A Dozen Home Security and Crime Prevention Tips for the Prepper

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A major proponent of family preparedness is the maintenance of comfort, control and self-preservation in a time of crisis.  Whatever the source of the crisis, we as humans, want to protect the homestead and our loved ones at any cost.  (And by the way, many species on the animal kingdom do the same.)

The reason I bring this topic to the forefront is that yesterday, at a community meeting, I learned that home burglaries are on the rise.  This – in a community where many still do not lock their doors – was no surprise to me given the dire straits so many are in financially.  Still, it was a wake-up call reminding me that I need to do an inventory of the home security and crime prevention measures currently in place so that I can insure that both myself and my preps are secure.

Dozen Home Security Tips

A dozen countermeasures we can take to secure our homes and families from crime

1.  Secure your doors with multiple locking mechanisms.  Yes, it is an annoyance to carry multiple keys but why make it easy for the bad guys?  A dead-bolt is essential and even two would not be excessive.  Make sure the locks are difficult to pick and please remember that a lock is only as good as the strength of the door frame.

2.  Do not leave keys under mats, under flower pots, on top or door frames or in one of those $3 magnetic key carriers that fit under the frame of your car.  Thieves know about these places and are more clever than you might think when it comes to locating a spare.  Here at my place we have secured a spare key in a coded key vault , similar to the type real estate agents use.  (And dare I say that I have lost my keys more than once on the trails and that having a spare has saved the day?)

3.  Do not put your name and address on your key ring.  If you lose your keys – and who hasn’t – why advertise your home location and provide easy entrance.  You might as well put a sign on your front door that says “TAKE ME”.

4.  Keep your outdoor areas well lit.  This does not have to be costly.  Even shaded areas will benefit from inexpensive solar lighting.  Put porch lights on a dawn to dusk timer and make sure your garage entrance is not shrouded in darkness.

5.  Consider an alarm system.  I am not talking about an expensive monitored alarm system and, as a matter of fact, I think advertising that you have a monitored system (whether or true or not) simply tells the world that you have lots of goodies that need protection.  When I say alarm system, I am referring to a loud horn or blast that goes off when someone invades your territory.  This is especially effective if you have neighbors who will also hear the alarm but even in a more remote area, the alarm will annoy and dissuade the burglars from sticking around.

6.  Add internal locks to critical storage areas.  This includes your emergency food storage area, crawl spaces, and your freezer.  I almost forgot about the freezer myself since they are the garage.  And yet the garage can be one of the most vulnerable areas of your home since it is typically dark and remote sound-wise from the rest of the house.

7.  Secure your mail.  In addition to minimizing identity theft, an over flowing mail box is an open invitation to thieves who will assume you are not at home or traveling.  Invest in a PO box – they are cheap.

8.  Keep your outdoor areas tidy.  Trim shrubs that are close to the house so that strangers can not skulk or hide behind them, waiting and watching for the best time to attack.  Have someone mow the grass when you will be gone for a week or longer and if you still have the newspaper delivered, for goodness sake, stop delivery while you are gone.

9.  Notify the police or sheriff that you are going to be gone.  This may not work in all situations but here in my rural community, we are encouraged to let the authorities know when we are going to be off island for an extended period.

10.  Be ware of strangers, delivery people, and yes, even officers of the law that come to your door.  Have your pepper spray  handy and ask for ID.  If in doubt, do not open the door.  Ask for a badge or ID number and call it in.  Remember, uniforms can be readily purchased online and in these days of Photoshop, fake id can be easily created on a home computer.

11.  Know your neighbors.  I have said this before and will say it again: neighbors and community members that know you by name and by face will be the ones that will watch your back in a crisis.  You do not have to become best friends with these people – but you do need to say hi once in awhile and perhaps get involved in some community activities so that they can get to know you and you them.

12.  Get a dog.  A dog is a great – really great – early warning system.  Heck, my little six pound Yorkie makes a lot of racket if a stranger is walking around outside at night.  He might not scare an intruder once he is in the house, but he certainly would give the would-be burglar reason to look elsewhere.

As a bonus, I need to add one more thing:

Zip those lips.  This is my weakness and something I will commit to stopping RIGHT NOW!  In my effort to spread the word about family preparedness, I talk about my own efforts – what I have, how I am storing it, and worst of all, where I have located my stuff.  Shame on me.  What I have effectively done is advertise the fact that if the SHTF, you can come to my place because I have food, I have water, I have stuff.  This is going to be difficult because I do want to educate and help others.  But I am going to really try to be a bit more private on a going forward basis.

