A lock is only as good as the key and home security is not just about locking your doors. Criminality and the Red Team perspective as previously listed is meticulous and thorough. You typically can be content with the idea your neighborhood is safe. Neighborhood watch and community tend to deter criminals. But making the assumption that you are being targeted by an active Red Team, you need to consider what you can do to protect yourself while also maintaining a low profile as to not draw attention to your household by the law or the home owners association, and strike a balance between privacy, security and aesthetic. Before you can know how to secure your home you will have to recreate the Risk Management section again but with a few new considerations you are going to need to ask yourself to better understand all of your needs.
Am I protected by Castle Laws? Does my State have Stand Your Ground Laws? Or simply put, do I have the right to kill trespassers if I feel threatened? At what point will my State charge murder over self defense?
Are certain pets prohibited? This often applies to dog breeds, but can also range to birds and cats as well. A good defense is an offensive animal.
Are the people lower, middle or higher income? Lower class neighborhoods tend to have more crime arrests, however middle class homes tend to be the mark for most break-ins and middle class families the target of crime.
Do I know anyone drug dealers or criminals? Criminals are not often a popular group, and often they are not just dealing with upstanding citizens as well. Which means if your friends become targets because of their wrong-doings, that means you also become a target. If they are not your friends, then that also means they have no problems stealing or hurting you. You need to remove these people from your life, they are a security risk.
What are the gun laws in my area? This applies for also what kind of guns and how many guns you can own. A home defense gun is going to be different from you Every Day Carry gun.
What is the demographic in my area? Is your area near a University? Is a a tight knit family community or a collection of apartments? Everything makes a difference. Families commit less crimes than their single counterparts, and Universities tend to have younger people living near you, which means more potential for crime.
What permits must I get? Good fences make good neighbors, but often your city requires you to have building permits to allow you have one. This also applies to any structures you maybe wanting to install.
Professional criminals strike during the day and not at night, these are the criminals who want to get away clean, in and out, typically while you are away at work. These criminals will spend weeks to months scouting out an area. They will take jogs around an area, maybe drive there car to a public parkway. They will operate in middle class to upper class areas. They will try to blend in to the area they are scouting, look the part of a sale representative or other solicitors. They look make schedules of who may be home and when, like for instance if your car is parked outside your garage and what type of car you drive. But it is not always physical observation, they also do digital surveillance. They will monitor Facebook and other social media, use Google Maps, watch check ins, monitor Bluetooth signals, hack your wireless and monitor the network traffic, or simply try to pick up the same frequency as your handheld phone, or a baby monitor.
They appear friendly, like just another neighbor, and even will talk to your kids, and the people around your neighborhood. They can even be working for a legitimate business around your area. Construction, lawn care, mail-men, or any sort of service that allows them to move undetected or ignored. The entire point is they appear to not be doing anything out of the ordinary. So that means you need to take the proper precautions, have your security in layers, and learn how to minimize your losses as you cannot fully prevent loss. Collateral damage.
Criminals tend to look for several key factors before they mark a house to be hit. These are not all universal, but more often than not, the following it the typically factors that make you a target.
Are people there working or picking up belongings? Can the criminal blend in and try to steal something? Or just wear a disguise and load boxes into a moving van?
Are the occupants new? Can the criminal lie and pretend to be a friendly neighbor and familiarize themselves?
Are the occupants young or old? Younger people tend to be home less (working, socializing, University). While older people tend to be home more (retired, less frequent visits, more scheduled)
Are they moving in or out? People moving in or out, need movers. Movers allows for a possible occupation cover to avoid suspicion from neighbors.
Do I know these people or have I conversed with them before? If the criminal knows you, they can gauge your trust and attempt to steal something that way.
Do their pets know me? Will the dog be alarmed to my presence is I were to break in?
Do they have pets? A dog is loud, dangerous, and will complicate the break in. So criminals tend to avoid them.
