Home invasions are an increasingly dangerous crime, nowadays. If you compare home invasions to a plain burglary they are two completely different crimes, however both have a violent perpetrators involved. So the question is do you have a safe room in case one of these two crimes happen to involve you and your family? Having a safe room could be one of the many rooms you decide to put and design for your new home.
Protecting Your Home
There are many things you can do to reduce the likelihood of your house or apartment being broken into or invaded, however protecting your home can only go so far. There are certain things that can protect you from the common criminal, but in long term SHTF situations, you and your family have to decide whether to bug in or bug out. So with that being said, your home needs an Extreme Home Makeover.
Let’s start with lighting.
If you plan to build your own house or already have a house these are things that you should make sure to add to your new or existing home. Yes, some of these are common sense things but not everyone remembers things like you. So for starters make sure all your entryways have lighting by using either timers or motion sensors. These are low cost purchases to your new home and easy to install. The exterior lighting you install should be able to be seen about 100 feet. Just do not leave them on all the time or your electric bill is going to get pretty high.
Now every new home or existing home needs that green stuff called shrubs or bushes to add some spice to the new house!
When planting these beautiful shrubs, bushes, and plants of any kind that are about 4 feet of a sidewalk and about 2 feet from driveway or door trim. Make sure to keep up on trimming these so that the branches are 6 feet above ground and limbs cannot be used to gain access to upper windows. A planting tip: Plant thorny bushes or flowers along fences and under windows to deject burglars from approaching through them.
Every house needs a garage to store that expense Tesla in and another garage or two to store that ATV or Jet Ski as well.
Garages are the prime entry way for perpetrators. The garage is where the goodies are at and many fail to secure the door to the house. If you happen to have an overhead rolling door, drill a hole in the runner and padlock it with a high quality padlock. The connecting door to the house should be solid wood or metal with a deadbolt. Make sure you remove your keys from vehicles overnight. Also remove your garage door opener from your vehicle and change the factory setting. If you have a newer opener they have “rolling” codes. Also do not, I repeat do not store your keys in the garage. Another tip is to not store ladders, pry bars, or other tools in garage or outdoor shed that would enable a perpetrator to aid them into your house.
Every home needs those picture perfect windows to allow that beautiful sunlight to flow in.
When building a home keep in mind when you add basement windows make sure to either have bars or grills covering them. You may also want to consider bars or grills on other ground floor windows. Windows should be locked and shouldn’t be open more than 6 inches even when someone is home. Windows should have secondary locks, and easily removable from inside in the event of fire.
Doors are the biggest entry to any home, garage, or shed. So having secure doors are the number one priority.
All doors on the exterior of house should be solid wood or metal. You should also install wide angle viewers on the exterior entrance doors about 160 degrees. Make sure you use deadbolts with at least 1 inch throw and consider installing an intercom on the front door for precaution. You should also install a latch chain. If you have a pet of any kind do not install a pet door.
- Insure all external power and utility boxes locked.
- All property fences should have locked gates.
- Insure all skylights locked in place and reinforced with plastic glazing.
- Do NOT hide spare key outside under the door mat, etc.
- If you are a new occupant, re-key the property.
- If you lose your keys, re-key the property.
The best way to secure your home is to make sure the doors, windows, locks, and other exterior home care is up to date.
However, if your outer defenses are broken, having a safe room to retreat to could be a life saver.
A safe room is a room in a house or other building that is invulnerable to attack or intrusion, and from which security operations can be directed. There are various types of safe room designs. If your pocket can spare the funds, you can have a safe room built that will protect you in the event of a tornado or other natural disaster. According to FEMA, they have a number of documents on that topic. However, most of us don’t have the extra cash lying around to construct such a room. In this article we are strictly talking about home invasions.
When creating a safe room you will have to figure out where and how big you want it. So you will need to make a plan and then build. You will then need to prepare you and your family for what to do and when to use the safe room. Lastly, you will have the protection to you and your family for creating the safe room if ever there was a need for it.
Many of you may have questions about safe rooms so I will cover a few of those.
Who needs a safe room if I have a gun?
Okay, Chuck Norris, how about we think this through before we start firing away! I personally think that most people know how to use them. I personally go to the gun range with my family a couple months in the year to practice. I own a gun as well. Yes, guns do make you feel safe but just think if you had your loot of weapons along with a safe room, you would be more than Chuck Norris ready.
Why do I need a safe room?
Well, honestly you don’t need one, but I bet half of the people who build a home consider it but can’t afford it. This is why you have to consider other options other than a larger home such as apartments or flats. You could have a spare room as a safe room if you include the right things in it.
Selecting and Constructing Your Safe Room
Every family and housing situation is different, but the idea is to select a room that you can get all members of the household to as quickly as possible. (Remember your family safety plan). It might be the basement, or bedroom or even a large bathroom. Try to select a room with no windows or skylight. Most indoor doors are hollow wood. You need to replace the door with a solid type, wood or steel. Hang it so it opens outwardly. Use deadbolts with at least a 1 inch throw, and consider using two of them. Strike plates should be 4 screw designs with screws at least three inches long. If hinges on exterior, flange, weld, or pin the hinge pins to prevent removal and ensure they have 3 inch screws on the hinge plates. A door is really only as solid at the frame it is attached to. Try to reinforce the wooden frame with angle iron, or replace it with a steel frame. The whole idea is to ensure the door remains intact after repeated hits by a 180lb. man. If you must use a room with a window, shatterproof glass would be essential as well as an iron grate over it. Insure your safe room has an electrical outlet to charge your cell phone if necessary.
Safe Room Supplies
You safe room is going to need certain supplies. Many people keep these items in the safe room pre stocked and some use a sort of mini-bug out bag to grab and go to the safe room. Personally, I recommend stocking the safe room ahead of time. It would be too easy to forget to grab the bag under stress or you might be in an area of the house that you couldn’t get to it in time. You need to be able to survive, communicate, and if necessary defend yourself. Here is a small recommended list that you can add to depending on your situation:
1. A firearm for defense. If you can, try to dedicate at least one firearm that will be stored in the safe room. Insure you have the training to properly and legally defend yourself if necessary.
2. A cell phone. This is essential. The idea is to stay safe long enough to call 911 for help and to remain safe until the police arrive. Make sure you have a charger with it. Dead battery can equal dead you. Test your cell phone from the safe room to insure you have coverage from it! If you have to call 911, stay on the line! This will be critical for communication when the police arrive.
3. A good first aid kit. Don’t forget any medication you might need.
4. Water and munchies. If you are using a bathroom the water problem is solved.
5. A good flash light or security light.
6. A small HAM radio if the cell phone fails
7. Sanitation concerns. If you are not using the bathroom, you need a way to relieve yourself if you have a long wait.
Deciding on how to set up a safe room takes a lot of serious thought. This is just an overview to get you started.