1. The Topic of the Month for October is "Make this the Perfect Bugout Location". Please join the discussion in the TOTM forum.

Securing one's home.

Discussion in 'Survival Topic of the Month' started by NotSoSneaky, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Having lived in apartments for years before getting a place of my home one of the first and easiest modifications I would do was to replace the screws in the hinges and the strike plate for the door lock with stainless steel 4" long screws. I would also replace the strike plate with a reinforced one and add a deadbolt to the door if it did not already have one (pending landlord's OK).

    I learned to either keep the curtains closed or I'd put up venetian blinds and adjust the angle so I could see outside and get sunlight in while preventing passers by from viewing the contents of my apartment.

    Once I bought a house I removed many of the shrubs from the perimeter of the foundation to eliminate potential ambush hiding spots. If you have a garage entrance, once you pull in, close the garage door before getting out of your vehicle.

    Learn where the hiding spots are where you can see into your house and plant brambles or blackberries with thorns to discourage access to these parts of your property.

    One of the items I'd like to get is a protective film for windows which makes the glass very impact resistive. Great item if you have a window inside a porch.

    One can add home alarms and camera's either hardwired or wireless with battery back up but a better security system includes a somewhat nosey neighbor who can spot an unfamiliar vehicle and make note of it or call for back up.

    Somebody knocking on the door late at night ? Don't go to the door, check who's there from a window.
  2. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I would add a simple thing often overlooked. If your doors open outward, the hinge pins are outside. Replace those hinges with NRP BB hinges. That means Non Removable Pins, Ball Bearing hinges. These are heavy commercial grade, very smooth and quiet, and can not be disassembled while the door is closed.
  3. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    If you haven't already, add a smoke detector, fire extinguisher and carbon monoxide detectors through out your home... If you have an alarm system consider adding an exterior siren... many thieves expect an interior alarm and know the approximate response times of police... and exterior siren give immediate notification to the surrounding areas and that should move them along sooner...
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Make the house/home look the same whether you are home or away. Lights on timers, no alteration of blinds or curtains or window positions. That way, you can be gone for days at a time and no one will notice. Garages are a good thing to keep your car in (especially if you keep the door down) if you have one. If no garage, the expensive alternate is a second car and rotate usage. The second alternate for apartment and condo dwellers is to never use the same parking spot twice or arrange with a like minded neighbor to take turns in each other's spot.
  5. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    We have an older house with equally older windows, many of which won't latch any more because they don't completely close. We've cut thick dowel rods to go in each window, bracing top to bottom, to prevent them from being opened from someone on the outside. On the garage, we have C clamps that hook through the side of the garage door track to prevent the doors from being manually opened from the outside. Cheap fixes but good prevention for the average midnight home explorer.
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    How do you limit the upper sash from being moved down?
    kellory likes this.
  7. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    It doesn't come down. They're just, what do you call it, single hung?
    Oh I take that back. Just looked at them. There's a track for them but someone nailed strips of wood in them to block the upper windows. All swelled up and quite stuck.
  8. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    This is a quick light adjustable version of a true piece of art. A lot of old new York aptments are protected with a "fox lock" but I can't find any examples to show. They had a floor socket for the bar to lock into, and they slid into a receiver box on the door with a solid bar between them. The box on door, allowed the door to be opened a few inches, without removing the bar. As the door opened, the bar slid up into a socket. Only the bar ever needed to be moved to open the door. Even the cops could not breach one without destroying the door first. Great item. Seems to me, this would be well within the metal working skills of @Bear or anyone with some metal working skills, and a tape measure.
    Ignore the dufus, look at the product.;)
    Master Lock Security Bar:
  9. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    you can drill through the lower sash and partway through the upper sash ... insert your dowel/cut down nail and Volia... both sashes are pinned... you can also make additional holes so you can open the windows for air circulation and keep the windows secure... ( I recccommend nails over dowels because the dowels can swell and will be a pain to remove if you need to....
    Bear and kellory like this.
  10. AmericanRedoubt1776

    AmericanRedoubt1776 American Redoubt: Idaho-Montana-Oregon-Wyoming Site Supporter+

    Thanks for this suggestion. I secured our less used rooms that have external windows with one-sided deadbolts on the outside of the room side (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00164FOZ0/?tag=survivalmonke-20 -- not accessible from a thief breaking into that room's window). I then noticed what you mentioned about the pins -- that a burglar could simply remove the hinge pins and take off the door. I didn't know if there was a solution.

