The Secure Home: Guide to Protection, Safety & Due Diligence in Law
So you want to keep your home, property and family safe in troubled times? I don’t blame you. Most smart home owners do. Here is what I have done and the changes I am making now to beef up security after a recent theft and the discovery that my home was being cased for a future burglary.
1. Hardening of the home. Most of the locks available at home improvement stores in the USA are worthless. Bump keys and lock picking sets can be obtained for $10 or so on the internet and anyone with any practice can enter your home in 30-60 seconds.
Solution: Obtain level one protection locks. Many of them have specialty keys and are “un-pickable”, severely hardened and sledge hammer proof. From the deadbolts to the strike plates to the hardened steel screws, these are a deal for their $250-$400 price point.In addition to this you can add steel jambs for reinforcement. If you would like to go a step further you can order door hardening equipment online and these steel plates can run the length of your door and make it virtually impossible to enter via crowbar. I did this last year and each add-on was just a few hundred dollars.
2. A home is only as safe as its weakest point. Windows are traditionally a week point. Many solutions exist. You can:
a) Plant prickly hedges or bushes with sharp thorns directly under each lower level window as a deterrent.
b) Invest in secure window locks.
c) Invest in window security film. These are clear films that bind to the glass and even if an intruder was to smash the window with a sledge hammer or rock, the glass might shatter but will hold fast and not crumble away allowing access.
d). Invest in $25-$50 window security bars. These lock over the windows like a gate and are made of high strength steel and make entry virtually impossible. A blow torch is needed at that point.
3. Invest in a security system. I did this over a year ago with ring security cameras. This is a doorbell system with Wi-Fi connected to your phone. When someone is going to break into your home, often they will pose as a delivery person such as flowers, or UPS. Then they ring the doorbell or knock on the door first to ascertain if someone is home. If not they may set about attempting a break in. The idea is you can answer the door bell pretending to be home… and tell them to go away. This might work or it might not depending on the “savviness” of the perpetrator.
This is an “OK” measure of security but I have just gone one step better. I have placed an order for a multi camera system that attaches to a 1 terabyte recording system that can run for hundreds of hours. There are apps that allow you to not only shoot the images to a computer, tablet or notebook but also to alert you via phone. There are some nice 1080P systems available with motion activation and excellent quality night vision. Expect to pay between $200-$400 depending on the system you buy.
4. Install motion activated exterior lights and/or flood lights. This is a “no-brainer” and should go without saying. Every home should have this.
5. Add perimeter security fencing. I have not done this yet, but construction will start as soon as the ground warms up above freezing. There are countless dozens of fences that can secure a property. Some are more secure than others, and there are some inexpensive ways where materials can be had for free or very little cost except your time.
One age old way that has been in use for thousands of years is called a waddle fence. It’s fairly simple, but labor intensive. You can YouTube this style/design to see how it’s built. It’s simply pounding stakes into the ground every so many feet and then basket weaving thin saplings (you can cut them when green as they bend easier, or dry ones can be soaked in water for 24 hours first to make them very pliable and bendable). It looks pretty nice when done. It has a nice old fashioned look to it. I suspect 6 feet high is best to make sure it’s not so easy to just hop over this. It appears amazingly strong and secure if you do it right.
6. Placing warning signs galore is another method. If you go to findlaw.com you can study a few pages on trespass law. It’s a quick subject and easy to understand. In order to be on the “up and up” and prove your due diligence (legal term) as well as your “heightened expectation of privacy” (another legal term) the law requires you to “post” your property with No Trespassing signs every so many feet. These signs need to be signed and dated in most locations of the country and placed where they are eye level and clearly visible.
Another excellent method is to sufficiently warn would be intruders, trespassers or perps as to your intentions. Signs like: “No Trespassing this Property is Protected by Video Surveillance”, “Trespassers will be Prosecuted”, etc. are a great idea.
Other signs like “This Property is Guarded by Dogs. Do Not Enter. Not responsible for injury or death” is an excellent idea. These signs are made of weather proof metal like aluminum.
I personally have ordered all of those above signs and will be staking my land out with this as a warning but as an additional preventative measure I have also ordered signs like this: “Warning! Nothing inside is worth risking your life for. The owners of this property are armed and highly skilled to protect life, liberty and property from criminal attack.”
A bit of warning should be advised here. You are not allowed to do harm to someone for simply being on your property! You cannot simply shoot someone. Nor can you wilfully injure them with “booby traps” like holes, bear traps or sharp stakes (tiger traps). One should never draw a weapon upon another unless you seriously fear for your life. One should never draw a weapon on another for simply being found on or about your property. The only instance that justifies pulling a weapon out is if you are being attacked or about to be attacked. If you ever do draw a firearm a severe warning should be given. Upon aiming a weapon towards an intruder you should demand in a loud voice; “Stop! Back off or I will shoot.” Only upon that person advancing towards you should you pull the trigger. Killing someone is 100% a last resort. I don’t know about you but killing someone is something I have never done, nor do I intend to. But if I am sure that it’s the only way to stop someone from killing me and/or harming my family I would do it; only as a last resort. I would prefer the warning signs, fences/gates and clearly visible surveillance cameras to be a major deterrent.
