Your Home is your Castle 2
In part one we concluded with a piece of the security posture called concentric rings of security, meaning multiple layers of security that overlap one another. These layers can vary in complication and sophistication, with some methods being cheap and simple, yet effective in alerting you and possibly keeping human threats away and out of your home. Let’s examine the perimeter of your home since that is the first area your threat faces. Before we go any further, note this article is ambiguous in nature and it considers all threats to include weather, so add in where you need assistance with your home. Of course, circumstances vary with your location; do you live in an urban or rural area? What are your weather threats? How accessible is your home to the street? Can cars see your home as they drive by or do they have to move off a main road and on to your property driveway or road to get to your home?
The first area you should concentrate on is establishing situational awareness of your environment. Getting to know your area is key, as you start to understand what and who belongs, “stay alert… stay alive”. Remaining alert to your environment is critical, as it is the first layer of the concentric rings of security. You can enhance this with driveway alarms, motion detectors, animals, and cameras (I once encountered a guard emu!). Gates and barrier obstacles are other options but are usually not cost effective for most of us. Once you conduct an outer perimeter assessment, I think you’ll realize just how extremely vulnerable you are from the public access line to your home. So, understanding this next, look at the first physical barrier. This is to include the access points to your home (doors, windows, garage, and even pet doors). Make sure locks can secure these access areas and, if needed, enhance the difficulty in breaching doors and windows. Just having a lock is not enough; it should be mounted correctly and secured in hardwood with long screws. This will make getting in much more difficult and louder, so as to alert you. There are lots of videos online that can help make cheap enhancements on your current locks.
Finally, we should understand that merely locking doors does not guarantee no one is getting in. Understand the castle is weak and if someone wants to get in… they will. Cutting a screen and climbing through a window is quiet, but breaking a window or kicking in a door is loud. This could mean the difference between waking up with an intruder in your bedroom or hearing them coming and being prepared to meet their force with force, or having the chance to secure you and loved ones out of harm’s way in a safe room. Ask yourself, which would you prefer to have happen and for which scenario are you prepared?
Understanding that our home is less secure than thought, how can you economically and quickly enhance its security for our family? An internal room may be the best bang for your buck and most logical location to start your security. I usually identify a few rooms where my family can move to quickly to lock us until the threat passes. This is a consideration you should weigh with the circumstances. If I can call the police and hide until they get there, then this may be a great strategy, but what if the police are no longer an option, now what? You have to consider if you have placed yourself in a siege position and if the persons outside that room want to wait you out, they could. Also, remember when seconds count the police are always minutes away, so plan accordingly for this possibility.
As you look to build or enhance concentric rings of security, you’ll be improving your overall security posture. I want to start with the three questions I mentioned at the beginning of this article. Remember it is all about the warrior mindset and possessing this information can place the balance of safety in your favor. Also, in my mindset article, I discuss the value of a true personal assessment. You should be honest with yourself. As part of the personal assessment, include an understanding of your starting point and honestly stating where you are, not where you think you should be or want to be. Here are the questions I want you to consider, maybe make some notes, as I am sure there will be room for improvement.
► 1. Do you lock your doors when you leave your home?
I would guess that most of you will answer yes, and those that say no likely live in rural areas and may argue they would rather have a criminal walk in an unlocked door over breaking the door or glass to get into the house. This is considering that the homeowner is not home and has insurance for such situations. I don’t agree with this principle but understand why people think it is the best way to approach this issue. However, I deem the practice of not locking doors when you leave as a bad habit. Such people will likely answer no to question three. For me, I argue it’s all about mindset. A form of autopilot where you make it a habit to lock your doors and get to a condition where you feel uneasy when you don’t do this.
► 2. Do you lock your doors and windows when you go to sleep?
I believe most of you will always lock your doors and some may lock their windows. However, I would guess many sleep with windows open when the weather and climate allows. Even I sleep with my windows open in the winter in Connecticut… but only in my bedroom, which is two stories high. The point is that everyone loves to take advantage of sleeping with the windows open. You should; however, determine whether your actions should be modified to enhance your safety. Remember, our down time (sleep) is the only time we should be in “Condition White” allowing our bodies time to heal and rest. But what about your bedroom door, your kid’s bedroom doors... do you lock them? This is a habit I suggest you start getting used to. I have heard too many stories of people waking up with someone standing over them in their bedroom. That is simply unnerving! You need to protect the sanctuary that is your home when you’re most vulnerable. Lock your bedroom doors and always have keys handy to get into your kid’s rooms.
► 3. Do you lock your doors when you are at home making dinner, watching TV, reading a book or napping on the couch?
I bet most of you don’t. This neglect is kind of crazy considering all that’s going on in the world (remember the 19-year old frat boy cannibal eating the man’s face?) Think about it, you’re sitting on your couch watching your favorite prepper show and bam… someone bearing a machete walks in your front door with the intention to start hacking you up to eat you as their next meal. The difference between a locked door and an unlocked door may provide you with enough time to defend you and your family from this guy (and not be his snack). C’mon now, how hard is it to lock your doors when you come home? You likely lock your car when you get out, right? Well, then, start locking your door when you come in. There are so many new items available that make enhancing your home “castle” not only more secure but fun. Until next time, remember to stay alert and stay alive!