Best way to secure a house

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by renee7, Nov 22, 2003.

  1. renee7

    renee7 Well-Known Member

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    When I bought my house in the country, I thought I might be a little bit afraid. There's a fairly large window in the basement, and outside steps without a door on it that anyone could just walk in. My daughter and I put up a door in the basement, but it's not all that secure. And I tlked to my 2 sons about putting bars on the basement windows.

    Well I moved in. And I wasn't one bit afraid. Most of the time don't even pull down all of the shades. But that has kinda changed.

    Yesterday morning, before daylight, my older sister, 87, heard a big crash in her home. Someone had thrown a large rock thru a large window in her kitchen.
    She kept a small ladder in her bath room, planning to go out the bathroom window if any one broke in. Well that
    s just what she did. But she fell and hurt her back. She made it to a neighbors and they called the police. She's in the hospital. with a cracked verteba in her back. I think she is going to be allright.

    But that put a fear in me, that I better get a plan. First, both of my doors have glass in them. All a person would have to do is break out the glass and walk in. They would be in my bedroom, before I could do anything.

    Does anyone have those storm doors with bars on them? How secure would they be? my son said to put up a gate on the drive way. But they could park at the road and walk 75' and be at the house. I don't think that would help.
    An alarm at the drive way might be better. that would give me a little time.

    I've got a cell phone I carry with me every where. and sleep with it. But I'm about 8 miles out in the country. It would take too long for the sheriff to get here.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    Renee, I am sorry that your sister was hurt during such a frightening ordeal!

    I can't answer any of your questions about door and window security. I've never had to worry about those things, I have dogs. There is absolutely no way anyone can sneak onto my property or even knock on the front door without me knowing about it. I can tell by which bark is used to know if it is friend or stranger. Our border collie goes off the deep end of agression if a stranger deviates from the driveway to front door pattern of behavior.
     

  3. almostthere

    almostthere Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry for your sister. Back injuries can really stop your world from turning, so to speak. If you can get an alarm, a really loud one, that might help. And some animals, maybe a loud dog? Even if he's an inside dog and not a very big one it will give you more time to get to safety. Try some motion detector lights. The light to our back door has one and thats also the same wall as or bdrm, so if it comes on not only does it wake us up but also the dog. Picture a 75lb boxer having a fit like Donald Duck, LOL. :haha: If you got a gate at the road, you might not hear them walking up, but then they might walk up anyway. So unless the gate is fenced, and maybe electric, it might not be that much help. Then again maybe if they see the gate instead of a dark house they might think twice. I don't know about that one. If you do decide to bar the windows, be sure you can get out, in the middle of the night, in your pj's, in possibly a "there's someone in the house" state of mind. Give yourself some time to get used to your surroundings, get to know your neighbors, give yourself an escape route(in a break in or fire etc). I live in a small town(about 2500 ppl) with virtually no crime rate(our police ride bikes in the summer, LOL). Nonetheless I was very afraid when we moved here and it took a while to get used to my surroundings. But it did happen, and it will happen for you as well.
     
  4. I do have a good dog. He would bark. I don't think he would attack any one.
    I was almost too unconcerned, until this happened, and now I know that I better do some things. I have one motion light. I will get some more.
    Thanks for all your sugestions
     
  5. renee7

    renee7 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, the post above is mine. I forgot to sign in
     
  6. almostthere

    almostthere Well-Known Member

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    Wally world has the lights that aren't too expensive. We have one that has 2 lights, and we adjusted them so that each one will light up a different part of the yard. I think they are called "fog" lights. Maybe you could hide one in a tree at the edge of the driveway if you could get it hooked up. You'e doing good with a dog, I think just the fact that he's there and making noise should deter an intruder. I won't advise you to buy a gun, even though I am not "anti gun", b/c I think thats its a choice based on your own comfort level. I will however suggest mace, pepper spray, something small and handy you can keep with an extra set of keys at your bedside with your cell phone.
     
  7. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    Agree with the others. At the minimum, get one or two dogs, inside dogs and outside dogs. Big dogs scare big guys. Little dogs will still alert you to danger.
    Get a pump shotgun. Light bird shot loads won't kick too bad, but will make an awful noise. I guarantee you that the sound of a pump shotgun 'action' being pumped will scare the bejesus out of the wooliest of buggers.

    Get some of the security ''stickers'' and place at the base of all your windows. Maybe even one of the small signs, and post it at your gate.

    I use chondroitin for my knee, and one of the brands I use, has a blinking red LED light included in the package. I've got it in my truck on the dashboard, my security system. You could place it in one of the windows facing the road, right behind one of the "security sign stickers". Makes bad people think twice!!!

    Secondly, and on a deeper level, join the gossip groups in your area, you should find out quickly who the bad apples are. Talk to the sheriff or your constable on your local gun laws, the firing of weapons (especially if your in the city limits, or if there are any local ordinances against firing in your area).
    Cultivate a crazy person persona...the local bad apples usually leave the crazy person who randomly fires off a coupla rounds from the 12gauge, whenever somebody approaches the house who shouldn't.

    I live way back in the woods on a long private road. After I went """"crazy"""" four or five years ago, all the bad apples avoid the roads approaching mine, they swerve off in the opposite ditch when I greet them on the main road. Wish I'd went crazy years ago.
     
