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My son is due to be born soon like 4 weeks and the wife and I have been house hunting, so my mindset has been changing from defending our upstairs 2 bedroom condo to defending a home. We recently looked at several homes with an agent and my mind was totally on security. Guys and Gals a rookie homeowner needs your advice. What can I do basically to prepare my home. I told the wife that I will soon be purchasing a shotgun for our house warming gift when we find the right one. The issue with a home is that you have more space to secure and defend....
 

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I do not go as far as some but then I basically apply security to suit my area - and overall this does not merit steel doors and razor wire!! :wink:

Seriously - almost #1 on the list IMO are motion sensor lights - they are a big deterrent I reckon, seeing as night is our major concern. Motion detectors too can be hooked up to give audible alarm inside house - useful maybe if callers need detected before they knock, or not in daylight hours too!

For you, probably invest in good solid doors and locks - and hope to have good secret visibility toward front and back doors - even vid could be useful there. Windows need to be good enough to be securable.

Make if you can, a secure (retreat) room - which might be bedroom and have nursery adjacent - even with linking door as a luxury.

Not sure what yard size you may have but again - vid on that is handy - numerous degrees of sophistication out there. While house hunting - include in property assessment the neighbor quotient - next door in particular - no drugs or such to attract less than pleasant traffic.

Many will suggest a dog - in essence an ideal alarm maker and possible BG aggressor. Not for me because too much hassle (age ya know :wink: )

Those are just a few aspects that come to mind.
 

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Not an easy answer. A decent, not necessarily expensive, alarm will go a long way in easing your worries, as will a dog with enough size to discuss any problem with an intruder. Having a gun, especially a shotgun (the housegun) is critical, but you need to be able to access it when you need it; if you're setting in the family room and someone kicks in your door and the shotgun is in the bedroom on the other side of the house, you could be in real trouble. With a new child on the way, weapons security while accessible isn't going to be easy. Good Luck!
 

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Here's what I did when we bought our home.

First, replace or rekey all the locks, install deadbolts if they aren't already there. Then replace the screws holding the hinges and faceplates (they are about 1/2 to 3/4 inch long) with 2 1/2 inch screws for a better hold.

Check the windows accessible from the ground outside and be sure they can be secured.

Check the outside lighting, be sure there's a light so you can see who is at your door, even at night and check for blindspots right around your door. Motion lights are cheap and work well, but a switched light is best for your main door.

Check for a law enforcement website for crime info where you are thinking about moving to. Many have crime stats, sex offender info, etc by area of town.

Get to know your neighbors. That way you will both know when someone "shouldn't be there".

For misc safety, check with the fire dept. They usually have "home safety" type pamphlets, smoke detectors, etc for cheap/free. The pamphlets have a lot of stuff people don't think about for general fire safety (storage of flammables), fall prevention(storage of stuff and rug placement), baby safety (water heater temp, stairs, stuff within reach when they start to crawl and walk, etc).

Hope this helps.
 

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I will tell you what I did. But I live out in the country 5 acres off the main road. If they come to my gate they better have a reason to be there.

First install wireless motion sensors driveway warning devices 80.00 online. Install night vision cctv cameras around the perimeter and hook it to your broadband internet access and use good software like the PYSOFT.COM Active Web Cam. This allows you to access your cameras via the web anytime from anywhere and see live video feeds. It also emails you three pictures when it senses movement. My wife loves it for when we are away but hates it because I know exactly what she did out in the yard every day. My blackberry allows me to see it even while I'm in a meeting at work. Then keep pepper spray always close at hand since you will have a little one around keep it out of their reach and please keep that new shotgun locked up in a safe.

All of the camera supplies can be bought online or at Fry's electronics in California. The entire camera system cost me about 500.00.

Hope that helps
 

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I am NO expert here, but I'll give you a few hints based on ~32 years of home ownership.

First thing is "location, location, location"! Nicer areas are not crime-free but they do usually mean less crime to worry about.

Secure home:

- Trash all the door locks upon taking possession and replace with good quality (Schlage will do) double locks (in knob and separate throw-lock). Control your keys carefully! [There are super security/super expensive locks but most burglars are NOT "pros" (lock pick experts) and thus you don't need to spend a fortune here, just good solid brass locksets (no plastic internals) will do.]

- Door hinges that are security hinges (LONG screws and a pin that goes from one side to the other - sorry don't know tech term here).

- Solid core or steel exterior doors are an excellent investment. They are also energy efficient.

- NO large glass areas in doors or beside doors. If you can't do this, use double-lock-cylinder locks and Plexiglas on inside of glass area beside door to prevent easy break-ins.

