Sunday, February 26, 2012

Home Security

   Home security is something everyone should take seriously no matter what their level of seriousness toward prepping. A world where we leave our doors unlocked and our ground level windows open at night is a world I think we would all love to live in, but at the risk of sounding like an whimsical hippy, such a world exists only in my dreams. Besides, locked doors rarely stop criminals. Since we do live in the real world where it’s not safe to rely on strangers to have our best interests in mind, here are some tips to help better secure your home.

-A pet can be more than a loving addition to your family. A dog is probably the first option people think of when they consider getting a pet for security purposes, but there are many other animals that can provide an effective early warning system for intruders. Free-range chickens are a good option for many reasons, food being one. If you’ve never tried to get close to a free-range chicken, I can assure you it isn’t easy. They’re extremely alert creatures and can be very vocal when something out of the ordinary is afoot anywhere near them. Turkeys react much the same way. If your property is appropriately fenced, any “farm” animal is a great option to let roam free; goats, sheep, lamas, etc. As with all pets, keep in mind that in a survival situation your pets will need emergency supplies too, so stock up on food and any special medical supplies they may need as well. Speaking of pet care costs, a German Shepard may be a great sentry to have around, but a Chiwawa can alert you to danger just the same and cost much less to keep fed and healthy.
-Motion Detectors. There are a wide range of products on the market and some can be placed away from your home, such as driveway detectors. I’ll leave it up to you to research which product is best suited for your situation, but solar powered with battery power back-up is recommended.

-Homemade Bells and Whistles. With a little ingenuity, some fishing line, eye-hooks and jingles, you can create a very effective alert system to cover pathways around your home, as well as entry points into your home. Make sure to set trip wires higher than the animals running loose or false alarms may drive you crazy. A wind chime placed strategically by a door or window, or a stack of aluminum cans behind a door are just a couple of creative ways to implement an effective early warning system.

-Booby traps that are meant to harm are not recommended unless you’re trained to work with such devices. These things are inherently touchy and an amateur could easily find themselves on the wrong side of their intent. Any device “rigged to harm” is illegal, so consider such things only in dire circumstances worth the risk. You can’t very well protect your family from jail.
-Every room in your home should contain a weapon. Firearms are great, but expensive and potentially dangerous around young children. A knife, pepper spray or a stun gun are all effective options to stash around the house. Many household items can be easily fashioned into makeshift weapons, just use your imagination. Wasp spray and oven cleaner alone can effectively deter an attacker. Any weapon you choose to have available has the potential of being taken away from you and used against you, so practice using the weapons you have at hand, even if it’s just learning how to effectively swing a baseball bat without losing control of it.

-Learning some form of covert communication is highly recommended, Morse code, sign language, bird calls, anything. You don’t want to find yourself in a dangerous situation wishing you had telepathy.

   Regularly test every security system you implement and conduct security drills with your family so everyone knows exactly what to do if an alarm should go off. Have established hiding spots, escape routes and rendezvous points. The family that prepares together is better equipped to stay together.

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