Scenario: Crime and break-ins are increasing in your neighborhood. What do you do to really lock down your assets and preps?

Through multiple sources of friends, social media, and new reports you realize that household break-ins have just exploded in your area. They are happening at all times of the day, happen when people are there or not, and there isn’t any pattern to things that are taken. Even your neighbors with the top of the line home security system, cameras, and beefed up door lock has had their homes broken into. This band of thieves just really doesn’t care, and it looks like there is no stopping them. And the worst thing about this all is that since there has been so many break-ins in your area, all insurance companies have stopped covering burglary claims to your area! So you really are on your own to keep your stuff safe.

You talk it over with your family and they are extremely concerned about it as well and want you to go full out and go Fort Knox on your house. (for those unfamiliar, this is known as one of the most secure US Army forts)

Really place yourself in this situation. What are the steps you would take to deter people from even entering your property, prevent them from getting into your house, and how to hide items from people if they do manage to get in? 


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  • Comments (73)

    • 13


      2 steps:

      1.  Check all doors, windows, possible attic entry sites for security.  Have windows covered with vinyl shower curtain sections for blackout conditions at night. I would not advise the unprepared/unskilled to use chemical irritants like bleach next to door bottom section. 

      2.  During daylight, consider, when feasible, to walk to neighbors’ dwellings to discuss a rapidly assembled neighborhood watch program and possible unarmed patrols.

      I have a hunch Fort Knox is a max secure place less about the tanks and soldiers and somewhat more so in re the gold.

    • 11

      There are only around 10 homes within a square mile of my homestead.  My property is fenced in with a gate out front.  I live about a mile off a rural road, down a dead end lane. So location is important for security.  If someone wants to break in, they will first have to deal with 9 dogs inside the house, so there will be no sneaking up.  Then they will have to deal with me.  I have a home shooting range & practice close in, snap shooting with my pistols.  I keep two in a safe next to my bed.  By no means do I have a Rambo complex but I am prepared to protect my home.

    • 12

      This will be fun!

      I would totally go full out ‘I Am Legend’. I would set up remote explosives, heavy metal doors, metal blast doors on the windows, hoards of guns in every room… oh we aren’t fighting against zombies? Just some burglars? Ok, ill scale things down a bit.

      • Yard/first line of defense: I would set up a good sturdy fence around my area, and there are some motion sensors that you can place in your yard that will chime inside your house if someone is near them.  Big spot lights, and visible cameras around the house will show them that there is a security conscious guy here. The cameras would be local storage only, or one on my own encrypted server that I could monitor. I don’t need some punk at Google or ADT looking at my house either.
      • Outside my house/second line of defense: Getting a solid core heavy door with upgraded hinges, strike plate, 3 inch screws, long locks that aren’t your normal home depot easily picked ones, and another internal only lock for when I’m at home. Upgrading the locks on the windows, placing a wooden dowel in the window frame, and installing security film to prevent shattering. 
      • Inside my house/third line of defense: Have a weapon in every room, if that is a gun, pepper spray, or knife. Evil guard dog. Put a lock on our pantry against the hungry teenage son in the night, or the burglar looking to steal our food storage. Have a safe room (probably master bedroom) equipped with a door that has all the protections our front door has. As for securing items inside my home, I would get security locks for computers laptops, TV, and see if it would work for my video game console too. Get a heavy gun safe that bolts to the floor. For creative ideas to hide things, I was thinking about storing something in the bottom of a trash can before you place the bag in. I’ve never heard of a burglar rummaging through the bathroom trash to look for things, but still need to be careful you don’t throw your valuables away when you dump your trash. I’ve heard about storing valuables in a cereal box in your kitchen as many thieves might not look there, but fruity pebbles are tempting for anyone, and definitely could be found. Maybe put them in an empty bag that used to hold frozen fish sticks and place that at the back of your freezer.
    • 10

      Starting from where I am starting, I need to find a place with a garage. My vehicle is too vulnerable in a parking lot.

      • 7

        Sounds like moving to a better place should e an option.   But honestly, is this a realistic scenario?  Any real world examples?

      • 10

        hikermor – I don’t know of any real world examples that are similar to this scenario. I just thought it would be fun to get people talking about an extreme home security scenario where we can bounce ideas off of each other and learn something, and maybe take a lesser approach to improve our own home security.