Do they have weapons that can be used against me? If you were to catch the criminal in the act, could this interaction be lethal?
Have I ever been within the house or are the homes all alike? Blueprints and floor-plans are important. If the criminal knows where the master bedroom is, they can act much faster in a home they are familiar with.
Is it being remodeled? Another possible cover that allows the criminal into the home.
Is it occupied? As mentioned above the average professional wants the house to be vacant. They do not want you to be home so they can get in and out without added complications.
Is the house completely empty? No reason to break into a empty home, nothing of value in the wood.
What are their personal attributes (sex, gender, sexuality, religious and political beliefs…etc) Weighing the odds through demographic. Democrats, women, the religious, gay men, and the elderly often do not own guns, and depending on the criminal, easier to flee from or fight.
What is the number of occupants? If you happen to be home, they will want a head count to be sure everyone is gone, when, and how long.
Are there already potential offenders nearby? Can the criminal pass the blame off on someone else, losing all suspicion?
Has the house been burglarized before? The the people living here aware and prepared for a potential break in?
Have other houses within the area been burglarized before? Or the people living in the area aware and prepared for a potential break in?
Is the house in a high crime area? Will the criminals break in be investigated or blend in to the other break ins in the area? Or will I be breaking into a home that is prepared for a break in?
Is the house near a major overpass or freeway? Will there be a lot of traffic or a clean line of sight for someone to see the criminal break into the home?
Is the house near an street/road? Will the criminal have to worry about cars? or even possibly park their own?
Is the house on the outskirt of the area? Are there many neighbors? Can the criminal go in through the backyard, or escape through another persons yard?
Can I be seen from afar? As mentioned previously, the criminal wants to minimize as many lines of sight as possible.
Can the neighbors see me? Does the criminal have to also be aware of the neighbors schedule or interference?
If I survey the house, will people see and question me? How dedicated is the community awareness?
Are entry points (windows and doors) showing sign of decay or disrepair? While this could mean there is nothing of value in the home, it also makes means of entry much easier
Are the basement windows secured? Looking for access into or out of the basement, though often overlooked
Are the houses plans online? Lessens the need to conduct surveillance offline and also allows for the criminal to practice the floor plan
Are there decks or trees I can use to gain access? Again looking for alternate routes for access
Do they have a security system? Or Does the house have any security devices that I can see? Silent alarms and electronic security systems are an immediate deterrent for any criminal
Do they lock the garage? Depending on the home most valuables may not be in the garage, but if the situation allows, the criminal can take heavy tools and equipment. These are often worth quite a bit
How good is the lighting around the house? Automatic or always on houselights are something a criminal will want to avoid
How many windows and doors do they have? Managing the number of pathways, ways of entry, and lines of sight are all vital here
Is it next to the alley? Alleyways are an excellent access and escape point
Is the garage attached? If the criminal breaks in, is there a possibility of alternate routes of escape? Will noise play a large factor? Etc
Is the house designed with concealing architecture? A house with a lot of pillars and obstructions are good to sneak around in, obscuring the criminal from possible outside observers
Is the house old? Older houses often do not have security and are much more easily broken into, however older houses also make more noise, which can be good or bad for the criminal
Is there a basement? Typically the basement is a good access point, but criminals are often wary as this is also a choke point, restricting possible escape
This chapter is dedicated to explaining what you can possibly do to your doors, windows and garage. These three areas are the most common and should be the only real possible points of entry to your home. Everything here should be taken into consideration before being applied to anything.
Laws and neighborhood associations aside, having a fortress of freedom in the middle of suburbia may increase yours odd to be investigated or robbed than lessen them. Always think and assess before doing any of the suggestions below. Not all doors or windows will need the same level of security as the others, whereas some will need something much more drastic.
Bars in the middle of a suburb will look out of place and give people a reason to question you and your motives. This does not mean you can not outfit some frames and pre-installed brackets and sockets, just in case.
