Skip to comments.Hardening Your Home Against Home Invasions (Vanity)
Posted on 01/09/2012 3:23:41 PM PST by fightinJAG
If you missed this thread of a few days ago on a 14-year-old boy shooting an intruder in N.C., or if you didn't see all the responses, it's definitely worth checking out. The thread is also linked at the "read more" button below.
On that thread, I asked for freepers' thoughts on whether there were things that made some homes more vulnerable to home invasion than others. (It seems like it would be obvious that a more rural or remote home would be more vulnerable, but news reports in my area do not substantiate that assumption at all. Homes in crowded suburban neighbors get hit, too.)
Also, it's clear that, for various reasons, not every person in a household is going to be able to use a gun, even if one is available. I asked about ideas and discussion on ways that might deter invasions in the first place, although it goes without saying that nothing is foolproof and no one wants to live in a total fortress environment.
A poster suggested I make my questions into a stand-alone thread, and I decided to do so. Reading reports of several local home invasions in today's news, as well as a rash of "smash and grab" buglaries, had nothing to do with reminding me of the topic. Right.
So, yes, we know about guns and dogs (and tips regarding those are always still welcome). But what other things might be unobtrusively effective in deterring home invasions or allowing them to have a "happy" ending (dead perp)?
In the comments on our local crime stories, I saw that some people were using baby monitors to be alerted to noises around their back doors, etc. Thus, allowing them more time to investigate or prepare if a break-in developed.
(Excerpt) Read more at freerepublic.com ...
Rule #1: Don’t be a member of an immigrant community known for harboring gangs and smuggling in cash and expensive jewelry past customs and IRS agents, and then keep that undeclared property in your home so it can’t be taxed or counted against you when you apply for welfare benefits.
My wife, having lived with the joy of the Crown Height Pogrom (where rioting blacks invaded Jewish homes), makes me put this or the equivalent on all our doors:
DJ Jamb Armour Combo Kit
Very difficult to kick down.
We utilize a Medeco locks (one a traditional double-key and one an electronic)
The Medeco DOUBLE cyclinders cannot be “bumped.”
A visible camera (in a shield) is on the door for show. The real camera cannot be seen.
Home Security Systems aren’t just for vacations!
Use them every time you leave the home empty!
Few intruders will persist with an alarm blaring.
Depending on your circumstances, you may want to set the alarm before tucking yourself in at night.
If you’re armed, your weapon should be accessible to you, but not a stranger or a child.
Its location should allow you to be in a defensible position within seconds.
The Current FReepathon Pays For The Current Quarters Expenses?
Just some random thoughts:
Good lighting makes you a lot less attractive as a target at night. For example, the house I live at is by far the best lit in the neighborhood. Plenty of poorly lit ones all around. Guess who is less likely to get “hit”?
Another thing is good deadbolts. Sure, thugs can just go through a window, but that takes time, makes noise, and can cut the thugs up pretty good if they aren’t careful.
Make sure a weapon is easily accessible at all times. If kids are around your home, one of those gun safes with keypad entry is a good investment. They can be openned in seconds, and most of them will “lock up” if a kid tries some random combos more than a few times.
Finally, a beware of dog sign — even if you don’t have a dog — can be a “discourager.”
Those with alarm buttons on their car keys should keep one close to bedside so it can be activated if someone breaks in while you are sleeping. Also, many stores carry portable boat alarms that can be kept bedside. They are VERY loud, I bought mine (large size) at Wally World for less than$20.00. It's also useful for treks into the woods and scaring off animals. I imagine most sporting goods stores would carry them.
Every adult in the house needs to be armed.
Every juvenile that you feel responsible enough to train to shoot, should be taught.
Many, many people are shot after answering the door. The doorway is a fatal funnel that invaders have to navigate. Don’t get caught in it.
I have a rule amongst my family and friends.
If you didn’t call ahead, then you are uninvited and I am not answering the door unless you do call.
This goes double for strangers.
Most burglaries on residences happen on a side that is not visible to police patrol. Strangers, particularly juveniles walking down your street, make note and watch them. Talk with you neighbors and agree to watch them as a community. Crooks hate attention.
ping read later
All THAT to protect yourself? Any LIBERAL will tell you that all you really need is a “SOUL BROTHER” sign to put in the window in bad times.
One of the novel ideas from it include the use of surplus military cargo nets strung across the back of doors and windows. cheap, strong and easy to put up and take down.
ping for later
Here in NC, we don’t filter our news through the United Kingdom. It gets here faster.
I live in a rural area and in a location that people just don’t happen by, so what I do won’t work in some places. Anyone that comes on the property gets met with a shotgun if I don’t think they belong here. That includes contract crews working on R/Ws and tree companies.
That usually results in the crew’s foreman or boss back at the office calling the sheriff who then calls me and explains what’s going on. If I find a vehicle that doesn’t belong here, I call the law and it gets towed.