        While I don’t feel like this is going to happen any time soon to many of us, I can see it happening quite quickly if SHTF. For example, if the grid went down and stores stopped stocking things and people started to get desperate, I can quickly see how an extreme home security setup would need to be put in place to defend your family and your supplies.

        Again, just trying to have fun with a discussion though.

      • 4

        Last spring I told a coworker I was buying a firearm after work. She asked if I was afraid of being alone [darling hubby drives truck] ? I reminded her I’ve lived this life for 27 years. MY concern was/is, when things start falling apart and people can’t make ends meet that they’ll come looking for my means. I have 50 open acres behind our home. It gets really dark in the country at  night.   I’m not going to be caught off guard.   She didn’t and still doesn’t get it. 

      • 5

        MRS Everett – While I don’t live in the country myself, I have spent time on farms growing up with family. I understand your rational and what you are thinking. 

        I think there are some things that many will never know about, even after our best efforts to educate and show them our thought process behind things. 

        The thing is that you are thinking ahead, and taking the necessary steps to protect yourself and, as you say it, your means. That’s smart

      • 9

        Mrs Everett, nothing against the appropriate personal weapon – when – a part of the overall preparedness / planning, 

        The best rule applicable to the described environment is to place emphasis on that 50 acre field. Consider joining or establishing some neighborhood watch program …… I, too, live in the country and there are watch programs tailored to us type of folks …… so suspicious activity is addressed prior to within range of your dwelling.

        An all weather strobe light mounted on your roof can do wonders. Decently-priced all weather flood lights helps much.

        Ask authorities if legal to have an industrial siren (spelling?) on your roof. 

      • 6

        I’ll second the flood light outside of your house. Although, deer and the wind set mine off all the time and I no longer get up and check if someone is breaking into my house or not. 

      • 7

        I agree with you Seasons4. I hate having my car outside, both for having to scrape off snow, it getting all dirty, and for a bigger risk of it being damaged. 

        My friend just had his car broken into last night. Poor guy…

      • 8

        I’m sorry about your friend whose car was broken into. I just looked at a place for sale yesterday. It was hard to care about anything except the garage. It’s easy for me to focus on what I don’t have. I have to remind myself to keep track of the big picture.

    • 8

      Roving bands of thieves?  You need to dominate your area, so that the thieves give up or relocate.  Form a neighbourhood watch network with an armed rapid response team.  Bands of thieves are easy to spot, a group of people breaking into a house and carting away valuables sort of sticks out. Encourage  them to go elsewhere.

      • 10

        That is a smart idea, having some neighborhood watch system and a way to quickly alert your make-shift response team to gather. Throw in a couple big dogs into your little army and bet you could show the message that this neighborhood is off limits.

      • 5

        Big dogs and some solar motion spot lights. 

    • 12

      Below is an article where convicted burglars were asked about what attracted them to a target home… and what made them leave.  Lots of good info but to me, a lot is common sense.  They don’t want to be seen, so homes with good lighting and well trimmed shrubs deter them.  Having a loud TV on makes them concerned someone is home.  Visible security cameras also deter but then some say, the more security they see, the better the odds of lots of valuables.  Big, loud dogs make most leave quickly, so since I have 9… I’m covered.  🙂  


      Home security is rather complicated and every situation is different.  But basically, you want to do everything possible to make a burglar choose another target.  If that fails, have the proper weapons & training to defend yourself & your loved ones.  In that regard, training & comfort with a weapon is much more important than which weapon.

      • 8

        Thank you for sharing that. It’s nice to hear from the actual type of person who you are defending yourself against.

        What if there was something similar to this for other dangers? Hackers tell you how they get into your systems, or Terrorists leak how they cause the most damage. 

        Now, gotta go trim some bushes…

      • 5

        A good exercise is to go outside and study how you would break into your house. What windows are out of view of the neighbors, etc. Little things count too, like I keep my front screen door latched, so the burglar has got to make noise messing with the screen door before he even gets to the front door. It won’t stop them, but it will slow, and perhaps, discourage.

      • 7

        It’s interesting that in the video the burglars say that large fences are more of a target to them, it provides cover so no one can see what they are doing. I bet many people build up large fences to prevent people from being able to get in so easily.

