.

    Designing a home defense system that includes multiple security layers is a proactive way to protect your home, family, and belongings. Security layers are preventative measures that will advertise to intruders that they should avoid your home altogether. The more layers you have in and around your home, the less likely a criminal is going to choose your home as his/her next “job.”

    Layer 1: The Outside Layer. This layer comprises the outer perimeter of your home, the landscaping, and security features (e.g., flood lights, motion detectors, gates, doors, locks). Installing preventative measures around your home will advertise to anyone staking out your neighborhood that you mean business. Walk around your home and distinguish where the vulnerable areas are. Making some minor adjustments to the outside of the home can help secure it from the outside-in. By planting thorn-bearing plants, bushes and trees around the vulnerable and exposed areas of the home can help secure the property. One of the most vulnerable areas of your outside perimeter are the windows. One heavy lawn chair can easily be tossed into a window, thus shattering it and creating an easy entry. Investing in shatter proof window film may be a solution to this potential problem.

    Layer 2: The Inside Layer. This layer comprises the inside of your home. Taking some small preventative measures (e.g., home alarm system, web cams, emergency protocols, and emergency phone numbers) can help secure the inner sanctity of your home. A person who is prepared for a burglar or home invader is well-equipped with knowledge of their home’s security features, how to get additional family members to safety, and, as a last resort, how to use a weapon. Teaching family members what a home invasion is and the emergency protocols associated with this will help each family member understand what to do if this situation occurs.

    Layer 3: The Personal Layer. This layer is the most critical because it is based around all of the protocols, defense training, and emergency plans you have already established. The personal layer is the only layer that you can take into the outside world. When you are walking and someone tries to mug you, you will use your defense training and emergency protocols to deal with the attacker(s). Recently, there have been news reports about mob attacks at stores and on some personal property. Perhaps if the store owners had utilized all of the protective layers the outcomes would have ended differently.

    Consider installing a safe room. A safe room is a great starting point for preparing a personal layer. In addition, it may be the last effort to defend yourself and your family. Although it is a personal preference to have a gun in the home, having multiple techniques of defending yourself would be prudent. Learning self‑defense to incapacitate your attacker or attackers through rapid response techniques would a great course for the entire family to take. There are many different forms of self‑defense courses available: Krav Maga and Wing Chun are two popular courses. In addition to using your body as a weapon, there are other weapons that can be used to defend yourself, such as the following:

    • Pepper spray
    • Fire extinguisher
    • Hot coffee
    • Lamps
    • Metal baseball bat
    • Salt in the eyes
    • Butcher knife

    Preps to buy:

    Your security items should fit your personal choices and budget. Therefore, I will not make any suggested preps. I do hope that you will make some suggested improvements to your already existing home security. With the increase in crime, jobless rates, and increased food prices, home break-ins are likely to be on the rise. At the very minimum, you could buy these low cost items:

    • Window alarm systems.
    • Combination or key locks for the backyard fences.
    • Infrared (IR) floodlights to illuminate the property (These can be motion-sensor activated).
    • Ensure that your doors and locks are reinforced.

    To read more information on different types of security features and locks, here is some suggested material:

    Home Security: Securing the Doors

    Home Security: Securing the Windows

    Action Items:

    1. Create an emergency protocol and discuss it with your family members. Be sure to include a list of emergency phone numbers and escape routes.

    2. Create a safe room where family members can retreat to if there is a break in. Ensure that the safe room has a phone line, and if you have a gun in the home, ensure the gun is in the room. Please make sure that the gun is locked and put away so small children do not have access to it.

    3. Install some outer preventive layers such as the following:

    • Ensure your doors are strong. (A hollow-core metal or solid wood door is best.)
    • If your doors are comprised of glass, install a double cylinder lock to reinforce the strength.
    • Install 1-inch deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.
    • Install locks on the back fences.
    • Infrared (IR) floodlights to illuminate the property (These can be motion-sensor activated).
    • Put a peep hole in the door.

    4. Install some inner preventative layers such as the following:

    • Burglar-proof your glass patio doors by setting a pipe or metal bar in the middle bottom track of the door slide. The pipe should be the same length as the track.
    • Put an anti-lift device in your windows.
    • Add an intrusion detection system.
    • Position hidden web cams strategically throughout your home. Place the computer that is monitoring the locations in a hidden spot so the criminals cannot walk off with it.
    • Sign family members up for a self-defense course.
    • If you have a gun, go to gun range. The only way you will be an accurate shot is if you practice on a regular basis.

    The Prepper's Blueprint

    Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

    Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

    Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

    This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

    Originally published June 17th, 2011
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  • a

    Hi all, just be aware, that whatever weapon you choose, may be used against you, if things go wrong.

