Saturday, February 13, 2016

Home and Personal Security, An Ongoing Saga

A home is a mans' castle.  It is the hearth that sustains him and his kin, it provides a refugim for his wife and children to flourish within.  That is why it is a vital responsibility and sacred mission to keep everyone within it safe from harm at all hours of the day or night.
This fellow in Flint, Michigan has put together a youtube on building cross beam locks for doors.  These are quite substantial.  The general concept can be improvised for heavier timbers.  On particularly vital locations, putting these towards the top and bottom of the doors will create even more protection.  Of note, he did not mention strengthening the door itself.  If needed, some 3/4" plywood screwed and glued onto the interior surface will make it much harder to punch through the door.

In some areas, it is impossible to protect screened in porches.  Many condo units in the South have these and they are a home invasion superhighway.  The framing of these porches is commonly of aluminum channel, which is at least something to work with. Expanded metal mesh can be screwed to the inside channels with self-tapping screws.  This will make penetration of your screened areas very difficult.  Don't forget the screen door!  You can spray paint the metal mesh black with barbecue grill paint to make it more subtle.

Steel Expanded Metal Sheet Flattened (3/4 #9) .120" x 24" x 48"

And the screws look like this:

As all solutions merely buy you time or cause the criminals to go elsewhere, take that into your planning considerations.

When you consider the security improvements to your home, do not neglect the exterior.  This is actually a subtractive job.  Find and remove anything that screams "ROB ME!"  Get rid of all the junk in your yard.  The goal is to look utterly BORING. Part of this may be considered you practicing OPSEC (operational security).  Just bought a big flat screen?  Cut up that box and take it to the landfill yourself.  Watch what you put in the trash.  Believe it or not, some crooks use the trash as a cue for what is inside the home.  Leave nothing curbside that may indicate that you have anything they may want.

Which leads me to the last part of this article.  Part of your "home defense" is to get rid of any documents, bills and personally identifiable information.  You can either shred the documents as they come in and are no longer needed, you can burn them outside if conditions permit.  At times, I have even flushed small bits of data.  DO NOT LET your data get away from you.

Paper shredders are very much a "you get what you pay for" item.  What you are looking for is a crosscut shredder that generates small bits that cannot be reassembled.  Look at this variant:

When shredding, you can protect your shredder by using shredder oil.  Not doing so is penny stupid, pound foolish!

You have to keep the shredder properly lubricated, or you will burn it out.  Clean out the bin often and dispose of the shredded paper.  Vacuum out the dust, as it is abrasive.  The lube oil is to keep the blades gliding and cutting.  Shredding paper deposits ink and paper sizing on the blades, making them run hotter and less efficiently.

If you have records that you simply MUST get rid of, burn them.  After burning the paper to ash, pour water on the ashes and stir with a stick.  That is a proven battlefield technique to get rid of papers that you have no use for, but somebody else might.

If you fail to properly shred your documents, you may experience what happened in the aftermath of the Iranian invasion and seizure of the American Embassy there during the Carter years.

Strip shredders are GARBAGE.  Get a high quality micro crosscut shredder and take care of it, and it will take care of you.  For further reading, here is a student guide from the Defense Security Service that may provide further depth on the topic.

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1 comment:

2knives said...

Out here in the hinterland (Pennsyltucky) we just burn any documents. Worked well for the last several hundred years. We use dogs, guinea fowl, peacocks,and shotguns for home protection. Seems to be working so far. Also backhoes come in handy for disposing of uninvited guests. We do have a reputation foe "brotherly love" you know.