        Guess you could be the one house on your block with an electrified fence…

      • 8

        “NRA sticker = plenty of guns to steal”

        I can’t rememeber if it was here or on Reddit, but there was a post where people where breaking down all the things you could understand from looking at car stickers: University sports team sticker? Great, you’re probably a parent of an athlete and you might be away during matches. Christian/fish sticker? You’re probably going to be away Sunday mornings. Etc…

      • 7

        Earlier last year during the BLM protests and how police were really being targeted and hated, I was nervous for those who had the Thin Blue Line flag on their car. I was scared that they would get mugged, or at least have their car keyed or something.Capture

        Same goes for political stickers. That’s great that you support your candidate, but with all the horrible political anger going on right now, I am going to avoid putting anything on my car that can paint me as a target against someone not right in the head.

    • 7

      The presented situation doesn’t assume normal times or SHTF, but I think much of this applies:

      1). Group up! Friends, family, and neighbors are important in a crisis -whether natural disaster or roving gangs of thieves. I’d likely do what others have mentioned: organize a watch, and watch shifts. It’d also be helpful to have 

      2). Trim bushes. If you have bushes near your doors and windows, trim them.

      3). Install additional motion sensitive lighting near windows and doors, especially if there are bushes.

      4). Don’t provide improvised weapons. Remove or relocate decorative stones, artwork, heavy objects that could be used by bad actors to gain entry into your home (thrown through window, attacking your entries) or to assault you.

      5). Signage. I have a No Trespassing sign posted on my driveway gate. Although that’s mostly for clueless people who seem to think if there’s no sign, it’s not trespassing, it provides sufficient warning. For the bolder burglar(s), once you’ve stepped inside my gate, you’ve just entered my kill box. That’s all I’m going to say on this because I don’t give away all my preps. OPSEC.

      6). Fence. It’s funny that the burglars in the article view fences as a means of hiding their actions, and it’s not wrong, but really fences also keep burglars from getting away from me too quickly if I discover them.

      7). Reinforce doors. Upgrade your doors, then install bolt catches for doors.

      8). Barricade doors. Old school cross beam anchored at the studs in the doorframe will help. If you’re fortunate enough to have steps on the inside of your front or back doors, you can construct a 2×4 T- or I-bar that also prevents your door from being knocked in.

      9). Build and install window barriers. Install 2 eyelet rings into the ceiling in front of each window. Cut plywood and install 2 corresponding hooks. Install old school slide latches at the bottom of the plywood and at the corresponding position in the wall/window frame. You could also go a step further and attach sheet metal to the street facing side.

      10). Remove/relocate objects that could be used to gain entry to 2nd floor/upper levels (trellises, vehicles parks too close to residence, etc).

      11). Don’t divulge all your preps to anyone. Keep it in your circle of trust, even if it’s just you. No one should know your full capabilities.

      • 2

        I’ve been thinking about how I would hang plywood around my windows to prevent break-ins or storms. I see people on the news in hurricane country just nailing it to the frame, but I don’t want all these holes in my house after I take it off.

        Doing something like the eyelets that allow you to hang things on and off will be cleaner. 

      • 6


        Above matter has parallels to prep of a BOB with -required- items and the weight limit of the carrier.

        Storm shutters, whether D-I-Y or a product + installation not appropriate for hurricanes (well beyond gale force winds).

        Eyelet mountings won’t address physical security. 

        A seperate thread -unless one is already in existence-needed to develop strengthing a home. Hurricane shutters do have a cost with a comma.

        A big sub-subject to this is location of house.  The new FEMA flood zone maps are out and more anticipated. This changes pricing on the house and the improvements. The big insurance programs are already in the change stage. 

        All this is a big – but needed – R&D prep program for preppers.

      • 6


        I found it !


        I knew I read somewhere here about home prep for hurricanes.

        Without going into specifics now, do ensure your thoughts and plans encompass shuttered windows that still allow rapid escape from a fire.

        The link’s mentioned “windstorm” (insurance) policy is under review in Texas and anticipate the rest of the US where this type of contract is sold.

        ~ Bob

      • 8

        I need to read more articles on The Prepared! Thank you for sharing that. It really answered my questions about putting plywood over my windows. I especially like this idea of the roll down shutters for my sliding glass doors. I wonder what the locking mechanisms look like on them. It would be great to lock down that potential entry point when i’m gone on a vacation.Capture

      • 4

        Bob, great point about the eyelets not providing much physical security. I’m sure you are right about that.

