In these times of economic distress, many people are concerned about home fortification, and protection. With the threat of economic collapse, the increase of home break ins, and big brother looking into what you have, people are locking down and protecting their preps an property. You to accept the reality that there is a criminal threat out there. You need to mentally choose not to allow yourself to become a victim.
Do you ever run fire drills, or evacuation drills at your home? Do you feel your home is well secure and made to be a good deterrent for intruders? Do you have a plan for burglary when your house is unoccupied, or even home invasion while you are there?
Simply put, you need a plan with the many contingencies that would protect you, your family and your property should you need to dig in. If you can conceive of the worst possible scenarios following an apocalyptic disaster, you need more than just the door shut. Your home is most likely going to be your last line of defense.
Fortifying Your Home
Fortifying your home does not mean that your home is impenetrable. You can do a lot of things to make your home more secure, but if someone wants to get in badly enough, they are going to do all they can to get in. The more your home looks secure from the outside, the more people think that there is something inside they need. Fortifying your home does not need tank barricades or barbed wire, but it does mean to have a strong deterrent for protecting your home. Every 15 seconds a burglary happens in the United States. One in five families will experience home invasion and 80% of all of them happen through the front door.
One can always get a security system for the home – and I do recommend that you get one – but this only increases your home security by 30%. That’s better than none at all, but your security level needs to be at least 77%. I say 77% because statistically, you are not going to be home for the other 23% the time. Home alarms are good, but if they get in, they still have five minutes to do whatever they want in your home. In a disaster scenario, I don’t think the cops will be coming any time soon.
Doors and Door Jambs
Doors and door jambs need to be engineered to prevent your doors from being kicked in. All outside door jambs need to be reinforced. Steel door jambs are the best, but are very costly. In lieu of steel, you can install multi-layered studs around the door jambs. This will help prevent someone from prying their way in, or using a handy man jack to spread the open to the point where the door will just swing in.
All outside doors need to be heavy-duty. I love steel, but once again – expensive. If you can’t afford to replace your doors with steel ones, you should at least get solid (e.g. not hollow) wooden doors, so if someone wants in, they’ll need to bring a fire axe to do the job.
Most doors are hung with three hinges. You need to remove them and evenly space four. Most police force personnel shoot the locks or the hinge locations to open a door. By placing four, you just made the door stronger and harder to remove from the door jambs. One lock is not ever enough. Three locks should be placed on all doors. The door handle has a lock, there is always a bolt lock above the door handle, but some forget to have an extra bolt lock eighteen inches from the bottom of the door handle. This little trick makes it hard to pry in, pick or shoot out the locks. This bottom bolt lock needs to be keyed on both sides of the door. That way if someone gets in, they will have to run to find another way out. This trick also gives you time to get to the door before someone gets in. You should also get a brace bar that mounts to the door and braces it from the inside. This will help prevent your door from being knocked in with a battering ram.
Sliding glass doors. Man, I hate to say it, but get rid of them. They look good, but a brick can be thrown right through them. You can place a rod behind the sliding door so you cannot slide it. You can drill a hole in the top of the sliding door and put a metal dowel in it so you cannot lift it out of the tracks. But if I want in, it is the first place to go. Anyone can look in a room, and see everything if the blinds are not shut. A glass cutter can be used to cut the window out of the frame. I removed mine from my home and put in a double door. The outside looks like French doors, but all hard full wood. The doors can still open up for parties, and lock them down and nobody’s the wiser.
No one wants to have metal wire in the glass. This does keep it from shattering and it is much harder to break, but it looks somewhat “institutional” and like everything else, it costs more money. Putting in tempered glass is a great alternative. Just make sure you reinforce the window like you do your door jambs. Double pane glass and screens are also good deterrents. If you are home you will always hear the glass breaking.
Your windows should have two locks on them so it is hard to slide open. Drilling a hole in the window frame to slide in a wooden dowel will also help prevent it from being slid open from the outside.
Now if you are not home, I have a great device for you. Most windows that are broken into are in the of the home, and on ground level. So here is something I have found that works well. Just remember to never use live ammo in it. Its called a 12 GA perimeter alarm.
This unit is made of aluminum and utilizes a spring loaded mechanism, and trip trigger. When loaded with a 12 gauge blank, or pepper spray cartridge, it offers great general security. You can place it on doors, windows, and even make triplines in the home or outside. At about $30 each, they’re affordable enough to pick up a few of them.
