All heinous actions in the world happen when you least expect them because bad news never adheres to good timing. About every 20 seconds there’s a home invasion in America, which is a crime of necessity or opportunity that will never fade away. Your home is your domain to recharge and find peace, so protecting it and your loved ones is your number one priority. Thinking burglaries only happen to other people will make you a better target, so sleeping on the possibility you can get robbed right where you eat isn’t recommended.
We’re not saying you should turn your home into a heavy-duty fort or set ridiculous traps like an adult Kevin Mcallister, but taking proper safety precautions and buying the right home protection technology is fundamental in this day and age. In order to help you make your home ready for intruders, we’ve decided to put together a guide on how to upgrade your home security, as well as your mindset.
Before We Get Started
Before we get started, we need to set a few things straight. Sometimes, the stars align just right for the villains of this world. So even with all the home security upgrades and safety precautions, there’s still a chance an intruder could break into your home. However, with all the proper home safety additions and knowledge of how an intruder’s brain works, you’ll decrease the chances of your home getting hit by thieves in the night. The information found here will help you get started, but reaching out to a home security professional would be ideal.
Mindset Of An Intruder
Get Into Character
In order to decrease your chances of experiencing a home invasion, you have to slip into the mind of an intruder. Similar to how FBI Agent Clarice Starling uses Hannibal Lecter to see the world through the eyes of a murderer, you can take the same approach with scheming criminals looking to rob you blind. In order to prevent burglaries from happening, you have to think about this question: how would I break into my house? Answering that question with a comprehensive, well-thought-out response will allow you to make the necessary upgrades to your home’s security. There are also some general details to take note of when it comes to how home invaders think:
1. Intruders love to work in the dark so they can be more stealthy, making exterior lights an excellent deterrent.
2. However, burglars also tend to hit houses between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. because most people are at the office or school.
3. Keep your valuables out of view from the street, as thieves like to window shop.
4. Many thieves will break into houses within a few miles of their own, as it’s easier for them to keep track of the daily schedules of their potential victims.
5. The least risky entry point is your backyard, so a thief will usually check there first.
6. Burglars will usually scout homes with people who live alone. If their plan goes astray, they’ll only have one person to manage.
7. Thieves consider all entry points, including your pet door and window air conditioning unit.
8. Open garages or cracked doors (when you’re walking in groceries and vulnerable) are juicy targets.
Preventing A Home Invasion
Security Upgrades For Your Kingdom
Just like in self-defense, anticipation and prevention are your best bets in protecting your humble abode. It goes without saying that you should have a reliable home security system set up, but since that’s common knowledge, we’re going to get into additional features you can add to your domain. In addition to slipping into the mind of a thief and imagining how you would break into your home in its current state, there are some solid reinforcements you can add, which include smart locks, smart surveillance cameras, motion sensor lights, and self-defense weapons. With home invasion knowledge and these home upgrades, your sanctuary will be safer from any action than a poor fool stuck in the friend zone.
Since thieves want to get in and out of a home as quickly as possible, they’re going to be looking for weak targets. A thief will think twice if they scan your house and see heavy-duty locks at the easy entry points. You can go old-school in some areas of your home and go for double-cylinder locks, which requires a key from both the inside and outside, but those may backfire in case you need to get out of your home fast in an emergency situation, such as a fire or natural disaster. Your best bet is to invest in smart locks. We live in a world where technology is king so why not include high-tech gadgets in your home security system? An intruder can master picking locks, but messing with a high-tech door bolt is a going to be a problem most criminals won’t have the time to deal with adequately. If the robber feels the heat around the corner, they’ll pack up and sniff out better prey.
Kwikset Kevo Bluetooth Deadbolt
With military-grade PKI encryption, Kwikset’s smart lock is ready to protect any entrance to your headquarters. Thieves will definitely be intimidated by this single cylinder Bluetooth-enabled deadbolt, which can be locked or unlocked with ‘Touch-to-Open’ convenience. It’s compatible with Alexa and powered by your smartphone, so you can send and manage eKeys for anytime-access or 24-hour guest access. It will even send you notifications and keep data on usage history. This second-generation smart lock also utilizes proprietary positioning technology, which detects when you’re inside your home to prevent unwanted guests from entering.
Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt
For those skilled thieves trying to break through with their pick-locking prowess, the Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt has an anti-pick shield. It also features a built-in alarm to alert you of potential security threats and an auto-throw deadbolt, which is activated from the outside when you press the Schlage button. According to Schlage, their smart lock has the highest industry ratings for durability, finish, and residential security. It’s also compatible with Z-Wave, a wireless communications protocol employed for home automation.
