We continue our weekly Tuesday series on simple ways you can increase your home's security if "bugging out" is not an option for you, and your budget and resources are limited. This series will start out with the absolute basics and work from there. Each week, we will offer only 3 suggestions of things you may not have fully considered while developing your home security plan.
Last week we focused on points of entry - garage doors, entry doorways and windows. We will be returning to these items again with a follow up post addressing some of the questions and concerns sent to us by Readers.
Your perimeter is an important consideration. It is your psychological "line in the sand" - it defines your hearth and home from the external world. It is also the metes and bounds of what you own in this world, where you are your own border patrol. Unlike the actual border patrol, you can enforce your will on who is there or not. Usually a few words suffice, sometimes a court order does the trick. But not always.
The first thing to consider about your perimeter is if it will slow a criminal down or not and dissuade them from thinking that you have anything of value that is worth breaching your perimeter for.
Your perimeter can deter. As criminals like entering via ground level windows, back doors after their number one favorite point of entry, the front door (you did lock it, right?), you can take simple steps to make that unpleasant for them.
In addition to planting "natural barbed wire" under windows and to channel foot traffic the way you want to direct it, take a good scan of your home from the street. How close are the bushes and trees to your home? You don't want to leave any areas that provide cover to a potential assailant when you come back to your home in the evenings. Make sure that hedges are cut back away from the physical borders of your home structure so not to provide a hiding spot close to an entry point (door or window).
security lights are an inexpensive way to encourage criminals to keep
moving, and as well are a safety feature for you when you return home in the evening and at night. LED lights are energy efficient way to achieve this. They do
not cost much to run on off of a photo eye switch so they are always on
at night. Consider the cost you run if you get robbed, burgled or
invaded. That electric bill is small potatoes in comparison, although there are many solar powered options on the market now, that store the power needed to run the lights at night from sun energy gathered during the day. Perimeter
lights can even be incorporated into giving your home curb appeal...
Can you say up lights? Stylish AND safe, an excellent combination. Many motion detection lights come in complete kits and are easy for the home handyman to install themselves. When shopping for motion detection lights, read the reviews by other users before committing to a purchase. Some are more difficult to adjust sensitivity wise than others. We had some issues with one area that was triggered by wind movement and we ended up replacing it with another type of kit.
|Shrubs can act as natural barbed wire but make sure they are cut back around entry points so they don't provide cover for a potential assailant to hide in or around|
The "Godzilla" of Electric Hedge Trimmers
The following link will take you to the type of lighting discussed in this article. We are not endorsing "this" particular light - it is provided as an example of the type of lighting you should be shopping for - bright LED, 180 * adjustable range of motion, sensitivity motion, dusk to dawn coverage, manual overrides. There are many products on the market; shop around, read the reviews and find a product that will meet your specific requirements.
The last item in this week's discussion regarding perimeter security is to have at a minimum, a "peep hole" installed in your entry door. Never open the door for anyone, unless you know who they are and they have an appointment. The ideal step-up from this very basic security requirement would be to install cameras that allow you to view the entry points around your home from inside the home. Many self-install kits found in big box stores also allow you to view real time video of the entry points around your home from your phone or tablet, as well as make adjustments to heat, light, etc remotely. If you are not comfortable buying and installing a kit yourself, many cable and phone companies are offering a security-camera add-on feature that they will wire and provide the equipment, and bill you monthly. The monitoring usually also includes fire and water, so that should give you a significant discount in your home insurance policy as well. It's something that should be given serious consideration for elderly or disabled home owners.
This week's post has briefly discussed plants and shrubberies as natural barbed wire, the importance of motion detection security lighting and finding a system that allows you to know who is at the door before you open it - whether that is something as simple as a retro-fitted peephole or a more advanced security camera kit with remote wireless access.