    • 4

      In a situation such as this I’d definitely do what others have mentioned and pay extra attention to battening down the hatches.  But in my case, I might also get a couple more dogs – specifically traditional guard dog breeds who’d be both intimidating and on constant high alert.  Only a fool would break into a house that had a couple agro Rottweilers chomping at them.  

      Of course this wouldn’t be an overnight fix, as training and acclimation would be needed, but as a lifetime dog owner I can say that a good loyal dog is a heck of a companion.

      • 8

        One needs to balance having an aggressive, protective breed over having a dog that is safe around guests & family.  For me, I’ll take a mutt any day.  All our dogs are captures or rescues.  I don’t want an overly aggressive dog in my house.  What I want, and most certainly have, are dogs that will make lots of noise when they hear or see a stranger in or around the house.  Can be a bit of a pain when guests come over but on the other hand, no one can enter out house without me knowing it.  From what I understand, that is enough to make most burglars depart immediately.

        Having noisy, alert dogs can most certainly prevent a burglary from ever happening.  It is not unusual for a burglar to first check out your home, by maybe knocking on the door & asking some question.  When they are initially met by these noisy dogs, most will look for another target.  Another way burglars can get info on your house is by having workers in your house.  Even if the worker is not a thief, they just might inform a friend who is.  Several times I’ve had workers in my house that have stated to me no one is ever gonna rob you, when the 9 dogs have to be restrained & kept in a different part of the house.  Point is, many people are scared of dogs.  Not just because they might bite but because they can’t sneak up on dogs.

      • 7

        In general I fully agree, I’m simply speaking to the OP’s imagined extreme scenario.  But as someone who also has had a couple Rottweilers over the years, they can be excellent family dogs if the dog (and even more importantly, the owner) are properly trained.  

        I love dogs, I’ll always have them in my life.  But when speaking about the use of dogs for home security, there are some breeds out there that simply aren’t up to the task.  I currently own a 100+ lb labrador retriever that is likely the strongest and most physically impressive dog I’ve ever owned, but if someone were to break into our home he’d either enthusiastically greet them, or run off and hide under the bed.  Some breeds have had the protective and aggressive traits breed out of them, which is important information to know if home security is a reason you are interested in a dog.

    • 6

      I got some stick on window and door alarms from amazon.  That at least gives me a loud audible warning to be ready to defend myself when home.  If I’m not home then hopefully the shrill sound will at least make someone reconsider sticking around. I also have three dogs that are fairly protective of the property.  Fencing with signs warning of the dogs and a locked gate as well.  Inside the house I have a large fire safe that would slow down a regular burglar at least.  Even with all this I realize crime happens every day and with police being stretched so thin many cases go un investigated, and I already feel like you are on your own.
      honestly my mindset is if you are in an area that has a high rate of crime than it’s time to consider a relocation.

      • 4

        Those are good ideas. Those little alarms are cheap, easy to install, and can give you those couple seconds of warning.

        In a movie that I watched before, the main character sees that a building has one of those little alarms. He takes a fridge magnet and as he is opening the door, slides it between the alarm so that the alarm doesn’t know that it is triggered. I wonder how realistic this is.

      • 4

        Although that seems possible I don’t believe you could get anything through the door jamb and past the door stop trim without setting the alarm off.  One thing for sure though, if someone is smart enough to invent a security device then someone else is smart enough to find a way past it.  I don’t believe there is a way to make anything completely theft proof.  I mostly want to be alerted so I can be the main deterrent to any would be trespassers.

      • 6

        As far as being alerted, I’ll take 9 dogs over any electronics.  🙂  I have a home security system that was installed when we built the house.  I’ve never turned it on.

      • 10

        What does your mountain of dog food for 9 dogs look like? haha

        If SHTF, Redneck’s house is the last place i’d go. I do not want to be dog poop when they attack and eat me. Dogs are a good deterrent. 

      • 8

        While my pomeranian barks a lot, which hopefully will be a good deterrent, if it had to defend me, it probably would pee itself and run away. Poor little guy isn’t that brave. Cute, but not brave.

      • 10

        I wish that was all I feed.  I have 2 cats, 4 horses and hundreds of catfish down in the pond that get feed daily (catfish don’t eat in winter).  I guess I could include a family of bald eagles as they eat the catfish.

