Home defense

Barrier 2

Barrier 2

So previously I posted about the use of a Barrier and how to implement it. The reason for the first barrier is more of an emotional block to intruders. Then getting up to speed with early warning systems right after that does have a reason for it. When an intruder sees it fit to violate your first barrier, you know he means trouble. Thus you want to be warned of his presence, and that is where the “early” warning system comes into play.

But, what if this early warning system is triggered by nothing, or something ridiculous? Do you want to activate your action plan every second day? Come on, I know practice makes perfect, but that’s just ridiculous. So that’s why the second barrier, to create enough time to establish if there is an actual threat or not. And to give your response service enough time to get to your home, before intruders can gain access. They will need to get through the second barrier first.

What is a second barrier then? Simple, you already have them, or so I hope. Your burglar bars, at your front door and on your windows, for example, is your second barrier. Please pay attention to this, how easy can it be to trigger your alarm system, dash for a spot behind your sensors and wait for you to cool down before I make my entry? It happens, and regularly too.

How should your second barrier be implemented?

  1. Install strong and sturdy door frames at all entries into your home.
  2. Install a heavy, good quality, and strong exterior doors.
  3. Always have a burglar door installed with your exterior door, any slam lock system works best.
  4. Install doorstops or other mechanisms to prevent any exterior doors from being kicked in or opened after the lock mechanism has been disabled.
  5. Install or upgrade your burglar bars on all windows.
  6. Install electrical wiring, barbed wire, or any type of system that can prevent anyone to climb onto the roof.

Tips:

  • Avoid mounting barriers into wooden frames.
  • Rusted mounting bolts and torn welding needs to be replaced and repaired.
  • Gates and doors should operate smoothly and easily.
  • Choose the correct material and durability levels for your situation.
  • Burglar bars don’t have to be expensive or ugly. There are many ways to beautify burglar bars.
  • Check your current barriers for wear and tear (weathering).
  • A sliding barrier in your safe-room is great for escaping.
  • Make sure no-one has access to your front door. Keep all the spare keys safe.

How strong is your second barrier?

Home defense

Early warning system

Early warning system

Generally, an early warning system can be described as any type of alarm or apparatus that will be able to warn you of an intruder within a certain area. These systems can either be bought in full or on contract.

An early warning system can be anything from a normal alarm system, a DIY tripwire, or anything that can warn you that a possible intruder is approaching your home. With the keyword being “approach”. The reason for installing an early warning system can vary for each situation. But the main purpose I would like to encourage any client to use such a system is to warn you of any possible intruder to create as much time as possible to gather yourself and react to the situation. Every natural person will take a few seconds before actually thinking about reacting to any siren singing in their ears. It takes a while to sink in. It’s important to remember that an alarm system will never be a physical barrier. It will only scare off intruders. But it will be a valuable system when you are inside your home.

Choosing an early warning system:

Monitored alarm systems:

This type of alarm system is linked to a remote monitoring company that constantly monitors active on your system and when the system is triggered or a panic alarm is activated they will call you to find out if there is any problem and send a vehicle to assist or investigate why the alarm was triggered.

Unmonitored alarm systems:

These types of systems are exactly monitored alarm systems. Without the benefit of someone monitoring activities and sending a vehicle for assistance or to investigate why the alarm was triggered.

Wired alarms:

These type of systems are installed with live wiring from a control system to the sensors, they can be more costly with installation and much more of a hassle to install, but in the long run, can be more reliable and cost-effective if done properly.

Wireless alarms:

Just as the name suggests, these systems can be installed within a certain range from the control system without any necessary wiring. But the reliability factor comes into play when the batteries of certain detectors run flat, and not much of these systems are waterproof and those that are, can be very expensive. Constantly having to change batteries when you don’t have a rechargeable system can be an excessive expense in the long run. The great benefit of wireless systems is that they can constantly be moved or adjusted with ease to surprise possible intruders or previous unwanted visitors.

