Thursday, June 9, 2016

Home Security: Zones 1-10

Home security is very important.  Everyone wants to be able to feel secure in their home and with a little pre-planning, you can make this into a fact rather than a hope.  Here's how...

Zone 10--The state/county/city/town where you decide to buy your house.  The first line of protection for your home is where you decide to build or buy.  You want to choose a statistically safe area to live in.  If you choose the south side of Chicago or other high crime areas, your first line of defense when it comes to home security is (pun intended) shot.

Zone 9--The neighborhood you choose to live in.  There are specific neighborhoods within each city or town that are, again, statistically safer to live in.  Besides checking neighborhood crime maps you may have the option of a gated community, a gated community with security guards, etc.  Note that rural areas may or may not be safer than suburban or urban areas, depending on if your neighbors are hard working farmers or crackheads (this goes for just about every neighborhood).

Zone 8--The perimeter of your property.  Is it fenced and gated?  Fences tend to keep out the casually opportunistic burglars.  The type of fence you have will also set the tone for the safety of your property (although a "way overboard for the neighborhood 12 foot tall fence with looped razor wire at the top" kind of fence will bring undue attention to your property which isn't good).

Zone 7--Your yard.  The next security zone for your home is your yard.  Is it clear (so people can't hide in the bushes), well lit (floodlights), well manicured (so it looks like people are home), and have a few vicious-looking dogs running around in it?  All of these are deterrents to the average burglar or home invader.

Zone 6--The outside of your home.  Right up next to  your home, you can add a few more deterrents such as lights with motion detector sensors, security cameras, sharp plants like roses or cacti right underneath the windows, etc.

Zone 5--The shell of your home.  The shell of your home should be built for defense.  Triple-pane windows with security film on them as well as sturdy window locks, locking security screen doors, solid wood or solid steel doors with security hinges/a deadbolt lock and reinforced strikeplate/a peep hole/reinforced door frame/etc.  And no doggie door.

Zone 4--Inside your home.  Inside your home you can add a security alarm system (audio and video), install panic buttons, have lights on a timer system, keep valuables out of sight (preferably in hidden safes), have firearms (if you choose to own them) in concealed but accessible places around your home, have fire and carbon monoxide detectors, and keep your (expensive) car in the garage instead of in the driveway.

Zone 3--Your safe room.  Many people will want to install a "safe room" inside their homes for an extra zone of protection.  You want this room accessible to everyone in the house (it's nice to have it in the master bedroom but what about the kids down the hall?), you want the door as well as the walls to be reinforced and you want to be able to both securely lock it as well as escape from it if necessary.  The room should offer an alternative source of power (an external battery charger), a way to call for help (emergency cell phone), firearm and ammo, etc.  Other items to stock in your safe room can be found here.

Zone 2--Your security habits.  Perhaps the most important way to keep yourself and your family safe is to have good security habits.  Don't give out spare keys to your house (or leave one under a rock outside), always lock doors behind you, always keep the garage door closed, lock the door between your house and garage even if the garage door is also locked, don't allow strangers into your house, keep valuables locked up, don't announce on Facebook when you are going on vacation, etc.

Zone 1--Security in the extreme.  You will be able to create a pretty secure home with the proceeding tips but for those who need the utmost in security consider: an armored car, a state-of-the-art security system, an actual security team complete with armed bodyguards, specially trained guard dogs, executive protection insurance, etc.

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