After we had the basic amount of “stuff” put up we turned our attention towards fortifying our home and improving the defense of ourselves. During this phase, we had to actually start thinking the way a criminal would. For obvious reasons, I will not be describing our entire course of action so here are our basics:
Home Security Layer 1: Perimeter
Layers, layers, layers……. Starting with our property’s perimeter, we made our existing fencelines and hedgerows less penetrable by adding thorny plants, mostly raspberry. Our property was a tempting shortcut for pedestrians but not anymore. Our raspberry lined perimeter now serves as a food source and a DNA collector. The raspberry plants were collected from the neighbor’s yards and vacant lots. They didn’t cost anything other than the time involved transplanting them. The vines stay in place year round and the thorns just seem to get sharper as they age.
A secluded back entrance to our property is now chained and blocked with a large tree stump. Foot traffic onto our property either has to endure thorns and fences or come directly into our line of sight and motion sensors.
Layer 2: Wireless motion detectors
Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm
These were placed on vehicle entry points and a few other key spots on the property. The sensor above is about as fancy as we would get.
It turned out that even the sensors designed for outdoor use will fail over time so I make weather-proof enclosures for them as they are replaced. Also, anything we use is capable of operating during a power outage…it either has it’s own power source or can be run with a battery and inverter.
Layer 3: Dogs
The more the better…I’d have a dozen of them if it we could. It doesn’t matter to me how big they are as long as they are attentive. My dogs are irreplaceable to me and accompany me whenever I go outside. Their hearing and night-vision is much better than mine.
Here’s one piece of advice about dogs that spend some of their time in the house: DO NOT let them go outside unattended. It’s a common practice for a thief to poison a home’s dog before breaking in. They will toss meat laced with poison into the yard at night when no one is around hoping that the dog will eat it the next time they are let outside. We had several neighborhood dogs poisoned this way a few years ago, ours was one of them. She survived but she was the only one out of four. So be sure to watch your dog or check your yard before letting the dog out.
Layer 4: Lighting and obstacles
We’ve placed several physical deterrents outside our home. Lights, fences, bushes and noise making devices are in every path that could be used to gain access.
Motion sensitive flood lights are one of our best investments. We have them everywhere there is a blind spot. The motion detectors were a little annoying until we positioned them in the right place. Windy nights and nocturnal varmints gave us many false alarms at first. We have also installed manually operated flood lights that can be individually turned on and off as needed. I am planning to add some sirens to our system this year.
Next Step - Self Defense Indoors