Home defense systems
Home defense systems aren’t monitored security systems or passive alerting systems in my mind. True home defense systems are in place to defend against all threats potentially worrisome to you and your family.
A security alarm is good for peace of mind to some extent, but does am alarm system give you too much complacency in a world where the threat of a violent home invasion is ever-increasing?
Are passive alarms enough to help you assess a threat and stop it? Furthermore, what is the response time for the law enforcement agency in charge of your safety? By the time the threat is face to face with you and your family, will the police officer have arrived, had time to assess the threat level and then mitigate the threat?
The answer is more often than not: No. Home defense systems need to be comprehensive, integrative and well thought out; they need to be capable, and they need to be able to mitigate threats of all kinds.
The real question is this: are you defenseless; baited by the façade of a home defense system that is truly nothing more than an alert of danger?
Have you taken the necessary precautions to ensure you have protection for you and your family?
There are five major parts in the most basic home defense systems:
- Preventative measures
- Early detection
- The Fortress
- Threat elimination capability
The following sections will cover briefly the concepts in each facet of comprehensive home defense systems.
Home defense systems: Preventative measures
Preventative measures are incredibly important-the threat never becomes a threat if they move on to another spot. Preventative measures also require the most planning and the most skill to carry out properly. Real criminals aren’t fooled easily; they will be able to sniff out fake camera systems and ridiculous “novelty” security products. Preventative measures can include FORTRESS type items as well, as these two segments of home defense systems work especially well together. Visible window locks; high quality padlocks, window bars multiple locking points on entry doors; thorny bushes near low windows and other things can serve as ample enough reason for a thief or violent criminal to look for its prey elsewhere. Being smart about your security, like being aware of your surroundings and avoiding giving out too much personal information can be preventative as well: a criminal stalking you or casing your place may be able to tell that other victims are better targets just by watching your body language and behavior. Camera systems that feed to a secure location and which have early warning systems with audible noise; as well as motion detection lights around vulnerable parts of your property will be good deterrents. The complete home defense systems will always include a substantial preventative component.
Home defense systems: Early detection
Early detection doesn’t have to be incredibly expensive to be effective. Audible alarms triggered by motion activated lights, reflective laser break alarms are relatively inexpensive as well, and can provide a ton of early warning feedback. Some people implement seismic ground vibration detectors to tell when someone has moved into their property, but it’s not all that complicated. One or two well-placed game cameras with sensitive motion detection and remote wireless dialers can be constructed for under 1k, and tell you well in advance that you have company. I have a hard wired system protecting a 15,000 sq. foot lot with two cameras which cost me less than $750, and works on a redundant system which can use either a VOIP phone or a land line or a wireless GSM card. It took a day of fooling around to get it right and to secure the communications lines and make it hard to circumvent. If you need to go low budget, some fishing line and an electronic buzzer and some window vibration sensors should get you decent protection for about $75.
Home defense systems: The fortress
This is an important part, the fortress. For complete home defense systems the fortress will need to be very detailed and made with high quality items.
First and foremost you need door protection:
door jamb reinforcement ($75);Safe Homes International 55724 Door Reinforcer
Window vibration alarms ($12)Techko S086X Vibration Entry Alarm, Ultra Slim Design
are another great addition to home defense systems;
door bars ($18) for patio doors/sliding glass doors are also helpful White Security Bar for Sliding Glass Doors
One of the single best lifetime investments you can make with regards to your home defense systems (aside from a gun-sell below) is window films. Window films make it incredibly hard to get through the glass surfaces in your home; not to mention cutting down on heating and cooling costs and helping in earthquakes, tornadoes, etc. They are polyester optically clear sheets which get laminated to the faces of your glass surfaces (windows and doors) and are incredibly resistant to blunt force. They are expensive, but net a gain (economically) over the lifetime of your home. Expect to pay about $3-$7 a square foot for coverage. A thief or invader will think twice after they cannot break through your glass door with a crowbar. Chances are a single failed attempt at entry through a glass door or window will get that criminal on their way to easier victims.
Window bars are cheap to install, can be done so they minimize obvious aesthetics problems and they are helpful not only as a deterrent, but a physical barrier.
Security gates and screen doors are also not particularly expensive, but provide additional security.
Home defense systems: Comfort
You need to be comfortable with your family, especially during extended periods of unrest in the USA. A safe room might be a good choice, but storage and necessities are also important. This part of home defense systems is a long term effort and are more about sustained threats rather than specific and targeted threats. Comfort also comes along with peace of mind and secure feelings. Having a protocol that all members of your group are familiar with can be incredibly helpful; make sure each person understands how you want them to behave and act when threats are presented. Make sure they feel secure and comfortable; let them ask questions and get involved too.
Home defense systems: Threat elimination capability
Ok, here is the bread and butter to home defense systems. Without threat mitigation, it’s not a home defense system. A glorified alarm system is of no use when you have a violent criminal bearing down on your front door and nothing to protect yourself or your family with.
Get a gun. Criminals don’t like guns when they are used against them. The racking of a pump shotgun can be enough to deter even the most hardened of criminals, but knowing you can pull the trigger accurately and with deadly force if you cannot dissuade a criminal is priceless in the scheme of home defense systems.
A shotgun can be had for under $350, a nice handgun for under $400 and a high end big bore revolver or a carbine for home protection for under $650 usually. I’m partial to pump shotguns and high end semi-automatic handguns, but they may not be for everybody. A Remington 870 or a Mossberg 500 are both available at big box stores or all over the place for under $400 (often under $325), and will offer adequate defense for the average home defense system/home.
Training is as important as having a gun; you need to know how to use it, be sure that you can deliver damage with it and knowing how to assess risk with a gun in your hands is incredibly important. Here is where advanced threat notification can be important too: you’ll want to be sure you are shooting at targets that are part of your group.
Don’t forget to continually work to upgrade and fortify your home defense systems that you have in place, as technology and mindset will continually changing.
In the future we will be talking about the details of each part of the home defense systems platform we introduced here.