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I would like to cover a topic that is not discussed enough in the martial arts world or in the regular world in general. That topic is Home Security. I see time and time again people taking the time to practice punching, kicking & blocking (which is good) but take no time in preventing something from happening in their homes. I have talked to thousands of martial artists about how to defend their homes and you know what I found? MOST of them had no idea about what to do or things to look for when at home. So here is a list of things to look for and do when you are at home so that you can be a bit safer. This is not a complete list! There are many other things that are not on this list. But it is a start.
1. Keep hedges and bushes trimmed so that the doors to your home are visible to neighbors and passers-by.
2. Ensure that entrances are well lit. Sensor lights are exterior lights that are activated when an infrared beam is broken. These lights are fairly inexpensive and are excellent because they are likely to scare off prowlers outside your home.
3. Invest in a good burglar alarm system from a reputable company. Place alarm stickers on your windows. Even if you cant afford an alarm system, contact the alarm companies and sometimes they will sell you just the stickers and sign posts to put in your yard.
4. Consider buying a dog and post “Beware of Dog” signs outside your home. The size of the dog is not important. Even a small dog will make noise when it detects a prowler or intruder. This one is a must.
5. Use deadbolt locks on all exterior doors and ensure that the doorframes are sturdy and strong. I prefer metal doors and doorframes. Wood is for termites.
6. Ensure that all windows have locks and that you keep them locked while out or when you are home alone.
7. Use wooden or metal rods to secure sliding doors and windows. Many styles of sliding patio doors can be easily pried open with a screwdriver or opened with a sharp tug that will break the latch. And if you can, make sure that the sliding doors and windows are made of an unbreakable glass material.
8. Avoid hiding keys outside, especially in obvious places. It is better to give a spare key to a trusted neighbor.
9. If you lose a set of keys, have your locks changed as soon as possible.
10. Don’t put your name and address on your key chain. This is pretty much common sense. But you would be surprised at what people will do these days.
11. Do not leave your house keys or garage door opener on your vehicle when it is being serviced. Keys can be stolen or copied. A garage door opener can be opened and the frequency combination can be recorded.
12. If your garage door opener is lost or stolen, have your opener code changed.
13. Install peepholes in doors as opposed to chain locks that can be easily forced and broken.
14. Teach your children not to open doors for ANYONE except you and maybe your spouse.
15. Avoid indicators that you live by yourself or are home alone.
- Draw your curtains at night to prevent people from determining that you are alone.
- If you live alone, don’t put your name on the mailbox. If you do, use only your first initial. People can look your number up in the phone book and phone to determine if you are out.
- Consider an unlisted phone number or use only your first initial in your telephone listing.
- Never inform unknown callers or visitors that you are alone. Inform them that your spouse/roommate is asleep, in the shower or that you are unable to speak because you are expecting company at any moment.
16. Have automatic garage door openers installed. You will be less susceptible to attacks from assailants hiding outside your home.
17. Scan your surroundings before exiting your vehicle and approaching a house or building.
18. Have your house or car keys ready in case you have to get in quickly.
19. If you arrive home to find a stranger or vehicle in your driveway, leave and call the police.
20. Have a phone at your bedside along with important phone numbers for police, fire, neighbors etc.
21. A cell phone is best because the lines cannot be cut.
22. Arrange to have service people, salespeople, etc. attended while you have company or invite a friend over during that period.
23. Placing an emergency call:
- State your location and name first in case you are interrupted
- State your reason for calling
- If possible, provide police with a description and present whereabouts of a suspect (i.e. trying to get in, running away etc.)
24. Get to know your neighbors and determine whom you can call in an emergency. Consider developing an emergency signal such as flashing lights or noisemakers.
25. If someone does try to force his way into your house, keep your foot on the floor with the ball of your foot against the bottom of the door as a doorstop.
26. Consider placing a personal defense weapon/device(s) around the home or be prepared to improvise by converting household items into weapons.
27. A stranger at the door:
- Are you expecting anyone?
- Does he look the part? (uniform, company vehicle, etc.)
- Are these normal business hours?
- Does he appear to be nervous and/or scanning for witnesses?
- If you are suspicious, ask for ID and the phone number of his superiors. Is he able to recite it immediately? Check the phonebook or Internet to see if the phone numbers match.
- If you are the least bit suspicious of a stranger, advise him that you are expecting company and to make an appointment. Trust your intuition.
28. If you have the money, spend it on come home defense & safety items. Items could include:
- Door Devil Anti Kick-In Door Security Kit (http://www.doordevil.com/)
- A Security System (maybe even with cameras)
- A Firearm (a must). Or multiple firarms. All capable adults that live in the household should know how to fire a gun.
29. Make sure you have an escape route planned and train it all the time. The best way to survive a home invasion is to have a plan and try and follow it.
30. And to lighten things up, I used to have a sign that read “Trespassers will be shot, Survivors will be shot again”. Try putting one of these bad boy signs up outside your house. They might think twice before trying something with you.
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And please: Share this post, link to it, tell anyone who’s thinking about learning self defense, survival, prepping or homesteading – help me to spread the word.
STAY PRIMAL, my friends