Safety and Training

Throwback Thursday: 8 Great Home Security Measures to Implement Today

Black and white sign with a revolver with "this residence is protected by Smith and Wesson security

A few weeks ago, my family moved into a new house. Our old house was quite small and with a growing family we needed more space. (Well… I could have lived there a lot longer because I don’t need much when it comes to a house, but I’m pretty sure my wife’s sanity wouldn’t have lasted much longer if we didn’t get a bigger place.) Now that I have a new home, I had to “re-do” all of my home-security measures. This didn’t take long at all, but I thought I’d share them with you so you can implement them in your own home too, if you choose.

A guest article by Jason Hanson

Black and white sign with a revolver with "this residence is protected by Smith and Wesson security
I realize that some people may think my home security measures are overkill, but I enjoy doing it and my family’s safety is absolutely worth it.

1: Case the Neighborhood

The first thing I did was to “case my neighborhood.” I walked up and down the streets to see how the other houses looked security-wise. Since a criminal almost always cases a neighborhood before striking, I wanted to see what I was up against to make my house the least likely on the street to be broken into.

For instance, out of all of the houses, I only saw one that had a home-security alarm sign in the front yard. I also only saw one house that had a security camera near the front entrance. The rest of the houses looked nice and normal, but didn’t have any signs of home-protection measures. I’d be willing to bet that if you walked your own neighborhood, you would have similar findings, since most people don’t do much at all to deter criminals away from their homes.

2: Case Your Home

After I walked the neighborhood to see what others were doing, then I “cased my own home.” Since I’d just bought it, there weren’t any security measures, and it looked like every other house on the street.

3: Put Up Visible Deterrents

So, I immediately put a sign in the yard showing that I have a home-security system. I also put a home security decal on the back door. I also purchased some new security cameras. I put these cameras at the front of the home and also at the back. These cameras have night vision and allow me to see about 50 feet in the dark, which is plenty for the intended purposes.

4: Feed A Large Dog

In addition to the signs and cameras, I put a large dog bowl at the back entrance to the house. Now, I’m not going to tell you if I have a large dog or not, but I will tell you this: Even if you only own a little poodle, put a large bowl in your back yard. If a criminal is casing houses and he thinks you have a dog, he’s likely going to skip your house and go to another house where he’s 100% sure there’s no dog.

5: Install New Locks & Lighting

Of course, I also had new locks installed on all of the exterior doors. The previous locks that were on the doors were the cheap Kwikset locks that builders use. If you’ve taken my Spy Escape & Evasion training, then you know how easy it is to pick a Kwikset lock and that you never want them on your doors. That’s why I put Schlage locks on all of my doors. I also made sure I had floodlights that lit up my entire yard.

6: Install Security System

Then I moved to the interior of the home. For the security system, I simply took the system from my old home, brought it into the new home, and easily hooked it up. This included putting new entry sensors on the doors and windows and putting motion detectors in place.

7: Spread Out the Guns

Also, I made sure to put my guns—in rapid access safes—on every level of my home. I’m a big believer in this because if you’re in the basement during a home invasion, it’s a long way to your master bedroom if that’s the only gun you have.

8: Add Fire Extinguishers

Another thing I did is to put two of the smaller fire extinguishers in my home. Statistically, we’re more likely to have a fire in the home than a home invasion, so you want to be prepared for all types of events.

I realize that some people may think my home security measures are overkill, but I enjoy doing it and my family’s safety is absolutely worth it. Plus, everything above is simple to do and doesn’t take much time or cost a fortune.

So, when you head out for work tomorrow morning, take a look at the other houses in your area when leaving your neighborhood. If your house looks exactly like everyone else’s, that’s not a good sign because it means a criminal might choose yours if they ever case your street.

Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and security specialist. He’s appeared on numerous television shows, including ABC’s Shark Tank and The NBC TODAY Show. To get a free Spy Flashlight from Jason, visit www.SpyEscape.com

Are there steps you would add? Let us hear your ideas in the comments section below:

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Comments (77)

  1. E-Sync Security Solutions Provides Good Service with enhanced Supports. cctv camera and biometric Security Systems is very important because it is a very volatile environment and that it contributes a lot to a country’s progress. The wide variety of easy to use terminals ensures that biometrics is a smart (and cool) solution when deciding what kind of time and attendance system to purchase for your company.

  2. nine times out of ten when your home is broken into it will be some one that knows you . maybe friends or family members friends. it is not good to let anyone come into your home .because you run the risk of being broken into .

