Home Security - 10 simple tips

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Gazrok

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I'm sure a lot of folks know these, but you never know if one or two of these may not be known.

1. Deadbolt locks on all exterior doors. Additionally, you can also get something like Deadbolt Secure to prevent one from bumping or picking the lock: http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Bolt-Secure-Prevent-Bumping/dp/B0030D2H1O

2. Reinforce door jambs. Simply replace the current screws with 3" long screws that go into the door frame. This one cheap step increases your door integrity by many factors.

3. Kickplates for exterior doors. These are great and are a great deterrent as well, as it signifies to a would be intruder that you are prepared for them. Make it even more formidable by adding a top and bottom bolt lock to your door, to make it even harder to kick in.

4. Replace inner doorknobs with exterior locking doorknobs. Mostly, this is really for bedrooms, but I also expanded this to any door that leads to a room that has an exterior door as well. I don't know about you, but I can open a standard interior door lock with a pair of scissors or a steak knife in about 3 seconds flat. They offer no security at all, so all of our bedrooms have exterior knobs instead. For convenience, they all take the same master key, so we bought these as a landlord would buy apartment locks.

5. Create a cheap, but effective panic room. Replace a walk-in closet door with a custom cut thick wood door. Add some of the exterior door measures mentioned above, and you basically have a cheap, but effective panic room. Put a pre-paid cell-phone in there (and even a weapon), along with a basic first aid kit, and some emergency food/water, and you and/or your loved ones well able to wait in safety.

6. Alarms. As it would be pretty easy for someone to cut power, I prefer alarms that are battery powered, with a scheduled battery replacement rotation. Also good for post SHTF. I like these, but any similar ones are great for doors and windows. After a while, engaging them at night becomes ritual routine. http://www.amazon.com/GE-Personal-S...7171198&sr=8-1&keywords=wireless+window+alarm

7. Motion-sensor exterior lighting. You can easily convert existing exterior lights to motion sensor ones. It can be a bit pricey if you want to make them decorative as well, but this is one very big deterrent to an intruder (and a good alert to your neighbors). Better yet, it deters an intruder so that they may just leave and never even pose a threat. There are tons of varieties here, but if none of the other steps here are done, this should be the ONE you do.

8. Use of thorny plants. Under our windows, we grow plants such as very thorny rosebushes, spike aloe vera, etc. Pretty much deters folks from wanting to access the house through the windows (and if they do, the alarms mentioned above are handy too). Additionally, the roses and aloe have SHTF applications as well.

9. Sliding glass doors, Door Guardian. While bars and other options are available, I like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Cardinal-Gate...71104&sr=8-3&keywords=sliding+glass+door+lock as it is just easier to use. Comes in black also.

10. Security film. This stuff is great, and fairly inexpensive. http://www.amazon.com/Security-Wind...47171666&sr=8-1&keywords=window+security+film The weakest spot in any home defense is generally glass windows. This quickly minimizes the risk from this entry point. It's great for storm protection too.

Those are my top 10, and inexpensive solutions (basically all are under $50, even the panic room door can just be self-cut wood), but there are some other ones as well.

_______________________________

A home alarm system. This is great if you live in the city. For about $40 a month, you can have a pretty decent system. In rural areas, this can be a waste of money (would take the police about 10 to 20 minutes to get out to me, for example), but in a city, can be well worth it.

Dogs. What can I say? They are a deterrent, and even small dogs can make noise and raise the alarm of an intruder. Larger dogs may even tear into one. (though if they do, I'd recommend shooting to kill the intruder...so they don't then sue you for the dog attack. Sounds crazy, but it has happened before, and the crook has won). Dead people can't sue.

Metal exterior doors. This is pretty expensive, but it certainly is effective.

Iron security grills over windows. Again, expensive, but effective.

Cameras. Can be a bit paranoid, but if you have a good deal of land, it does make it pretty easy to check things out. Also, a bit expensive up front, but could be part of a paid security system too, vs. stand-alone. We plan to add this eventually, we just have to do a lot of running cable to make it work, for the distances involved.