Be aware you will run into some suggestions for windows, doors or the garage already suggested on another list within this chapter.
The door will always be the main point of entry, if possible, for any criminal element. Especially if the door is out of sight or is the least visible point of entry. They would rather go through a door than try to force a window and draw possible attention to themselves or cause more noise than necessary.
*Note: The money is worth the initial investment. Your personal safety does come at a cost and all tips in this list can/should be applied to any and all doors on your property.
ADT or some other security sticker on all doors and garage doors Be sure the security you advertise is active in your area
Always ensure to lock and properly secure all sliding doors Try using a cable or lock, 2x4 blocks also work for sliding doors, if placed in the sliding jam
Always invest in buying a solid steel door and door frame Reinforced joists will also be needed in order to support the added weight
A security camera should be installed Real cameras should be use inside but outside real or fake cameras should be placed above each door that leads outside
Bells or some other noise-making object hung where the door will hit or placed on the door itself, the noise startles intruders and often will be loud enough to be heard through the entire house
Do not buy pre-hung doors, the pins are vulnerable Pre-hung door pins can often be pried up and removed from both the inside and outside of the hinge
Ensure all other doors are secured properly before leaving
Ensure the key can not be grabbed by smashing through the doors window People often place their key rings near the door, so they can quickly grab then on exit, but often fail to notice possible breaking and entering potential in the placement.
Ensure the key is never left within the lock of deadbolt.
Ensuring all doors are locked when away or not in use Make this a habit, if needed set yourself a reminder or a proximity alarm on a key-fob to remind you to lock your doors
Even if not religious, have a religious item A statue or picture in sight if someone looks through the doors or their windows, can scare or cause guilt in some.
If using a deadbolt look into installing a secondary deadbolt at head height or higher This adds extra reinforcement to the door, preventing a leverage break or the criminal using bolt cutters, as the height adds to the unruliness of the bolt cutters
If you can not reinforce the door jamb, reinforce the strike plate Adding reinforcements to the strike plate can prevent shims or crowbar leverage usage
If you need to keep the deadbolt key or handle near the door Hang it above the door and out of reach or against a wall away from the door, this make it difficult for someone using their arm or a tool to attempt to reach the key, if they can see it at all.
Installing and using a deadbolt A deadbolt can often prevent picking, as the weight alone makes it difficult to feel for tension. While still being able to be picked, adding an extra lock makes the time involved in picking work against the invader
Invest in buying a "Door Club" for each and every door within your house A "door club" is a device that is installed on the floor of the door that functions like a reinforced doorstop, anchored into the floor itself. It helps prevent a criminal from kicking on or ramming the door down
Look into reinforcing the door jamb with steel plates that run the length of the door Again this adds further reinforcement to the hinge, prevents shimming, and prevents ramming
Never post or place NRA stickers on your doors This is more for those criminals looking to steal your guns and are not threatened by someone owning a gun
Never post or place political stickers on your doors People are petty and in the political climate from 2008 to present, it is better to not give someone justification or a reason to vandalize your home or break in
Place a "DO NOT DISTURB" sign on all of your doors This is for peace of mind against the average visitor
Place an emergency sticker on your doors that alerts emergency respondents that you have animals on the property This is more for the safety of others and your animals
Security lights Motion activated, should be installed above each door that leads to the outside, light is often a sign someone is home and motion lights allow not only you to see what is around your home, but others as well
The trim around the door should be covered Be it with siding or another form of covering, this prevents shimming, but also can lower your power bill
Two brackets can be installed on either side of the door Then lay a heavy and thick piece of wood or metal pipe across said brackets. This creates another layer that should help prevent kicked in or forced open doors
When installing the door and/or door frame, ensure you use galvanized screws that are quite long and guaranteed not to bend or snap If you are going to use anything mentioned above, make sure they are high quality parts
When purchasing locks, look for bump-key protected locks Bump-keys are a simple and fast method to enter a home, forcing the pins around a key blank and allowing for entry
If a potential thief can not use any door on your property, their next point of entry will most likely be the window if they have not decided to give up. Some will give up as the window will most likely cause more noise than going through the door whereas some others have prepared for just this case.
