10 Clever Home Security Tips

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10 Clever Home Security Tips

In the USA, there is a home break-in every 15 seconds. I want you to consider that and the time it takes you to read this article. The Bureau of Justice also reported that over 1/3 of break ins happen at the front door!

For all that we do to protect our homes in America, one third of the time we are either duped into letting someone right into the front door or we have not fortified our property and entryways enough to humble bad guys and keep them from gaining access to our home.

I should also lead with the fact that alarms work and if you can install one, it is in your benefit. It’s true alarms can be bypassed, but the reality is that an alarm at least triggers a police response and lets the bad guys know they're on a time crunch.

That is, assuming the police are not already too busy to come save you.

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1. Concentric Circles

This is all about perspective. When you think about home security, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it a door or a window? Maybe it’s a gate. I want you to zoom out even more. Zoom out to your yard and then to your street, see your neighbors houses and the properties that surround yours.

Now imagine there are concentric circles getting smaller and until they tightly encircle your own home. The circles make up something like a many walled city surrounding your home. You can affect a bad guy at all of these levels with things like surveillance, deterrents, and physical defenses.

As we walk through these home security tips, consider how they could be used at the farthest circle from your home and the nearest. Detecting a threat further away is more valuable than anything you can do when a threat is already at your door.

2. Surveillance

The age of the Ring camera is upon us. More Americans are recording the activities on their front porch and front yard than ever before. These devices are very effective, motion activated, and are a great way to drop in and check on your home.

I would recommend a ring camera, but you should also consider a closed loop camera system that does not require an internet connection or cloud storage and a phone app. If we suffer an off grid disaster, man made or otherwise, then the solar powered cameras are going to be a lot better than your ring. Might as well have both!

3. Neighbor Alliance

There was a time when the neighbor alliance was an ideal to strive toward. We are now reaching a point in our nation where the neighbor alliance could be the difference between life and death.

No matter how you slice it and how you organize the blaming structure, our nation has been invaded by enemies that wish to do harm to us and our infrastructure. When and where they show up is the only part that remains unknown. Being able to answer to that threat in force with a neighborhood alliance could be the only thing that separates your story from something resembling Israel on October 7th.

It would only take a handful of attacks in a major city to completely overwhelm the police force. Then those in the suburbs will be largely on their own. How would your neighborhood fare against 10 armed men intent on terrorizing and killing?

4. Become a Living Deterrent

This security tip is something of a tributary off the previous tip. What are you really capable of? What condition are you in? You know, a person in good physical condition who is ready to face the world carries themselves a certain way. It's visible. Hell, it's nearly palpable.

It’s time to get strong and trained enough to secure your home should that be required. A person who meets those criteria will stand out and will become a living deterrent. Why deal with the guy who is big and strong? He looks like the guy who carries a pistol and God knows what other weapons he has in his home.

Most bad guys won’t. They will pick another place to visit in the dark of night.

5. Trail Cameras

Don’t just depend on cameras that are attached to your home to find the bad guys. Sometimes cars drive by your home or people traipse in places they do not belong. The beautiful thing about a trail camera is that it's camouflaged and completely detached from the home. You can strap them up anywhere.

I recommend one in long driveways or attached to trees on side streets for capturing license plates. Others can be put in yards or the edge of woods to see who might be lurking. These are great tools for gathering intelligence on who has been in your neighborhood at night.

6. Big Scary Dogs

There are two trains of thought when it comes to guard dogs. The first is their bark alone is enough to alarm you. So, big or small, a dog is a good security measure. The second train of thought is big dogs are scary so bad guys stay away. 

I have pitbulls. My family is a pit bull family. Now, I cannot be sure exactly how my 80lb AmStaff, Bowser, is going to act should someone make the worst decision of their life and break into my house. That said, I don’t know too many people who would like to put themselves through that experiment. They call that FAFO.

Big dogs work. Bully breeds are some of the best because they carry a stigma with them and they have superhero strength.

7. A New Kind of Lights: GOVEE

Do you want to really light your property up? Porch Lights are what they are, right? GOVEE lights are an incredible LED lighting system that can basically be stuck anywhere you like and lit with any number of colors.

Most people buy these GOVEE lights for holiday decoration. They are great for that and are fundamentally the reason that I bought them. However, while wrapping my home with these high powered LED lights, I realized that it would be just as beneficial to leave these things on all year.

There are around 50 LEDs wrapping my front porch around the home to my back porch. You can control these lights on your phone, change the colors, set timers and dim or brighten them with the slide of a finger.

If someone decides to approach my home at night they will be lit up like they are on a Hollywood set. They should pose, too, because they will also be on camera. There are too many risk factors for the average criminal in a situation like that.

8. Install Door Armor

There is a product lurking on the internet that I rarely see promoted these days. In fact, I stopped into their website just to be sure they were still out there doing business and they are. The company is known as armor concepts and they sell a product that I use on my own home called Door Armor.

This stuff should just be standard on new home builds. It is basically steel planting that goes over your striker plate, over the latch, a large piece of steel that drills into the door frame and reinforced door hinges.

It really is the ultimate package for reinforcing your main entryways.

9. Create a BUMP Retreat

No matter how prepared you are there is such a thing as overwhelming force. For the average person that might just mean two guys with guns. If a group of people are trying to break into your home, you might do better to get away from the chaos rather than have a firefight in the living room and risk dying.

A BUMP Retreat is just a place close to your home that you can escape to. This location should have things like clothing to change into, communications, charging devices, lights, medical, and possibly weapons.

A shed on your property might be a perfect place or a hidden spot in the woods. Just by using a medium to large sized waterproof cache you will be able to store everything you need. Hide the cache so no one can find it and you will be good to go.

10. Build a Simple Safe Room

If the retreat concept doesn’t work for you then you can fortify your room in your home and create a simple safe room. Now, this could be an existing bedroom or you can convert a room and the entrance to it into a secret entrance that only your family knows about.

The walls of a safe room need to be fortified by sandwiching 7/16 inch sheet metal between two layers of drywall. This creates a bulletproof wall. Should the bad guys realize you are hiding in a safe room and try to shoot their way in this will stop them. Of course this room will also need a fortified doorway and locking mechanism.

Inside the safe room you should have all the things you need to survive for several hours. In most cases you are going to either trigger an alarm or call the police and this will put the bad guys in the home on notice. They gotta leave soon or else face the police.

However, in an event like a terrorist attack, the bad guys might have a lot more time. So, plan for that as well. If they do make their way in, what course of action can you take? Do you have lethal weapons with you? Do you have an escape hatch at the back of the room? Do some planning and then get building.

Before you hop in the safe room, maybe open a window at the back of the house so it looks like you all slipped out of the home safely. It will give them less reason to search for you.

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