    Your idea solves that. Thank you. I just ordered a set from Amazon.com to give it a try on those interior doors.
    National Hardware V505 3-1/2" Zinc Plated Non-Removable Pin Hinge - Door Hinges - Amazon.com
    door hinges non removable pin | eBay
    Amazon.com: Non Removable Pin Hinges

    Do I need the Ball Bearing part? I see there are ones that don't mention Ball Bearing, but mention Non-Removable Pin.
    Bear and kellory like this.
  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I've already done this in my house. Make sure to secure it for any air conditioners as well. I recommend 16P scaffold nails, which have a double head, and are much easier to adjust or remove. Drill your hole a little larger than the nail to make alignment easy. I have done the same for every house on this street for two blocks. (It is quite simple and popular.)
  12. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    Was down to the county land office and found out they have a GIS program to view property.. I was looking at my property lines and found out that I could view property by sat photos on line.. Can not see my cabin because of the tree's, but theres the trailers.. Was going to cut some tree's down for milling but think I'll leave those around the house..
  13. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    No, BB is just quieter. And smoother, long term. NRP is the important part.;) glad to help.
  14. AmericanRedoubt1776

    AmericanRedoubt1776 American Redoubt: Idaho-Montana-Oregon-Wyoming Site Supporter+

    We protect exterior and bedroom doors with door protection, door and door frame protection: Door Jamb Armor - Door Security, Jamb Reinforcement Jamb Repair - Armor Concepts (Amazon.com: Armor Concepts LLC SET-EZA-10000 RP EZ Armor Combo Reinforcing Kit: Home Improvement) plus Door Stopper - Resists Over Two Tons of Force - Protect Your Home with the Club : Home Security and a steel security screen door. Replaced important interior hollow core with steel ones.

    I looked at the Master Lock Security Bar, and opted for the more "beefy", permanent and secure Amazon.com : Door Stopper - Resists Over Two Tons of Force - Protect Your Home with the Club : Home Security Club in combination as I mentioned above. We use the Club on our front and back door and our bedroom door. It is so fast to use, that we put it in place any time we close the bedroom door --- to give that extra "force multiplier" response time in case of home invasion.

    Here are pictures from an installation of
    EZ Armor Ultimate Door Security Combo Set - White
    by Armor Concepts LLC


    I think I will order your recommended product for hotels-motels when we travel.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
    Dont, kellory and ditch witch like this.
  15. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Google Earth will accomplish an overhead view for those counties that don't have GIS programs. (Or even if they do ---)
  16. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    Ok I have a question maybe someone can answer. For starters what I know about door hardware wouldn't fill a thimble. Now way back I read Rawels books and I don't remember details now but seems like there was chatter in there about the characters installing these 4" deadbolts. I haven't put a lot of effort into finding such a thing, but what looking I did didn't turn up anything like that. Has anyone seen these?
  17. AmericanRedoubt1776

    AmericanRedoubt1776 American Redoubt: Idaho-Montana-Oregon-Wyoming Site Supporter+

    Here is what I found in my favorite Survivalist-Prepper book:
    from James Wesley Rawles.

    Fair Use Source:

    How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times: James Wesley Rawles, pp. 171-172:

    Safe at Home

    "I recommend that the next time you move, you buy a brick or other masonry house and upgrade its security, or better yet, start with a bare lot and custom-build a stout house with an integral safe room. Two good starting points for house designs are Mexican walled courtyards and buildings with square bastions (also known as Cooper corners). These projecting corners eliminate the blind spots that are common to typical square or rectangular houses.

    For greater detail on this subject, I recommend Joel Skousen's book, The Secure Home. My novel, Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse, also has some detailed design description for ballisti-cally armored window shutters and doors, as well as details on constructing neo-medieval door bars.