      • 4

        Why haven’t we heard of these catfish until now!? I’d love to learn more about them. What maintenance do you need with those, are you farming them for food/eagle chow, when you want to eat one do you use a net, fishing pole, or noodle for them?

        Your dogs could live off of catfish for quite a while with that many

      • 10

        OK, I’ll make a post this weekend about my catfish.  I have some video of them coming up to eat their food.  They are primarily a prepper resource but also for my enjoyment.  We fish out each year just enough to keep the population healthy & in check.  I have lots of structure underwater so they reproduce heavily each year.  I used to let neighbors & friends come catch a bunch but this past year I’ve had two mature bald eagles and several of their immature offspring (no white on them) visit daily.  So from now on, I’ll restrict the fishing and just let the eagles thin the herd for me.  They are just so danged huge… and majestic.  They can catch 25-30 lb catfish & fly them to the bank to eat.  Here is a pic from a couple of years back with my neighbor & his son.


        Here is a  rather poor pic of an eagle on the pond.  Note one of my aerators bubbling.

        eagle pond 2020

      • 6

        Those are huge! Thanks for sharing. 

        Pretty cool an eagle can carry that. 

      • 8

        Adult eagles are very strong & have a huge wingspan.  In that pic, it looks smallish but it is actually rather tall.

      • 4

        Great resource!  I love fried catfish….  I have three ponds  on the front of the property here and had some bass and large coi in the middle one.  Unfortunately between the cranes, hawks and the occasional storm washing my fish downstream I’ve given up on keeping fish on the property here.  There is a large creek on the back of the property too and there are fish but most are really small and wouldn’t sustain anyone for long.  I’ve considered a wire mesh cage to keep some fish contained but it sees more work than it’s worth.

      • 8

        I never knew how dangerous these birds were to everyone’s fish ponds. Would hanging reflectors or a scare crow do anything for these predators do you think? Probably not. 

        Is catfish a very fishy tasting fish?

      • 6

        In a non SHTF time, eagles are not dangerous to a fish pond… they are a blessing.  They lift my spirits every single time I see one.  When I see both adults together, it is just amazing.  One thing you learn as you strive toward self sufficiency, is that you can’t beat mother nature.  You need to learn to live with nature.  Part of that is allowing nature to take its share.

        They spend an unusual amount of time around my pond simply because the fish population is WAY above a normal, naturally sustainable level.  I achieve this high fish population by feeding daily during non winter months, when they go dormant.  They would starve if I didn’t feed them.  But then again, watching them come up to feed is sight to see… and once again they soothe my soul.  Because my fish are so healthy, due to the feed and water aeration, I have to reduce the population each year by around 75-100 fish… to make room for the newly hatched.  As I stated earlier, as opposed to allowing others to catch these fish, I just let the eagles do it.  It is a win win situation.

        Is grain fed catfish tasty?  OMG, YES!!!  It is pure white, very firm with no “fishy” smell or taste.  Pick up some frozen filets at your store & try them.  Of course they are great fried, which any southerner will attest, but they can be used in any mild fish recipe.  I love them cooked as done with trout meuniere.

        Note I said grain fed catfish.  Natural catfish they you would catch in any local pond, lake or river down here, can have a rather strong “muddy” flavor.  Anything you get in the store will be grain fed, like mine, just on a MUCH larger scale.

      • 6

        i’ll have to go keep an eye out for some at the store. I don’t like fish because of the fishy smell and taste, so having some without that would be an excellent food source. 

      • 5

        Then besides catfish, I’d suggest halibut & cod.

      • 5

        I’m not a fan of fishy taste either.  Mild white fish is all I’ve ever eaten, and usually fried. Unfortunately that pretty much gets rid of the health benefits….  I just started liking salmon in the last couple years.  Especially with some blackening seasoning.  Grooper is my favorite, but catfish are good as well.

      • 4


        I don’t know if that link will show up as an Apple subscription or not.  It’s about a ten ft catfish species that’s spreading across Europe called a wells catfish. It can jump out of the water to snatch a pigeon (or possible an eagle in your case).  In the article there is a video of a guy catching one of them.  I’d love to fish for one!

      • 7

        Man! That sure would be scary to catch one that large. I’m afraid it would turn on me and eat me.

      • 6

        I’m with you there.  The one in the video is only six feet.  I’d be really wary if a ten footer!  
        Catfish is fairly mild and pretty good.  It’s best to eat the smaller young ones though. The large older fish aren’t as good and have more toxins built up in them.