GSM/speech dialer Alarm:

A GSM/Speech dialer system can phone or message you when the alarm is triggered and some can be armed or disarmed from a mobile phone for convenience. These systems can be a cheaper alternative to monitored systems but without the benefit of reaction services. They are of course dependent on networks and available airtime or data.

DIY systems:

Here your shotgun shells rule the game, well if it is legal in your country, state or province anyway. A DIY system can be anything from tripwires linked to some tin cans to a pressure plate installed behind your barrier that triggers a flashing light or siren in your bedroom. The possibilities are endless, up to your imagination, and the law. There are incredible designs all over the web for DIY systems, and most of them can save your family at the cost of some scrap lying around in the garage.  Make sure your DIY system is lawful.

So deciding what to go with is a huge discussion all across the web. The biggest problem with this is that these systems turn out to be very expensive, at least so we think it has to be. The point I am trying to make is this. You don’t need a fancy system with 20 sensors and 2 notification panels that enable you to check in from 500km’s away. That’s not security, that’s luxury. And the compromise is too risky.

Choosing the right system:

  1. Plan, plan, plan. Please don’t run around for quotes from the next best company out there. You need to know what you need first. You don’t go out buying a luxury vehicle when in fact you need a mini-van. Some insurance companies might even have specific requirements when it comes to choosing the right one. And the right system can even increase the value of your property. Let’s look at this simple house plan below for starters:
  2. You need to determine exactly how many sensors and what type of sensors you need. Following the example above, draw a scale model of your home and then add your barriers and early warning system.
  3. Take some time to think about where the best place will be to place a sensor. Identify any weaknesses around your home where intruders can more easily gain access. If you use a sensor that works together with a separate sensor, you will need a direct line of sight between the two, but you do not want them too close to your first barrier. This may allow someone to jump over it. When you are looking at using an infrared sensor, make sure you can place them in conjunction with each other. Making sure they can overlap each other without leaving any gaps.
  4. Now decide on the complexity of your system. Do you want to be able to remotely control the system from work or while on vacation? Do you want it to be able to link to a security company? Do you want it to be wireless? Do you want it to be a permanent installation? All of these questions can greatly impact the price of your system and also the effectiveness.
  5. Now you are ready to go out and get those quotes. But now you know exactly what you want and need. Asking for more advice as you proceed will increase your understanding of all the different systems and their advantages.
  6. Check every detail of your installation contract and make sure you know what system you are buying.
  7. After installation, have each member of your family try to pass the system without detection. This creates a fun activity to teach your family about the system and can provide great insight into weaknesses in the system.
  8. Continuously upgrade your system as needed and add or change where necessary.

Tips:

  • Study any installation or monitoring contract carefully.
  • Any company should give you proper training as part of the contract to ensure you know how the system operates.
  • Installations should always be neat and professional.
  • More than one remote is essential.
  • Reputability, warranty, guarantee, or money back assurance are better options (They have trust in their systems).
  • Add a strobe light to indicate that alarm has been triggered from outside.
  • Add an indicator light at your gate to be able to see when the system is activated.

How strong is your early warning system?

B1 = Barrier 1, E= Early warning system, B2= Barrier 2, S=Secondary warning system

Example 1
Home defense

Barrier 1

Barrier 1

By now you should be able to successfully avoid or deter a serious threat to your family. Now you have time to work on a crucial element of security to any home. A barrier can be anything that prevents anyone from trying to enter your yard who does not have access. Examples of your first barrier can be concrete walls, palisades or fencing, etc.

Barriers have proven to be an invaluable system to keep out unwanted intruders and trespassers. The increase in crime has demanded more and more barriers be erected all over the world. After all, prevention is key. Barriers are not just walls marking out the end of your yard anymore. Those walls are now probably the least effective if they don’t have any spikes or electrical fencing installed on top of them! And even that can easily be overcome if an intruder thinks it is worth the risk. The greatest threat to barriers today is the influx and availability of technology, ladders, hammers, wire clippers, and blankets are cheap and cost-effective for criminals today. Some even get them for free from their actual day jobs.

