There are certain things you can purchase to assist in having a safer home:
1. Loud, scary dog
2. Scratchy bushes beneath windows
3. Bars on windows
4. Better Lock
5. Aegis Security System and Cameras
While these are great ideas, they're only one step you need to take to secure your home.
Let's look at the layers of defense that make up your home:
deter, delay, and defense.
Convincing your intruder that there is a better target somewhere else. The higher the risk, the less likely humans are prone to take action. The higher the perceived reward, the more likely they are willing to take a risk to obtain 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. Sometimes the sticker or sign out in front is enough to keep a potential thief away.
Cameras are viewed by police as the most effective deter tools. Intruders will not approach a home with surveillance. Being able to monitor your home from your smart phone, anywhere and anytime, sets your mind at ease about intruders. You can be alerted when there is any motion on your property.
The idea behind this layer is to delay the intruder as long as possible. If they are delayed, they may be interrupted or seen, or they may get spooked and leave before gaining access to your home.
Replace the screws in your manufactured doors with longer and stronger ones. Go to the hardware store and pick up a handful of screws about 2.5 – 3″ long. Open your door and, one at a time, remove and replace the screws affixing the hinge to the door frame. The longer screws will go through the frame and into the studs, making your door stronger. Place lock bars on windows. These can be simple and inexpensive ways to effectively delay an intruder.
Consider buying a deadbolt if your exterior door is not currently connected to one. You can purchase one at home depot that can be connected to your alarm system, or used on its own through the app that comes with it.
The final layer is the one entirely too many think they should start with – defense. Taking physical action against an intruder is your last option. Simply put, it means your other security layers failed. Defense involves the use of weapons such as firearms, pepper spray, stun guns, even improvised things like baseball bats or wasp spray. In a pinch, pretty much anything can be used as a projectile weapon, including cans of soup or books. It really boils down to what you are comfortable using to defend yourself and your family.
While firearms are generally seen as the best option, if you aren’t trained in their use or, even worse, are deathly afraid of handguns, then don’t buy one! Without training and proper respect for the weapon, you’ll likely do far more harm than good. Far better to use a defense weapon with which you are reasonably comfortable. Practice using it, to such a degree that you’ve ingrained some muscle memory. This will help prevent you from freezing up should the moment arrive you need to use it for real.
I also highly recommend looking into some form of martial art or other self-defense class. Not only are the skills taught useful, it is great exercise. Knowing Karate is often a deterrent in itself; most Martial Artist who have studied for decades have never needed to use their skills for defense.
Each layer is as important as the next. Making each a focus will ensure your safety.
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