All tips should be applied to any and all windows on your property
Basement windows should have a cap placed over them A cap is a plastic dome that covers the entry point, making it hard to someone to break in or to use it as a war to break out
Ensure all frames are thoroughly sealed and caulked, double check for possible flaws This prevents the entire window frame from being budged or yanked out
Ensure the child protection safety latches are enabled Adding to the difficulty in unhinging the windows
Ensuring all windows are closed and locked when away or not in use
If windows are older, replace them with double or triple pane This can prevent someone from using duct-tape to mask the sounds of shattering glass, lowers cost of your electric bill, and reinforces the window overall
Install or put up blackout curtains Especially ones that offer noise cancellation, prevents people from peeping in and/or listen in
Install security film Having security film on all windows possible prevent prying eyes and creates a tint
Keep all keys, documents and valuables away from windows
Look into a window bar Or simply use a piece of PVC, WOOD, METAL, or PIPE above all windows. This acts like a window jam to prevent the window from being opened, even if the window is unlocked
Look into installing a window lock if possible This reinforces the windows and prevents common window latch attacks
Place bars on all basement windows
Place security hedges or thorny bushes under windows Make sure they are dense enough that someone can not hide in them or by them
Windows that are never in use or pose a bigger threat Even with the above done, should be screwed shut to prevent opening
Doors and windows are not the only point of entries. Many people, especially in higher class neighborhoods, tend to leave their garages completely unsecured. No one really pays much mind to the garage until its broken into. This is why you should be pro-active and secure your garage to further minimize your loss, especially if you have a garage attached to your house.
All tips should be applied to any and all garages on your property
Always close your garage door, even if you are in there An open garage door allows people to enter and scout around, possibly even allow access to your house
Always ensure the service door leading to the house can be locked only from the house and not the garage This is to ensure that if someone is able to break into the garage, that the criminal also cannot break into the main part of the house
Always invest in buying a solid steel service door and door frame
Always park your vehicles in your garage A car left out can suggest you own more than one car or are hardly home enough to use your garage, this also creates an easier method in checking if your are home or away
Always use piano hinges that go the length of the door, never use exterior hinges This reinforces the hinge and prevents common hinge removal attacks
Check your garage doors tracks If they allow it, you can secure your garage door further by placing a lock-bar or a simple steel coat hanger through the tracks to prevent the door from being forced
Do not buy pre-hung As mentioned above, pre-hung are vulnerable to common hinge attacks
Ensure all explosives, flammables and similar items are put away, locked and out of site These items can be used to gain entrance in your home, while uncommon, if someone is determined, that can attempt to simply blow the door down or force you out, and in the panic, quickly steal what they can
Ensure all service entrances have deadbolts, secondary deadbolts and bump-key proof locks This further reinforces the entry points and makes it not worth the criminal's time
Ensure you always keep your garage clean and organized This helps you see if anything is stolen or has been moved
Ensure your garage door does not have windows If it does, secure or board over them
Ensure you have installed private drive, private property…etc signs around your garage This again creates peace of mind against your average visitor
Get a solid garage door, not a thin aluminum one A solid steel or wooden garage door can help deter would be thieves
Invest in locked cabinets, lockers and toolboxes This is to keep thieves out of your tools and belongings. This also prevents you from supplying them the tools to break in
Limit the access points into your garage board up windows if you do not want or need them
Look into investing into a good bike lock or two, non-combination Use these to secure tools and larger items to your walls or to weights of sorts to prevent theft or use against you
The money is worth the initial investment
Zip-tie the emergency garage door release Thieves and intruders can use a variety of means to release it and open your garage