Having a robust home security system should be the base layer of protection against burglars in every home. But did you know there are extra steps and measures you can take to gain an advantage over intruders?
There’s more to home security than simply getting the best cameras and alarm systems or being part of your local neighborhood watch. Learn these seven must-do tactics to make the best of your home defense plan, so you are prepared to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your property in the event of a home invasion.
1. Become a Dog Owner
According to multiple surveys conducted in the UK and the US, many convicted burglars revealed that dogs are among the best burglar deterrents a homeowner can have.
Your dog’s acute senses allow them to sense and detect intruders. Even the simple act of barking or growling can be a powerful deterrent for a potential burglar, who may abandon their plans on the spot.
Although any dog can provide this kind of deterrence, larger breeds are particularly effective; their size, strength, bite force, and whether they have received intruder training all factor into your canine companion’s effectiveness for home protection.
Your canine friend may not replace a complete security system, but they are effective early warning systems, giving you time to react.
2. Make Your House Look Occupied
Burglars don’t want to break into houses only to find out the homeowner is still inside.
One of the most reliable indicators your house is an easy target are signs you’re not home, such as piled-up trash, a full mailbox, newspapers on the front porch, lights off even in the evening, and more.
Although one of the most efficient countermeasures is to have a friend or a trusted person house-sit for you while you’re away (therefore keeping your house occupied), it’s not always an option.
Fortunately, there are alternatives. Using programmable light switches allows your interior lights to come on and off automatically at specific times of the day. You can also use fake TV lights to trick an outside observer into thinking you’re home and watching television.
If you have neighbors, offer them to park their cars in your driveway. Not only will they appreciate it (and they may return the favor!), it reinforces the illusion that you’re home.
3. Redundant Cameras
Good security cameras aren’t cheap, and some burglars are sufficiently determined and resourceful to look for them while casing your house, so they can later disable or steal them.
It might be tempting to conceal all your cameras; however, consider making just one or two visible and placed in a conspicuous spot, such as your front door.
In addition to this conspicuous camera, place a hidden, second camera, watching the same spot, ensuring that the visible camera is within the field of view of the hidden one.
The tactic serves two purposes:
- Deter the opportunistic home invaders by making it clear your house is under surveillance. The idea being that upon seeing your conspicuously placed camera, they may reconsider breaking in.
- Entrap the more determined burglars. If they attempt to damage or steal your visible camera, the hidden one will record all of it, giving you additional evidence to turn over to law enforcement.
4. Get Close-Quarters Training
If firearms are part of your home defense plan, getting appropriate training is highly recommended.
The interior of a typical American home is a close-quarters environment; therefore, the best training you can receive is in a Close-Quarters Battle (CQB) class, similar to what law enforcement and military personnel receive.
Don’t be the only one attending the class; if possible, every capable and willing member of your family should train and practice with you.
5. Plan Creative Escape Routes
If you have an escape plan for home invasions, you know the importance of having exit points and getting out of the house as quickly as possible.
However, if you live in a multi-story house, your bedrooms are likely on the second floor (or higher), making it dangerous to jump out the window as you would on the ground floor.
Prepare a fire escape plan and stage window ladders in every room with a window above the ground floor. These ladders give you a quick and worry-free way out of the house, letting you and your family reach your rallying point safely.
6. Prepare a Bug-Out Bag
It may not be on the same scale as a natural disaster or civil unrest, but a home invasion is an emergency. So, it is reasonable to prepare and use a bug-out bag.
Ideally, you should be able to reach your car and drive away to safety, so it makes sense to keep your bug-out bag inside your vehicle. Make sure that it contains various essentials, such as:
- First aid kit
- Ready-to-eat non-perishable food
- Power bank and spare charging cables for your phones
- Emergency cash
- Any other items you deem necessary to have in an emergency
7. Use Lights Even in a Blackout
Although some burglaries are professionally planned, most of them are acts of opportunity. Difficult circumstances, such as harsh weather, often cause power failures, which disable most security systems and incite opportunistic housebreakers to act.
Fortunately, there are ways to prepare for a home invasion even with no power. Some of the best tools at your disposal are solar-powered motion-activated floodlights.
These wireless devices possess ultra-bright lamps capable of illuminating broad areas with daylight-bright light. The integrated batteries and solar panel arrays keep the lights charged during the day. They can also be programmed to turn on automatically at sunset and turn off at sunrise.
The sight of a brightly lit house during a blackout will be a powerful deterrent against burglars. Best of all, solar-powered lamps require little maintenance, supplementing your primary outside lights with ease, making them convenient to use even when the power returns to your neighborhood.
Always Be Two Steps Ahead
Efficient home protection is all about planning and preparedness. The more measures in place, the better prepared you will be in case of a home invasion attempt.
In turn, the better prepared you are, the more likely you will deter the burglars, stopping them in their tracks before they can do any harm to you, your family, or your property.