Three Layers Of Home Security

When we talk about security and defense, it seems as though many people are just concerned with stockpiling weapons and ammunition. The reality, though, is that it takes a layered approach to adequately address the issue. Any real and effective security isn’t accomplished just by:

  • Buying a loud, scary looking dog
  • Putting bars on the windows
  • Posting a “This house protected by Remington” sign on the front door
  • Planting thorny bushes under each window
  • Paying for an expensive security system

Your home security plan might include some of these (the sign is definitely not a good idea!), but other steps as well.

Bear in mind, too, that we’re not just talking about security and defense in a grid down, no “rule of law” situation. This stuff applies to our day-to-day lives as well. GE Personal Security W... Best Price: $8.56 Buy New $8.99 (as of 10:30 EST - Details)

There are different ways to look at and approach the home security puzzle but I like to boil it down to three basic layers – Deter, Delay, and Defend.


Deterring an attack means convincing possible intruders that they should seek a better target elsewhere. Human beings generally make decisions based on risk versus reward. The higher the perceived reward, the more risk they are willing to take to obtain it. Of course, the flip side to that is also true – the lower the perceived reward, the less they are willing to do to get it.

From a home security standpoint, much of deterrence involves keeping things low-key and hidden from view. For example, you finally have saved up enough money to buy a new TV. After bringing it home and setting it up, don’t just toss the box out with the trash bins! Doing so tells every person walking and driving by that you have a brand spanking new TV, just waiting for someone to steal. Instead, either cut the box up and put the pieces in your recycling bin or do what we do and reuse the cardboard for projects around the house. The basic idea with the deter layer is to limit the perceived reward so ne’er-do-wells look elsewhere.

Getting a dog is another thing you can do to make your home a less attractive target. Burglars are less likely to hit homes with a loud yappy dog. Another strategy for some people is to buy a home security system, but then let the subscription service quietly expire. Sometimes the sticker or sign out in front is enough to keep a potential thief away.

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