      • 7

        Guess I better go do some noodlin this summer!

      • 5

        Somehow sticking your bare hands into holes in the muddy bank really just dosent seem like a smart pastime to me…..  have you ever seen an alligator snapping turtle?  I’ve seen large snapping turtles that could easily bite off a hand.  Just sayin

      • 5

        That’s a good point. Trying for a catfish dinner is not worth losing a finger or a hand. Better stick to a fishing pole.

      • 6


        I have a friend who goes to Spain fishing for them. I think I would have heart failure if I caught something that big!

      • 4

        That’s not a catfish that’s a freakin shark! That thing is huge!

    • 3

      I’m thinking of getting a cheap safe and sliding it under my bed. Inside the safe will be a 5 pound plate, a couple rolls of pennies, and maybe a few rocks. This will give the illusion of there being some gold/silver bullion and a few coins in there if a burglar picks it up and shakes it. Hopefully they will be happy with that and take that to break open later instead of rummaging around the rest of my house looking for more. 

      Under the master bedroom bed is a popular place to store little safes like this, so it may be the first place someone goes and looks.

      • 4

        Hiding things in plain sight is a great way to protect them.  Slightly hiding a diversion in almost plain sight is a great idea too!

    • 6

      On the subject of windows, pre-cut plywood inserts tested for fit and pre-drilled (drill holes slightly smaller than two inch long wood screws) and labeled (start at front door and go right around house window 1, window 2) and stored in convenient place in each room with a couple of cordless drills (two batteries each, one on charger each) and box of screws (in the house, not the garage) and strategic shooting ports cut out of the middle and tested in place with rifle, try for shooting position each side of house, but use cameras for blind areas. I plan to use my front, triple bay window as primary defence position and have sand bags that could be set up (my floor there is on front porch concrete slab) but body armor is the immediate solution. Use 4 to 6 screws per side, yes, a dozen per window. This is for SHTF, not burglars. Drone surveillance capabilities a few hundred yards out, and 3 well placed foxholes (with ramp entry for old guy 👦) with inside shooting positions overlooking foxholes so they can’t be used against you. So, you’re all set, and when the humvee with the fifty caliber machine gun pulls up out front and turns your house into kindling, let’s hope you had a BOB. BTW Amazon sells nice, authentic fake 1ounce gold bars so our burglar buds can have something eye-catching in their hand to go trade for dope. Keep some cash for them, and more for you. If you really want to know what’s going to happen, go check out the country side in Afghanistan. PS Gonna need a few shooters (grandkids) to stand any chance at all. At least 2 years of food, and practiced gardening. Some water will be nice too.

      • 5

        I do not want to mess with you if SHTF!!

        Do you have your sand bags already filled up, or are they empty bags that you would just add dirt to if things were going bad?

      • 5

        No, I bought 300 of them, but they’re on the shelf. And yes, dirt is the plan. And yes, grandkids will do the filling. And yes, they will have a blast doing it. One more thing: long grain white rice at Sam’s club is $17 for 50 lbs. $350 for 1000 pounds, providing a base for thousands of meals for very little money.

      • 7

        I need to get some slave labor, uh, I mean grandkids.

        I wonder how bulletproof a bag of rice would be. What if you filled up your sandbags with your rice storage. Kill two birds with one stone.

      • 4

        Sorry about the math. At least sixteen or so screws per window.

    • 4

      If you can’t move to a new neighborhood?

      A few things off the top of my head: Crossbars over doors, reinforced windows, make sure multiple people are at the house at all times, and constantly carrying a gun, including leaving one in the soapdish when you shower. Choose one room as a safe room, put all valuables inside (with emergency comms) and put all your bookshelves (you should have them) against the walls, stocked to the gills. This will produce enough drag to effectively bullet-proof the room. Drywall fills hollowpoints and turns them into fmj’s. Have water and food inside for three days. Teach this technique to trusted neighbors, and form a neighborhood watch with them.

      • 6

        That is a great idea to reinforce the walls with book cases/furniture. I hadn’t thought about that before. You are right, you may have a hardened door, but the drywall and insulation offer very little ballistic resistance.

      • 5

        Thanks. I learned about the drywall on my own as a crime journalist, but the bookcase idea comes courtesy of Massad Ayoob, who is the best living self-defense writer. 