Yale Touchscreen Deadbolt
The Yale Real Living Touchscreen Deadbolt illuminates at night for easy, quick access and can replace any standard lock on an interior or exterior door. You just have to touch the screen to wake up the system and enter the code. It can be programmed for code lockout modes, tamper alerts, and it’s compatible with top security and home automation companies. You’ll get access to notifications and history tracking so you can keep tabs on everything. For your convenience, you can also schedule user access timeframes as well as lock and unlock the deadbolt remotely.
Smart Surveillance Cameras
Casinos use eyes in the sky to monitor every nook and cranny of their gambling floors, keeping everything front and center for constant monitoring. You can’t go wrong taking a page from the security playbook of an industry taking in billions of dollars every year. Setting up smart surveillance cameras in several exterior locations on your home will make your spot even more unattractive to hungry eyes. You may even prevent Amazon package thieves from cruising by to steal your goodies. Even if a burglar breaks in, at least you have some footage to hand over to the police. Might we add that although your home will look less attractive to criminals with smart cameras around, but you shouldn’t just put up dummy cameras to try and scare them off. Set up the real deal and keep tabs on your home. Remember to set your smart surveillance cameras at main entry points to your home and situate them where they are hard to reach. You can even consider cloaking your cameras, but remember, you’ll lose the visual threat of those digital eyes.
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery
For protection at every corner of your home, the wireless Ring Spotlight Cam Battery will do the trick. The smart camera has a wide-angle lens to shoot 1080p HD video of anyone trying to bust into your domain. It also has built-in mics and speakers, so you can speak to someone on your property. Arrange the perfect setting for this smart camera thanks to its adjustable motion sensors. With instant motion-activated alerts, your camera will let you know about anyone on your property. You can even personalize the monitoring with adjustable motion zones and custom schedules.
Nest Cam IQ
The Nest Cam IQ provides you with a talented third eye, as it can detect an unwelcome guest up to 50 feet away, alerting you with a photo for inspection. However, it will also recognize familiar faces. It houses a 4K sensor with HDR and has advanced capabilities, such a close-up view tracking and 12x digital zoom and enhance. The weatherproof IP66-rated camera also has high-power infrared LEDs for superior night vision, a built-in speaker and mic with echo suppression, and a multi-axis 360° hinge. To make sure the camera doesn’t get tampered with, it has a locked mount.
Arlo Pro 2
Although it’s a little on the pricier side, the Arlo Pro 2 is one of the best smart surveillance cameras you can purchase. Where do we begin? Its advanced sound and motion detection capabilities, IP65-certified weather-resistance, two-way audio, automatic night vision, a 100+ decibel smart security siren, and more. The camera shoots in 1080p HD quality and optional non-stop 24/7 recording via the cloud. To keep all your smart home devices synced, the Arlo Pro 2 is compatible with Google Assistant, Stringify, Amazon Alex, and IFTTT (If This, Then That).
Motion Sensor Lights
Let there be light and watch all the night creatures flee. Burglars obviously do not want to be seen, and putting a spotlight on their actions will send them scurrying like a cockroach. Bright, powerful lights mean trouble, so setting up motion sensor lights around the exterior of your home is a highly recommended option for repelling criminals. Thieves do not want to deal with people if it can be avoided, and motion sensor lights signal your presence is near. It’s highly unlikely a thief would still be interested in breaking-and-entering if they’re flooded with bright beams unless you’re housing a rare king’s scepter or something of that nature. Plus, they’ll work with your smart cameras to get sufficient footage of the unwelcome robbers. Teamwork makes the dream work, or in this case, keeps the thieves away.
Mr. Beams NetBright LED Path lights
Grab a few of these path lights to stake in the ground, especially near bushes or shrubs where thieves can take cover to make them think twice about executing their plan. Each LED Path Light is motion-activated from up to 15 feet and covers up to 120 square feet with 35 lumens. They have an automatic 20-second shut-off to help extend battery life and they’re IPX6 rated for outdoor lighting use. There are two wireless mounting options for these path lights and you can create a max of four lighting zones with up to 50 devices.
RAB Lighting Super Stealth 360 Sensor
With a 360° sensor and two die-cast H101 deluxe shielded bell floodlights, you’ll blast a spotlight on unwelcome guests perusing your property at night. It has photoelectric control to deactivate lights during the daytime but can be adjusted for 24-hour operation or other preferences. You can also set an evening timer to keep the lights on for 1 to 8 hours after dusk. There are three scanning LEDs, providing a full-coverage pattern so no adjustment is needed. For further reliability, this lighting solution has 6,000-volt surge protection and it’s immune to radio frequency.