  3. I leave a gun magazine and a note to my friend on the front porch that says.
    Mark I just went to pick up ammo all out. Will be back in 15 mins. to show you my new handgun.

  4. Seriously? This is the exact same article that has been published at least twice in the past that I know of. At least have the respect to rehash it as an oldie but goodie and retain the original publication date!

    I added these items to my to-do list a year ago, and then the article came out again earlier this year.

    Overall, decent tips, but read up on the author and you’ll see that he’s far more paranoid and out there than you would realize. His book was decent, but again it was over the top in many places and in other spots a thinly veiled advertisement for his many websites, products, and services.

    1. Just because you are paranoid dose not mean THEY are not out to get you!

      Oh well. I missed it the last 3 times or perhaps I am just senile.

      Best part of being senile? Wake up each morning with a new woman.

      Where did I put that foil hat? All in fun.

    2. @ Mike,

      Dude calm down. They did reference it as an old article… that’s why it has -“Throwback Thursday” in the title.

  5. First, you should have cased the neighborhood first before you bought. Also check local law enforcement for stats on neighborhood problems. This also gives you some idea of what the neighbors are like (respectful or not). How many of your neighbors are renters who don’t care about upkeep. Who had junker cars on the lawn, etc. Are there nearby homeless encampments?

    The owner of the property behind my house wanted to build 2 story low income housing which would allow the residents to look down into our yards and that poses a problem. We fought it and won.

    Then, case the prospective house BEFORE you buy. Can a peeper easily look into your yard and home, hide in the shrubbery, etc? Do neighbors have homes which allow them to look into your home/yard? How is the exterior lighting… a baddie will take off if a yard light comes on unexpectedly. If a light is constantly on (or off) they will chance it.

  6. Having 2.5 pound fire extinguishers readily available serves two important functions. The first is in case of a fire but the second is a smart personal protection item. In the event of an intruder pointing that fire extinguisher around the corner and letting loose with the powder in the extinguisher will totally blind any intruder. Plus that powder hangs in the air for a minute or two to obscure vision while you escape. Lastly, it makes a great light weapon for smacking the intruder if you are a “less than legal” advocate. This is perfect for a woman home alone at night so make sure you have one under your bed and every bed just in case.

  7. Sounds like good basic suggestions. Definitely not overkill! At best the bare minimum of what one needs to do.
    The only thing I would add, is planting some nice thorny bushes in appropriate locations. One thing that make sense is to use them to deter people from the window areas. I also find by placing them in the right places, they can be used to generate zones. These are zones to make people enter or leave an area according to your choosing. What one decides to use those zones for is of personal choice, but they can be extremely helpful for a variety of reasons!
    No one wants to run through thorns, and anyone that does, will only do it once! 🙂

  8. Thanks for re posting this.

    The smaller fire extinguishers also make a good short range weapon with a blast to the eyes. Also good for some one who does not like or you would not trust (little kids/some of my in laws) with a loaded gun. Learn to fight with what you have not what you can’t reach.

  9. Electronic Security Equipments always reduce human security works. But sometimes it’s based on other peripheral devices. most of security system designed with advanced features and technologies. All Security systems continuously watch implemented circulations coverage areas. Any wrong operations or unauthorised activities, live means it will directly inform to Specific Members or stations. Thanks by esync

    1. Reliance on electronic security systems is dangerous. Multiple reports have come out alerting people to the fact that major systems as installed by ADT, Simplisafe, LaserShield can be defeated in a wide variety of methods. Most alarm systems consist of a one-way transmitter that only uses one frequency which can be hacked with a wireless device from a distance of up to 200 feet from the residence. One famous brand brand can even be bypassed through the use of scotch tape and a magnet. People should never put up signs saying “This home is protected by X” because that simply informs the criminals which system they need to defeat to enter the home.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUNgexodI9c

      CCTV is more reliable and will at least get you an image of the intruder which is at least somewhat useful after-the-fact during the investigation.

      For the most part, people are better off investing in solid physical security measures such as security doors, double deadbolt locks, lengthened screws in door latch strike plates, grills over windows and security window films that make windows very difficult to smash out. These should be backed up with local audible alarms that are triggered by simple vibration or motion and are not part of a wireless network. The combination of the time and difficulty it takes to break in through physical measures, and the loud alarm are actually a better deterrent than an electronic alarm system that can be easily overcome.