    If you are serious about custom-building or retrofitting an existing house for increased security and/or adding a safe room, then I recommend the architectural consulting services of both Safecastle and Hardened Structures (hardenedstructures.com).

    Safe Rooms and Vaults

    I can think of no better way to foil the bad guys than building a dedicated safe room. Such a room could serve multiple purposes, including panic room, gun and valuables vault, storm shelter, and fallout shelter. I'm amazed when I hear some of my relatively wealthy consulting clients tell me that they don't own a home gun vault or safe room. Yes, they are expensive, but not nearly as expensive as having some of your key survival tools stolen.

    Putting a lock on your bedroom door is insufficient. Since most interior doors are hollow-core, they typically use lightweight hinges, and they have insubstantial strike plates. Most of these doors can either be knocked down or kicked though, in very short order. I recommend replacing your bedroom doors with heavy-duty exterior-type doors (preferably steel) with sturdy hinges and one or more deadbolt locks. If your house has all the bedrooms isolated on one hallway, then you can add a heavy-duty door at the end of that hall and keep it locked at night, basically creating a safe wing. Then, inside that safe wing, you should have a far more secure, dedicated safe room that your entire family can retreat to.

    A built-in basement walk-in safe room is ideal. In areas with high water tables, where a basement is not practical, a safe room/shelter can be built on the ground floor of a newly constructed "slab" house, or as an addition to an existing house, with a reinforced poured-concrete floor, walls, and ceiling. Regardless of the design that you choose, it is important to specify a vault door that opens inward, so that it won't be jammed shut by debris in the event of tornado, hurricane, or bomb blast. The folks at Safecastle can do the engineering and source the vault door for you.

    Another important thing to keep in mind for your safe room is that redundant communications are important, so that you can solicit outside help. Both the master bedroom and the safe room should have hardwired POTS telephones that are serviced by underground lines with no visible junction boxes. Be sure to test using a cell phone (as a backup) from every room. Having a CB radio in your safe room also makes sense.

    I realize that most readers cannot afford an elaborate walk-in safe room, but 95 percent of you can at least afford a heavy-duty steel gun vault with a Sargent and Greenleaf dial lock with re-locker. Be sure to bolt your vault securely to the floor and, if possible, build it into a hidden compartment or hidden room. There are a lot of vault makers in the U.S. and Canada, so it is a very competitive market. Do some Internet research and comparison shopping and you can save a lot of money on your vault purchase. Vaults are quite heavy (typically around seven hundred pounds) and shipping them is expensive, so it is generally best to buy one that is made within two hundred miles of where you live. If you move frequently, I recommend the free-standing gun vault made by Zanotti Armor (www.zanottiarmor.com). Zanotti makes vaults that can be taken apart into six manageable pieces for ease of transport. They cost only about one hundred dollars more than comparable vaults that are welded together in the traditional manner. Assembly is a three-man job, since extra hands are needed to get everything lined up before the pins can be noisily driven into place. It takes only about a half hour, and disassembly takes about ten minutes."​

    Or are you referring to Patriots?
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
    NotSoSneaky and ditch witch like this.
  18. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    Yeah it was Patriots. Or Survivors. I don't remember which now. It was free to read online at the time.
  19. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Yes, you are looking for a deadbolt with an extended "throw" that mean how far into the jamb it goes. They are good, but it is the jamb that will fail. You are better off. Replacing the keeper screws and installing it with 6" long drywall screws or similar screws. Just make sure the heads will fit the keeper holes or go to a heavy duty keeper. (The latch plate the bolt goes into.
  20. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    I heard a rumor of someone doing a lot of digging in the hills.. Also noticed that the sat photos where updated about every two years.. Something else to consider is that locals like to talk and gossip.. Most that are of like minds also like to keep others secrets.. But those that are not "of like mind" and don't have an appreciation for security may get wordy with the wrong sort.. When I leave home for a while, I only tell the neighbours that would notice I haven't been driving in or out for a time and keep their mouths shut..
    AmericanRedoubt1776 likes this.
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