Easy ways to harden your home against intruders

Learn how to harden your home against burglary, home invasion, and civil unrest.

[See the full post at: Easy ways to harden your home against intruders]

  • Comments (15)

    • 6

      We’ve been looking at adding window film for a while, but mainly for purposes privacy (shaded, NOT blackout or mirror-finish, preferably) and to help with heat/cooling efficiency. It’s a single-story home in a suburb neighborhood of the Capitol here in CA w/ 2 sliding glass doors. I’m wondering if there is a product, or if someone has experience/suggestions with a film that does both/all three (security + privacy + thermal), and well?

      • 5

        Hi! We are getting ready to publish an article about this very topic. Check out Buy Decorative Film. Great products. 

      • 8

        I can speak to this.  We installed the 3M Scotchshield Ultra Safety & Security Window Film and it does all of the above.  The back of our home faces west and it gets very hot during the summer–with this film though, the rooms were noticably cooler.

        We opted not to do any of the privacy style films as we wanted to keep a lower profile (and we have good blinds), but it was an option.

        The film is rated to withstand damage from hurricanes and blasts.

        Overall we are super happy with it and it has provided peace of mind against what was a weak point in our home.

    • 5

      Have you run into any door hardening gear for 3.5″ hole spacing? Apparently my front door is non-standard, it’s 3.5″ from center of deadbolt to center of door handle’s latch.

      I’ve been searching around and not finding any products for that size. Most seem to be 5.5″ to 6″.

      • 4

        Hi Sam. Let me do some research. I will find you something. 

      • 8

        Hello Sam. 

        I think this security strike plate is universal and can be configured for any spacing. When I was growing up I remember my father getting a thin metal plate, and with the use of a dremel tool, making a custom security strike plate, which is still in use. 

    • 7

      I really like Door Armour equipment, however the gap between the door jamb and door is not big enough to support this system.  Do you have a suggestion for other door hardening equipment?

      • 5


        The Defender secuirty strike plate and 3 inch woods screws would work. 

    • 5

      In the article you mention that you can have a mechanical timer to turn on lights if you don’t want to get into the smart-home ecosystem, but intruders might see a pattern of your lights going on at the same time every day. Like from that scene in Home Alone.

      For three dollars more, you can get the BN-Link 7.  While it is digital and programmable, it is not connected to the internet or other smart device, you can program different times on different days, and it also has a vacation setting that will randomize when the device is turned on to give the illusion of someone being home at different times of the day.

      Another device that can give the illusion of someone being home is the FakeTV light. It shines LED lights at a curtain or wall to give the illusion of a TV being watched. That in conjunction with a low powered AM radio set to a talk station could be a good deterrent and pretty convincing. Here is a video about the FakeTV light, but in the video it shows their older model. If you look at the video review on the amazon listing of the newer model, it looks really convincing. 

      • 8

        Hello Supersonic, 

        Thank you for the feedback! Those look like legit products. 

    • 2

      Your articles are very thorough so I’m surprised this point was omitted;  for additional deterrence near first floor windows, plant roses or other thorny bushes. Common thieves won’t want to mess with the scratches.  The knockout brand of rose grows pretty well and can be trimmed like any hedge.  No finicky care required.

      • 7

        Hello ChefDad, 

        We did! The section is called “Tactical bushes”. Thank you for the heads up on the rose brand.  Excellent feedback. 

      • 6

        Ah, the “thorny bushes” are mentioned in the photo description, not the text of the article.  That’s how I missed it.  Thanks!  Great work!

    • 5

      Security for folks living in tents, vehicles, and illegal structures? 

      I’ve got lots of friends who have living situations that make most/all of these recommendations tricky if not impossible. For example, a reinforced door doesn’t make sense for a tent, or really for an RV either I don’t think. I know folks who have built wooden structures under freeways, and here too it’s very difficult to apply most of the recommendations in this article.

      This is a bummer, because theft is a huge problem for these folks. I’ve been working for the past year plus to get survival supplies to my more vulnerable neighbors, but it’s a very “leaky bathtub” (things are often stolen) which also means the survival supplies I do provide are usually the cheapest possible option just to mitigate the overall cost of the work.

      This question also spans beyond the scope of home security, and I’d be happy to make a separate forum post if there’s interest in discussing how to address survival needs that span years and have already been ongoing for a long while (longstanding food/water insecurity, lack of personal security, etc.) 

    • 3


      If you like visuals, here is a comparison of door hardware:

      • On the right: The original screws that were attaching the door when I moved into the house.
      • On the left: longer, 3.5″ screws that I replaced and used.

      Standard 3.5″ playing card card for comparison.

      I’m surprised the original size screws could hold the door on at all. It seems like a very light suggestion. This is definitely an upgrade I recommend. I had to purchase a longer, 6″ drill bit to be able to properly drill pilot holes for the longer screws, but still a solid investment.