This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest Moe Larry & Curly.
Home security is an issue that has caused me great concern for almost as long as I can remember, definitely far longer than my interest in prepping has been active. I guess the reason being that I’m originally from Brooklyn, New York and back when I was growing up in a section of Brooklyn known as Redhook, well it was a rough neighborhood during an even rougher time in New York.
But enough about the motivational causes for home security and onto the steps I’ve taken, and am in the process of taking to make my home MORE secure. I say more secure because no home can be 100% secure in my humble opinion. And degrees of security depend upon the degree of the threat. For instance, if the government sends a SWAT team to your home for whatever reason, well chances are better than good that they will gain entry and have their way.
It’s darn near impossible to fight off or hold off a force such as this. So let’s understand that when I say secure the home I mean specifically against home invasions; burglars; drug addicts looking for a smash & grab to feed their next fix and on and on.
So here’s where I’ve started. To begin with I’m NOT engaged in any sort of risky, criminal or otherwise subversive activity. So at this level I’m not associating with individuals of questionable character that may acquire information about me, my lifestyle, possessions, medications, etc.… that could possibly entice them to break into my home to steal. So the guys aren’t getting together at my place to party and smoke dope or drink liquor or worse.
That sort of activity isn’t part of my lifestyle so this form of potential threat doesn’t exist. I think it’s necessary to state this because many burglaries and home invasions are committed by individuals that have prior knowledge of what’s in that home, of what the occupants may have in their medicine cabinets and to put it simply the thieves know their victims or have close associates that know the victims and plan the crime. So do away with this stage of threats by knowing those you associate with and in my case not associating with many people. That friend’s stuff isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Okay so now that we have that out of the way the next step is to access your home. Where does it lie? Are there fields around you? Are you surrounded by other homes? Is it an apartment, is it a house. Brick house or wood framed? Location and number of windows and doors, as well as basement access should be critical concerns. But this can go on forever without my getting to how I’ve secured my home. So the first line of defense was to build an eight-foot high fence around the backyard.
It’s a wooden “PRIVACY” fence that creates a barrier around the entire circumference of the yard and creates a visual barrier as well as a psychological barrier to people. In addition to keeping people and animals out it also keeps my dogs in. Yes I said dogs because I have two dogs, a boxer and a mutt. They are great dogs, loyal and loveable as can be but dogs can be quite protective of their turf as well as our family.
I’ve had several instances when I was confronting someone and my dog literally placed herself between the person I was speaking with and myself. I’m certain, based upon her demeanor, that she was taking a protective posturing. And the fellow I was talking with knew this and definitely felt intimidated by the dog. The second dog was behind a closed door growling and barking as she starred this guy down.
Needless to say he backed off and our differences were quickly silenced. On my property he knew things would go as I wanted them to go. So the first line of security is a fenced in backyard with at least one dog, two is far better since they get into a pack mentality and the canine operates far more effectively under that pack mindset.
Love your dogs and feed them of course, and they in turn will provide you with a first line of defense be it in the light of day or at three am when everyone’s asleep and something isn’t right. Take my word for it the dog will let you know if someone is snooping around your home and all I ask is that you wake me up, I’ll take it from there.
Okay the next step I’ve taken is to remove brush, bushes and hedges or trees close to the house especially near windows and doors, which provide a place to hide. Remember that these criminals are cowards. They’re too scared to face up to life’s challenges and responsibilities so they turn to and depend upon crime to sustain them. Once the perimeter was free and clear of potential hiding places my next concern was lights.
That’s right lights, specifically the motion-activated type that turns on when something moves. They have sensitivity switches that have multiple settings that can be “tuned” so the lights turn on when there’s motion within a specific distance from the unit. I have these at four corners of the home’s exterior and they work. They can be had in models that operate from solar panels, so electricity isn’t always necessary. Just be sure the solar panel has a south exposure and is mounted in full sunlight for maximum charge.
Next step is to be sure the windows and doors are secure. I have storm windows, double pane but should we fall into chaos and the SHTF scenario unfold I have already cut and fashioned metal fencing, that’s right chain link type, to sizes that fit over each window and door.
So it’s simply a matter of spending a weekend installing these over each window and door. This makes it far more difficult for someone to break in through a window or door, makes it impossible to toss something through a window like a canister of gas or gasoline bottle bomb.
Heck even a grenade would bounce off and explode on the ground outside the home. I also have plastic sheathing already cut to size, along with several rolls of duct tape, ready to tape over windows and doors should the need arise. For the doors I have ¾ inch plywood cut to size, ready to be secured to each door for a final degree of security.
I don’t have plywood for the windows since they rather high and would be difficult to access. Besides I installed these inexpensive but highly effective window locks that screw into the top portion of the window and then a “screw” is turned until it goes into a hole that’s drilled into the adjacent pane. This in effect unitizes both windows to make them one. The window cannot be opened unless this device is unscrewed. By the way doors have deadbolts.
I do have two fireplaces, one in the living section of the house and one that’s into the basement. I’ve placed a screened cap on them to keep stuff out as well as in like flaming embers should we burn wood.
Next I have a burglar alarm. This unit operates from the phone line and has a battery backup for power. And we have had power outages that lasted for days yet the alarm continued to function. And speaking of phone lines I have an old-fashioned hard wire telephone, inexpensive under 10 bucks but during those power outages I was always able to make and receive phone calls.
Earlier I mentioned the doors and windows but failed to say that I keep shades, blinds or curtains over all windows. We can open them if and when we choose but they can be kept closed so peering eyes aren’t able to look in and check out the floor plan.
By design I have not mentioned anything regarding firearms, pepper sprays, or other forms of defense. That’s a different discussion. But finally let me say that and perhaps this should have been said first, I know my neighbors.
That’s right to my left and to my right, on the north, south, east, and west of my home I know my neighbors and we have an understanding that in times of need we should phone each other. You would be amazed at how fast a thief flees when they see lights in different house start turning on, see people banding together.
They will flee like the cowards they are and in many instances will find somewhere else to invade. What do you think… ?:-)
This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:
- First Prize) Winner will receive a gift certificate for $170 worth of Winchester Ammo donated by Lucky Gunner. A Smith & Wesson Heat Treated Collapsible 21″ Baton and a copy of my book Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat.
- Second Prize) Winner will receive a Wise Food Storage meat bucket and 3 dozen Tattler Reusable Canning Lids donated by LPC Survival.
- Third Prize) Winner will receive a LifeStraw water filter system donated by Eartheasy and a copy of the Wolf Pack Cookbook.