Friday, February 20, 2009
I posted about this in the Spanish blog and though I should start one here as well.
Think we’ve been discussing awareness and personal self defense issues enough and it would be nice to get into serious preventive security measures you guys could check and maybe try to improve this weekend.
Many of the cases of burglaries and home invasions occur because people failed at some of the points I’ll cover here.
So lets to this into the usual list, ok?
I’ve written several times about my neighbor and the violent home invasions she suffered.
Still, she keeps making the same mistakes, and keeps paying for that.
She has bushes that provide cover to would be ambushers, she has poor lighting on the front door, she comes back home vary late at night, waking everyone and making lots of noise and talking very laud.
Overall, sloppy security.
-Very basic, but most common mistake: Keep doors and windows shut.
-Don’t stay chitchatting with people in the front door, better to go talk inside. Entering and exiting the home is the most dangerous moment.
-Don’t let ANYONE into your home, until sure. Keep that door closed.
Seriously, call the cop, phone company, or whomever it is knocking and check to make sure. They’ll try to rush you. Don’t let them.
Take your time, think. If its the cops then they wont mind if you call 911, if they don’t like you making the call then hurry up doing it.
This doesn’t go just for you, your wife/husband should also fallow these security habits and the children two. Keep in mind that they are the ones more likely to make such a mistake.
-Careful on the phone and the net. Dotn give away your personal information. We’ve all seen what happened with Face book, criminals using it to profile victims. Fake phone interviews or contests may be used too.
-You obviously need to open the windows regularly to ventilate and let fresh air in, but try to do so with 2nd floor windows or windows that have bars installed, since these are potential entry points.
-Loose lips sink ships. Telling friends about trips you’ll be making ( empty home) or cars or property sold recently (money at home) can end up being commented to the wrong person or simply overheard, you never know. Better to be very cautious about what you tell to who, and if that person can control himself from telling the entire planet about it.
2) Install a home alarm.
A loud one. One that preferably calls the local cops or calls you on the cell. Motions sensors and contact magnets. Some models allow you to monitor what going on through internet, some can be connected with your smoke detector. Make sure it has a backup power supply and if you can afford it an independent cell phone connected and all kept hidden in case they cut the phone lines. Get a “panic” silent option button installed as well, in case you are being taken hostage.
This can be done in most modern alarms.
Its not hard to do yourself, but if not better get professionals install it.
“alarm” or some other sign outside will already warn would be robbers. They’ll go looking for easier targets.
3) Have a reinforced security door.
Bulletproof if you can afford it, it will be money well spent. Have a peep hole as backup to your TV camera intercom.
Many home invasions just occur by kicking the door down. Most doors cant stand a couple good kicks. Let alone a few blows with a sledge hammer or a prybar.
4) Install a high iron fence around the perimeter.
Expensive, but knowing what I know it’s one of the few things I can say is really worth it’s weight in gold when there’s serious crime problems.
If not build a 7 feet high wall, but you need a secured perimeter as your first line of defense. I’d take the time to build a brick or stone wall myself if I had to, but secure that perimeter.
Grating doors and bars on windows are also precious. Specially in windows that are somewhat concealed and a criminal could spend some time busting through it.
In most places here in Argentina, windows have bars. It’s just common sense.
5) Install motion detecting lights around the house.
These will go on when the bad guy tries to sneak in.
You guys in USA also have game cameras for filming deer I believe, that start filming when the motion detector is triggered. This is a very good idea to keep footage of any burglar or trespasser.
Make sure there’s no places like low walls or vegetation where criminals can hide and ambush you. Either fill that space with thorny bush or find some other solution, but don’t leave any dangerous spot unattended.
6)Out of sight out of mind.
Don’t leave windows wide opened showing off your 50” TV.
Curtain arent just for looks.
7)If you have lots of windows and doors to cover, try moving the furniture around to make access more complicated. I have a small cart-thing that is full of crystal glasses and garbage like that. Make a lot of noise if moved and all that glass braking would make a lot of noise, so my wife placed it against a back door just in case.
Lamps, etc, anything that would fall when someone that doesn’t know opens the door to force his way in. It will give you time to grab your gun or they may just leave after realizing all the noise they just made.
8)Bullet proof glass would be nice but it’s expensive, storm or security window film on the other hand is pretty darn cheap and would make a nice weekend project.
The average burglar will just throw a stone or hit the window with a pipe and that’s that. The security films gives you more, time, it will confuse the robbers, not to mention, protect the people inside form shattered glass. Definitely something to look into given the low price/neat level of protection relationship.
9)Forgot to mention it in point 1). When there’s an intruder, the kids must know that they should immediately go to the master bedroom, and the wife should know at least how to fire a gun ( another handgun for the wife)
Very smart people advice to call the cops and everyone wait in the master bedroom.
I’m not that bright. I know my house very well and can move around it better than some stranger. Besides, I’m not going to wait there until the bad guys decide to come into the room and bring the gunfight to where my family is. I’d rather handle it away from them.
The important point is, your kids and wife should be in one place when your move around the house looking for the bad guys. Remember to speak out loud and verify before walking back into the master bedroom. You don’t want your wife to open fire on you.
Also, know that most walls in USA wont stop bullets, so expect them to go right through.
10) Things to keep handy next to your bed: glasses ( if you use them, get LASIK!), a high Lumen flashlight, gun, spare gun for the wife, long gun (shotgun/short rifle) charged cell phone, and if you are clever, you’ll have body armor.
If you can't have guns get a short machete, big kitchen knife, any kind of weapon at all, but do get one. A small hatchet or axe can do a lot of damage. Blunt weapons arent ass efective, I much prefer something that cuts.
Guy, any other advice or suggestion would be welcomes.
The economy crisis will bring along higher crime rates and people would to well to prepare for that.