I generally leave well tenders alone unless they get on a parcel where their company has no rights. The last one I caught, I got his attention with a rifle. His boss called me later to express his unhappiness.
A few times a month, I’ll go out at night and just fire the shotgun. Maybe once. Maybe twice. I like to do that between 1:00 and 3:00 am. Occasionally I’ll use a rifle. More frequently I’ll shoot something with a .22 at night.
Several years ago the gas company had to shut down the gas line through here. They knocked on the door around 2:00 am to let us know. When they saw the shotgun their eyes looked like dinner plates. What surprises them is when you catch them from behind.
During hunting season, I’ve been known to be in the woods around 3:00 am waiting to catch any folks that get on the property.
Others that were someplace close and actually fired a gun, hit the ground when I went through twenty one rounds of .308 in response. The neighbor across the way saw them by looking through her son’s scope. She didn’t know the two men could run that fast.
Needless to say, the word has gotten out.
I live in the ‘hood’, so I can tell you what I have done.
1. I have security bars on all windows, and security doors on all doors. Even the sliding glass door is secure.
2. Big spot light in the front yard, with motion detector that when activated will stay on 15 minutes.
3. No tress or bushes to hide behind in the front yard, except for overgrown sticker bush which actually goes up against the house and covers the bedroom window. No way anyone can get behind it.
4. 6 foot wooden fence around the entire backyard. Backyard that has 3 large Labrador retrievers that bark and head for the fence at any sound. They may not be trained killers, but who really wants to jump in the backyard with a pack of large dogs.
5. Develop a reputation of a “crazy” person that no one wants to deal with. I live between two schools on the corner and I do not have a shortcut path through my yard. It takes some time to develop the reputation, but it pays off with far fewer issues from the locals. Being “the crazy white Guy” of the neighborhood has eliminated no telling how many potential issues.
I think you live next door to me. ;)
Thanks for your post.
I don’t understand the cargo nets though. I’m guessing they can’t easily be cut through?
Some random thoughts...
A dog; motion sensor lighting; dead bolts; alarm warning sign
(no actual alarm which I see as after-the-fact worthless).
Important: Be careful as to who knows I have anything of value.
If someone gets in when no one is home they might steal my TV and VCR...
...but they won’t find anything else of any value.
If someone “tries” to get in while family are here...
they are all armed and trained as to what to do...
...(dialing 911 is the last item on the list).
All the houses in our neighborhood that are hit do not have alarm systems. They walk/drive right by the ones with alarm system signs out front.
Good ideas bookmark.
“...Develop a reputation of a crazy person that no one wants to deal with...
Very good point; I am that guy.
“...portable boat alarms...”
Tell me more?
I have a specific technical question that I know Freepers can answer.
I have a large window on the attached garage to our house. When you walk or drive down the street, you are able to look in this window into the garage and see if there are any cars inside. In other words, if you see no cars, it might be safe to assume no one is home.
I do not want to put giant curtains over this window and I need and appreciate the light that comes in.
Can someone tell me the specific brand and store or supplier where you can get a reflective film coating for windows that allows light in, but does not allow people to see in? A mirror type film or the like. One way glass so to speak.
I’ve looked online but am not sure what really works and is cost effective.
Thanks in advance for the help.
“...I do not want to put giant curtains over this window...
Then you do not want to take your security seriously.
It does wonders. I believe meatloaf at post 16 has it down pat also.
Would a white, half curtain work? Your house is probably too nice for this, but I rented a shack where I would paint the inside of the glass a thin white, leaving a portion nearer the top clear so that I could see the sky.
Any hardware store should have that window surfacing that you mentioned.
“Rule #1: Dont be a member of an immigrant community known for harboring gangs and smuggling in cash and expensive jewelry past customs and IRS agents, and then keep that undeclared property in your home so it cant be taxed or counted against you when you apply for welfare benefits.”
Actually, you bring up a good point, that I’ve mentioned before, which is the following:
In general, people will NOT invade a house unless they know that there is some kind of a payoff possible. For example, if they know that there is some nice jewelry, it might be worth an invasion. So how do they know if there’s jewelry? Well, you have a plumber that you really trust, which is fine - he’s 52 years old, really nice, and has been in business for 25 years. But what about his 22 year old assistant (who might speak broken English, or who might be a red-blooded American)? That’s where the problem starts. This 22 year old may actually be background-checked (although not necessarily), and may be as clean as a whistle, but he may also have friends from high school that he tips off, for a cut of the action. You simply never know. So now the assistant knows your house, and sure enough, his ‘friends’ get the booty.
So, for the above, what can be done? The best answer is to MINIMIZE the number of strangers that go inside of your house. And the way to do that is to not need a plumber, but to change the water heater yourself - or do the tiling yourself. Or, at worst, hide EVERYTHING of value if you do bring outsiders in.