The older designs like flat walls and six-foot slabs are now as much of a challenge to criminals like small hurdles are to professional athletes.  We have been chasing criminals in communities for centuries now and just cannot keep up to those little guys jumping those walls like it’s no issue. While we see police officers having to boost each other over because of the weight of their body armor and gear.

Although this can turn out to be the most expensive element in your security system, it can be the most invaluable one. When installed correctly and with some good planning. The trickiest thing with barriers is choosing one. You don’t want it too small, too high, too bulky or too expensive to maintain.

If you are not sure that your current barrier is suitable for your yard, or you are now considering installing one, follow these basic guidelines:    

  • Your barrier should be heavy and strong enough to resist anyone who tries to push it over or ram it with a light vehicle.
  • It should not be completely closed so to prevent anyone from seeing into your yard, that way no one will ever notice an intruder in your yard when a patrol is conducted. And you will never be able to see any threats in the yard when approaching the gate.
  • It should have some form of spikes or electrical shock wiring with an alarm system for when someone is tampering with the wiring.
  • It should be sloped outwards if possible as to make climbing over it harder.
  • It should be installed on all sides of your yard. Many times I find large gates and high palisades coming in from the front, only to find a small fence at the back or some gap right next to the neighbor’s barrier.
  • Electronic gates are preferable, to reduce time wasted on opening and closing the gate.

Keep in mind that these barriers can be costly, and it in no way guarantees to keep criminals out, but it does indeed require more effort to breach. There is not much more to be said about these barriers as most of it comes down to budget and preference. There are multiple building materials in today's world and great new advances and techniques are developed across the world.

How strong is your first barrier?

Home defense

Reaction unit

Reaction unit

For every situation that can occur, it will always be the best option to have an external reaction force to assist. This does not have to be an armed response company, as your local policing service might even be more efficient, and that will strongly depend on your specific country and location. This can even be a community policing project in your area with which you can have constant contact. At no point in any situation will I suggest that anyone as the man/protector of the home go out into danger to try and approach the threat. One great reason for this is that your family will be more vulnerable than ever when you are taken out of the equation.

The main purpose of a reaction unit is to scare off or possibly even arrest the invader/s. Any reaction unit you choose should be able to face the types of emergencies that you will most likely encounter. Whatever reaction unit you choose should generally comply with the following aspects:

When it’s your local police service:

  • You need them to react as fast as possible, but please keep in mind that at any given moment they might be busy with more calls than they can handle or anything that requires more attention than normal and this will greatly influence their response times.
  • Research and ask around about your local police service, what is their average response times, are they equipped for the job? Do they act professionally?

When you are looking at hiring a professional service:

  • The company should be registered with the relevant authorities of your country.
  • The company should comply with all the relevant laws on the service they are providing and the laws implemented by your country in regards to using firearms or lethal weapons used by the company.
  • The response personnel should be trained appropriately.
  • The company should have a reputable name, you don’t want a fly-by-night company to come to the rescue in your moment of need.
  • The company should regularly send their response personnel for updated training.
  • Preferably you want a company that wants to instruct you on their expertise and not one who wants to know what you prefer to have unless both agree on the same input. Once a company wants to know what you prefer, you need a more professional company. (You never hire an expert just to tell them what to do, because then you didn’t need them in the first place).
  • The company should have enough infrastructure to be able to respond to all their clients.
  • Price, of course, plays a great role, don’t settle for the cheapest and don’t expect the most expensive ones to be the best in the industry.

If you are considering utilizing your neighborhood watch or community policing service:

  • You need a community that is big enough to have someone on standby or constantly out on patrol, who can react immediately.
  • They should not try and be the Rambo’s of town, they have no more power or authority than any natural person do.
  • They don’t necessarily care about you, they care more about getting a piece of the action.
  • They will have to wait for professional assistance when there is a real threat.

How strong is your reaction unit?