    • Jamraqui

      Oh, for crying out loud… Fearmongering. The fact that you are employing a weapon means things have ALREADY gone wrong. Quit thinking a thug will use your weapon against you.. Thugs bring their OWN weapons, therefore you better have one too or you will have already lost the battle the moment the intruder enters your house. This “bad guy will use your weapon against you” is fear-inducing nonsense used by anti-gunners to direct the thoughts of already-fearful, uninformed “sheeple” away from guns. Get smart… Use your gun legally to protect yourself from armed criminals so they go away and leave you alone and unhurt. Dont buy into the lie that guns are going to hurt you… CRIMINALS are going to hurt you. And since they most often come with weapons themselves, only your weapon will stop them in the end.

  • Travis

    As a fireman, I cannot recommend against double cylinder locks more strongly.
    If you have a fire in your home and the double cylinder lock is protecting your mode of egress from the structure, you cannot be assured of:
    1) Having the key on your person
    2) Being able to see sufficiently to operate the lock
    3) Remaining calm enough to operate the lock (you WILL panic.)
     
    These will get you killed.  Never, ever use double cylinder locks.

    • Nola

      thank you for that.  I talked my husband out of these by saying that if someone is willing to break glass to get in, I would rather they break a small window than the sliding glass door.

  • http://www.biblerecords.com Tracy

    We had to use double cylinder locks.  Our daughter had (has) severe autism and was a runner. She would escape from our house and disappear. Even with the alarms she had several minutes notice, and would be gone and naked into other houses, the interstate — enough said.  IT was our last resort, trust me.  She is at a special school (600 miles away, requiring a lot of preppy planning) now, so we keep them all unlocked.

    Be aware — the locksmith that installed them insisted that the fire department be notified before they would put them in. Even if yours doesn’t, or you are doing this yourself, notify the fire department. We needed a special permit and they needed to know what shenanigans were going on.  No matter what special dire circumstances, contact the fire department.
     

  • Kim

    I’ve also read you can purchase cans of long range bee/wasp spray to use for self defense. 

  • Kevin Walker

    Just leave the key in the lock when you are home at all time….that’s what we do.

    When we leave the home, the key is removed.

    It’s that simple.    

    • TomSc

      That’s what we have done the last 30 years (leaving key in lock) What kind of timid sheep have we become. It’s my house I don’t need some fireman or the law telling me what kind of locks to put on my doors. WAY too many people think they have the right to dictate to other people. A house is 1000 times more likely to be broke into than to have a fire.

  • http://www.locksmithjacksonvilleflorida.com G Seisler

    Good article. We have found that floodlights to illuminate the property to be very effective as a theft deterrent and can be installed at a reasonable cost.

  • Dan

    I have replaced all locks on my home with bump proof locks. Lock bumping is a new, fast, simple technique that burglars are using to gain entry. Search lock bumping… you’ll be surprised how easy this is.

  • mikkel

    i have been a foodstorage sp in my ward and stake and have been out spoken for prepairness and to have my firends and members prepair for the best and prepair for the worst.  i have now made myself a target and find that many of the people around me whom will not prepair for anything have told me and my follow friends that they will shair what i have.  i have told them i will shair with whom i think need it and that is all.  they have told me that they will come and take what they want.  being ex army and well armed i have told them to their face ” try it”  i have learned to have a bug out site and to transferr most of my supplys there.  trying to help my follow mankind has made me a target and now must defend my home and family form those who would not get ready for what happens.  if it dont i good if it does happen well i must leave.  be ware of what you say and do.  if i had it to do over again i would not have taken the jobs and opened my mouth to such warning of what will take place.  pleas get ready and prepair. the worst is just ahead and it will be bad. 
    doomer
    (name they gave me) 

  • J

    The fact that your list of weapons excludes any form of a firearm immediately puts into question your credibility of anything even slightly related to preparing for a disaster.

    If you are preparing for, using one of your examples, a societal collapse then prepare for the worse of humanity to show up armed and take (rape, pillage, kill) from the unarmed.  This is how these things have played out historically in these types of situations and that’s exactly how they will continue to play out during similar future situations.

    It’s the same logic as storing away extra food, water etc. Better to have  ______ (extra water, extra food, AR15+1000round of ammo) and not need it then to need and not have. 

    Don’t let irrational, illogical hoplophobia take away from an otherwise helpful website.  

    • http://www.readynutrition.com Tess Pennington

      Hi J,

      Thanks for your comment. Please see chapters 51 and 52 of this series.

      Thanks,

      Tess

  • BryanC

    FBI burglary statistics show that 65 percent of break-ins occur by forcing in the front, back or garage service door. Fortify your door frames. Even with a strong door and quality, properly-installed locks, a burglar may be able to gain entry by breaking or prying the door frame itself. Most door frame moldings are simply tacked to the wall, so a crowbar or a solid kick can easily separate the frame from the wall. Secure your door frames to the walls by installing several 3-inch screws along the frame and doorstop. The screws should reach the wall stud. 

    Upgrading the deadbolt and lockset plates of your exterior doors is also a smart move.

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