  8. Upham

    Upham Well-Known Member

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    Dogs........
    I have a Lab. she's a beauty and she doesn't like trespassers. She loves people but only after she knows they are ok. Someone in the family has to tell her that. :) Bad people will avoid your home when they hear a dog.
    A friend of mine tells a story about some would be robbers. The police were called next door. They brought dogs (K-9) to catch the guys and they did. Anyway the police traced the robbers steps with the dogs and found that bad guys went to his house first and because of his dog they avoided it, climbed their fence and went to the neighbors homes.
    Unless a bad guy knows what he's after and knows you got it (like the hope diamond) he's not going to mess with a dog. Even then the dog warns the owner.
    Up
     
  9. You can also get "fake" security cameras for $10-20. Personally I go for the dog thing. Geese are also good noise makers...and unpredictable. Leave and old pair of large mens boots and a few empty shotgun shells at your gate or outside the frontdoor. Do not live in fear....it takes all then fun out of life!
     
  10. Yes on the gate! I was broken in four times,I put up a locked gate and it stopped. Also a big dog,they do not have to be mean just noisy.
     
  11. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    When I lived in California, everyone had "security doors". They were metal, barred and screened with metal mesh, locked with a dead bolt. They were not too expensive. I loved it. I could leave my door open for fresh air, but still had the security of a real door. It would solve the problem of the windows in your doors.

    As far as having a plan....put a heavy door on your bedroom, either solid core wood or a metal door. Beef up the jamb so it can't be easily kicked in. Put a good dead bolt on it. If someone breaks in, you can lock yourself in your bedroom until help arrives. You can have an alternate escape route, but wouldn't you rather have to take on an attacker in a room, with maybe some pepper spray, rather than running around outside in your pj's?

    If the person is a burglar, they won't bother coming through that door. If it is someone intent on causing you bodily harm, you don't want to be caught by them outside where they can drag you off, or law enforcement will have a hard time finding you.

    Jena
     
  12. clafarge

    clafarge Member

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    I have a security system sign out front that some salesman left behind. I alos have X10 thourhgout the house, so I can use a remote control to turn on/off selected lights in each room. It's not too expensive, and it's VERY easy to set up. You can also get fairly cheap motion sensors that will turn on selected lights in the house, or even turn on a siren or other alarm (flashing lights and alarms are great against bad guys, but false alarms can be a scary ordeal, too). Aside from remote control and motion sensors, you can also get the sort of laser-line that stores use to know when customers come in... walk through the line, and the sensor rings a bell, or turns on a light, or sets off alarms. They also have glass-break sensors and magnetic door-latch sensors. All this stuff is wireless, fairly cheap, and it all works the same way... and is easy to set up.

    Here are some links to one company that sells some of it, in related sections:
    http://www.smarthome.com/x10map.html
    http://www.smarthome.com/seccontacts.html
    http://www.smarthome.com/securmap.html

    Don't trick yourself into thinking it's hard to do... it isn't.

    A noisy dog does not need to be big or mean or scary... just noisy.
     
  13. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    The problem with security bars is, in case of fire nobody can get in to help you.

    Personally, I always keep a dog. Sometimes it is a dog pound mutt, sometimes it is a purebred. They both do good work. Tight now I have a brittany, which is a medium-sized dog. He lives inside and sleeps inside.

    Try to stay away from the golden retreivers, though. THOSE dogs have never met a stranger in their lives! :no:
     
  14. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    You can buy sensors that will alert you to anyone crossing the beam.

    Here is a link:
    http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=71237

    With these placed on your driveway entry ways you would be alerted to anyone coming onto your property.

    Another relatively easy way to secure your doors is to make the doors open OUT-much harder to kick in.
     
  15. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    After listening to all your advice, I am thankful that I don't live in a area where I feel I have to take such precautions. Can't say we haven't been stolen from a time or two, but our doors have never been locked and I have to remind myself not to leave the keys in the rig when I go to town.
     
  16. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    The serious drawback to motion sensor lights and alarms outside in the country is they are constantly set off by wildlife. Having deer and elk, racoons and 'possums setting off the security system is pretty nerve wracking.
     
  17. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    The only bad things about the sensors are that Fire Ants will get into them and set them off usually at 3 in the morning. After 15 false alarms I took it apart and imagine my surprise when I found 100 fire ants living in the sensor :eek:

    Use a dead bolt that has to be opened by a KEY from either side. That eliminates the break glass walk in syndrom. Have to agree with secure one room to escape into. Talk to your sheriff about how long it will take to respond if you need him or a deputy in the middle of the night. THEN do what ever it takes to make you feel secure.

    Dogs are good. Guns are tools I'd nomore expect you to use a 12-gauge than a D-9 backhoe. (unless you got training to use it ;) )

    Sorry your sister had that scare. Hope you gals can "shore" up your security and go back to enjoying the country.

    Kenneth
     
  18. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you live in an area that you dont feel secure in then move. There is no way to secure a home to keep someone determined to get in from getting in.
     
  19. renee7

    renee7 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks every one. I knew you guys would have some answers. and very good ones too. I'm copying all of them to give to my 2 sisters. And I'm looking up the web sites that were mentioned.
     
  20. Generally thieves try to break in when no one is home because they don't want to confront someone who may or may not have a gun. When I lived alone I had a real set pattern to my life and I realized that if anyone had cased my house they would know exactly when I wasn't home. I never wanted to walk in on a burglary in progress so I got 2 timers and I set them up on lamps in the rooms I used the most at night, the living room and dining room. I had the lights go on and off at the same time every night whether I was home or not. I used compact fluorescents on those 2 lamps so it was a fairly cheap security method. I never felt scared walking into my house after that.

    One of my friends took this a step farther. He got a household security kit that had the timer function and it also had an emergency mode where every light on the house would turn ON if one of the panic buttons was hit.

    You might want to ask if your local police or sherrifs dept does security checks. Some departments will send someone out to do a walk though of the house and offer security suggestions. It is often a free service.