One more warning; if someone is attempting entry to your home at night, while they know that you are home, you are dealing with a psycho. This is a matter of life or death. Do not take it lightly! Anyone insane enough to break into your home while you and your family are sleeping mean to do you great harm. Call the police immediately! Shout out to the invader that you have a gun and are absolutely going to use it. Get out now or I will shoot to kill. If they do not leave immediately but do come into your home do not hesitate to kill on site. There are a lot of stories you can read on the internet of very sick horrible things happening to a family when a thug or group of thugs have entered another’s home. Beatings, rape, horrible violence or torture can result from that. You simply must protect yourself and your family at that point with all that you have.
7. Get a guard dog. There are several breeds that are well suited to protection. Championship bloodlines are going to cost you $2,000 or more just to buy a puppy and if you want a fully trained protection level dog prices can run from the low end of just $10,000 to $18,000 all the way up to prices of $50-$90K USD. I have seen dozens of dogs that have sold for far over the $50,000 mark. What do you get for this kind of money? Basically a highly trained assassin dog that will bond with you and your family and serve you for the next 10-15 years, 24 hours a day for the price of: love, friendship, food and a warm bed. Not a bad deal when a live in Body Guard could run you $65,000 a year easy! A dog like this is a great deal at this point.
Some of these dogs are so highly trained, smart and alert that words fail to describe it. Watching the videos of various trainers you can see that they are trained often to withstand beatings and physical violence. Gunshots going off or certain code words spoken to these dogs will either put them on guard or in some instances make them get between you and an attacker… and the dog actually will not attack until the perp attempts physical contact with you.
Popular defense breeds are:
German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, Belgian Malinoi, Bull Mastiff, Akita, Giant Schnauzer, Rhodesian Ridgeback , Cane Corso, etc.
Many of these dogs have menacing looks, fierce barks and vicious bites. A few of these dogs are nothing short of gigantic. Their muscles, bones, size and head size would strike fear into any would be attacker if they had half a brain. Which one did I chose? I chose a champion bloodline German Shepherd.
8. Use inexpensive “psychological” deterrents. What if you’re too broke to afford the more expensive options? There are a few psychological things you can do to strike a tad of fear into thieves’ hearts. A long time ago there was a survey done of criminals in jail and they were asked what would make them turn away and seek an easier home. Here is a list of a few things you can do:
a) Inexpensive warning signs with pictures of a violent dog on it.
b) A “fake” TV. It’s just a box with blue light flashing like a television would. You plug it in when you’re not home and it flashes like someone is watching TV all night long.
c) A large pair of construction work boots left outside the door with mud splashed all over them; something like a size 12 or greater, something a 6 foot 5 worker would wear. Just leave them out your front door.
d) A large dog house you can build with scrap lumber from the dump and a giant collar for a huge dog with spikes on it. Maybe an old chain that looks like it would stop a horse, spiked into the ground and attached to the collar with a big dog bowl left by it with water in it. Move this just a little bit every day.
e) A hand written note taped to your door: “Don, please do not enter to fix my pipes today! My son’s pet rattlesnake escaped from his cage, we cannot find him. He’s really poisonous. We will call you when we find him but right now we can’t! It could be anywhere.
f) Leave something outside that can easily be found. Like an old (non-working) leaf blower or non-working chain saw, or some other piece of equipment. Something a thief could easily steal and think that he could sell for $50 for drug money. This can be used as bait so they steal it, rather than bust your door down! Maybe do both.
Note: At the beginning of this article I said that I discovered my home was being cased for a future burglary. Here is a brief description of what happened.
A year ago I discovered my limo unlocked. The gas tank latch was also open. I know how diligent I am. I always lock it and double check the doors. A few months ago I discovered it unlocked again. I believe someone figured out the door code. Obviously I must go to the dealer now for a reset.
Last week I drove the limo and the gas was on empty and the trip odometer said 60 miles. Obviously someone siphoned out all my gas and I have ordered a locking gas cap. As well as a 4G night vision trail camera and subscription plan.
Many days ago 4 awesome mountain bikes were stolen. The thief actually took the time to stand there and figure out the 4 digit code. The lock was off, the numbers lined up perfectly to the combination and they got away with 4 bikes worth about $350 each when new.
Just a few days ago at 5:15am in the pitch black of night I exit my home to walk to my office. The exterior motion light goes off and I see a flashlight in the woods 350 feet away. Whoever it was, was walking and took two steps. They must have seen my light go off and then they immediately shut the flashlight off but I could still hear the heavy boots crunching on the ice. That did it! After bothering me for 13 hours in my mind I finally called the police and sat down with an officer for an hour as he carefully took my statement down. I figured it best there should be a record of this.
Lastly, in closing… Let it be known that some folks believe in passivism and also that a Christian man should never kill someone. Let me say this to all who have a false belief like this in their heads. Moses committed murder. He saw someone doing one of his brethren great wrong and he rose up and slew the man. God never condemned or even mentioned it one time. All through history and especially Biblical History, it has never been a crime to protect or defend oneself or family for that matter. In fact there is a biblical commandment: “If any provide not for his own, specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Timothy 5:8) Now, I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want to deny my responsibility to provide safety and security for my own family. Enough said. We have a duty to protect our loved ones.