Home Defense: Are You Prepared? (Part 1)

Over the past couple of years, I have made a plan to make sure that my family is prepared for various situations.  Not only situations of the disastrous kind, but any other situation that one might routinely find themselves in.  With that in mind, I've started to look more and more closely at what could possibly occur, and if so, are we prepared to handle it.  Perhaps you've done the same.  If not, you should take the time to do.

In this post, I'll try and present some scenarios to get you thinking.  I'll also post, where applicable, what we've done to try and prepare ourselves for the scenarios listed.  Feel free to make additional comments and suggestions.  Remember, this post is not designed to be all comprehensive, rather, it is designed to get you thinking about being more prepared for what may come.

Home Security.  Last Christmas Eve, my family and I were spending time away from home when we received an unexpected call.  The call came from someone that we had entrusted to watch over our house while we were away.  Sadly, we were informed that a break-in had occurred at our residence, and some of our possessions had been stolen.  Thankfully, our home wasn't ransacked, and only a few items were taken.  Afterwards, I did a thorough review of my home and made some necessary changes to make a repeat quite a bit more difficult, if not impossible.  Listed below are a few of the steps that we took.
  1. Changed all deadbolts.  Each of our doors have deadbolt locks on them.  We purchased and installed deadbolts that require a key from both sides.  Since two of our doors have glass in them, we didn't want someone being able to smash the glass and reach in and turn the deadbolt.  Additionally, if someone breaks in now, they will most likely have to exit from the window in which they entered.  We do not leave keys laying around.
  2. Cut shrubs that hid outside windows from view.  I'll admit that as I surveyed the front of my house, I was surprised by the brazenness that someone displayed while entering through a front window.  Certainly, a passerby could have spotted the criminal entering my home.  I noted that a large Azalea bush in the middle of my yard, coupled with another overgrown Azalea near the window, provided ample stealth for the would be robber.  I commenced to cutting the bushes back considerably, and I installed an inexpensive, battery operated motion light on the corner of my house where the break in occurred.  
  3. After speaking to the detective that was assigned to our case, he informed me that our type of windows were susceptible to easy break-ins.  With a simple credit card, or thin sheet metal, the latch on the bottom of the window could be jarred, thus allowing easy entry.  Our solution to this problem was window braces.  In fact, I have now installed window braces on all of our windows, and they are secured in the tracks.  Additionally, I added some low cost window locks that fit in the tracks, and we've installed some inexpensive window alarms.
  4. We don't alert anyone of our leaving anymore.  Forget telling everyone of Facebook or Twitter!
  5. Lastly, we have decided to protect ourselves from future break-ins, if they should occur while we are home, by purchasing firearms.  Though we have made this decision, we are also trained in how to use them and consider ourselves to be very safe.  Each of our weapons are readily accessible while we are home, and locked while we are away.  Also, there are no small children in my home, so that is not a worry of ours.
So there you have part one of this multi-post series.  Obviously, this is a basic list of steps that we've taken for home security purposes.  Perhaps you've considered all of them; maybe not.  Again, please feel free to make any other suggestions or comments.


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