Driveway alert. I personally like the Dakota series of these. Cheap options usually never live up to the range stated, so buyer beware (I've bought several I then had to return, as they didn't communicate even half their stated range, effectively).
 

jontte

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really like that suggestion;shoot the intruder as I do have a dog,that pooch would undoubtly bite you to shreads if I'm not here or I feel threatened,he already scared the living shit out of the caretaker once,when he tried to use the master key to enter my flat to check the radiators. thanks to the inner door which he closed really quick ,he came out in one piece
 

Brent S

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really like that suggestion;shoot the intruder as I do have a dog,that pooch would undoubtly bite you to shreads if I'm not here or I feel threatened,he already scared the living shit out of the caretaker once,when he tried to use the master key to enter my flat to check the radiators. thanks to the inner door which he closed really quick ,he came out in one piece
Even if your dogs are nice and like people, lots of crooks will move on when seeing signs of dogs.
 

DrHenley

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LOL, growing up, my sister had an English Setter named Trish. My sister never once saw that dog even so much as growl at someone. The sweetest dog in the world. But when my sister wasn't home one day, the meter man came into Trish's back yard unescorted and Trish literally treed him and I had to rescue him. Any stranger or strange dog that walked into her yard or threatened her or a member of her family and she instantly turned into Cujo with a ferocity that actually startled some dogs twice her size.
 

Gazrok

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Please feel free to add any others! Forgot to mention that part!

My lab/chow would tear into an intruder, yet he is completely ruled by the alpha chihuahua female of the house. (and generally is a big cuddly dog)

He's also kind of "iffy" when it's someone we don't know though, so when a stranger is over, we always have him chained and muzzled until he's gotten used to them (if he has to stay inside). It's one of those rubber catcher-like muzzles, which I like, because he can still drink with it and all. Pretty rare that someone is over that he doesn't know yet though. If many strangers are over, we simply let him run around the dog yard instead. Don't want to take the chance on him biting someone. He'd probably just nip at them when their back was turned, but why risk it? Easier to let him run around.
 

Brent S

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my dog would probably love them to death,if given the chance....
My inside dog would take you to the valuables for any kind of people food! The outside dogs are protective, but not overly dangerous. I definately like having an early warning system with them.
 

jimLE

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we're getting rain here.but not that much.mornings start out in the lower 40's,and warm up to the 60's
 

Brent S

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we're getting rain here.but not that much.mornings start out in the lower 40's,and warm up to the 60's
We're not far off from the temps you have there, but the mountains keep me a little cooler in the summer. I'm at about 1100 ft above sea level here. (Practically beachfront after global warming :) ).
 

Clyde

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I'm sure a lot of folks know these, but you never know if one or two of these may not be known.

1. Deadbolt locks on all exterior doors. Additionally, you can also get something like Deadbolt Secure to prevent one from bumping or picking the lock: http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Bolt-Secure-Prevent-Bumping/dp/B0030D2H1O

2. Reinforce door jambs. Simply replace the current screws with 3" long screws that go into the door frame. This one cheap step increases your door integrity by many factors.

3. Kickplates for exterior doors. These are great and are a great deterrent as well, as it signifies to a would be intruder that you are prepared for them. Make it even more formidable by adding a top and bottom bolt lock to your door, to make it even harder to kick in.

4. Replace inner doorknobs with exterior locking doorknobs. Mostly, this is really for bedrooms, but I also expanded this to any door that leads to a room that has an exterior door as well. I don't know about you, but I can open a standard interior door lock with a pair of scissors or a steak knife in about 3 seconds flat. They offer no security at all, so all of our bedrooms have exterior knobs instead. For convenience, they all take the same master key, so we bought these as a landlord would buy apartment locks.

5. Create a cheap, but effective panic room. Replace a walk-in closet door with a custom cut thick wood door. Add some of the exterior door measures mentioned above, and you basically have a cheap, but effective panic room. Put a pre-paid cell-phone in there (and even a weapon), along with a basic first aid kit, and some emergency food/water, and you and/or your loved ones well able to wait in safety.

