Official Home Security Thread

Official Home Security Thread

This is a discussion on Official Home Security Thread within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I feel we need a thread highlighting all the products and techniques that can be employed to greatly reduce your chances of being victimized. Everyone ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array HKCHEF's Avatar
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    Official Home Security Thread

    I feel we need a thread highlighting all the products and techniques that can be employed to greatly reduce your chances of being victimized. Everyone on here submitting tips and experiences to avoid home invasion could turn in to a real asset to the site.

    Home security is just a hobby for me. I'm not a expert. Before I bought my house my girlfriend and I were robbed in our apartment. I decided I will do what ever I can to never be burglarized.

    Make sure you surpass the basic system all the alarm companies try to give you for free. Get them bidding against each other they are very competitive. The monthly payment is all they care about they don't have allot of money wrapped up in the equipment. Upgrade your keypads as well you will be glad you did.

    Here is what I have:

    1. All exterior doors are steel or solid wood and reinforced with Door armor kits, this kit is incredible we tested it on a shed. This is the best I have seen for improving the average home jam. Here is a vid YouTube - Does It Work Door Jamb Armor WREG Part 1 - 3 12 09 this setup is much stronger then the strike master product.



    2. All exterior doors have deadbolts (Abloy high end locks) but the ones that are close to a window are keyed on the inside to avoid the old reach around. I know this is a fire hazard, I have no kids.

    3. Safe room has bars on windows and reinforced interior door jam with steel door and deadbolt.



    4. Shed has puck lock security hinges and bars on window. Since been upgraded to abloy.



    5. Seven motion lights, each one with 2 250 watt halogens. House can not be approached with out lighting up.


    6. Alarm system windows all have sensors, three key pads, rooms all have glass break sensors, doors all have sensors, garage door sensor, motions in key areas, interior and exterior siren and strobe. Sign in front of house and smoke alarms.





    7. Trailer is secured with security chain that can not be cut by conventional means and lock from Multi-lock. Tulsa Chain Industrial Chain Rigging Equipment Supplier, Chain Hoists, Winches, Securement Products sub section security chain. Chain wrapped around semi u-joint sunk in concrete.


    8. Fence wrapping rear of home with two huge dogs in it, locks on all gates.

    9. My neighbors are older and retired I tell them when I go out of town they happily keep a eye on the house for me.

    .
    Last edited by HKCHEF; April 19th, 2011 at 12:44 AM.
    HK. Because you suck. And we hate you.


  2. #2
    Member Array HKCHEF's Avatar
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    10. Mailbox has lock.


    11. Thorny bushes under windows.


    12. Gun safe holding valuables.

    All the stuff above covers me while I am not home. When home you can add shotguns and handguns to line of defense. Shopping for surveillance cameras.

    So lets here some tips and help everyone keep these jackasses out of our homes
    Last edited by HKCHEF; April 19th, 2011 at 12:43 AM.
    HK. Because you suck. And we hate you.

  3. #3
    Member Array HKCHEF's Avatar
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    HK. Because you suck. And we hate you.

  4. #4
    Member Array HKCHEF's Avatar
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    Some more tips.

    # Plan to "burglarize" yourself. You'll discover any weaknesses in your security system that may have previously escaped your notice.

    # Lock up your home, even if you go out only for a short time. Many burglars just walk in through an unlocked door or window.

    # Change all the locks and tumblers when you move into a new house.

    # For the most effective alarm system, conceal all wiring. A professional burglar looks for places where he or she can disconnect the security system.

    # Your house should appear occupied at all times. Use timers to switch lights and radios on and off when you're not at home.

    # If you have a faulty alarm that frequently goes off, get it fixed immediately and tell your neighbors that it's been repaired. Many people ignore an alarm that goes off periodically.

    # A spring-latch lock is easy prey for burglars who are "loiding" experts. Loading is the method of slipping a plastic credit card against the latch tongue to depress it and unlock the door. A deadbolt defies any such attack. It is only vulnerable when there is enough space between the door and its frame to allow an intruder to use power tools or a hacksaw.

    # If you lose your keys, change the locks immediately.

    # Before turning your house key over to a professional house cleaner for several hours, make sure the person is honest and reputable as well as hardworking. Check all references thoroughly. If the house cleaner is from a firm, call your local Better Business Bureau to check on the firm's reputation.

