“Every Home Protected”
Many years ago my aunt visited with me from Texas. I will call her Aunt Nan. Understand, this is my mother’s sister and I love her deeply. At that time I lived deep in the woods where sunshine had to be piped in and when the sun goes down it got DARK. When I say dark, I mean, if you turned out the lights even a cat would bump its head. Without NVG’s (night vision goggles) you were helpless. I loved it, but Aunt Nan; well she didn’t love it. I returned home from work one day and I had no idea Aunt Nan had been to Walmart. It wasn’t until it got dark that night that I realized my house had become a Christmas tree. I mean there are nightlights in every receptacle! I’m like oh my, the Zombies can find me! Now, don’t take me wrong, I love my Aunt Nan. I conducted her husband’s (my uncle) funeral. I conducted her mother’s funeral, her aunt’s funeral, her uncle’s funeral, and her sister’s funeral (my mother) so we are very close. But these lights were killing me! I made only one comment that I can remember and it was a simple explanation as to why I didn’t care for nightlights and loved the darkness. “Aunt Nan, I know every inch of this house. The bad guy does not. If he breaks in and I am at home I will have the upper hand because I know the layout of the house and I can move through it in the dark with ease”. Needless to say when Aunt Nan left….so did the nightlights lol.
I told you this story to challenge you to look around and see how easy it might be for someone to break into your home and once inside how easy is it for them to maneuver. Consider a few simple things you can do to make it difficult as you can for someone to get in and things you can do to stop them once inside. After all, the idea is to make it discouraging enough that the criminal moves on to an easier target.
As the world continues its downward spiral you are going to see more and more home burglaries and home invasions. They are happening more frequently and they are happening in areas that one would never have thought they would happen in. As I write this I use a news hound that automatically finds news based on subject. This morning thirty one stories using home invasion for the search term.
Don’t think it can’t happen to you. Everyone who has ever experienced a home invasion or a home burglary probably thought it would never happen to them.
Remember, many times a burglar will simply bypass your home if it requires too much effort or requires more skill and tools than they possess so you need to make it difficult. You might ask what are a few things you can do to make your home safer that do not break the bank?
First it will depend on each circumstance. Do you live in a home, an apartment, or perhaps a subdivision? If you live in a home is it off the beaten path or in a city environment? Think about these questions as they will help you in making decisions as to things you can do to protect against home burglaries and/or invasions.
Definitions of home burglary and home invasions have changed over the course of time i.e. a person commits the crime of burglary by entering a building without the owner’s permission with the intent to commit a crime inside. Historically, burglary was restricted to “breaking and entering” a dwelling at night (using force to enter), but most states have loosened or done away with these requirements.
Today, a person can commit burglary against a store, an office, or any other building.
A home invasion is an illegal and usually forceful entry to an occupied, private dwelling with intent to commit a violent crime against the occupants, such as robbery, assault, rape, murder, or kidnapping.
The above are basic definitions only. States differ many times as to what actually defines the crime in a given situation. Was this a burglary gone badly because the owner was home but the criminal expected them to not be there? It then turned violent.
BamaCarry believes in and is teaching a new concept and they call it EHP, Every Home Protected. They believe and teach that one should not rely on the government or local law enforcement. They have their place but your responsibility is to take steps now to protect your home, your family and yourself. When the crash comes in the middle of the night you will have just moments to take action. Of course the idea is to not allow it to get this far.
So what can you do?
1. Common Sense
Be sure not to draw undue attention to your home by discarding empty boxes at the curb with your trash that say “I have a new 70” giant screen TV” — a big problem during the holidays. By putting out boxes from a new flat-screen television, video game system, a laptop computer or other expensive home electronics at the curb, you’re letting the bad guys know what new goodies you have. Take a drive through your neighborhood and look at what is on the curb awaiting pickup.
Get to know your neighborhood. This can’t be stressed enough, only you know when something is awry or out of place, like a strange car parked with multiple passengers inside. If you’re leaving for work in the morning and you see a suspicious car parked around the corner, don’t ignore it. Circle the block and see if it’s still there when you return. If there is a doubt…call the police!
Walking a dog is a fantastic way to know your neighborhood, learning your neighbors patterns, what cars they drive, how many people are typically around a residence, etc. Even jogging is a good excuse to learn the neighborhood. While meeting your neighbors is never a bad thing, letting them know too much about you could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it.
If something feels wrong in your neighborhood, it is wrong. Trust your gut, because if you don’t then you may have bigger problems on your hands.
If you live in a home and have plants or bushes close to the door and windows consider replacing them with thorny bushes. You might not like this but then neither does the bad guy. The idea is to not give him a place to hide when you step out of the house day or night or you arrive home and have to walk from your car at night. Thorny and spiked plants growing in vulnerable spots near your home can go a long way in discouraging intruders.