    • 4

      OK here is the UK I have fitted xelf adhesive clear laminating film to the windows, They can stil break the glass but they would spend the next 1/4 hour trying to get it out, and it CANNOT be removed quietly. I have also replace front and rear doors with high security Composite doors, with multi point locking and Europrofile cylinders.  The door looks into the frame at 9 points and I replaced the frame fixing 3 inch screws with 8 inch self tapping bolts that go deep into the brickwork.   outside the house we have planted vicious thorny shrubs under each groundfloor window.

      • 5

        I’ve been wanting to get film installed on my windows. I think that is super smart.

        Looks like you have locked things down pretty well. Is there anything you’d like to add to your home security that you haven’t done already?

      • 5

        I would like to buy and properly prepare some precut 20mm marine grade plywood boards to secure the downstairs windows if things went downhill fast. I’m saving up for secure wind shutters ( ornate) like you see on French rural houses.   And I need to replace the 6 ft high rear yard fence with vicious thorny shrubs which work much better at keeping people out, dont need annual maintenence and often produce edible fruits.

    • 4


      Time to add the official site of the national program in re neighborhood watches.

      Prior to opening the above link, recall the last time when you were sick or injured. Remember when you returned from work that day and outright exhausted ? Only a few have experienced a gunshot wound. Motivation can also occur when pricing the costs of outdoor lighting, sirens (if legal in area), and related security appliances. 

      Study the link and see if it can be applicable to your hardening program for dwelling and danger-zone area.

      • 2

        Bob – Thanks for the link. I don’t think my neighborhood has a watch program, so that would be nice to set up with some other like minded neighbors.

    • 6

      The first thing I would do is speak with my neighbours and local law enforcement and organize a community watch. If the thieves can “band” together, so could the neighbourhood.

      If the thieves are overcoming security systems and beefed up door locks, then it seems that driving them out of the community or apprehending them is the only way to stop them.

      Currently, I deter people with 8 security cameras that wrap around my house. I drive a very old and rusty van that is completely rebuilt inside. My home is modest and the windows are covered with a one-way film that prevents people from looking in (it looks like white drapes from the outside). There are no “toys” outside (ATV’s, boat, motorcycle) that would attract people. Publically, I maintain a low-key, “plain Jane”, “nothing to steal here” appearance.

      Inside, the door is braced against the stairs with a piece of 2×4. Eventually, it will be a steel frame and new windowless steel door. My windows are braced with wood.  Tack strips on the sill plates act as a further deterrent.

      I have taken the time to study the outside of my home in night conditions when it is very dark. I know if something is amiss or someone that doesn’t belong is around my home.

      My husband and I use a short version of our second given name as a code word if there is a problem.  A name doesn’t arouse suspicion regardless of where it is used. The person who hears the word knows to call 911 immediately before rendering assistance. Aside from respondng defensively, I also have a stash of ordinary items throughout the house that can be easily weaponized. (My hardwood French rolling pin is a personal favorite. It can be used like a baton).  However, my knives are hidden along with items like duct tape or anything that could be used by an intruder to subdue, immobilize or wound.

      Preps are not easily seen and disguised in groups of uninteresting items such as totes marked “Christmas tree”. I don’t put everything in one place. Items are placed behind something else and not easily seen. 

      We also have a rule in the house – everything has it’s place, always. This way if someone has infiltrated the house, it is possible for me to move in the dark without stubbing a toe into a footstool that was left out, which can really take the element of surprise out of defense.

      • 7

        Ubique – You have implemented some good ideas and thing i’m going to improve in my house. I like the Christmas Tree tote for hiding your preps.

        Some tack strips on the windows is a smart idea as well. You probably will never poke yourself on them because you know they are there and aren’t climbing through windows on a regular basis. 

        Going low key and not making your house look like a target is also an important technique.

      • 10

        Carter Murphy – Thank you and glad to help out.

        I also re-use things like 2 kg protein powder screw top containers to store bulk dry items. It is a heavy weight plastic and impossible to see through. Plus it’s already food grade. It’s not an interesting looking container and blends into the background. 

        The tack strips were a reusable item from when I refloored the living room. I know someone who used tack strips on the top of their fence as a deterrent. 

        I really notice other homes who don’t observe a low-key appearance when out in the community. It’s how I check to see that I’m on track and not missing something. It’s the small details that can add up to extra security.