After we had the basic amount of “stuff” put up we turned our attention towards fortifying our home and improving the defense of ourselves. During this phase, we had to actually start thinking the way a criminal would. For obvious reasons, I will not be describing our entire course of action so here are our basics:
Layers, layers, layers……. Starting with our property’s perimeter, we made our existing fencelines and hedgerows less penetrable by adding thorny plants, mostly raspberry. Our property was a tempting shortcut for pedestrians but not anymore. Our raspberry lined perimeter now serves as a food source and a DNA collector. The raspberry plants were collected from the neighbor’s yards and vacant lots. They didn’t cost anything other than the time involved transplanting them. The vines stay in place year round and the thorns just seem to get sharper as they age.
A secluded back entrance to our property is now chained and blocked with a large tree stump. Foot traffic onto our property either has to endure thorns and fences or come directly into our line of sight and motion sensors.
Layer 2: Wireless motion detectors were placed on vehicle entry points and a few other key spots on the property. The sensor linked below is about as fancy as we would get.
It turned out that even the sensors designed for outdoor use will fail over time so I make weather-proof enclosures for them as they are replaced. Also, anything we use is capable of operating during a power outage…it either has it’s own power source or can be run with a battery and inverter.
Layer 3: Dogs….. The more the better…I’d have a dozen of them if it we could. It doesn’t matter to me how big they are as long as they are attentive. My dogs are irreplaceable to me and accompany me whenever I go outside. Their hearing and night-vision is much better than mine.
Here’s one piece of advice about dogs that spend some of their time in the house: DO NOT let them go outside unattended. It’s a common practice for a thief to poison a home’s dog before breaking in. They will toss meat laced with poison into the yard at night when no one is around hoping that the dog will eat it the next time they are let outside. We had several neighborhood dogs poisoned this way a few years ago, ours was one of them. She survived but she was the only one out of four. So be sure to watch your dog or check your yard before letting the dog out.
Layer 4: Lighting and obstacles…..
We’ve placed several physical deterrents outside our home. Lights, fences, bushes and noise making devices are in every path that could be used to gain access.
Motion sensitive flood lights are one of our best investments. We have them everywhere there is a blind spot. The motion detectors were a little annoying until we positioned them in the right place. Windy nights and nocturnal varmints gave us many false alarms at first. We have also installed manually operated flood lights that can be individually turned on and off as needed. I am planning to add some sirens to our system this year.
We don’t talk much about firearms on this blog….mainly because its a common topic on most of the other blogs. Firearms are a main ingredient in our home’s self-defense plan. I’ve been a gun collector and grew up in a “firearms” family so I am comfortable with having them around. I’ve had a few years to come up with an opinion about the one single firearm our home would have if, for whatever reason, it came down to having just one. My choice would be a 4″ barreled revolver in .357 mag or .44 mag. There are several reasons for this choice which could literally lead to another article just on this subject. Everyone has an opinion on this and I’m sure everyone wouldn’t agree with me. The one accessory I would add would be night sights.
My wife is not as proficient with firearms and has no desire to be an expert. She range practices twice a year and I work around that by keeping a weapon on hand that is easy for her to understand and use.
A good quality flashlight is just as important as a firearm. We keep our home dark at night and rely on using the darkness to our advantage. The new flashlights with the strobe feature are great for creating confusion especially if you have a barking dog or two in the house. Home invaders count on creating confusion and my guess is they are not expecting to walk right into it.
I’ve trained in knife fighting and a few different styles of martial arts but have found that it really doesn’t matter what fighting style is best as long as I was learning to engage an attacker instead of just beating on a bag and learning what what the instructor wanted me to know to earn the next belt. Sparring with others taught me to focus on gaining control of a situation. As the years have passed I’m getting to the age where I really have no desire to physically engage anyone. My style has changed, stopping an altercation quickly, decisively and without injury to myself is now the objective. I guess the saying about not “messing” with an old man is true.
We’ve found that practice drills are one of the best things our household can do to prepare. By simulating a break-in, each person can see how to react in a given situation. We learned this trick one night when the wind blew our back door open at 3:00AM. Thankfully that episode safely exposed a few flaws that we were able to correct.
One final thought… It seems that over the years it has become known to some that we are serious about being prepared. I found this out at a family and friends get-together recently when a few people I barely knew brought it up. Word of mouth from relatives and the strangers they talk to does indeed go far!
My wife and I don’t divulge every detail of our security procedures. In fact there are some aspects of our security layering that only I know about.