- My preference is NO sliding doors, but if you insist, make sure that they are extra secure. Still won't prevent a brick thru it for easy entry however.

- Monitored and comprehensive house security system. Motion sensors as well as door/window sensors are good to have.

- If you have a garage, use it for the cars, don't make it easy to tell if someone is home or not.

- Make the house look pretty much the same from the street whether you are home or not! [I did this so well that my late police chief (personal friend) once told me that he was going to stop by a number of times but it was "obvious" to him that nobody was home! I asked him if he rang the bell and he said "no". I laughed and told him that was part of my "security system", next time ring the doorbell.]

- Clear any large plantings from close to house if someone could hide behind them.

- Lighting - motion and light sensing outdoor lights that are left on all the time will dissuade someone casing your house (they only come on when they sense movement after dark).

- Secure all doors and windows at all times. Good window locks and not leaving doors open while home are good practices to follow.

- Don't leave ladders outside where someone can "borrow" it for a "second story job".

- Lock up any "house gun" every time you leave the house. The last thing you need is to surprise a burglar and face your own gun as you enter the house.

- Look for a good secure location for one or more large gun safes. I've looked at many a house (mostly split-levels) where such a space was non-existent.

The above is not comprehensive, but should be a good start.

Good luck, nothing beats owning your own home.
 

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Ever one has pretty well hit it not sure if i saw actually get a alarm system on there espically with the door sensors and a motion sensor for the areas you dont travel at night

If you are worried about it that much you can get the glass breaking sensors i dont depend on the alarm to summon cops fast enough to make a differance i expect it to wake me up if i m out of it so i knwo hey something is wrong grab a gun
 

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Whatever plans you make have to be adapted to the specific house you buy. I agree with Chris, a good door is a must and if it is one that opens towards outside, even better! Short of using a truck as battering ram, your average BG can't kick it in. Next would be the windows and there are plenty of nifty and cheap gadgets to secure them from being pried open. A basic alarm system with sensors that detect when somebody breaks the glass is the way to go.

If you can't do the safe room, make your bedroom safer. Home Depot sells this little thing:


It is a door stopper that swings up when not in use. It goes on the door iself and it is usually placed on the bottom corner of the door opposite to the hinge side. Place one on the inside of your bedroom door and add a deadbolt or some sort of latch and it will give you enough time to react to a threat.

As for motion sensors, agree to. But I favor sound over light. A nice bell or buzzer will attract lots of attention.

Use landscaping to your advantage. Your average BG is a lazy person and hates jumping over bushes, benches, lawn ornaments, etc. if you give them a "path of less resistance" to use but you can control that path (lights, sensors, fields of fire) you will make his life miserable.

Dogs or geese as natural alarm systems....

And Bovine Excreta also works. I saw a fake security camera today that even had motion. I need to get me a couple of those!
 

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Pretty much every thin posted is what the wife and I did,, one thing not mentioned

PEEP HOLES!! have the best you can find with a fisf eye lens installed in all doors,, our front and back door have two, wife's height and mine
 

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Motion sensors are OK, but they need adjusting. Mine lights up when neighborhood cats and dogs walk in the driveway. The sensitivity changes with the air temp, too. That was said to say be careful with attaching sound to the motion lights. Might be more hassle that it's worth. Just my experience.
 

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Dave - re peep hole deals - what worries me about those is if dark outside (or darker) it is sometimes possible to see someone on inside peeping. That betrays your presence plus - in unlikely event someone was gonna blast the door with a firearm - they'd be able to line you up!

I mentioned earlier the desirability of some type of access visually to doors from other region of house - or if not then vid cam on those areas.

The shottie would not be too useful locked up - but there are ways to keep it secure and still be moderately handy. Better still IMO is carry piece always on the person - can't get more instant than that plus - best for security. At night if needed, a quick combination bedside safe.
 

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BL, pretty much everything covered, to this point. Check in over at www.totalprotectioninteractive.com Look under "The Castle" for some tutorial-style posts, and some advanced thoughts.:wave:

Edit to add: The "Big PIcture" is important. When you get a few serious potential homes, or as you shop, draw out the floor plans and yard. You're looking at the home as though you are an invader- what blind-spots do you see? Internally, what choke-points are there for the invader? For you? Etc., etc..
 

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If you have a sliding glass door or a lot of glass next to your front door. They make a window film that is pretty tuff. It will stop a brick from going though the window and the glass will not break if someone shoots the window. Like I said pretty tuff stuff.

