Unless you happen to be the duke of a large estate with a fortified castle, you’ll have to put in a little preparation to secure your home from invaders. While taking precautions to protect yourself from a home invasion is important now, it will become even more critical in the event of a catastrophe.
A SHTF scenario will drastically widen the gap between the Haves and the Have-Nots. When you plan for such an event beforehand, you have to consider the possibility that there will be crowds of people who will try to take your possessions, shelter, and even your life.
Prepare for the worst with these 7 home security measures that could save your life someday.
1. Reinforce Your Doors
The first step toward successful home defense is pinpointing your weak points, which first and foremost will include the doors leading into your home. Reinforcing your doors is the best way to keep bad guys out, since doors offer the easiest and most intuitive path into your home.
Consider these four options for optimally reinforced doors:
- Metal Frames – Installing a metal doorframe is the best, most secure measure you can take for reinforcing your doors. A bad guy can easily kick in a door that is set into a wooden frame, no matter how strong and intricate its lock system. Metal frames are much harder to break through.
- Steel Doors – In addition to having metal frames, upgrade your wooden door to a steel door for extra strength. Another perk to having steel doors is that they are resistant to fire. Even if you decide to keep a strong wooden door, make sure it is solid and without any decorative windows—you’re surviving, not winning House of the Year.
- Steel Conduit – To take the metal frame concept even further, you can install a small length of steel conduit running a few inches into your doorframe. This way, your deadbolt will be anchored into not only a metal frame but an entrenched metal sheath as well.
- SIMlock – The best reinforcements in the world won’t stop a lock from being picked. Install SIMlock onto your deadbolt to keep it from being opened by some a few hairpins and some clever fingers.
- Additional Reinforcements – If metal frames, steal conduits, metal doors, and a SIMlock are a little beyond your means, you can still reinforce your doors with doorstops, extra deadbolts, or even boards mounted to the walls (if your door opens inward).
2. Strengthen Your Windows
A bad guy’s other main point of entry into your home is typically through the window. Strengthen your windows using any or all of these methods:
- Security Bars – The first and most obvious way to secure your windows is to fit bars over them, either on the inside or the outside. This prevents bad guys from entering, jailhouse style.
- Plexiglas – If bars aren’t your thing, you can strengthen the window itself by using Plexiglas instead of regular glass. Plexiglas will deter all be the most resourceful home invaders, as it takes much more abuse to shatter it.
- Dowel Rods – Windows, like doors, are still a weakness if they can be unlocked. While you can secure your windows with deadbolts and the like, a cheap, efficient additional security measure can be found in the form of a dowel rod. Simply place one in the gap where your window slides to ensure it can’t be opened enough for someone to get in. This is also a great solution for sliding glass doors.
3. Upgrade Your Fence
If you can keep unwanted people off your property altogether, you won’t even have to put your reinforced doors and windows to the test. A fence is a fantastic deterrent, and you can upgrade it however you want.
A simple privacy fence can be reinforced quite a bit: wooden posts can be changed to steel posts, wooden slats can be covered with corrugated tin, and of course barbed wire or razor wire can be installed on top. In addition, the height of your fence can be increased and the gates can be strengthened (although if you live in within city limits, check your regulations for fence height).
4. Fortify Your Perimeter
Undetected is the last way a bad guy should enter your property. While not a deterrent in and of itself, having motion detectors that alert you to the presence of a home invader will let you prepare yourself, whether that means entering a panic room, arming yourself with a shotgun, or activating any sort of booby traps you might have engineered for such an occasion.
5. Build a Panic Room
Building a panic room ensures your safety when all other safety measures fail. In a SHTF scenario, most people looking to unlawfully enter your property want your stuff, not you. If you can’t keep them out of your home, at least escape the encounter with your life by stealing away into your panic room. It doesn’t have to be elaborate like in the movies or built to withstand a nuclear blast; it can simply be a small, undetectable space with a few days’ worth of supplies.
6. Landscape Defensively
Use shrubs and trees to your advantage when planning for your home defense. Thorny vines are a great way to top your fence, and prickly bushes are a great way to block access to high windows in your home. You have to strike a balance, however: bushes and shrubs can also offer concealment to would-be invaders, so make sure your landscaping still offers 360-degree visibility.
7. Enlist Canine Help
Man’s best friend is also one of your home’s best defenses. With superb hearing and scent detection, defensive dogs such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Doberman Pincers, and several other breeds will add extra home security as well as love and affection. Again, you have to strike a balance in your security needs: an untrained, large dog can be a detriment to your survival in some scenarios. Make sure you train your dog to stay silent on command and to always listen to your cues.