Think Like a Burglar

In closing, I want to pass on that the very best advice I can give is to learn to think like a burglar.  Walk around your place, and, pretending you are a bad guy, think about points of entry.  Take a look at you home from the street.  Are you advertising all of the goodies inside?  Or does your home look like a modest, well kept abode with good lighting and well trimmed landscaping?   If you were a burglar, which home on your street would you hit?

As you know, a crisis can come from a natural disaster, a medical pandemic, and economic collapse, or a man-made activity such as a terrorist attack.  By practicing crime prevention now – and making home security a part of daily life – you can be one step closer to preserving the homestead when the SHTF.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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A Dozen Home Security and Crime Prevention Tips for the Prepper — 17 Comments

  1. Don’t forget that a can of wasp spray or a can of carburator cleaner is a very effective weapon against an intruder…and it can be handily kept next to the door… It will temporarilly blind the attacker and they will have to go to the hospital to get their eyeballs working again….

    • Judith, I just read your comment and hopefully by now you have changed your mind about wasp spray, It has been proven that it does not effectively stop an attacker in time to prevent the attacker from the assault. It is best to get a good quality pepper spray and leave the wasp spray for what it is intended for.

  2. Being aware of your surroundings at all times; and always, always advertise that you and yours have a keen eye out for the unusual, out of place, and what is out of the ordinary. Thieves and other criminals of opportunity are always seeking the path of lest resistance, so if you consistently demonstrate that you are no easy mark most bad guys will seek someone less vigilant and prepared. Just my two cents.

  3. Some of the summer houses in my quadrant of our county are being broken into. The joke is that if you get ripped off, you can drive down to the Mexican flea market an hour south of here and buy your stuff back at a discount the following Saturday. Even so, I called the Sheriff and asked if he could run a few more patrols out our way. But our Sheriff’s department has been cut by about 70% since 2008, it’s a big county with lots of “possum trails” up into the mountains. The Sheriff told me “you people out there are on your own.” At least he was honest about it, and I see his point. I’ve got a steel gate on the trail up the mountain, motion detectors on the three access routes (two deer trails and the jeep trail”, a pack of dogs, a flock of free range chickens that roost all around the place in the trees and raise hell at night if they are wakened. I have security cameras, low intensity red lights outside. To tell the truth, I’m more concerned about bears than I am people. I had an electric fence around my buildings until the ice storms destroyed it last winter. Haven’t gotten it fixed yet, and don’t know if I will, it’s a massive undertaking.

  4. All very good suggestions; I would add only the following to sensor lights. One, a shotgun, two, one well loaded (personal defense rounds) .38 caliber revolver and speed loaders for each adult resident and three, practice, practice, practice. Why the .38? My personal preference after watching way too many automatic 9 mm and .45 ACP jam at the range. Also, you can “practice” by buying a Lazerlyte practice light that fits in the barrell which shoots a laser beam. We use the LT Pro. Also, by practice, I mean practicing a “plan” for problems that might arise with your partner.

    • I will need to research the Lazerlyte. Not being experienced in firearms, I want to learn as much as I can and, as you say, practice practice practice. Luckily, Survival Husband and I are on the same page.

  5. This are all good tips to remember. I keep having to move my supplies around whenever apartment maintenance comes around. Don’t want anyone knowing too much about what we have. Then there’s keeping the blinds closed at all times. Think like a burglar is great advice – I heard about a nice subdivision getting a rash of burglaries, because thieves were scoping out windows that had the bluish light coming from large flat screen TVs. If the TV was big enough, the light would reach up to the higher windows and those homes got targeted. When I heard about this, I thought, “Who would even think about stuff like that?” Apparently those burglars do.

  6. I live out in the “country”; 4 to 5 acre hobby farms. After having my door kicked in 3 times I invested some time and money…

    Motion sensing Alarm system – the 3rd time an A___W___ kicked my door the alarm went off and the creep left with nothing – O Very Well Worth It.

    Reinforced doors – after the 3rd time I had my door kicked I stripped off the drywayll around the frames of all my exterior doors and lag bolted on 1/4″ x 4″ x 24″ long steel plate to the 2 studs. The bolts on the locks run up behind the steel plates – would take some serious force to open those doors.