In fact, here in Houston, one big Air Conditioning company, Weeks (I believe), now advertises that they run background checks on all of their employees. They even go as far as advertising that Air Conditioning repair is the NUMBER ONE trade studied by incarcerated criminals here in Texas. It’s a nasty way to draw customers, but that’s life. What Weeks doesn’t mention is whether they perform background checks on the ‘friends’ of their workers...which, of course, they don’t, since that is virtually impossible.
So, it’s a lot to expect everyone to be functionally capable in the key trades (i.e., electrical, plumbing, AC repair, etc.) as I am, but it’s not as hard as it might sound. For example, I had an instructor once say that 90% of AC problems are electrical-related (as opposed to freon). Well, I’ve dealt with 6 problems, and, sure enough, all 6 have been electrical (4 capacitors, 1 relay, 1 condenser motor). They are not hard to troubleshoot. Likewise, nearly everything one needs to know about residential electrical work can be found in a basic book on the subject. Likewise with plumbing. Still not comfortable with it - make junior learn something useful, in addition to wasting his time being a ‘Communications’ major.
I have a rule amongst my family and friends.
If you didnt call ahead, then you are uninvited and I am not answering the door unless you do call.
I could not agree more. I do not open the door to anyone that I am not expecting. No one should ever feel obligated to open their door to anyone.
Ladies, this particularly applies to you. Further, keep your doors and windows locked. Many criminals find their way into a victim's home via an open window or door.
Here’s a trick I heard to keep your car from being broken into. Leave an empty holster on your dashboard.
I think that I’ll comment on every posting on this topic...as this is critical stuff, given what happened in Argentina and will likely happen here, once people add up our national debt and compare it to our ability to ever repay.
“DJ Jamb Armour Combo Kit”
Agree - at worst it buys you time. It’s not hard to make a door “human-proof”. Of course if they ram it with a truck, you’re out of luck. But then that goes back to my first post on this. You simply don’t want them to have a strong reason to invade. If they don’t have a strong reason, they likely will give up when they encounter resistance. Let them hit the airhead down the street.
I like the baby monitor idea, and we have about a dozen of them.
“One way glass so to speak”
That only works if it is dark inside. If the lights are on it is no good. What about mini blinds you could open for light or close for privacy?
“Few intruders will persist with an alarm blaring.”
Correct. A key point here is to make it AS DIFFICULT AS POSSIBLE for the bad guy to find the alarm controller and disable it. You need to have the controller, and the horn, in places where it will be difficult for a criminal to find. So, if the controller is in a closet - then secure the closet door, as if it’s an exterior door. Make him spend a LOT of time trying to get through it, to get to the controller. Same for the horn.
Hope one of these categories helps you. As you'll note, some are quite reasonably priced (and can be used around your house as well)!
“Finally, a beware of dog sign even if you dont have a dog can be a discourager.”
Good point. Bad guys seem to have an irrational fear of dogs (which I, and I’m sure, most of you, love). They are simply scared to death of them. In fact, they found ancient Roman ruins with tiling that also said “beware of dog”, or Canis, as they called it.
“Those with alarm buttons on their car keys should keep one close to bedside so it can be activated if someone breaks in while you are sleeping.”
Brilliant idea. Having a screaming alarm will scare the bad guy and may cause the neighbor the call the pigs (as OWS calls them).
I painted the window on my garage back door (nobody can see it anyway).
How about that “frost” stuff in a can for Christmas? You might still be able to find some on sale - I wonder if that would frost the windows enough to prevent seeing through, but still let some sunlight in. Kind of like the frosted glass in my bathroom window?
Or - if you have the bucks - replace them with frosted glass.
“If you didnt call ahead, then you are uninvited and I am not answering the door unless you do call.”
Answering the door for strangers, for me, pretty much ended in the 1970s. It was nice to be able to do that - but, like you, you’re simply too exposed (unless a spouse literally has your back covered).
“They walk/drive right by the ones with alarm system signs out front.”
Which brings up the concept of having phoney alarm warning signs. This works - it’s a bit unethical, especially if your signs call out a company that’s not linked to your house. But what the heck, all’s fair in love and war.
I've used it and it works fine, but if a curtain or hands are bumping the window a lot, then it wears off, it is excellent for someone who wants to try the idea first.
If one does not have a dog and puts out the Beware Of Dog sign, a large dog bone left out in the driveway adds to the ambiance you want to achieve.
“...I do not want to put giant curtains over this window...
Then you do not want to take your security seriously.”
I’m with you, Repeal, you cannot let others know of your status regardless of what the misses thinks. You must secure yourself as much as possible. To go a bit further, I have a large number of cars, and a large number of garage stalls to put them in. But even so, I INTENTIONALLY leave some out, just so the bad guys think there’s someone here.