    # Instead of keeping a spare key in a mailbox, under the doormat, or on a nail behind the garage, wrap the key in foil -- or put it in a 35mm film can -- and bury it where you can easily find it if you need it.

    # Don't leave notes for service people or family members on the door. These act as a welcome mat for a burglar.

    # If the entrances to your home are dark, consider installing lighting with an infrared detector. Most thieves don't want to be observed trying to get in a door.

    # Talk to your neighbors about any suspicious people or strange cars you notice lurking about.

    # To keep your tools from being stolen, paint the handles. Thieves avoid items that are easy to identify.

    # Trees located near windows or shrubbery that might shield a burglar from view can be major flaws in your home-protection plan. Consider your landscaping plan in light of your protection needs.

    # Ask for credentials from any sales-person who requests entry to your home. Ask that their ID be pushed under the door. Many professional burglars use this cover to check out homes. If you're doubtful, check with the person's office before letting him or her in.

    # Do not list your full name on your mailbox or your entry in the telephone book. Use only your initial and your last name.

    # If someone comes to your door asking to use the phone to call a mechanic or the police, keep the door locked and make the call yourself.

    # Dogs are good deterrents to burglars. Even a small, noisy dog can be effective -- burglars do not like to have attention drawn to their presence. Be aware, however, that trained guard dogs do not make good pets. Obedience training and attack training are entirely different, and only the former is appropriate for a house pet.

    Securing Doors

    * To help burglar-proof your home, install 1-inch throw deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.

    * A door with too much space between the door and the frame is an invitation for the burglar to use a jimmy. Reinforce the door with a panel of 3/4-inch plywood or a piece of sheet metal.

    * If there are door hinges on the outside of your house, take down the door and reset the hinges inside. Otherwise all a thief has to do to gain entry to your home is knock out the hinge pin.

    * You can burglar-proof your glass patio doors by setting a pipe or metal bar in the middle bottom track of the door slide. The pipe should be the same length as the track.

    * It's easy for a burglar to pry through rot. Replace rotted door frames with new, solid wood.

    * It's simple for a thief to break glass panels and then reach in and open a doorknob from the inside. A door with glass panels should be either fortified, replaced, or secured with deadbolts that can only be opened with a key.

    Securing Windows

    * Protect your windows with one or more good locks, an alarm system, burglar-resistant glass, or many small panes instead of one large area of glass.

    * When installing a window lock, drip some solder on the screw heads. It will stop a burglar from unscrewing the lock after cutting a small hole in the windowpane.

    Home Security When You're Away
    Burglers always look for signs that a house is uninhabited -- and the longer the house is empty, the more vulnerable it becomes. Follow these tips for keeping your house secure while you're away:

    * If your plans to be away from home have been publicized through a funeral, wedding, or similar newspaper notice, hire a house sitter. Burglars often read the newspapers to see who's planning to be away from home all day or for several days.

    * Ask your neighbors to use your garbage cans when you're on vacation so your absence won't be so evident.

    * If you're going to be away from home for several days -- or even for just one day -- adjust your telephone ring to its lowest volume. An unanswered phone is a quick tip that your home is empty.
    HK. Because you suck. And we hate you.

  5. #5
    Member Array HKCHEF's Avatar
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    Here is a site I use for locks as well.

    www.securitysnobs.com
    HK. Because you suck. And we hate you.

  6. #6
    Member Array HKCHEF's Avatar
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    I recently came across these security screens and I might give them a try. Here is a link. Check out the vids.

    Tapco Inc. -- Security Screens, Security Doors and Latches

    FYI the purpose of this thread is not to suggest you turn your home into Fort Knox but rather inform on what is available. Do what is needed for your area.
    HK. Because you suck. And we hate you.

  7. #7
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    Here is link to a great article to help you make a informed RSC or safe purchase.

    The Safe Option
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  8. #8
    Member Array HKCHEF's Avatar
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    Here is some great info on CCTV I found on AR15.com

    AR15 CCTV Tutorial
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  9. #9
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    Thanks for a great series of photos, lists and resources! Since I just moved into a new house, it's a great list of "To Do's". Welcome to DC too.

  10. #10
    Member Array HKCHEF's Avatar
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    I want to address the difference between safes and RSC's (residential security container).

    Below is a great post from the highroad.com

    . I've been researching secure storage now that I've moved into a house and can set something up for the long term (like 10 to 30 years).

