The holidays are here, and we all hope to enjoy some quality time with friends and family. However, every year someone tries to ruin the fun. No, I don’t mean Uncle Stew when he drinks too much eggnog, I mean the bad guys who try to catch us when our guard is down.
No one wants to be a victim, so a little advice and some common sense are in order to help stay safe this season.
We happen to have a guest post for you by home security expert, Madison Parker. Her security experience extends beyond just defending against home invasion: she has several years of experience in Ninjutsu and Karate! Take a look at her excellent article, check out her blog, and let us know what you think!
How to Stop Intruders (Without Having to Kick Any Butt)
Stopping home intruders with your fists is one thing; stopping them before they get to your fists is quite another. You need to remember first of all that home security is a battle; and battles are won and lost in the mind.
Fortunately, you have one advantage over the home invader from the start: he’s a coward and you’re not. He’s afraid to do what it takes to earn a living honestly, so he does so by hurting others. You only hurt others when they really deserve it.
Here are some minimalist, do-it-yourself home security measures you can take that will keep home invaders at bay and keep you and your family safe:
- Give him fair warning. Burglars tend to target homes where they believe no one is home – or where they believe the person who’s home is weak and defenseless. There are plenty of things you can do to let a home invader know you’re not playing around. Leave your size 12 boots on the step. Put an NRA sticker on the back of your truck (even if you’re not a member). Even an empty protein shake can will be a deterrent for some criminals.
- Guard your perimeter. You don’t have to have an expensive home security system to make your home defensible. Take a step back and consider your home. Look at every possible entry point. Make sure those entry points are well lit and clearly visible from the street. Get rid of tall bushes that might conceal a burglar. Cowards don’t break into homes where neighbors might see them.
- Secure entry points. Deadbolts aren’t impenetrable. A good thief can get past a deadbolt. The problem is that it takes him about 10 times as long to break into a door that has a deadbolt as it does to break into a door with a regular lock. A deadbolt lock is an easy-to-install and relatively cheap way to dramatically increase your home’s security.
- Don’t flaunt your valuables. If you buy a 70” plasma TV, don’t leave the box sitting on the curb for three days waiting for the trash man. Put it out the morning that the trash man comes. Better yet, cut the thing down into manageable pieces and put it out on recycling day.
- Protect your home even when you’re not there. There are a number of ways to do this, each of which brings a different kind of protection. Certainly, do-it-yourself home security systems from your local big box hardware store can do the trick, and usually for less than a couple hundred bucks. A neighborhood watch is also effective, and has been show to greatly reduce home invasions in communities where the program is active.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to keep your home and your family safe. There are plenty of ways to do that without ever having to throw a punch. You win the fight against a home invader the same way you win every other fight: by beating him in the battle of wits before there’s ever a real altercation.
Madison Parker is a home security expert whose advice is sought after by friends and strangers alike. Read more of her work at her blog Home Security Systems!