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
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.