If you have been hesitant to invest in a professionally installed and monitored home security system, or if you have disbanded such a service because you were not happy with it, how can you adequately secure your home on your own? One of the obvious advantages that a monitored system will have is the automatic dialing of law enforcement, should the alarm be tripped and not turned off. However, the far more important attribute of a security system is that it provides warning if a portal is breached. Such early warning systems can be accomplished with a comparatively modest investment in the right equipment. For those that believe in self-defense and personal protection, it is the warning system that we are most interest in. The authorities will never make it on time to save you, so calling 911 as part of your overall action plan is sound, but you must provide your own security.
When we approach home security we want to deter, harden, and provide warning. Finally, we need to be prepared to defeat a home invasion through force. The only force that can do this reliably is ballistic, thus quickly accessible home defense guns are necessary. Preferably, your first weapon of defense in a home invasion should be your usual, the gun on your person. Home carry is the only true way to keep a gun accessible in the home. Here, however, we will take a look at three available products to deter threats, to slow their entry, and to provide the home defender with early warning so that they have time to arm and prepare:
Deter – Motion Activated Lighting
An excellent deterrent, that can also act as early warning on some occasions as well, is motion activated lighting. Criminals prefer to go unseen and the strategic placement of motion lights that will illuminate the areas criminal actors may use to cloak their advance on your property go a long way towards deterring such activity. An excellent technology for this is the motion sensor lights that actually network together so that when one goes off they all do. This means that your entire surrounding yard can light up when any one of these lights is triggered, leaving nowhere to hide in darkness. Here is one possible product for your consideration:
Harden Entry – Door Security Bars
The doors to the home remain the most common point of forced entry, but windows should also be secured and kept locked. One good way to secure windows is to cut dowels of wood to the exact height of the upper window frame and Velcro them in place above the opening lower frame. This way you can ensure that the only way to open the window from the outside is to break the glass, yet from inside you can quickly and easily remove the dowel if you need to open the window to escape fire or another emergency.
Also, ensure that your exterior doors use deadbolts in addition to the regular locking doorknob, and use long screws to sink well into the frame on the strike plates. This turns an average one-kick door into a multi-kick door. In addition to this, however, a way to truly make the door hard to breach is to use a door-stop of some kind like this one:
Provide Warning – Motion Sensor Alarm
No matter how hard you make the doors or windows, a determined invader may still get in. Therefore, we need to provide a means of warning, especially during the hours of sleep. When in a deep sleep in an upstairs bedroom you can very easily not wake even to the sound of a smashed door or window. Therefore, we need a loud early warning system that will alert us to a breach of the home. You can set noise-making alarms on the actual doors and windows, but I find even the loud ones can be difficult to hear. I think a great alternative is motion sensors that set off an alarm that you can place next to your bed.
Motion detectors can be problematic if you have kids or others in the house that may be up and about while you are in bed. However, these motion sensors can be placed strategically to focus on inside locations that perhaps won’t be disturbed by other home occupants, or you will need to facilitate a way to activate the system to accommodate the household in some way. Even a very simple and inexpensive system can work well. For example, I use a sensor that will detect movement in my basement level or mid-level of my house. Therefore, regardless of what portal is breached, if anything moves on either ground levels of my home in the night I will be alerted to it. The sensor gets plugged in right next to me at night and is loud enough to wake me from even a deep sleep. Here is a good option for this:
Between lighting, hardened portals, and an early warning alarm, you can secure your home so that you have the needed time to arm and prepare should you face a violent home invasion.