  10. Here is what I practice at home:

    1. Know your neighbors and neighborhood. Introduce yourself whenever you can, exchange phone numbers. Nextdoor.com is a great website to hook up with neighbors via Internet who are also signed up. Many city Police Depts publish local crime reports that are delivered daily by email. These resources alert you to patterns happening in your community.

    2. Secure all your windows and doors with extra latches, dowels, etc. First floor windows should have added security latches; secure all basement entrances. Remember the Dr. Petit home invasion case in Chesire, Connecticut? Wrought iron doors are good insurance and provide double layer of protection. If a criminal is going to break in, make them work for it and make a lot of noise while doing it.

    3. Lights. Leave porch lights on at night. Maybe even a front room light. It’s a cheap and easy security system you already have at your disposal. It’s a small extra expense to pay for added security. Motion detector lights around your home. Criminals hate lights.

    4. Hidings places outdoors. Keep a clear and safe perimeter around your home where criminals can’t hide behind things. Don’t leave potential weapons at their disposal (garden tools, baseball bats, crowbars, etc).

    5. Blend in, don’t make your home stand out. There’s safety in numbers and if your home just blends in with neighbors then you don’t give the criminal any rationale for picking your home over others.

    6. Pets are great alarm systems. You don’t need a vicious attack dog either. Pay attention to their body language. Pets often alert with their bodies when something is prowling around outside. My cats have often alerted me to outside activity just by their posture or running from door when someone approaches.

    7. Conceal carry around your home. No need to make everyone nervous with open carry. Plus the element of surprise may work in your favor. A few strategically placed firearms hidden around house is good too. Children in home will require added safeguards as required by law.

    8. Have a plan. Like fire drills, you should practice with family members what to do in the event of a break in or home invasion. Don’t assume everyone knows what to do. Especially if firearms are going to be used to protect. Practice different “what if…” situations. Mental preparation goes a long way in safety.

  11. Adam, sadly you are correct. Most of the people of the world are nothing more than victims. I will not go quietly into the statistics of people murdered because they were helpless.

  12. Marty, very true.

    Beyond that, I grew up in a home with guns and was shooting from a young age, and raised my children the same. Not once did we ever have any kind of an incident involving the kids even coming close to getting in trouble with a gun. Education, training, respect.

    The tips here to foil burglars are all good, but if the house is burglarized it’s just stuff. The real threat is home invasions. My wife and I are the only two home, and I am always armed in and around our home. If I’m not here, then she is armed and we are both well trained. I keep a gun on my person so I don’t have to wonder how I’m going to get to one if something happens.

  13. Well said, G-Man. I am really tired of Canadians and Australians especially, telling us how we should all be disarmed just because they are. They don’t live here, they don’t understand what it is to be an American, and they are more than welcome to stay right where they are and never come here if they don’t like it.

    The blunt truth is that if America ever fell, Canada would follow within a week. And Australia would have been speaking Japanese by 1944 if the USA hadn’t defended it. The greatest Japanese strategist of the war, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, said “Japan would never invade the United States. We would find a rifle behind every blade of grass.” Can the same be said of countries that have disarmed their population?

    We are not a nation of victims, and we will never be one.

    1. That would have been speaking Japanese in 1942, not 1944. Not so much for lack of privately owned guns, but manpower. Our 7th Division was in North Africa, the 8th in Singapore. The Poms surrendered our chaps along with their own;, and Churchill couldn’t afford to let the ‘Desert Rats’ come home.

      Brisbane State High School in the mid-50’s. Air Force Cadet Corps and Army Cadet Corps units. The Army Cadet armory, on school grounds, consisted of 500 SMLE No 1 Mk 3* rifles, two Vickers medium machine guns, two three inch mortars, and six Bren guns, all in full working order. We used these same weapons while in a regular Australian Army camp for a week once a year. A few years later when I started buying my own weapons, take them home, unwrapped, on public transport – no comments from the other riders. Age limit to purchase a long gun – 16. No registration, no police checks, no parental approval needed. Handguns? That’s a long story – some other time.

      That was almost sixty years ago, The education system and the political scene have changed, drastically. Those are two of the reasons I’m here and not there. Here? Arizona – a refugee from California.

  14. @ Adam:

    Of course you wouldn’t understand. Your proximity to the most powerful nation in the world has afforded you and your country the luxurious benefit of solid security, of which, was established by our blood well before your life ever began, as well as our continued sacrifices around the world even as I write this.

    So blissfully secure are you Canadians that you grew up never having to ponder why that is, let alone bother to make such a logical connection.

