In a disaster scenario, desperate people, even your neighbors, can break into your house. But end of the world aside, home invasions and burglaries happen every day. Not only that, they have the potential to become survival situations. Many of my students are concerned with being able to protect their home and come to me seeking advice. Truth is, ultimately, none of us are immune, no matter what mechanisms we put in place. But I can tell you this, to break into my home; it will take none less than the best-in-class professional.
First of all, make sure that your house has some basic protection mechanisms in place. Remember, any home intruder has 3 core enemies (if you don’t count the barrel staring in their face): time, light and noise. Noise and light attract attention to them and anything that adds time to getting inside of a home makes it less desirable to break in, as with each passing second, going undetected is more and more challenging.
Here are 7 basic home defense mechanisms:
- Deadbolts. Ensure that all exterior doors are equipped with deadbolts.
- Window locks. You need to have locks on all of your windows.
- Outdoor lights. Make sure the outside of your home is well-lit. Install lights and motion sensors. Being able to see out there really helps and the light suddenly turning on will scare away many intruders.
- Landscape. Trim the trees and brush around your house so that you can see your front and back yard well and so that burglars or invaders cannot use them to access your second story windows.
- Security system. If you can afford a security system and monitoring, you’d be crazy not to get it.
- Security cameras. If you can install a couple of exterior security cameras – do it.
Secondly, most of the basic home security concepts have nothing to do with security systems – they have to do with your habits. Poor habits can have you killed. Develop these positive habits and you can rest assured that the risk of your home being broken into is reduced dramatically:
- Keep your doors locked. Whether you are at home or not, your doors should remain locked. Having to play with locks makes breaking into a house much more difficult.
- Do not keep any spare keys outside. They are usually very easy to find as most burglars will know where to look.
- Keep all of your windows secured, especially at night. It is way too easy for burglars to get in and get out with something valuable, be it your laptop, jewelry, or (God forbid) your child.
- If you lose your keys, change the locks immediately.
- If you move into a new house or apartment, change the locks immediately as well.
- Keep your valuables out of plain sight (away from windows and doors).
- Keep an eye out for strange vehicles or people camping out or walking in front of your house. What you need to understand is that usually, prior to being invaded, your house is “cased.” This means that your potential invaders will size up your house, try to determine whether it is worth breaking into and whether it is easy enough.
My advice today and every day is: “Develop good habits and don’t be an easy target.”
To your survival,