Home Self Defense

Posted by   Steve Thibeault
01/29/2013
0
Home Self Defense

Your home is your castle and you have the right and responsibility to defend it. You have property and people inside your home that are vulnerable to robbers and home invasions. Having the right tools makes all the difference.

Home Self Defense

Window AlarmYour Home Self Defense Plan begins with making sure that all your doors and windows are secured whenever possible. If you don’t need a window open, close it and lock it. You don’t need to make it any easier for someone to break in.

Window Security

Window Alarms let you know if someone is trying to open your window or if they break the glass. By attaching these to your windows, you will at least get a warning that you are about to have an unexpected visitor. Plus, the alarm will likely scare them off.

Door Security

Keep your doors locked even when inside. Home invaders are interested in you as well as what you have. Think about securing your door even further by installing a door brace or a door wedge. Both of these devices will prevent the door from opening which is exactly what you are after.

Door Brace and Door Wedge
Door Brace on Left – Door Wedge on Right

Motion Sensors

Sensor Alarms are good components of a home security plan because they will alert you when someone is approaching. By using infrared and motion-sensing technology, these devices will sound off a loud alarm which lets you know that someone is close enough to break the invisible barrier created by the beams.

These sensors are pretty inexpensive considering what they do. Place them in approach zones around your home. If someone tries to sneak up, they won’t be able to hide from the infrared barriers and the alarm will sound.

With these motions sensors, window alarms, and devices which prevent the door from opening, you’ve gained a large advantage in helping to keep someone out of your home or at least to prepare for the invasion.

With the extra time you get, you can arm yourself appropriately to fend off an attack or a robbery.

Why Invest in Home Surveillance Gear?

Several months ago, my father spent a few weeks in the hospital as the result of varying health issues. He’s doing better now, thanks for asking.

He’d taken in a roommate not too long after my mom passed away and while Dad was in the hospital, the roommate had to run all the errands and such so the house was empty more often than normal.

I got a call one evening from the roommate, telling me that the house had been robbed while he’d been gone.

A Home Break In

Smashed Back Door Gained Entry

The entry point was the back door, which had been smashed in by the intruder. What he’d done was grab a bucket that had been sitting outside in the snow and used that as a battering ram.

The bucket had been filled with frozen rainwater and worked rather nicely, I’ll have to admit.

Upon entering the home, it appeared he’d gone immediately to the roommate’s bedroom and snatched a fair amount of cash he’d had on his dresser, as well as some prescription medications.

Nothing else in the house looked to have been touched.

I and the responding officers were able to follow tracks in the snow to where the guy had parked his vehicle.

It didn’t take long for us to piece together exactly how it had played out, though to this day, about 10 months later, no arrests have been made.

Surveillance Gear Would Have Helped Solve the Case

Just a single surveillance camera could have solved the entire case. The way the house is laid out, anyone entering or leaving through a door would have to walk through the main living room.

A pinhole camera, hidden inside an alarm clock or some other innocuous item, would have easily shown the person’s face, a face that would no doubt be recognizable to law enforcement.

Home Nanny CameraHere’s another quick example. A husband and wife I know have a small vacation home located a few hours north. This is a home they built themselves, little by little on most weekends from spring through fall. Someday, it is going to be their permanent home, once they both decide to finally retire.

One Saturday not too long ago, they arrived at the home to find it had been ransacked. While it didn’t look like anything had been stolen, many dishes and other items were smashed or otherwise vandalized. Walls were covered in spray paint, too.

By all accounts, it was obviously the work of a group of kids. But, which kids? The house is fairly remote, so no neighbors would have easily seen what was going on.

Had the homeowners purchased a motion-activated camera, one that would alert them remotely to something amiss, they could have responded much quicker, alerting local law enforcement and possibly even catching the kids right in the act.

It used to be that home surveillance cameras and other gear was so expensive, only the wealthy would consider it. Today, prices are reasonable and the quality of the footage is light years ahead of what it was even a few years ago.

Technology has come a long way

You could have a motion-activated camera hidden inside darn near anything you can imagine. Couple it with a wi-fi router and it will not only record what it sees, you’ll get a text or call sent right to your phone. On top of that, you can even view the video live, wherever you are.

Pretty darn cool.

While home surveillance gear won’t necessarily prevent a burglary, it will go a long way toward catching the people who did it. Burglars have a tendency to revisit successful scores.

You’ll sleep better knowing they’ve been caught, maybe within mere minutes of the act.

Bait and Switch

Burglars work on something of a tight schedule, so to speak. They want to get in, grab the goodies, and get out as quickly as possible. In their minds, they want to be in and out within about ten minutes or less. You can take advantage of this by leaving bait for them to snatch, rather than your good stuff.

Thieves want the easy score so give it to them!

One of the first places a burglar will go in the home is the master bedroom. It is a natural tendency for people to store many of their most precious possessions there. This is usually where the good jewelry is found, as well as gun safes.

All the King’s Gold

Pick up a decent looking jewelry box at a thrift store, clean it up, and put inside it several pieces of good looking yet totally fake costume jewelry. Don’t overdo it and cram it full. Just a few rings, some bracelets, maybe a necklace or three.

burglar

Better yet, if you happen to come across a small fire safe, the kind that looks sort of like a briefcase, leave it unlocked and under your bed. That’s one of the first places they’ll look, of course.

They’ll pull it out and open the lid, finding a few random coins that you’ve put in protective sleeves as though they are valuable. Maybe some old looking ball cards that are also sealed in plastic?

The idea is to put into this safe a few things that look like they’d be valuable but are really just junk.

The Music Lives On

If you have a large DVD collection, store the disks in a binder. Let the thief run off with a few dozen empty cases. You could do the same with CDs, though I wonder if a thief would even bother with those these days.

Ask friends and family if they have any inoperable iPods or the like around the house they could give you. If so, leave them out to catch a burglar’s eye.

If you leave easily grabbed “valuables” lying around, they are less likely to go searching for the real stuff.

Neighborhood Watch Programs

While many of us do pay at least some degree of attention to what goes in our neighborhoods, formalized watch programs are an excellent way to help keep everyone safe.

Neighborhood Watch Programs are not vigilantes!

The goal of a watch program should not be to apprehend criminals. Instead, the focus is two-fold.

First, there is deterrence. If criminals know or suspect people in the neighborhood actively watch for ne’er do wells in the area, they’ll likely move on to easier targets.

Second, and perhaps even more important in some areas, is the fostering of a sense of community. Watch programs provide an opportunity for people to get to know each other at least a little better.

All too often in today’s society we hardly know our neighbors at all.

Sure, we know Joe from down the block works at a car dealership because we bought our last minivan from him.

But, we probably didn’t know his wife, Lisa, has been canning her own garden produce for years now.

Neighborhood Watch Sign

Community Resource Officer

Most police and sheriff departments have someone designated as the “Community Resource Officer” or another title along those lines. Get in touch with him or her about starting a neighborhood watch group in your area.

Watch programs don’t necessarily have to entail patrols and such either. Simply by paying closer attention to the comings and goings in the neighborhood will go a long way toward preventing crime. Naturally, seeing it happening is one thing but taking the next step and reporting it is another. This is something that needs to happen. Trust me on this, police officers would much rather respond to five “gone on arrival” calls than not get called at all and someone gets assaulted or worse.

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