    Most Americans are rich in the knowledge that we owe our very freedom to the citizen soldiers that stood up against a tyrannical British Government, of which, stemmed from their cherished belief that each man is bestowed from birth with a God given right to defend his family, home, and country with individual arms; and that no manmade legislation is ever allowed to infringe upon such beliefs or practices.

    So strongly has that belief and citizen militia mentality held in this country that the record has clearly established it to be the very reason you are not speaking Japanese right now. For the Japanese dared not attack the U.S. mainland even after a very successful attack on Pearl Harbor, simply out of fear that every American citizen was armed.

    Yet even though you watch the news of other nations as they are pounded into submission and overthrown almost daily, and you still dare ask us such a question?

    I think this is best summed up by a line in one of our Hollywood movies – ‘A Few Good Men’, by Colonel Nathan R. Jessep as portrayed by Jack Nicholson:

    “I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.”

    So I say to you, if you really have to ask such a question at this point in your life, then I think it is better you remain oblivious and leave the worrying to us and our American guns.

  15. I have tried to explain to Canadians and Brits about our Second Amendment rights until I am blue in the face. Americans have no obligation to explain to foreigners why we have the rights we do. Canadians gave up their rights to be armed and protect themselves a long time ago. We are not Socialists here.

  16. America, I love you dearly, but what is everyone so afraid of in the U.S? In Canada, we love guns, a ton of us have guns, But rarely do any of us ever talk about our guns in terms of self defense. mainly because it would only be at our homes in unusual circumstances, but also, that notion just doesn’t exist with us… at all. We don’t have the need to carry our guns with us, or leave them in our car when we go to the grocery store. So what gives America? someone explain it to me.

    1. It is not fear, but simply choosing a realistic view of how things are over an idealized view of how things should be.

      1) Violent criminals will go armed regardless of laws saying they can’t.
      2) Police usually respond in time to interview survivors rather than stop the attacker(s).

      Even Canada has its own grisly examples of this, such as the murder of Tim McLean in 2008. His killer was apprehended, but by that time he had already been stabbed, decapitated, and his corpse partially eaten.

  17. I don’t think it’s very wise for someone to post what they’re doing to improve their home’s security on their Facebook page. I don’t even use FB because I don’t think the world needs to know every detail of my life.

  18. Thanks for these tips, especially the Schlage locks. We’ve an old home ( 55 yrs ) that needs lots of work and I’ve usually installed the Kwiksets. I’ll be changing them to Schlage for sure.

    I would also leave the biggest pair of work boots i could find, in the back near the dog’s bowl to signify a large man lives here and may be home.

    Also, whether I had guns in home or not ( some people obviously don’t like having guns in home ) I’d still place a sticker saying this home is protected by Smith and Wesson. To enter Unlawfully Is to Put Your life At risk. Thank you for understanding. “Management” ( or something similar to this.

    I also might place any martial arts objects I could “spare” somewhere where they could easily be seen or found should someone still snoop around.

    And I believe they have large dog-barking technology, today, that I would also have in place to compliment the large dog bowl.

    My wife has stated that for people to place the home security signs on the property that it only attracts attention as if suggesting they have valuable property inside. I agree with this although if one was to actually break in our home, with all the clutter, papers and other stuff that fills our home, the burglar would not know where to begin and realize it would be easier and he’d be better off attempting to rob a bank. And I’m NOT joking either ( unfortunately ).

  19. the home defense value of a shotgun is swallowed up by the useless NFA restrictions of barrel length which was a “for show ” law to begin with . have you ever patterned an 18″ barrel in the distances of an average house? not really impressive . it should be repealed . where’s the NRA on this?

  20. @Joe D, I am probably at least twice you age, and can truly say this man, G-Man, has given you some advice that may save your life if you will just listen! I’ve no doubt that you’re a genuinely good man, but continuing to live with a know-it-all attitude and not listening to wisdom can cost you dearly!

    Thanks to a brother with many years in law enforcement, even I, a senior female, know some moves that could make you cry like a little girl, without my weapon!

    Let down your guard sweetie, open your ears long enough to hear what he’s saying, and stay safe.

    Thanks for listening…reading.

  21. I put up some fake security cameras to go along with the 2 real ones. Didn’t use the red flashing lights as I think that screams “fake”. So far, so good but if anyone happens to break in while me or the wife is home — we both are trained shooters.

  22. If away from home for extended period of days , Notify local law enforcement dept. Also, put a hold on newspaper and mail delivery until back at home.

