Home defense

Approaching the door

Approaching the door

In the previous 2 posts, we were discussing issues related to approaching your home from a vehicle or on foot/any other way. The next big step to take is learning how to approach the door after getting safely into your yard/driveway. This space can create a crucial pinch point and should not be neglected!

Once you are safely inside your driveway, there is still a risk of attack. A lot of attacks happen in this space. The biggest reason for this is that there is not much movement and other variables for the criminals to consider. They can easily hide inside your driveway or behind your house or whatever might be available, just waiting for your approach to the door. More preferably just after you unlocked the door. Then they strike comfortably, without having to worry much about being seen by someone else.

As you move to your front door, avoid using any electronic devices. Use natural lighting to scan for any shadows. Avoid going straight around sharp corners. Keep your eyes and ears open. Walk swiftly and directly to the door. Use a flashlight to scan dark spots.

These are the most common things to look out for:

  1. Silhouettes in the dark.
  2. Any signs of movement that is not a pet or family member.
  3. Any objects out of place, like potting plants, dustbins, or anything that is supposed to be inside your outhouse, garage, or home.
  4. Light at the front door is not working.
  5. Broken windows.
  6. Animals behaving abnormally.
  7. Your alarm system does not respond.
  8. Your neighbor’s alarm system is triggered.

Once one of these is noticed, I suggest the following reaction:

1 - 3. When you notice any moving shadows, it’s obvious that you are not alone. You need to escape immediately and activate your emergency plan. Contact emergency numbers and move as quickly away from your home as is possible. Only re-enter once your home is made safe by policing services or your security service. Any sign that indicates possible movement, whether from behind the house, behind you, in front of you, or on the roof, can just as well be an intruder. Do not write it off as an animal or the wind. Activate your emergency contacts and get out of your yard and away from your home as quickly as possible.

4. There can be various reasons for this such as a blown globe or neglecting to switch the light on when leaving. Use a flashlight to approach cautiously and be on high-alert. Clear around the corners before unlocking the door.

5. See steps 1 – 3.

6. Establish why they are acting abnormally and proceed with caution. Notify your emergency contacts of any suspicious behavior or if you suspect any problems.

7. You need to notify your emergency contacts. Phone your reaction company if you have any. Proceed cautiously if you suspect no problems. If you suspect any problems, call for assistance.

8. Get into your home as quickly as possible and watch for any movement outside. There is always a possibility of an intruder crossing over from your neighbor’s yard into yours. When this happens, activate your emergency contacts and get out of sight. Do not try to engage anyone, they might want to make you their next target, especially when they are being chased.

Tips:

  • When you are inside your yard, do not lower your awareness you need to raise your level of awareness to high alert.
  • Do not move around sharp corners, and keep equal space on both sides. When an attack comes from the left, move right. When an attack comes from the right, move left. Do not get backed into a wall, gate, or fence.
  • If possible, try to check around each corner of your home that is adjacent to the walls where your front door is located. This way you can be sure there is no one waiting for you to unlock the door before rushing upon you. And if someone is waiting further away, you create more time to react.
  • Keep a flashlight ready when you know that you will return during the night. Use it to scan all surroundings. This also de-motivates possible intruders, as it implies a higher level of awareness and greater risk to them.
  • When unlocking your doors, do not keep you’re back exposed. Try to stand next to your door instead of directly in front of it.
  • When locking your doors again, do it as quickly and calmly as possible. Constantly check for possible intruders rushing towards the door.
  • Install slam-lock doors or any door that locks without having to use the key, to reduce exposure time.
  • Have lighting installed at your front door. You want to be able to see properly when unlocking the door.

Keep bags on your back or shoulder. And smaller items in your pockets. You want your hands to be free to defend yourself. The only item to have in your hand is a panic button or cellphone ready to phone emergency contacts.

How strong is your approach to the door?

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