- I am not an expert on home security I'm just someone who has spent a fair amount of time researching and applying what I've learned on the subject of home security.
- This is an overview not a detailed all encompassing every possible scenario plan. Additionally everyone's circumstances are different.
- If you choose to include firearms or so-called “less than lethal” weapons in your home security planing, I highly recommend that you already have or are in the process of obtaining an intimate knowledge of their proper handling and safe use.
- It is your responsibility to know and understand the laws, ordinances , rules and regulations of the state, city, county, city or town concerning the use of force in defense of yourself, family and home.
Now that we've got that out of the way Let's get started with the most important part of all; Preparing one's self mentally. This is the most important element of security. You must know that there are people among us that are just simply evil. Most folks feel that they are securely insulated from crime and it’s ugliness. This is a part of what is known as “normalcy bias“ . Human nature being what it is, most of us have a deep seated need to feel safe and secure in order to be able to function. We don't like to think about all the evil lurking in the shadows in our every day lives so we rationalize those thoughts into the background. I'm not saying that we should all walk around fearing for our lives. I am saying that being aware of your surroundings while going about your daily business will help you to avoid finding yourself in less than desirable situations. The tougher things get economically, the more evil will become apparent to us. I cannot overemphasize the cruelty that some among us possess and do not hesitate to use. We must be prepared mentally to deal with viciousness and violence with extreme prejudice if the need arises.
Another paradigm that we need to avoid is the belief that the police are here to keep us safe from harm. The police are primarily a reactionary agency. That is to say; After the robber leaves (provided he/she didn't kill us, we call the police and tell them that we have just been robbed. At that point, the police can react to the information and come take a report and investigate. Once we realize that we are personally responsible for our own safety, we can take the necessary steps to more effectively minimize our exposure to crime.
A visual assessment of the exterior of your home is a great place to start. Look for places that offer resources like cover or darkness an intruder could use. Because you can't be everywhere and watch everything all the time you need to employ force multipliers. Force multipliers are things that you can deploy in and around your home to assist you in maintaining security. Are the shrubs around or under your windows covering the windows or large enough to provide an intruder cover? . A rose bush can be a force multiplier. Have you considered planting roses or some other thorny plants under your windows? This makes it difficult to use that area as a point of entry. Another easy to install force multiplier is outdoor lighting with motion detectors. These are a great way to know if someone is prowling around your home's perimeter. It also let's a potential intruder know that someone may be aware of their presence and most potential intruders tend to avoid that kind of publicity.
Another force multiplier is a dog. Most potential intruders will go elsewhere if they know that there is a dog in the house. Don’t be to worried about which breed, you only need to be made aware of noise or movement in or around your house that you can’t readily detect. Not everyone is willing to have a trained “guard” dog but any dog can be a “watch” dog. Just about any healthy dog will do. The dog just needs to let you know that there is something requires your attention. A dog is a very reliable security system and one of the best force multipliers you can have. Outside of the security aspect of owning a dog, they also offer affection and companionship for you and your family.
When you arrive at you home, don't just fumble for your keys, unlock the door and barge in. Take a quick look around first. Are the windows as you left them or is a window screen on the ground and the window half open or broken? Is your door ajar or damaged? You don't need to go all Sherlock Holmes and inspect every door and window, just get in the habit of taking a casual inventory of the visible area as you walk up to your door.
If you arrive to find that the house have been broken into and there is any chance that the intruder is still on the premises, do not enter. The last thing you want to do is initiate a hostile confrontation with an intruder who is possibly armed and possibly under the influence. If possible retreat to the safety of your car or a neighbor's house and call 911. This is a perfect example of the reactive nature of the police and the proactive nature of criminals.
If you should be awakened at night by the sound of someone breaking into your home you have several courses of action, some of which are governed by the circumstances. If it's just you and your spouse in your room, you may want to barricade the door and call 911. On the other hand, if you have children or other family members elsewhere in the home, you may want to ensure their safety first.
I'm not going to cover the use of firearms here because the subject is so complex. I will however say that any cop will tell you that a 12 gauge pump shotgun is an awesome attention getter. It is a truly devastating weapon at 50 yards or less.
Home security is an important and much overlooked subject and that requires a detailed initial assessment and consent re-assessment to be effective and to remain effective over time. Don't let fear run your life. You can't mitigate every possible threat. For now, the odds are that if you maintain the mindset that you will not be a victim and take a few simple precautionary measures, you and yours will be save and secure.
Here's a short list of things to do and discuss with your family that can add to the security of your home and those living within it:
- Conduct intruder drills if the front door, or the rear door, or window is breached. What should you do if you arrive home to obvious signs of a burglary?
- Get a safe. Store any money or valuables there. Make sure it can be bolted to the framing!
- Be quiet about what you own.
- Remove the little handle from your garage door release cord. This can be hooked from outside and pulled down to unhook the door from the track, allowing it to be opened with little effort.
- Place a stick in the track of your sliding door.
- Some quick home security ideas
- Do you keep a list of all valuable property? Is at least one copy kept outside your home?
- Do you have a list of the serial numbers of your valuable property (watches, cameras, computers, TVs, etc.)?
- Do you have descriptions/photographs of valuable property from each room in your home (and closets)?
- Do you keep excess cash and other valuables in a bank?
- Consider renting a safe deposit box for important papers.
- Don’t “Hide-a-Key”.
- Do your family members know what to do if they discover a burglar in your home? Don’t go in! Dial 911!
- Do family members know to leave everything undisturbed and call the sheriff or police if they discover a burglary?
- Are trees and shrubs trimmed to eliminate hiding places?
- Do you have a security closet with a solid-core door, non-removable hinges, and a deadbolt lock?
- Do your entry doors have wide-angle viewers? Needed so you can see out before opening the door.
- Is your house number easily visible from the street at any hour? Law Enforcement and EMS need to see your house number in an emergency.