  23. I like large fish hooks on 30 LB line, I do groups of 8 in the garage and in cabinets.on the carport. Garage is locked. I do fish the Sheriff said it is a shame I forgot to gather all my fishing gear.
    I have found side door to garage open there was blood and clothing remains on fish hooks and blood on floor. This has been several months ago nothing since. I have since added Game cameras. I may get photos.

  24. While I totally agree w/your decision to replace all locks, I feel your attack on Kwikset is unfair. If you compare Kwikset grade 1 locks to Schlage grade 1 locks, you will find shem very comparable. I suspect you were looking at the grade 3 model 660. To be fair this lock is head and shoulders better than the Schlage Dexter grade 3.

  25. The thieves that broke into my house didn’t bother to pick the lock. They broke the wood door casing with a battering ram. Now I have metal plates behind the deadbolt hopefully to prevent the deadbolt bursting through the wood casing. At least the thieves will have to bring a bigger battering ram.

    Never fear, my security camera took their picture, and they were arrested the next day with my property found in their house.

    1. Mikial,

      Mikial,

      OH, FOR SURE REAL cameras are better than fake ones. But if the $500 – to $2,000 is not available to you – pulleeeze spend $20 and put up some fake ones. DETERRENCE is the name of the game with badguys.

      Just like the Big Dog bowl, or the Security signs in the windows, or the Beware of Dog sign. Better’n nuthin’ !!.

    2. I agree, any camera is better than no camera. I got mine at Walmart for $250. It’s a security system with four cameras and DVR. My property and piece of mind (security) at my home is worth more than $250.

    3. Also consider where ur DVR is located. U don’t want ur recording device stolen also. I found mid range video transmission sets that transmit ur video a third of a mile which allows a DVR in ur home as well as at a trusted neighbor’s. Well worth powering ur system thru a UPS to work w/o power.

    4. Something similar had happened to my house in Philly while I was deployed.
      They were treated to an OC “mine” that I had set up.
      From what the neighbors told me, they didn’t take anything, but were gagging pretty good when they went out the door.

      Of course, I wasn’t able fix the broken lock, not being in country at the time, so they returned later and stole every inch of copper in the house and all of my computers (which were quite obsolete by then).

      As for locks, it’s Schlage all the way. I can pick a Kwikset with a paperclip and a fingernail.

  26. I’m a 68 yr old female and live alone. As well as packing “heat”, I actually keep a dog, relatively small, but better than any alarm system. He can hear and smell things we humans cannot, and will jump into protective mode from a sound sleep, barking loud enough for anyone outside to hear! Also have motion detectors on outside spotlights. Even the local opossums don’t like these deterrents!

    1. Very good Kitty, but I was not home when the thieves broke into my house. The security camera system is for when I’m away from home. But I do love your dog security system. I know that works too.

  27. The bowl is a good idea but I believe a “Beware of Dog,” sign/s are better. Outdoor lighting is great, however in many neighborhoods, like care alarms…people have gotten used to them. I find it better to have movement activated lighting or a combination. Fencing is very important, even if it’s only a short fence, it is still one more line of defense/obstacle for a criminal to deal with. Keep high bushes and such away from windows and places where criminals can hide. You can actually use Holly or Rose bushes as a nice deterrent near windows, as well. Use longer screws in your door frames and deadbolt locks. These only cost a few dollars and make it much harder to kick in a door. Solid doors obviously are better than cheap wood doors. Get an outer door. Even if it’s just a cheap screen door, it is another obstacle and deterrent. Some come with dead bolts. Get a dog! It’s nice to have a breed like a German Shepherd but even a small dog will alert you to someones presence. If you have the money the yes, I’d recommend a security system or an ADT type service but criminals typically get in look for guns, jewelry, cash, electronics and are gone long before any law enforcement can arrive. Obviously I recommend at least on firearm that everyone in the house is trained with but who knows how to use cover, barricade themselves and rehearse it! Make it a drill just like a fire drill. 1SG USA, INF (Ret.)

  28. Bill, what I want is for the bad guys to think they got something good and get the heck out of my house. Here is what I left out of my first post: I did a $5000.00 withdrawal at my back. I took the withdrawal receipt home and partly wedged it in the safe door showing the $5000.00 figure. The way I set it looks like a careless mistake on my part. I did set some stuff in there for the noise effect but the safe is not easy to shake. I think a burglar will get hung up on getting that safe outa there.

