Hardening your Home -- doors, lighting, alarms, weapons, neighborhood awareness

This is a discussion on Hardening your Home -- doors, lighting, alarms, weapons, neighborhood awareness within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by DaveH FWIIW -- A friend on my father swore by his small flock of peacocks as the best early warning. He claimed ...

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Thread: Hardening your Home -- doors, lighting, alarms, weapons, neighborhood awareness

  1. #31
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveH View Post

    FWIIW -- A friend on my father swore by his small flock of peacocks as the best early warning. He claimed that they were not very susceptible to poison baiting. And, I know from visits that they kicked up a major racket whenever anyone/anything approached the house -- day or night.
    I had to smile at this... our neighbor's guinea hens are the same way, noisy little cusses.
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

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  3. #32
    Distinguished Member Array Guardian's Avatar
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    You know, I've read some great ideas and some way out ones here that require more money then I will have.

    I haven't seen or heard anyone mention letting the people in your neighborhood know that (quietly that is by word of mouth) that you will take care of business if messed with. All the fancy locks, alarms, dogs or whatever is fine and dandy folks, but unless the folks you want to stop are aware that you are serious to take care of business, all the rest is flash.

    I live in a decent neighborhood, but I have several crackhouses within a couple of blocks of me and some shady characters that walk by my place on their way to these establishments. The word has been put out quietly, that business will be taken care of if you mess with my family or neighbors, it's that simple.

    Now, don't get me wrong, the other stuff is nice and if money allows, I would love it all, dogs I have, weapons I have, deadbolts I can afford.
    "I dislike death, however, there are some things I dislike more than death. Therefore, there are times when I will not avoid danger" Mencius"

  4. #33
    Senior Member Array Beans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacii View Post
    I had to smile at this... our neighbor's guinea hens are the same way, noisy little cusses.
    Geese also work and they will attack.

  5. #34
    Senior Member Array Beans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarylW View Post
    A metal door/frame that opens out is harder to force, but not impossible with a pry bar.
    .
    All the doors I have seen that open outward have had the hinges on the outside.

    One of things that I was taught before doing a force entry is look at the hinges to determine which way the door opens. If you can see the hinges it opens towards you. No hinges visible it opens away from you.

    Use a ram, on hidden hinges, use a entry bar on visable hinges

    BTW Don't try to kick or shoulder a door that opens towards you.

  6. #35
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guardian View Post
    I haven't seen or heard anyone mention letting the people in your neighborhood know that (quietly that is by word of mouth) that you will take care of business if messed with.
    I am careful not to advertise the fact that there are firearms in my house. They are a hot item for burglars.

    I would also hate to have a neighbor at a trial saying, "Mr. Nutz was just itching someone to break in his window so he could shoot them. He told me so a few years ago..."

  7. #36
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    Am I missing something with the double keyed deadbolts? It seems that unless your door is next to a window, side glass panels, etc... there really isn't much benefit for the double keyed locks on solid wood or metal doors.
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  8. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacii View Post
    My deadbolts are keyed inside as well as out. However, my concern was that if the deadbolts are locked, we couldn't get out throught the doors without a key in an emergency like a fire. I suppose we could abandon the doors and use only windows for emergency exits.
    You raise an extremely important point. Somewhere within arm's reach of each double-key deadbolted door is a key. In my old house, the deadbolt key was on a lanyard tied to a 6" piece of rake handle, and it hung from the inside handle of the front hall coat closet right next to the front door.

    In my current house, I have a key for the front door hanging inconspicuously from a finishing nail on one side of the door frame trim, slightly over head height. Occupants and any overnight visitors (mostly family and close friends) get the safety review about where the exits are and where that deadbolt key is.
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  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX-JB View Post
    Am I missing something with the double keyed deadbolts? It seems that unless your door is next to a window, side glass panels, etc... there really isn't much benefit for the double keyed locks on solid wood or metal doors.
    No need for the double-key feature unless the door has glass next to it.
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  10. #39
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    I personally believe in metal 2X6 supports that bolt into the jacks on eiter side of the door frame, the 2X6 then slides down into place across the door. You could hit that door with a sledge hammer and it wouldn't open. The only down side is that you can't use them if your not in the house.
    Actually, I had a friend who owned a vacation cabin that was always getting broken into. He used the same supports, but rigged up ropes and pullys that went outside and the pull blended in with the siding. If you didn't know how to open the door you could not gain entry. Sure enough, when he came back a few months later the door was beat on pretty good, but it did not yeild to the criminal.

  11. #40
    Distinguished Member Array Guardian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nutz4utwo View Post
    I am careful not to advertise the fact that there are firearms in my house. They are a hot item for burglars.

    I would also hate to have a neighbor at a trial saying, "Mr. Nutz was just itching someone to break in his window so he could shoot them. He told me so a few years ago..."
    Excuse me, where did I say I there are firearms in my house, I'm sorry after working law enforcement for 20 years, burglars know who has what by how many devices you have on your house to keep them out, it's a simple deduction to them. The more you have, the more appealing it is to them, the bigger payday.

    Secondly, I didn't say I was itching to shoot anyone, again with my experience, I haven't been bothered in 5 years due to the crackheads knowing I will take care of business with them, that doesn't mean them breaking my window and me shooting them, that means them leaving my family/house alone, sometimes the unspoken word(s) are more effective then spoken or visual effects my friend. Read what is said, not what you want it to say.

