There's more to home defense than just owning a firearm, follow these novel tips to make your home a hard target.
- To harden your home from the inside as well as outside, focus on the home interior, home exterior, and perimeter
- Survey your surroundings, install cameras, trim down the shrubs, and add motion detector lights
- Get yourself an alarm system or consider owning a dog
- Lock your doors and windows with durable bolts
- Be vigilant, befriend your neighbors, know your escape route, have a firearm somewhere accessible, and practice your safety protocol
Homeowners go through an extensive process of finalizing every little detail about their dream abode, from tiling to decor to interiors and everything in between, but overlook a fool-proof home defense plan. As a result, they leave the inhabitants of the house vulnerable to outside threats. By the time they find out, the worst may already have happened.
That's a high price to pay for laziness. A hard-to-target home is a secure home. The concept of home defense may seem straightforward, but there's a lot of thought that goes into it. It all starts by acknowledging the need for proper home defense followed by careful planning and implementation. The objective is simple: Force threats to skip your home.
11 tips to make your home a hard target
1. What's outside, stays outside
Always lock the doors and windows in your home. Ensure all your entryways have a peephole. Also, lock your garage door at all times. Criminals may enter your garage and then find a way to sneak inside your home. Install a dead stop or a chain lock on your doors.
While it may not stop intruders who intend to get in, it'll certainly slow them down to give you enough time to respond. Secure your doors by upgrading your locks, even go as far as adding an extra-long deadbolt, hardened steel strike plate, and proper 3" screws. Furthermore, invest in durable steel or solid core doors.
Avoid buying decorative doors that can compromise your security. If possible, install another door, possibly a heavy-duty glass door, to act as a barrier. You don't have to open the door till you trust what you see through the glass panel.
2. Safety in animals
Animals are known to sense atypical movements quite fast. A barking dog that sniffs out an incoming threat is the best layer of security for any homeowner. The presence of a dog will discourage any invader from entering the home, and knowing that the dog can go off at any moment makes burglars look elsewhere.
Besides barking, dogs can be intimidating as well. Dogs are the best allies for home protection. Dogs perform well around strangers at night, be it a Bullmastiff, a Rottweiler, or a German Shepherd. An intruder is no match for these loyal, alert, and brave pups.
3. Make it unpredictable
Everyone has a set routine, and they generally stick to that. But what is routine to you may be a weak link to a burglar who is monitoring your activities to break into your home. It may seem hard to switch your standard protocols daily but try to vary your ins and outs. Avoid creating patterns and keep intruders guessing.
4. Survey your surroundings
You need to step out and learn the dynamics of your neighborhood. Everything around you has an effect on your safety. The more you know about what's around, the safer you will feel. So much so that you may need to involve your next-door neighbor. In your absence, a neighbor can be a valuable asset.
Engage with your neighbors and keep a close eye on what they're doing. If you are close to someone, anything they do can affect your family. If all goes well, when times get tough, they'll be around to extend an arm due to you being such a familiar and friendly presence. Actively attend neighborhood meetings and get together often with your neighbors.
5. Light up your surroundings
Keep the area around your home well-lit at all times. You want to give the impression that someone's home and awake. Burglars rely on stealth, and light makes it harder for them to hide and go undetected out of such areas.
Identify hiding spots and install solar-powered motion sensor LED lights in your lawn and other dimly lit places. The moment a burglar steps into this zone, the lights go off, they find themselves panicking, and immediately take off.
6. Interior lighting
Light up the rooms in your home to give the impression of someone being up late. Don't get predictable and constantly turn on the same light — program lights in different unoccupied rooms to turn on at random intervals. You could even link a motion detector outside with your indoor lights. The lights will come on as soon as an intruder passes by.
7. Well-placed firearms and accessories
Firearms are a no-brainer when it comes to home defense. Follow your local laws when it comes to the storage of firearms, but always have the gun, a flashlight, and other accessories at an accessible point. The next time you're startled by the sound of someone, you'll retrieve your gun in no time.
8. Alarm systems
A timely alert from the wireless security system with a direct connection to emergency responders can save the day. The system has an inbuilt siren that goes off whenever it detects a potential threat. A lot of these alarm systems come equipped with triggers that you can customize to your preferences.
9. Excessive plants
Overgrown shrubs around your house can give a perfect hiding spot for invaders. Get your hedge trimmers out and put them to work — either trim the overgrowth or uproot them. In fact, don't ever let these bushes grow to a size where they can hinder the security of your house. Either hire a lawn care expert or get into the practice of cutting them yourself
10. Security cameras
Install CCTV cameras around your house. A camera gives you situational awareness. Also, when intruders see a security camera that films and records, they will reconsider their decision to commit any misbehavior. You can even go as far as installing a video doorbell.
A video doorbell with an intercom helps you interact with visitors to establish the purpose of their visit. Most cameras are capable of HD quality video recording and come with many capabilities, like night vision, motion tracking, family sharing mode, and more.
11. Rely on deception
In case you're unable to implement any of the above, rely on some creative tricks to create the impression of a secure household for anyone who tries to get too close. Display a "Beware the dog" or "Burglar Alarm" sign in your front yard. Also, install dummy cameras on all doors.
Make your home a hard target
Burglars always pick the house that offers the least resistance, so the only way to dissuade them from invading your house is by setting up a strong defense plan. Tailor the home defense plan to your unique needs. Beyond that, stay alert, stay safe, and don't get complacent with home security. If you want to learn more home defense tips, keep visiting our blog section.