    Some of the best info I’ve found has been right here on THR. I want to especially mention and thank member’s a1abdj and CB900F. They are both safe technicians and provided much good info.

    This post is based on the info they provided and the other research I did on the web. If anyone in the safe industry has any comments or corrections, please feel free. I am not a locksmith or safe tech, so this is just my understanding after my research. I just wanted to put all the info I learned in one place.
    *******

    Once you have more then three or four guns, especially long guns, it's time to start looking into a large container to store them all securely.

    Notice I said "container" and not "safe." That was deliberate. The majority of what are commonly called and sold as "Gun Safes" are actually UL (Underwriter's Labratory) listed as "RSC" or "Residential Security Containers" and not actual safes. This includes the "safes" available at big box stores like Academy, Gander Mountain, Sam's Club, etc, with brand names including "Liberty," "Winchester", "Browning," etc.

    So what is a RSC, and how is it different from a true safe?

    Simply speaking, a RSC is a large, sheet metal box with a lock. The metal for the sides and doors is typically 12 gauge or 10 gauge. That's pretty thin folks. The actual door or walls may be thicker due to the addition of gypsum wallboard or similiar materials designed to reduce (not eliminate) the effects of heat or fire. The other advantage, from a seller's point of view, is this type of "composite" or "clad" construction makes the door and wall look thicker and more secure to the average buyer and helps with sales.

    The locks are usually UL rated and offer good security. The weakness is in the actual body of the unit.

    The UL RSC classification means that any specific RSC labelled container will resist forced opening for up to *five* minutes by an attacker using simple, non powered, hand tools. We're talking screwdrives, hammers, and pry bars LESS then 18" long. RSC's are not rated against any attack by power tools or any attack lasting longer then five minutes.

    Five minutes, that's it, and that's with just hand tools. And that's assuming a more or less amateur attack. To a pro, it might as well be unlocked. This attack does allow the attacker to knock the RSC over. It is much easier to get through the back or sides then the door or lock. The welded corners are especially vulnerable. For maximum security, RSC's should always be bolted down to keep them from being tipped over and attacked at the weak points.

    Now, as long as you understand the limitations of a RSC, and don't pay too much for one, they do have a role. A RSC will protect you from your kids or unauthorized guests getting into your firearms (unless they are willing to destroy the safe to do so. Not likely if they just want to "play with daddy's guns.")

    A RSC also helps protect you from quicke "Smash 'N Grab" burglaries, of the type typically done by teenagers and other 'ner do wells. The "smash 'n grab" robber wants to be in and out as quickly as possible and often won't take the time to try to defeat a RSC. You can add to your security by hiding the RSC to make it less likely they'll even find it in a quick run through the house. Remember though, that if the "smash 'n grab" robber does decide to attack your safe, it's only certified to hold up for five minutes agains the very tools he probably used to break into the house in the first place.

    Even though RSC's advertise fire protection, my sources tell me not to rely on that. At best, a RSC will help protect your firearms from a less-then-complete house fire. The shorter duration and lower the heat, the better. Don't trust the ratings advertised by the manufacturers though. The only consisent, reliable and independant fire rating that means anything is the UL 1 hour (or better) ratings. Unfortunately, there are no RSC's that meet this rating as the standard materials and construction required to offer this kind of protection are too expensive for RSC use.

    Don't get me wrong though. Any fire protection is better then none, just don't believe the manufacturer's claims and don't rely on a RSC to keep vulnerable items like paper documents, jewlry, or electronic media safe, even from a smaller fire.

    Enough about RSC's, let talk about true safes.

    By comparasion a true, "B rate" (construction graded) safe will have a 1/4" steel body and 1/2" plate door, minium. That's the low end of a "true" safe and is based on construction materials, not resistence to attack. Some "B rated" safes may also have the UL RSC classification if the manufacturer choose to spend the money to submit that model to UL for testing. While these safes have the RSC classification, any RSC made to "B rate" construction standards will be head and shoulders above any other RSC rated container.

    UL also lists safe with "TL-15", "TL-30," and higher ratings. This is a measure of attack resistence against attacks using power tools. A "TL 15" rated safe will resist attacks for 15 minutes, a "TL 30" for 30 minutes, etc. That extra resistence does come with a price though as the heavier materials used in the construction and better build quality add significantly to the expense.

    There are also "E" and "F" construction ratings that are roughly comparable to the TL 15 and TL-30 UL ratings. These safes have not been submitted to UL for testing though (typically due to the expense of doing so).

