Inspired by the post at ‘Stop Shouting,’ here.
As it stands, the country has not yet descended into SHTF/WROL where gangs of MZB’s (see acronym guide at top of blog) are running rampant with NPT’s engaged in security operations to keep precious cargo safe.
We’re at basically, ‘the new normal,’ which is declining sociopolitical conditions on the way to SHTF/WROL (ours and many others opinions). Be that as it may, we’re bound to withhold some of the more active security measures for our homes. After all, we still go to work (those of us with jobs), take the kids to school, go to the grocery store, pay our bills, and talk with our neighbors (you better be if you want a chance to survive when S does HTF!).
That said, to classify what you do to your home to slow down a home invasion is important. Chances are if you live in a modern home, the potential entry ways are comprised of a large amount of glass. Very attractive both to passers by and home invaders. The good thing is that the glass in the windows, if you have higher quality double-pained, such as the Pella brand, will make a whole lot of noise when broken. Additionally, the locking mechanisms, when forced, make a loud noise as well. So let’s look at the doors. Front, side, deck/patio and your ‘fall back room’ door.
One of the first things you want to do is to increase the effectiveness of the dead bolt and lock. Yes, it costs money. The less chance there is to pick that lock, the higher the probability is that the home invader is not going to succeed in getting in OR the more noise he’s going to make trying to get in as he/they get desperate to achieve entry.
Once you’ve installed higher end locks (meaning much more difficult to pick by MZB’s) on all your entry way doors, you can also add braces to make kicking the door in a lot harder.
The example below is inexpensive, adjustable, and can be put away during times you don’t think them appropriate, like when you have guests over. What they do, besides strengthen the door is give you time to get your Precious Cargo into your fall back room where you’re armed and calling for the cavalry. Basically, these passive measures let you conduct a Delaying Action. You’re trading space for time.
Now, these things can be had with battery powered sound alarms as well, if you want them. They don’t have to be bolted into the floor, and they reinforce the locking mechanism, not just the bottom or top of the door as some other types do. Another good feature is that if you have to get out, they take about a second to disengage. You simply pull them away from the door. Bam. You’re out. Any thought of, “We’ll be trapped inside if there’s a fire!” can be forgotten when considering these reinforcements. They’re inexpensive, as low as $20 a pop, too. Your choices all depend on your wallet and your requirements. So, if you have 3 doors and a fall back room, you’re talking 4 to 5 of these (if you’ve got ‘French Doors’, you might consider one for each side). $120 or so on Amazon or eBay. You can find free shipping if you look hard enough and sometimes if you buy multiples, the price goes down. It’s a no-brainer. There are other ways to accomplish the same thing, too, so don’t think this is the only way. It’s a way. As an example, when I was a boy, if my father wasn’t home for whatever reason, my mother would stick butter knives and spatulas in between the door jamb and top of the door so that when it opened, they’d fall and crash, and make a hell of a noise. There was an issue a few times when my father came home from work late and didn’t know Mom had put the passive defense measures in place. Hilarity ensued. Bottom line was that she improvised and bought time she’d need to call for help or get us out a window (we lived in a ranch).
Remember the point of the delaying action: Get your precious cargo into your fall back room, get armed, get the cavalry on the way with a 911 call. Once that’s done, in the ensuing minutes that you’re waiting to hear the sound of ‘the bugle’, you can check your weapon, put on a plate carrier or soft body armor, and wait. Your job is not to take the fight to them at this point. You might disagree with that, but the reality is you don’t have a lot of people capable of conducting offensive operations against a home invasion…most likely. It might just be you, the wife/husband, and a couple small children. Somebody’s gotta take care of the kids and somebody’s gotta be the ‘last line of defense’….that somebody is you. So, consider that as you sit there hearing your door crash in. The mission, from your perspective, has been a success because you took measures to give yourself time if/when the home invasion happens.
Last thought: You need to train it. Meaning, you need to set up some drills. Walk through it a couple times. Get the family used to following those directions. And for good measure, let them know that sometimes, you’ll try it at night before everyone goes to bed. Make it a regular practice so any anxiety felt when it’s the real thing is minimal, because they know what to expect. It’s a gentle form of stress inoculation.