Turn Your Home Into a Fortress
Without Spending a Fortune
Your home may be your castle, but don’t count on snoops, burglars, or even the United States government to respect your right to reign over it. It’s no secret that personal rights, whether to privacy or property, have rapidly dissolved as the size of the federal government has ballooned in recent years.
Politicians of every persuasion in Washington have seemed eager to use the “War on Drugs” or the “War on Terrorism” to ensure ease of entry and access to your property for whatever reason. The recently revised Patriotic Act, for example, tore down boundaries for government agents that have existed since the country was founded!
And, of course, there is also the usual lineup of thugs, snoops, and corporate bullies looking to invade your home to get a hold of your property and priceless private information.
That’s why depending on the law enforcement to protect your home these days is foolish. You have to build your own virtual fortress around your home.
Here are some practical tips on keeping unwanted intruders out of your home – taken from our best-selling Ultimate Guide to Low Profile Living.
- Don’t scrimp on the door and lock. It will cost you a little more at the local hardware store, but the first line of defense for your home is a quality door made of metal-clad or solid hardwood, hung in a metal or hardwood frame. This type of door will be strong enough to stop a burglar or at least make his job tough enough that he’ll draw the attention of a neighbor or someone inside the house. When considering the lock itself, remember that you generally get what you pay for.
- Guard your keys. The best locks in the world won’t help you if the wrong people are running around with your keys. The first, and most basic thing you can do to keep your home secure is be sure that only members of your family or highly trusted friends have copies of your keys. When you move into a previously occupied home, have the locks re-keyed; ditto if a family member loses a key. Re-keying can easily be done by a locksmith.
- Map out your lawn and vulnerable areas of your home. You should do everything you can to deprive intruders of potential hiding places around your home. Clear heavy brush and trim shrubs. Add some outdoor floodlights. Better yet, invest in relatively inexpensive lamps with integral motion sensors that switch the lights on when a moving body approaches them.
- Install security and surveillance systems. Knowing who is at the door before you open it is an important security plus. One good solution is a peep hole in the front door (or a TV monitor if you wish to go high-tech — which has the added bonus of allowing you to detect intrusions that occur when you are away). When choosing an alarm system try to find one that uses siren (and strobes) and automatic dialing components tied into a monitoring service. Glass-break sensors and motion detectors should be considered (in addition to the more traditional door and window sensors). Meanwhile, perimeter sensors are a nice supplement, as they detect intrusions over some type of boundary line.
- Exercise your constitutional right to bear arms. If the wrong guy is at the door, however, like it or not, your hi-tech security system may not be able to save you. In a crisis, governments at all levels will be overwhelmed with problems in need of urgent attention. There won’t be enough police or National Guard troops to keep the criminal element in check. The government may actually be more of a threat than a friend.A gun (and the “know how” to use it) may be the only thing standing between you and a thug looking for an easy victim during a time of lawlessness. You may also wish to add stun guns, Tasers, pepper spray, and other devices to your home-defense arsenal, but if you feel your life or the life of a family member is in immediate danger, you should not hesitate to respond with lethal force.
- Don’t be predictable in hiding your valuables. When criminals or professional snoops break into a home to find something, there are key places they typically check. These include: the refrigerator, the master bedroom closet, furniture (including the underside of drawers and the backs of chairs and couches), behind pictures (where there might be a wall safe), or drawers and cabinets of any type. Instead hide your valuables in places a potential thief would hesitate to explore. Try hiding them near or around heavy machinery, especially if it is electrified. A hot water heater will have an open flame or heating oil and other potential hazards, and it can offer a few spots for hiding keys or even for concealing a floor safe. If you do choose to install a floor safe, carefully paint the box so it matches the other metal to complete the camouflage.
- Cache your valuables. Caching makes it almost impossible to find something if you don’t know its exact location. All you need is a shovel, aspot out of your neighbors’ or other observers’ sight, and a water-tight container toprotect your valuables from moisture. Simply dig a deep hole, and then place your valuables in that container before reburying it. Use a GPS to mark to coordinates to ensure you are able to locate the spot months or years later.?