Iv been reading your blog for the past couple months and I thought that I would give you some insight to the security issues Americans face in the suburbs and to how those could be exploited more if the SHTF. Most of the houses around here have little to no security save for an alarm system to scare off burglars. All walls are basically 2x4 construction with rolled fiberglass insulation with some aluminum siding on the exterior walls, anyone with a good sledge hammer, chainsaw or angle grinder can get through these walls in a matter of seconds. Most doors are added for looks so they are usually 75% wood with thin sheet steel and glass, thats only the front door. The basic may be a standard exterior door or could be a sliding glass door to give that "open feel" to the house. Large exterior windows that at best are dual pane to act as insulation. The sheepish idealogy of people is also frightening as they see anything other than a security system as being excessive, I recently added a chain to my front door and many friends thought I was being paranoid by having it.
(Edited to add by FerFAL:
Hi Briar, thanks for your email. American construction isn't designed to take much damage, just . Around here homes are mostly made with reinforced concrete structure, a couple layers of plaster, bricks and a layer of waterproof cement.
While not ideal it will usually stop a 9mm round, and other handgun calibers, and I assure you this type of construction has, without knowing it, saved lives in these violent times.
The day before yesterday a baby died from a stray shot during a gang fight, shot under the armpit, through the window while held by his mother, 8 months old if I remember correctly.
That type of 2x4 frame, hollow walls you have in USA, that will hardly slow down a 9mm projectile unless it hits a beam. Careful with that door chain, most can be broken just pushing or with a 1/2 hearted kick)
My home was build in the 60s so it has the advantage of having heavy plaster walls with chicken wire underneath which would make it hard to get through. November of last year I was broken into and had computers stolen from my house with the whole place locked up, it was easy for them. They got in by going to my garage and busting a piece of glass out so they could reach in and unlatch the window and turn it a bit which followed by giggling it so get it open all the way, from there they were in.
(Edited to add by FerFAL: That’s typical. Doors should be solid and avoid any glass in them. Specially when located in places where they can brake it and unlock the door. I’d recommend reinforced doors for all exterior doors, including the garage one)
Being out where we are the threat of gangs attacking our homes is minimal but the possibility of desperate people living nearby coming after homes that appear to have resources is well within reason. (Edited to add by FerFAL: Humble advice: No idea where “Out where we are” is, but notice the following. You already suffered a home invasion, so you are wise in considering even greater problems or threats as things get worse)Many upper class homes are having generators installed in their homes which is great except they are located outside and sometimes these people leave their doors open in the day feeling confident no one will violate the upper class are they live in. If food supplies were to dwindle for any reason it would be easy for a small group to take out a window and ransack fridges or cupboards as most of them are located within reach of the rear sliding glass doors.
(Edited to add by FerFAL: No need to wait for starving mobs. With poverty and unemployment on the rise, a police force that has a hard tiem keeping up, the crime problem will become pretty clear. Opened doors to use the generator? Big mistake, bad guys can simply walk in on you. Another reason why the courtyard house design looks so attractive to me: A secured, open space. Search the blog for some posts regarding courtyard homes)
On a Side Note - on the topic of knives for self defense the state of Ohio law on knives states that you cannot carry a knife which purpose is for fighting or self defense regardless if the person has a CCW. The way the determine what the knife is for is based on the opinion of the individual officer that encounters you about having it. So in summary you can carry a gun and shoot people to save your life by whatever you do don't use a knife.
(Edited to add by FerFAL: There are some good multipurpose knives made by ColdSteel, Spyderco and Benchmade. Use it often for several tasks ( a visibly worn blade), and you can explain that such a knife is an everyday tool for you. That’s what I would do, since I use a knife to cut cardboard and open boxes as well as other tasks on daily basis. Sure, with those laws, don’t carry a dedicated fighting folder)
Thought you mike like some insight as to how ignorant Americans' concerns about security in the suburbs can be.
Thanks for your email.
Some advice regarding blackouts, looters, and criminals in general. This is an issue I know a bit of, so please trust me on these recommendations:
1)Open doors, windows, for whatever reason? Absolutely not, for no reason whatsoever. Door and windows locked at all times, ALWAYS. When we have to ventilate the house some, we open windows that have burglar bars or are out of reach on the second floor. Still we keep an eye on those, since ladders have been invented a while ago and they kind of work. :-)
2)During a blackout, looters loot empty houses people. Not houses where there’s light, and specially not houses where shots start getting fired from when looters feel bold enough to approach.
Think as a looter for a second. Would you rather find a nice empty home to brake in, or would you rather risk getting into a gunfight, or have to deal with occupants? Easy targets folks, they go for the easy targets first.
3)Make it clear that the house is occupied, manned, and it wouldn’t hurt keeping you firearms visible if a mob is getting bold.
4)You can keep your home visibly lit with LED lights. If you must run a generator to keep the fridge going or any other reason, do it during the day, with the generator outside but right next to a window where you can keep an eye on it, doors and windows locked using an extension cord. DON’T leave doors and windows opened.
My parents used to have a house in Pinamar, a small holyday beach town about 300 km away from Buenos Aires. The house was close to the sea an had a terrific view, and we would do BBQs there and spend the evening in the open terrace in the back yard, from where you could see the beach.
Eventually crime got so bad, specially during the holyday season, we would keep hearing about neighbors and friends getting robbed, violent home invasions.
Of course, it’s a piece of cake: Criminals know where people go for holydays and relax from their normal security measures. Hang around outside the house and you’re as good as bait. All they have to do is walk around the house to the backyard, and force you inside at gun point.
Eventually we didn’t stay outside as much, and when we did we realized we couldn’t relax at all like we did, so my parents ended up selling the house.
Criminals are people folks, and they may be evil but they are not stupid. They take advantage of opportunities such as these, they know when people become softer targets, that they have money when going on holydays.
Same for looters. Looters mostly want to loot. Cowards hiding in the mass mostly. Few will want a murder charge over heir heads, and oh I promise you, they don’t want any extra 9mm holes in their bodies, just like everyone else.
Think folks. Think and plan rationally.