    Be aware that "burgler resistent" and "fire resistent" safes are two different things designed to do two different jobs. Typically, the construction methods and materials used for fire resistent safes don't offer much protection against forced entry and the burgler resistent safes don't offer much fire protection. The two goals are mutually incompatable to some extent. There are dual "burgler/fire" resistent safes available. My understanding is that they would protect adequately against either danger, but not as well against each specific threat as a safe designed specifically for that purpose.

    Now the bad news. Typical B rated or better safes are *generally* much more expensive then RSC's. In most cases, the higher the rating, the higher the price. However, there is often a price overlap between the more expensive, "high end" RSC's, especially at full retail, and some of the lower end B rated safes. For about the same amount of money you can significantly improve your protection by looking for a B rated safe instead of some of the more expensive of the RSC's.

    How much money you should spend depends on what you need to protect, from who, and the value of the items you want to protect. It makes no sense to spend $3,000 on a safe to hold $1,000 worth of Mosin Nagants or Mausers. Conversly, it's "penny wise and pound foolish" to keep a $10,000 collection in a $500 RSC.

    A RSC is going to be easier to find, easier to move, and will protect you from unauthorized access and quick smash 'n grab robberies.

    A safe is going to be a little harder to shop for, harder to move and install, usually be more expensive (but not always) and offer increased protection against a determined thief or an attack with power tools.

    The best advice on RSC's I got from a locksmith and Safe Tech was this: Since the majority of RSC's offer essentially the same level of protection, you should get the least expensive RSC you can find that meets your needs.

    If you compare RSC's that are the same size with the same storage capabilities, the more expensive models usually just have better finish, nicer trim, or more "features" that don't really make them more secure. So why pay more for things that don't help? He recommended the "Winchester" labelled RSC's available at Sam's Club for a good value in a RSC.

    For safes, the brands I've been told are good and are commonly available include American Security and Graffunder. There are others as well, but those seem to be more common and a good value.

    Another option is to hunt for a used commercial safe, usually from a Lock and Safe dealer. These will be made to "B" standards as a minimum and offer a significant savings over a new model. I looked at some TL 15 rated safes yesterday that were only $1,000. That's about a $5,000 savings over a new example. The downside is that they aren't configured for guns so you will need to hunt to find a unit tall enough for long guns. You'll also need to build or buy the gun racks yourself as the safe will either be empty or have simple shelves. (I passed on the TL 15 safes as they weren't long enough for rifles. They would have worked great for a large handgun collection though)

    As with any business, used inventory turns over constantly. To find a used safe call around to local "Lock and Safe" stores. Use the yellow pages and google. Find out what warranty they offer and don't forget to ask about the cost for delivery and installation. Also make sure your floor can hold a heavier, "real" safe, as they can weigh up to several thousand pounds empty, depending on size and materials.

    One last thought. Whatever you pick, RSC or safe, go with a good quality mechanical lock, not an electronic lock. If you don't believe me, talk to a few locksmiths. If you open your gun safe on a regular basis, all electronic locks WILL eventually fail. A mechanical lock, properly serviced, will last a lifetime. (Yes, mechanical locks do need service. How often depends on how much they are used. You don't service an electronic lock. You just cut it out and replace it when it breaks)


    It is important to secure your collection any way you can. Do some research and you can find some great values.
    HK. Because you suck. And we hate you.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array bbqgrill's Avatar
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    Stunning!
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    lights, lights, lights--i have a six month old and when he get really pissy at night i take him for a drive, as i drive around it amazes me how dang dark people allow thier property to be, lights are cheap to install, cheap to run and make it so nobody can "sneak around", the alarms and stuff are great too, but a great/ cheap and quick place to start is lights

  13. #13
    Member Array HKCHEF's Avatar
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    Everyone else please add your own tips, vids, pics, and links to help create a comprehensive sourse for home security.
    HK. Because you suck. And we hate you.

  14. #14
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    Interesting take on home security you certainly have a home that is not inviting to criminals with the light set up, alarm system etc. I see a few issues though, one does the alarm system have a cell phone back up in case the phone lines are cut and two your safe room has bars over your only escape route if a fire starts outside the door how would you escape the room. Just some issues to think about.

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    VIP Member Array joker1's Avatar
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    Don't post on facebook about being out of town and such.
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