6. Alarms. As it would be pretty easy for someone to cut power, I prefer alarms that are battery powered, with a scheduled battery replacement rotation. Also good for post SHTF. I like these, but any similar ones are great for doors and windows. After a while, engaging them at night becomes ritual routine. http://www.amazon.com/GE-Personal-S...7171198&sr=8-1&keywords=wireless+window+alarm

7. Motion-sensor exterior lighting. You can easily convert existing exterior lights to motion sensor ones. It can be a bit pricey if you want to make them decorative as well, but this is one very big deterrent to an intruder (and a good alert to your neighbors). Better yet, it deters an intruder so that they may just leave and never even pose a threat. There are tons of varieties here, but if none of the other steps here are done, this should be the ONE you do.

8. Use of thorny plants. Under our windows, we grow plants such as very thorny rosebushes, spike aloe vera, etc. Pretty much deters folks from wanting to access the house through the windows (and if they do, the alarms mentioned above are handy too). Additionally, the roses and aloe have SHTF applications as well.

9. Sliding glass doors, Door Guardian. While bars and other options are available, I like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Cardinal-Gate...71104&sr=8-3&keywords=sliding+glass+door+lock as it is just easier to use. Comes in black also.

10. Security film. This stuff is great, and fairly inexpensive. http://www.amazon.com/Security-Wind...47171666&sr=8-1&keywords=window+security+film The weakest spot in any home defense is generally glass windows. This quickly minimizes the risk from this entry point. It's great for storm protection too.

Those are my top 10, and inexpensive solutions (basically all are under $50, even the panic room door can just be self-cut wood), but there are some other ones as well.

_______________________________

A home alarm system. This is great if you live in the city. For about $40 a month, you can have a pretty decent system. In rural areas, this can be a waste of money (would take the police about 10 to 20 minutes to get out to me, for example), but in a city, can be well worth it.

Dogs. What can I say? They are a deterrent, and even small dogs can make noise and raise the alarm of an intruder. Larger dogs may even tear into one. (though if they do, I'd recommend shooting to kill the intruder...so they don't then sue you for the dog attack. Sounds crazy, but it has happened before, and the crook has won). Dead people can't sue.

Metal exterior doors. This is pretty expensive, but it certainly is effective.

Iron security grills over windows. Again, expensive, but effective.

Cameras. Can be a bit paranoid, but if you have a good deal of land, it does make it pretty easy to check things out. Also, a bit expensive up front, but could be part of a paid security system too, vs. stand-alone. We plan to add this eventually, we just have to do a lot of running cable to make it work, for the distances involved.

Driveway alert. I personally like the Dakota series of these. Cheap options usually never live up to the range stated, so buyer beware (I've bought several I then had to return, as they didn't communicate even half their stated range, effectively).
Thanks for finding this!
 

Clyde

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jimLE

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all of the doors that lead to outside of our home have the hinges on the inside..(BUT) the parts of the hinges where the screws go.arent between the door and door frame..
 

Brent S

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I think it's wise to have deadbolts, and normal security, but honestly, a house is really easy to get in by someone who wants to. One rock can gain access thru a window, or a spring loaded in will shatter a glass door easily. Even a cordless power tool can get access thru a wall in just a few moments. With that being said, I do think outside motion lists are smart, along with dogs. I think it would be cool to use a motion sensor, and instead of turning on a light, have it play a recording of really vicious dogs barking and snarling. Above all though, I like having a few guns at the ready, in different locations around the house. I may be killed defending my home, but I will never be a defenseless victim.
 

Gazrok

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Some other things I don't have listed above:

Fencing: It's a good deterrent, time-waster (for crooks), and clearly says Keep Out. We certainly have a lot of that on the ranch. Another addition, adding electric fencing. Most people have pretty unrealistic ideas of what this actually does, mostly from movies. It's a decent zap, but really isn't bad. However, it can certainly make one think twice seeing those little electric fence warnings! (mostly, the intention in reality is to keep livestock from messing with the fences and keep their distance).

False Security System Signing: Again, deterrence is the key. Even if you don't have an actual electronic security system...signs stating you do can certainly cause pause for a would be intruder.

Know your Neighbors: They can definitely be of help if you have an intruder. Nosy neighbors can sometimes be a good thing.

Sure there are others I'm forgetting too.
 

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