The catsclaw acacia contains burning nettles that it conceals under yellow flowers and plumes of green leaves. Oregon grape holly (as well as other varieties of holly) is both attractive and dangerous with its abundance of multi-spiked leaves and don’t rule out The pyracantha, or fire thorn bush, contains thorns that leave a burning sensation that lasts for hours. I suggest planting these under ground floor windows also. There are many more plants to consider and remember Google is your friend.
Consider installing led outdoor flood lights with motion detectors. Led lights are very economical to operate. They work very well and are a real discouragement to would be burglars. Motion detectors are excellent for surprising uninvited guest.
Keep in mind, the best home security lighting is not just about having really bright lights. Rather it is about having uniformity in your illumination and reducing the number of dark areas in your yard and around your home. Below are some tips to show how you can use lighting to increase the security both outside and inside your home.a. Use garden lights with motion detectors and place them at strategic points around the perimeter of your home.
Install dual floodlights with motion detectors on all sides of your home.
If you have landscape lighting, keep them on for the entire night from dusk to dawn.
Provide the back of your home, especially if you have woods in your backyard with lighting. Provide illumination to those areas where intruders can hide from view.
If there is any obvious place that a person can hide outside your home? Light it up! Use a battery operated LED security light if there is no electrical wiring in the area. There have been great improvements in technology using solar charged lighting also.
4. Trip Wires
You can install simple devices such as trip wires. Don’t laugh. I’m not talking about wiring hand grenades and shotguns. A bell wired to the door or window might just be the advantage you need to alerting you before a criminal can make it far enough to attack you. Or it could be what it takes to cause him to just back away and leave. More about trip wires in a future article.
5. Doors and door locks
You should consider upgrading your doors with heavy duty locks and using entrance doors made of steel. Use 3” screws in the striker plates otherwise your door will be easy to kick in. And always have a deadbolt lock as well.
6. Get a Dog
If you live where you can own one then I suggest one. When I say a dog I mean the biggest dog you can care for. My wife and I have owned Golden Retrievers and do not let anyone fool you by telling you
how mild mannered they are (which they are) but they are very protective of their family and are great noise makers. If there is a seriously strange noise in the night, trust me the bark is almost like it originated in hell! Loud is not the word for it! It is an atom bomb! Golden’s are known as silent companions. They rarely bark until they sense something or someone doesn’t belong. Then what comes forth will make the hair on your head stand up. Only the most foolish of thieves would continue to attempt a break-in’s after the noise they make. But for a Golden to be effective they must live in the house and be a part of the family. Do not sentence one to a life outdoors. They do not cope well with being alone. Also, especially if you live alone there is no better companion. Also, buy a Roomba…you will need it.
Of course there are many other breeds that make good home protectors but be sure and consider the cost of properly raising a dog.
Do you live in an apartment?
Apartment living can require that you take extra steps to protect yourself and your property. Here are some ways to make your apartment life a lot safer:
When choosing an apartment, always familiarize yourself with the neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods. Also, check out the current tenants. You might find that the local strip malls and stores in the area are not where you will want to do your shopping.
Many security agencies recommend that you try to get an apartment on a floor other than the ground floor. Ground level apartments are more likely to get broken into because they are more easily accessible. Turn on that Fitbit and get some stair time.
You will want to make sure that all the windows, doors and locks are working properly. Whoever lived there before you probably know which windows and doors do not work properly. Have the property manager to get them fixed right away.
Know where to check your mail and where the garbage goes. Get familiar with the layout of the complex. Things to look out for are areas secluded by shrubs or trees where someone could hide and attack. Poorly lit areas are certainly places to avoid at night.
Consider keeping an inside light or TV on while you’re away to make people think someone is inside your home. Also you might want to keep your porch light on at night. Again, consider LED bulbs in porch lights. They cost very little to burn.
Some property managers require that you give them a key to doors. If so I suggest finding out exactly who has access to your apartment besides yourself and find out management’s policy on entering your unit. Give them a key in a marked and sealed envelope and occasionally ask to see the envelope. You will know if it has been tampered with.
Use inexpensive alarms on your doors and windows. They may not call you or notify the police, but an intruder doesn’t know that and they will definitely get the attention of your neighbors.
Never open the door to strangers. If you must open the door for some reason, place the heel of your foot on the floor and the ball of your foot on the door at an angle. If someone tries to force their way in your foot will stop them and allow you to close and lock the door. There are also several good door sticks that you might want to consider.
Get to know a neighbor and exchange information and agree to keep watch out for one another.
Remember, you are the first line of defense against home invasions and burglaries. Be prepared and do what you can to fortify the outside of your home to stop a crime before it happens.