Home alarms system was the first thing that I bought when I got my house. I still need to install the motion lights. but I have them here I just need to find a long enough latter to reach my flood lights.

The CCTV option is something that I have been thinking about for a while, but I have not made a decision about that yet. But its a good thing to have.
 

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Another good tip is with landscaping. Choose the nasty thorny bushes for around fences and under windows and such. If the BG chooses your house he will think twice before crawling through a hedge with inch long thorns sticking out everywhere. Bougainvillea works great for along fences if you are in the south.
 

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Been reading here for a while and decided to make this my first post since I have similar interest. I bought my house that I still live in 3 years ago at the age of 18. I knew the area was not great because it was right in the middle of a city that is getting worse every day. At the time the only thing I had was my Remington 1100 12 guage and because of age I could not buy a pistol. While I have never feared anyone entering my house I did have some bums and so forth knocking on the door asking for money and stuff. The first year I had 3 cars broke in to and stereo stuff and vandalism done on each. I went to harbor freight (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=47546) and bought a 2 of there cheap camera setups. You can also pick up a time lapse vcr cheap now off ebay since no one hardly uses them anymore. Wire it into a tv in the bedroom or even in the livingroom. If I hear a noise with the push of a button I can see whats going on outside my house. Only hassle is changing the tapes, but it becomes habit. Second thing I did was bought an AKC registered Great Dane. He is 1 year old and about 130 lbs with a year to grow. When on his back legs he stands at about 5'7" and is the best deterrent I have seen. While I don't think he would actually bite anyone his size and bark is enough to make anyone think twice. Hope this helps.
 

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lkqsjh - welcome :smilez:

Sounds as tho you have things planned out - and the K9 certainly must be enough to make any suspect folks think twice :wink:
 

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An unexpected security device I have is a "Help I've Fallen and Can't Get Up" Button hanging around my neck. I am well along the down end of life with some serious health problems and I live alone with a cat so dumb she can't be trained to dial 911. It struck me the other day that in the event of a home invasion or a like catastrophe, one press of the button a LOUD screeching alarm followed by a VERY LOUD voice asking me if I am OK, the voice listens through a very sensitive microphone for sounds of distress. If I don't tell the voice that everything is OK, in about 3 minutes Paramedics followed by an Engine Crew followed by Cops will come crashing through my front door. Not siuch a great idea for a new family but it's a good idea for us older folks.
 

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Dogs are always a good investment. They don't necessarily have to be big. All three of our dogs are in the 40 to 60 lb range and are extremely loud and protective. Another thing about dogs is that some that you would not thing of as guard or watchdogs can be the best to have. Most people would not think of a Bassett Hound as a good dog to have for home protection and they would be wrong. There are several characteristics of the Bassett that make them good for home protection. 1) Loyalty 2) Most people think that because they are long and low that they are small. Bassetts are classified as large dogs. They can easily weight 65 lbs. 3) Bassetts are not slow. They look slow, but don't be deceived. I found a quote I was looking for "Because he is a true dwarf - with a normal-size bod but short legs - the Basset Hound appears clumsy as he gallops. Even so, he can still outrun all but the very fastest humans." Know Your Dog by Bruce Fogle, DVM. Unless you can run 100 yards in 10 flat the Bassett will catch you. 4) They have excellent senses of smell and hearing. 5) Bassetts are good with children. I have a Bassett/Bull Terrier mix that I would not want to meet in the dark. He's not real big, but 55 lbs. at less than 2' high will take your legs right out from under you.

The 12 ga. shotgun has been mentioned and there is nothing scarier than hearing a round being jacked into a 12 ga. I have been giving consideration to the Taurus 410/45 pistol. .410 000 buckshot puts out three pellets about the size of a .38 bullet. It is also easy to keep with you when you are in the house.

Just my thoughts.
 

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If you go with a professional alarm system I'd suggest the following:
1) More than 1 control panel so that you can set it off from different areas in the house manually if need be.
2) This is an option with some alarm companies but worth it. Have a secret number that if someone forces you to give the deactivation code you will give them this special code which will force the lights and beeps to act like the system is deactivated but will send a silent alarm to the PD
 

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.45acp said:
If you go with a professional alarm system I'd suggest the following:
1) More than 1 control panel so that you can set it off from different areas in the house manually if need be.
2) This is an option with some alarm companies but worth it. Have a secret number that if someone forces you to give the deactivation code you will give them this special code which will force the lights and beeps to act like the system is deactivated but will send a silent alarm to the PD

I forgot about the secret code thing our alarm has that guy told me how to change code for it so it will set the alarm off quitely
 
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