    Added wrap around door reinforcment plates to the door so the wood would not split as easily.

    Adding one addtional deadbolt to each door. These are ‘single sided’ deadbolts so there is no keyhole on the outside that can be picked. This is mainly for when I am in the house and I know that nobody will get in by picking one of the locks – I sleep very well indeed.

    http://www.handlesets.com/schlage-b81-single-sided-residential-deadbolt-with-thumbturn-and- outside-trim-plate-from-the-b-series/p1743512?schlage-b81-single-sided-residential-deadbolt-with-thumbturn-and-outside-trim-plate-from-the-b-series=p1743512

    Added chain link fence to the outside of my driveway gate so it could not be climbed as well as triple stand barbed wire. Keep the driveway gate closed at all times now. The closest a car can get to my house is 100+ yards.

    Am currrently installing survelance cameras.

    Need a doggy…a big doggy..:-)

  7. I’ve been thinking more and more about security. There are so many things we need to do to harden our house against intruders, including getting a dog to protect us and our livestock. Thanks for a great article.

  8. Never will I light the way for any burglar. Here is my story: One night, as my husband and children and I were in bed, almost asleep, two burglars came up to our bedroom window. I had left a pile of bricks under the window earlier that day when I was gardening. Because I had forgotten to turn on the outdoor light, the burglars tripped over the bricks and started cussing. This alerted our Doberman who started barking. The burglars cussed some more and ran off. Never light the way for a burglar. Let them trip over the junk in your yard. Leave your garbage dumpster in front of the front door. Let burglars trip over it. Don’t light their way. A big dog is also a good idea, as you have said.

    • That is an interesting perspective I had not thought of. Basically, create an unlighted collosion and obstable course to your door and/or secluded windows. Thank you so much for sharing this great tip.

  9. Nice list. I was with you until you got to alert the authoritarians you’ll be out of town. I think I’ll pass on that one but well done just the same.

    Please yes, take more concern with your own preps and privacy.

  10. Any firearm that jams is no more than an expensive anchor. Get in the shop, test it when you get it back, and go right back to the shop again. A .357 Magnum revolver is better than a .38 Special as it will fire either the .357 or the .38. Buffalo Bore and Grizzly both make some very powerful ammunition for each. Not bad to have around and a sound investment. A Ruger SuperblackHawk or Ruger Redhawk in .44 Mag with a 2 1/2″ barrel puts you into handgun hunting territory. The two manufacturers listed above make some ammo for these that is truly hot. Mind the warnings about what brand or model can and cannot be used! They are there so you don’t make unwanted little pieces out your revolver and your hand(s)!!

  11. I think you need to do more research before making random comments. I am refering to the expensive monitored alarm systems comment. I have been in the security business for 33 years and you can get an alarm system and have it monitored for as little as $29.00 per month. Ask yourself how much you pay for your cell phone and then compare that to the cost for your families safety and security… It has aslo been proven thru interviews with criminals that have a record of breaking and entering that yard signs deter them. They say if they see a yard sign indicating the presence of an alarm system they will go to a neighbors home.

  12. Am in he UK, a country with is significantly denser that the US. Am considereing a scenario when all threads of society break down. The population will become desperate very quickly, the UK is an island which has a cold wet winter. There would be a period of total chaos, where people so desperate will loot every where for food / water. people will become cold wet and starve quickly. At some point the population will have fallen to the levels, where survival will not be an issue conflict, but co-operation. The Gun ownership in the Uk is relatively low, but I imagine Ammo will become depleated quickly. I feel a psychological approach would also be needed. If the inmormation grid breaks dow, people will be fuking disorientated. So disinformation may be a useful strategy to ride out the storm, pre-paired warning , spray paint and, do not cross lines and redirection to areas of safetly / field vaccination centre ,would be something to consider. I’m suggesting a flalse flag for an airbourne pathogen which would an additional strategy. I’m aware of how savage people can become, I remember some of the mob violence in the 1980’s involving the IRA, I would not consider using a car, Hudling downing an area with a samll break away group might be easier if people considered that area was where infected bodies were being incinerated. Some fake medications / contamination suits and short tem medications (placebo’s) could be a bargaining tool, if desperate thug and new goal to go be misdirected towards. Activing as an official operative bit, could give you some negotiating power

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