I say never use live ammo due to the fact if you need to disarm it or forget you set it up, you won’t shoot yourself dead. I have seen this alarm in 12 gauge, or .308 rounds. There is also a company that just makes a report alarm, like a firecracker, but it is a one time deal. The Firecracker units sell for around $12 per unit. With these devices you can arm it when you are home, or way.
If you are at home I would also consider getting door and window sound alarms. The little units can be found online or at dollar stores. They have sticky tape on the backs so you can just press them in place. When the door or window is open, the alarm goes off and you will know where the intruder is in the home. They’re battery powered, so you will need to change them every year.
With your doors and windows fortified, it will take some work to get into our home. From the outside, it looks just like any other house, but after 20 minutes of trying to get in, and the alarms going off, they will not be back. Sure, you can install bars over windows, place steel grating over doors, but those measures are visible from the outside and begs the question; “What are they protecting?”
Quick Security Tips:
- Don’t allow strangers into your home, even if they are hurt or say they need help. Keep the door locked and call the police for them.
- Don’t advertise that you live alone.
- Don’t be afraid to call law enforcement to investigate, or a good friend on suspicious circumstances, unusual people, or strange noises. Its better to be safe than sorry.
- When you move into a new home or apartment, change the locks if you own it, or ask the manager to change them if you rent.
- Don’t leave notes on your door announcing when you will be home.
- Keep outdoor lights on at night.
- If you arrive home and your door is open or things appear to be out of place, leave and call 911.
- If you are accosted by a robber, follow his or her instructions. This is not the time to be a hero. The object is to get out alive.
Remember: Out of Sight – Out of Mind
Now down to some dirty stuff… You need to have a safe room. I prefer someplace downstairs or on ground level. It needs to have a hidden door that can be secured from the inside, with no windows and a vent going outside for air (The vent can look like a dryer vent so it is not obvious). Store enough food, water, medical supplies and other necessities in your safe room to last a few days. This room is only for temporary seclusion until whoever has gotten into your home has gotten what they want and left. You could be stuck in there for an hour or considerably longer. Remember, you may have to fight your way out to make a run for it, so make sure you have a firearm and a good escape plan. If you cannot hold off 50 people for 6 months, you may have to bug out no matter what.
A fortified house may deter some, but the well-armed scavenger may look upon it as a mild challenge on his way to getting what he needs. Planning for an armed assault will assure the greatest measure of protection and could provide the needed deterrent against those who don’t want to take unnecessary risks. If the SHTF, you need to take some steps to stop scavengers and marauders. You should make your house appear as an unappealing target for scavengers, creating the impression that it has already been hit. Spreading trash and mangled pieces of furniture and hardware on your front lawn could create the illusion of a house that has already been looted. Having an ample supply of pre cut plywood, or roofing metal ready to bolt over your windows is a minimum requirement in preparation for an assault. It would be a good idea to prepare some of them with gun ports.
Keep sandbags on hand. These provide the best door seals and are able to withstand bullets and light artillery. Setting the bags two or three rows high against doors and entries will prevent intruders from busting through. Floodlights need to be installed at doors and windows so that intruders cannot see in, and cover them with layers of plexiglass so they are not easy to break out.
Now for the gun… Think small. You’re not a sniper looking for the kill, you are protecting your home. I always recommend shotguns.
They hold 5 to 6 rounds, and can be long barrel or short. You can use slugs for distance and BB’s for tight, up close use. They even have specialty rounds like flame throwing, flash bang, rubber BB’s, tracer rounds, paintballs, pepper spray, sand bags, and even high explosive. You can find this ammo at gun shows or on the web. A shotgun does not require a high degree of marksmanship. You basically just point and shoot. And when you hear the slide action on one, well, that has a deterrent effect all its own. You can shoot one indoors without penetrating neighboring houses, however, you can easily shoot through the wall and leave a damn big hole in it, hitting whoever is on the other side.
I have three of them ready. The first one is for home protection, if someone breaks in while I am home. The first round is a “flash bang” which delivers 182 decibels that will knock the windows out with 1.5 to 2 atmospheric pressure along with a 1.5 to 2 million candle flash. This is highly effective at disorienting the intruder inside the home.
The next two rounds are rubber BBs. This disables them long enough to handcuff them. If I see any gun play, I just eject the two out and the next three are #4 buck shot to take them down.
My second shotgun is for SHTF day. It is a pump shotgun with a magazine. I have many mags with different types of ammo depending on the need. From flame to slugs.
The last shotgun has a long barrel on it. It too is a pump action and is suited for long distance shooting. I have a scope that I can put on it for better sighting and I even got a bayonet for it, for close quarter combat. In one of the photos you can see how you can make a tactical shotgun with tape and some time.