    1. EXCELLENT !! Will be doing that, too!! I hope we don’t have the same badguy – especially if he comes to my house AFTER getting really PO’d about yours……
      :-

  29. Authentic looking fake security cameras on eBay or Amazon for about $6.00. Blinking red lights on them – battery lasts several months. Get several ofthem. Aim them so anyone walking by – driving up can see them from the street. I reckon any thinking badguy will just keep on walking/driving to the next house….

  30. No need to spread out guns throughout one’s home. Silly idea, honestly. Just keep your gun on your person at all times. Pretty simple concept and helps you feel at one with your firearm. It should be an item you keep with you no matter where you are — in your home or outside of it — just like your eyeglasses or cell phone.

    1. @ Joe D:

      For many of us, keeping the gun on our person is not feasible at all, given we have lots of small children running around. That “silly idea” as you call it is actually done by every single pro-gun parent and grandparent I know.

      We even check our guns into the other’s safes when we visit one another’s homes. There is no such thing as a loose gun in a handbag amongst my network of gun-loving friends – which by the way, so tragic that mother shot by her toddler at Walmart.

      Anyway, one time I tried keeping my gun on me during a short visit to my daughter’s home. My 18-month old grandchild was riding horsey on my back in his play room, but once he felt the gun he lifted my shirt so fast I had no time to hide it.

      He then continuously giggled while repeatedly trying to grab at it. Once he knew where it was on my person that was it, game over. Nothing else mattered to that child other than the immense curiosity of my weapon. So with the child way too young to explain things yet, I had no choice but to immediately check it into my daughter’s safe right after that.

      Most of us have strategically located various low-cost drawer safes throughout our homes, and as gun-lovers do, we have plenty of guns to fill them up. I’ve run drills and it takes no more than 10 seconds (or less) for my wife or I to retrieve a gun in any one of our rooms.

      So I suppose one man’s silliness is another’s safety net of convenience… at least until the grandkids are grown.

    2. G-man…what happens if you’re taking a dump and your home is broken into? You have a gun next to your crapper? Or what if you’re just sitting in the dining room next to your front door and in come two home invaders? Then what? You’ll be the silly one with no means to protect your family.

      I’m not saying these scenarios are common, but we’ve all read about them happening. Your “inexpensive locking gun drawers,” are a laughable excuse for “security,” and you should revisit that approach. The internet is filled with videos of small children breaking into those types of devices, and a burglar who enters your home when you’re not there will steal each of them and have your guns out in no time.

      It seems as if you have tunnel vision, that there is but one way to carry a firearm. I typically carry AIWB in a high retention, PHLster Skeleton holster. But if I were going to be rolling around on the floor with my grandchild, I’d be pocket carrying that day using my kydex retention holster by Alabama Holster Co. These are simple solutions to help you be prepared to protect your family if the need arises, rather than have your firearms locked away and unable to be used immediately if required. Checking your gun into someone else’s safe might be one of the worst ideas I’ve ever read. I’m guessing a CCW guy like yourself would feel pretty awful if you didn’t have it on you when you needed it most. I know I would.

    3. @ Joe D:

      It is you with the tunnel vision – desperately clinging to the idea that your gun is your only form of defense and that so long as it is by your side you will always be safe.

      I have been in law enforcement going on 33 years now and am highly trained in risk assessment. To have true peace and tranquility in life one must be mature, confident, and capable enough to properly assess realistic threats and know how to balance that within the scope of their real-world activities and life patterns.

      If depending solely on your gun, as it sounds you do, to be your primary defense solution, then you have painted yourself into a corner of tragic proportions which has left you and your family extremely vulnerable.

      My gun is merely a backup and not even my main form of defense. My ability to disarm you and be in your face with deathly consequences using nothing more than my hands is the result of serious ongoing training which always includes my entire family.

      Your entire point has been made moot right out the starting gate as you fool yourself into a state of false security – because you cannot honestly tell me you and your entire family is armed 24/7; that is, unless you all have sworn off swimming, showering, air travel, government buildings, school activities, workouts at the gym, and yes even love-making.

      You cannot be in all places at all times for your family, and I know little Timmy isn’t packing at school. So instead of trying to come up with the next cheeky comeback to defy the logic I’ve just posted, instead use that time to really take a long hard look at what I am telling you and re-assess the vulnerabilities you’ve created for yourself and your family.

      Please trust me that your absolute and definite attitude towards this matter needs to change. I fear such an attitude bolstered by your pompous assertiveness will ultimately lead to your own detriment. I really hope you understand.