    Plus, I live in Texas (Castle Doctrine) they break into my window in the middle of the night and I'm home, doesn't matter if you say in court I was itching for one of them to do it or not, evidence will be on my side (thought I don't wish that to happen).
    "I dislike death, however, there are some things I dislike more than death. Therefore, there are times when I will not avoid danger" Mencius"

  12. #41
    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    I failed to mention one of the best features of our house because it is not easy to implement. The house is on ten acres, in the woods, in the city limits. I bought it cheap decades ago before much was around this part of town. Now, the property is surrounded by seventeen homes and some street frontage. I have access from three different streets. No access is within 600 feet of any other. None of the access points are visible from the others. Before Google Earth and the county assessor high definition mapping on the internet, almost no one knew I had access from the third street. I built two driveways that cannot be observed due to the woods. I cleaned a walking path up to the third street. We come and go from different driveways in a random manner. When we walk, we often use the path either to depart or return. It is difficult for anyone to know if we are home or to get a pattern on our activities.

    Eighteen years ago the retired neighbor across the hollar told me I was paranoid because of the driveways. About ten years ago, he came to me to ask me to watch his back twenty. Seems somebody had set up some tents in his woods where he seldom visited. Then he came home to find neighbor kids in his house. They lived across from his single entry to the highway and observed when they departed and arrived. The neighbor had regular habits on the weekends. The kids told the police they started out just wanting to go to his lake. Then they set up a few old tents to play in. Finally, they started going into his house. Apparently, they didn't take much or do any damage. Anyway, the guy built a dirt road and gate out of his place on my side. They don't use it much, but he keeps it mowed and I notice he puts tracks in it every winter when it snows. He is a good guy and told me he remembered calling me paranoid. We had our little laugh.
    Last edited by tiwee; September 7th, 2009 at 02:04 PM. Reason: extra word

  13. #42
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiwee View Post
    not easy to implement.

    The house is on ten acres, in the woods ... access from three different streets. No access is within 600 feet of any other. None of the access points are visible from the others ... two driveways that cannot be observed due to the woods ...

    We come and go from different driveways in a random manner. When we walk, we often use the path either to depart or return. It is difficult for anyone to know if we are home or to get a pattern on our activities.
    Procedures and avoidance of patterns are extremely important. Hard to achieve on a city lot, where anyone can observe your comings and goings.
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  14. #43
    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Procedures and avoidance of patterns are extremely important. Hard to achieve on a city lot, where anyone can observe your comings and goings.
    Agreed. Neighbors can observe your schedule if they so choose.

    We always park in our garage, so unless someone sees us leave or arrive, they have to guess as to whether we are home or not. That also makes it harder for someone to steal our remote garage-door opener, which could be used later for entry into the garage and then into the house.

    By always parking in the garage, the house may appear empty except for the lights coming from inside, but I'd rather keep someone guessing than have them know if I'm home or not.

    As for appearances toward non-neighbors, we have a neighbor who has several teenage drivers. Often one of their cars is parked on the street in front of our house. That's a small benefit which gives the impression someone is home. That neighbor has parked in front of our house for over a decade, with one car or another, because they have so many.

    When we go on vacation, we have a trusted neighbor pick up any papers that get thrown on the driveway or hung on the door. I'm pretty certain most of our neighbors have no idea when we are gone on vacation.

    tiwee, sounds like you planned ahead and now it's paying off for you.

  15. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiwee View Post
    I failed to mention one of the best features of our house because it is not easy to implement. The house is on ten acres, in the woods, in the city limits. I bought it cheap decades ago before much was around this part of town. Now, the property is surrounded by seventeen homes and some street frontage. I have access from three different streets. No access is within 600 feet of any other. None of the access points are visible from the others. Before Google Earth and the county assessor high definition mapping on the internet, almost no one knew I had access from the third street. I built two driveways that cannot be observed due to the woods. I cleaned a walking path up to the third street. We come and go from different driveways in a random manner. When we walk, we often use the path either to depart or return. It is difficult for anyone to know if we are home or to get a pattern on our activities.

    Eighteen years ago the retired neighbor across the hollar told me I was paranoid because of the driveways. About ten years ago, he came to me to ask me to watch his back twenty. Seems somebody had set up some tents in his woods where he seldom visited. Then he came home to find neighbor kids in his house. They lived across from his single entry to the highway and observed when they departed and arrived. The neighbor had regular habits on the weekends. The kids told the police they started out just wanting to go to his lake. Then they set up a few old tents to play in. Finally, they started going into his house. Apparently, they didn't take much or do any damage. Anyway, the guy built a dirt road and gate out of his place on my side. They don't use it much, but he keeps it mowed and I notice he puts tracks in it every winter when it snows. He is a good guy and told me he remembered calling me paranoid. We had our little laugh.
    tiwee

    Just what I would love if $$$ was no object!! I have said if I ever got the place in would like in the country; I would want at least two ways in and out. Yep, I am paraniod too!!

  16. #45
    DM2
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX-JB View Post
    Am I missing something with the double keyed deadbolts? It seems that unless your door is next to a window, side glass panels, etc... there really isn't much benefit for the double keyed locks on solid wood or metal doors.
    I have steel interior doors with steel security screen/outer doors on each entrance. I have double deadbolts on the interior doors on the advice of a friend who is a police officer. He told me that criminals break in an inconspicuous spot, and walk out the front door like they live there. Also, it helps to limit how much they can take especially if you have big screen televisions and small windows like I have. My house is old and I have no windows that are wider than 26" wide and no sliding doors. I also have one very large shepherd and one small yappy dog.
    DM2
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