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In a previous article, Urban Defense Planning for the Home, it was briefly discussed that designing a home defense system to evade possible criminals is your only way to protect your home, your family and your belongings, as well as alert you to anyone trying to break in. Home invasions are growing more and more frequent these day. Recently in the news, a 15-year-old shot a home invader trying to break into his home.
Desperate individuals feel their cause is justified and important enough to break in, terrorize, attack and steal belongings from others homes. These persons are dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Preventative measures can be put in place to keep these scums far away from your home. Minimize the threat of a home break in or home invasion by adding layers of security to prevent your home from being a possible hit. Security layers are preventative measures put into place that will advertise to possible intruders to avoid your home altogether.
Layer 1: The Outside Layer
- Reinforced doors and locks. There is only 1 ” of wood protecting you in normal door locks.
- Invest in heavy duty door hinges and secure door frames with 3 ” screws.
- Barred windows or European-style security/storm shutters.
- Doors that are not glass or see through.
- Install a peep hole for the door.
- Never rely on a chain latch as an effective barrier (they are easily broken if the door is kicked in).
- Install infrared flood lights, or motion detector lights around the perimeter of the home.
- A gate at the front of the driveway that has spikes at the top to prevent someone from jumping over the fence
- Never leave a spare key hidden under a rock or door mat. Too many people do this and it is the first place a criminal is going to look.
- Cut back large trees or bushes near the windows to provide concealment. Additionally, putting thorn bushes in their place would be advantageous.
- Have a guard dog trained to attack. And place “beware of dog” signs in the front and side gates of the home.
Layer 2: The Inside Layer
- Consider investing in an alarm and advertise that you have one by placing stickers in windows and signs in the yard.
- Consider adding a 2-way voice feature to the existing alarm system. This feature enables your security system to communicate directly through the control panel. This feature also allows you to call into your system and be able to listen to any activity or speak to your child or other family members who are home.
- Position web cams strategically in hidden areas. Place the computer that is monitoring the locations in a hidden spot so the criminals do not walk off with the computer.
- Have emergency plans and protocols set up where children or teens can see them. Additionally, have important contact phone numbers next to the plan.
- Teach the household how to call 9-1-1, and have a script ready for them to read to the dispatcher. This will help keep them explain calmly to the dispatcher what the emergency situation is.
- Teach members of the home different escape routes to use in case they need to leave the home, as well as a code word to use for the family to immediately leave the home to go to a safe location.
- Close all curtains and blinds at nighttime and set the alarm.
- Keep purses, car keys, money and jewelry away from windows were burglars can look in and see. This only makes them want to break in more.
- If a gun is in the home, have it locked up or put away so that smaller children do not try to use it.