    4. Joe D, agreed! if you’re worried about a young family member finding or grabbing it if it fell just un-chamber the round on those occasions. WAY faster to rack a round than run to a safe and TRY to get a weapon. Ten seconds is a lifetime when a door is breached…

  31. A good step past the big bowl ideal is to really get a nice size dog. I have a german Shepards named beast and aways enjoy seeing people cross the street to walk by our house then cross back over down the road. + as a deterrent dummy cams are very effective, we use several at work

  32. Quick and cheap home security cameras:
    Charge your old android phone and download
    “IP Webcam”
    You can access any phone/camera from any device with a Web browser

    1. Rich,

      No one will ever know IF dummy cameras are effective, unless you talk to a really badguy who admits to passing by the house with a camera. BUT…..
      ..at about $6 each on Amazon, and can be placed anywhere, with batteries flashing little red lights for months….why wouldn’t you try them?
      Isn’t your desire to make the crooks skip by your house? Would you spend $20 to do that? DO IT !!

  33. I put a couple cameras up after I read the police were called to homeless camp close to our home. I didn’t see eye to eye with a neighbor and we had a few disagreements in the past. After the cameras went up we never had another problem and the other neighbors started waving and saying hi when they saw us outside. It’s been a few years we haven’t had any problems but they added a whole lot of good. I’ve recenly upgraded to new ip cams and they work better than the home security. As soon as they go off its sent to my phone. I can look at my home from almost anywhere anytime. Just one more good tool in my home security. I also have dog dishes outside but I don’t put food in them.

  34. K Rhodes, That is excellent advise as I’ve seen/heard alarms go off but was not able to tell the direction it was coming from. Most emit a tonal range similar to a cricket, ever try to locate one when it’s chirping, hard to do wasn’t it. Seems the sound bounces all over the place making it near impossible to locate it.

    One thing I’ve done in the past is use a motion detector outside, not to turn on lights, instead it sounded a small buzzer inside the house. It let me know when someone is close to the front of the house or near my vehicles parked outside. It did what it was supposed to do, caught car thief’s before they could steal anything and led to their arrest.

  35. As I look this page, I see a “Residence protected by….” Did S&W ever make a revolver that looked just like a Colt Model P?

  36. Just give them what they want and let them take the bait! I have a safe that I bought at Home Depot . Its smallish, less than 1 cu. ft. storage, and light enough to carry away. I set it up in my master closet. It is empty and locked and I keep it there in case someone makes it into the house past all the regular security, They’ll think they hit the jackpot and run off with it. I keep the good stuff hidden in secret places.

    1. Art, RE: ‘fake safe’. Great idea – I have the same. Suggestion: Put something of weight in it. Makes them think it’s got something good in there. Maybe a can of Spam – moves around but does roll around when they shake it. I have some fake diamonds – Cubic zirconiums- would love to see their faces when they bust it open and see the Spam and take the CZ’s to their ‘fence’.

  37. Putting dog food outside may or may not deter criminals, but certainly attract wild animals and other critters you don’t want sharing a dish with your dog.

  38. I always read and appreciate these articles and comments on home defense, and learn a few ideas every time, with this posting being no exception. We live in the wood on the outskirts of a small town, so the sheriff is an hour or away. Black bears and raccoon gangs are Our most common bandits, but over 35 yrs, we’ve had visits from the two legged type as well . From inside the house, in the middle of the night, it’s hard to tell the difference in the early stages.
    I realize this can’t work in every application, but one of the most effective countermeasures we have used, is to install a diversion,…to make any intruder think twice proceeding further. We have several forms, but of my very old school favorite involves an old 90′ stretch of buried .poly pipe that ran from the house to a backyard faucet for the garden. That pipe was abandon with later plumbing developments, and it was re-purposed to help trigger the diversion. A 25 lb monofilament (fishing line ) was run from the house, thru the tube, to the far end in the garden where a rat trap was modified to fire a shotgun shell (gutted of shot and housed in tupperware, ) . The line was tied to trip the trap, and one yank on the line at the house and …….you get the idea.
    We like that it is non lethal, and a distance from the house, yet close enough that any intruder has to re-figure his calculation that we are an easy mark.The experts say that warning shots are frowned on, ( for good reason ), but they also say that the best gun fight is the one that is avoided.

  39. The only contribution I could add is to encourage others to look into the ease at which one can set up their own rather sophisticated yet inexpensive camera and alarm systems… and without the use of a single tool.

    For example, you can pick up a couple of night/day vision WIFI cameras that remotely pan-and-tilt controlled from your home PC for around $30 a piece. Check Amazon and eBay (with free shipping).