RuggedGrade Solar Motion LED Flood Light
Leave the wires out of the picture and invest in the RuggedGrade solar Motion LED Flood Light. Illuminate darker areas around your house with over 1,000 lumens when this light senses movement of potential threats. The IP65 rated waterproof security light comes with four modes and a solar panel to charge the device quickly, allowing it to work all night. It houses a large 89,000 mAh battery to power a bright weight 5,000K light. This industrial-grade option for lighting up the dark areas outside your home is the perfect security upgrade.
It doesn’t happen as often but sometimes home invasions will occur while the owner is still at home. Layered security is ideal, but if the intruders happen to outsmart all your defenses or if there’s an unforeseen crack in your digital security, then you’re going to need to defend yourself when chaos crashes the party. We’re all for learning self-defense, but that takes time to master and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to protect others efficiently. Therefore, easy-to-use self-defense weapons are your best bet. We’re not telling you to stock up on weapons like you’re a one-man wrecking machine named John Wick, as arming yourself with knowledge is more lethal in the real world, but a few self-defense weapons stored in a secure all-or-nothing safe box can’t hurt.
Cold Steel Brooklyn Crusher Bat
A trusty baseball bat to swing for the fences will serve you well if you have to defend yourself against a thief looking to harm you or your family in order to rob your home. The title of this baseball bat by Cold Steel is already pretty intimidating, but we can’t rely on dangerous names to speak to defend us. The Crusher Bat is made from heavy-duty high-impact polypropylene, making them much stronger than regular sluggers. The bat is nearly impermeable to the elements. If you want an easy self-defense weapon to wield that doesn’t require any training to use, you can’t go wrong with this classic.
Taser Pulse+ Stun Gun
If you would like a self-defense weapon that’s a little more high-tech than a baseball bat, then the Taser Pulse+ Stun Gun is a fine choice. Utilizing less-lethal technology, this taser works with your smartphone thanks to the Noonlight app that will contact the authorities and inform them of your location when the gun is fired. The lightweight 8-ounce stun gun has a shooting distance of 15 feet and it’s equipped with a built-in laser for accurate aim. When it hits its target, it initiates a 30-second muscular override to give you ample time to escape. And it’s legal to own and carry in most states without a license.
Benelli M4 Tactical Shotgun
Shotguns do major damage and should be handled with the utmost caution and care. Having said that, this Benelli M4 Tactical Shotgun is the quintessential self-defense weapon for your home, as long as you take the necessary precautions to handle it. If an intruder happens to make it through an unforeseen crack in your home security and you’re standing there with this 12-gauge semi-auto zombie killer, they’ll definitely surrender. Trusted by the U.S. Marine Corps, this M4 shotgun features a pistol-grip stock, Picatinny rail, adjustable ghost-ring aperture rear sight, and a wind-adjustable front sight. This boomstick can be your home’s best last line of defense.
While You're On Vacation
Peace Of Mind Precautions
Okay, but what if you’re on vacation? Intruders want you to be as far away as possible when they’re cracking down your door. When you’re somewhere in Tokyo enjoying the beautiful view with a nice Japanese whisky on the rocks, they’ll be knee-deep in your goods if you don’t prepare your home for the worst while you enjoy your travels. Yes, the alarm system could be triggered and alert the authorities, but imagine what a well-trained criminal could take in about ten minutes. Even if they had five minutes, they’ll do some damage. It’s all about preventative measures and making your home look as unattractive to criminals as possible. The following are several useful tips to consider when you’ll be away from home for a while.
1. Set timers for your electronics at night, including your TV and your indoor lights. There’s nothing more juicy to a thief than a pitch dark house at night with no signs of activity.
2. Lock up everything and check the locks twice. Yes, it should go without saying, but according to SafeWise, a team of home security professionals, 30% of intruders gain access to a home through an unlocked window or door.
3. Have someone you trust mow the lawn or shovel snow if you live in an area where winter actually exists. An untidy home means there’s no one is around to do chores.
4. Put a hold on your mail. Overflowing mail is also a sign that you’re away. You can stop USPS delivery for up to 30 days.
5. Leave a car in the driveway to give the illusion that someone is home.
6. Do not broadcast your whereabouts on social media when you’re going on vacation. Posting a photo at the airport with a caption saying “well-deserved two-week trip!” translates to “come to rob my house!”
The 6 Self-Defense Moves Every Man Should Know
So you’ve upgraded your home security to make it harder for thieves to infiltrate. Now it’s time to upgrade your self-defense skills. Check out our break down of the self-defense moves every man should know and gain confidence in handling yourself during a physical confrontation.