Monday, August 06, 2007

Home Security - Simple steps to protect yourself and home A pretty good article about things to do to make your home more secure, and the things you need to do while at home (like locking the front door if you are in the backyard).

To this list I would like to add a few things.

Keep your cellphone and charger next to your bed and charge the phone at night. Home invaders - especially the worst kind - have been known to cut phone lines as a first step. Having your cellphone handy means you can still call 911.

Put a dead bolt on the inside of the bedroom door, and make it a substantial piece of wood, installed in the fashion that this article discusses about outside doors. The more barriers between you and the goblins, the more time you have to get ready, the more time the police have to reach you. (And yes, as much as I go on about 911 response times, you do want to call them as soon as you can.)

For less than the monthly price of cable TV, you can have a decent, monitored alarm system, that can include heat, smoke and CO2 and carbon monoxide detectors in addition to perimeter security. If you're lucky, you may also get a discount on your insurance. If you have an alarm system, you will want your cellphone with you, since when the alarm goes off, it takes over the phone line. Always put some interior alarm points. Motion detectors are fine if you don't have pets. If you do, put door sensors on some interior doors. If the bad guys do get through the perimeter security, they probably won't be as careful and may set off one of the interior door alarms as they search the house for goodies.

Finally, I would recommend a firearm. [Image by A Human Right] Before you buy one you need to consider a few things. The most important question is, "Will you use a gun when you need to?" Some people can't. Some people aren't sure. You need to be sure. Where do you expect to be defending? Will you need to reach the kids' rooms? What is beyond your field of fire? When I had my last house, I had solid masonry walls, not brick veneer, all around me. If I was in the master bedroom confronting a goblin in the hall, I had little to worry about. Between the exterior brick and the fireplace brick in the living room, I could be reasonably sure any stray bullets wouldn't travel too far. If you don't have that luxury, then the firearm and ammunition you select should consider how close the neighbors are.

Most people could do a lot more to ensure their own safety and the security of their home and their family. We wear seatbelts to guard against injury in crashes. We buy fire extinguishers to help us should a fire break out in our kitchens. When it comes to security against violent crime, however, people scream about blaming the victim. It isn't about blaming the victim; it is about being a responsible adult and taking reasonable precautions. Plans do not guarantee success, but they do help. No precaution will guarantee your survival: not in a car crash, not in a kitchen fire, not in a violent crime.

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