    Installation is as easy as strategically sitting each one on a front and rear windowsill and plugging it into the nearest power outlet. Most cameras come with their own software, but there are many free software apps online to download and securely connect, control, and record your cameras. Plus the camera’s high visibility serves as another deterrent to home invaders.

    Along the same line of thought are pre-package do-it-yourself security systems sold online which can be had for under $150; some even as low as $79 on sale and come with security decals. And I’m not referring to these companies that try to sell you a monthly service contract, I am speaking outright ownership of your system and you can have the system call your cell phone or other family members upon alert and save yourself the monthly monitoring fee.

    Installation is also easy and requires no tools. Like the cameras mentioned above, each component is wireless these days and communicates alarms and status checks back to a master console. No tools required if you simply buy some 3M-type removable peel-and-stick tape to hang each device on doors, windows, and walls. Then throw in a couple of strategically placed motion sensors and you’re done.

    These low-cost systems have the same advanced features of more expensive systems because they are usually manufactured in the same factories and then rebranded.

    The alarm consoles know when you are away or home so it activates and de-activates the appropriate sensors for all around security. Mine even beeps to alert me whenever a window or door is left open at night. All this is can be installed with peel-and-stick tape which looks very clean and holds forever. If you move a lot, this tape leaves no marks and makes the system easy to take with you.

    The same applies to smoke detector alarms. They are so cheap now at Wally-World ($3 on sale), buy a crap-ton (U.S. measurement) and peel-and-stick them in every bedroom, utility room, and garage throughout your home.

    And finally, the nicest budget aspect about everything I’ve mentioned is you can start small if you like and build up with add-ons to your system as wish. So for example start with one camera in the front and add a rear camera later. Or just start with door sensor alarms and then add motion sensors later.

    Any security is better than none. I hope this helps someone.

  40. I do not like to advertise the fact that I own guns, either on my apartment or my vehicle. It could be an invitation for someone to steal them, rather than a deterrent. Additionally, I understand that some signs may be used by a D.A. to show you are aggressive and looking for trouble. (illustration: “This property protected by Smith & Wesson”. While I love S&W, others do not need to know this, and a savvy lawyer can twist the meaning in court. I especially do not like the sign that says, “Trespassers will be shot – survivors will be shot again”. While funny at one level, it may not be funny in court.
    Do what you believe is wise and prudent, be safe and good shooting!

  41. Good points, Ken and Woody. I would also add that there should be a “safe room” in the plan, where the door is virtually bulletproof and the lock unbreakable so that the door can’t be kicked in. Self-defense firearm(s) should be located in that room, with a telephone available.

    I watched a cop show on TV last night. A good samaritan neighbor heard noises from the house next door. He ventured outside in the middle of the night with a pistol and ordered the thieves to stop and get on the ground. Each thief had a weapon; one had an AR, another had a shotgun, and the third had a 9mm handgun. They shot and killed the samaritan, were ultimately caught and sentenced to huge prison terms. Of course, this didn’t help the samaritan; he lost his life.

    My wife purchased some rechargeable blinking red lights and placed them in various windows inside the house. They are small and were designed to keep the racoons and skunks away when placed outside the house. We thought it might be a good idea to try to fake out any potential two-legged varmints who thought about a home invasion or burglary.

    We also pasted some old Honeywell Security stickers on several doors and windows. We don’t have such a system any longer, but thieves wouldn’t know that, and knowing burglars, I think they would think twice before choosing our house to burgle, instead of find one that offers easier pickins.

  42. Jason’s article is an excellent guide to securing your home. Two other items I might add: look at shrubbery around a bank; windows are clearly visible from the street and the plants are cut up from the bottom so potential burglars cannot hide from view. This you can do to your house easily. Second; contact your local police and ask for crime statistics for your area from anti crime. While you are at it, inquire about a neighborhood watch to see if one is in place,mik not, start one. Remember, the police are the clean up and evidence crew, they are not there to defend your home, that’s a homeowners job!

    1. I forgot one item if you have a home security alarm system or even a smoke/CO series linked alarms, Install outside strobe light(s) tied to the audible horn circuit or the smoke/CO alarm chain.
      Have you ever driven through a neighborhood, heard an alarm siren and tried to figure out what house the alarm was coming from? It’s almost impossible to determine the house in jeopardy. These strobes cost under $75 and operate on AC or DC VOLTAGE FROM 10 volts to 130. This strobe will aid responding police and/or fire units determine the house in danger and help your neighbors determine who needs help and call 911 with an accurate street address.

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