Alarms, doors and perimeter protection: Keep your family safe with these 10 home defense strategies
By Virgilio Marin // Dec 16, 2021

Home invasion is a serious threat to your family's safety. Your home is your fortress, the place that shields you from the elements and keeps you warm. But it's also vulnerable to attack by burglars who can harm your family. In fact, the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimated that a burglary happens every 25 seconds.


That's a grim reminder of why you should plan how to defend yourself when the unfortunate need for it arrives. Take a look at the following home defense strategies: (h/t to

1. Set up barrier defenses

Barrier defenses like doors, windows and locks are your first line of home defense. The key to minimizing home invasion risk is to limit visible and physical access to your home. If you live in a house with glass windows, you'll need effective means to secure these windows. Consider refitting them with wire glass, a strong glass substitute set in metal frames and tracks.

2. Door selection

Door selection forms a critical aspect of home defense. Hollow wooden doors provide little protection as they are easily smashed open, but a steel door mounted on a steel frame is not easily breached. Equip your steel door with a fisheye wide-angle viewing lens so you can positively identify callers.

3. Lock selection

You also need to choose the right door for your home. Avoid ordinary locks like an in-knob button lock as these offer insufficient protection. Opt for a bar lock, horizontal bracket lock or something that's not easily broken.

4. Set up alarms

Alarms alert you to the presence of intruders and help you prepare before these crooks get deeper into your house. These devices range from cheap pull-string door or window alarms to expensive multi-sensor central station alarms. If used properly, even simple alarms can be cost-effective home defense tools.

5. Hide valuables

Hiding valuables is a smart way to show burglars that you have nothing to give. Two factors underpin a good hiding place: strength and concealment. A hiding place should not easily get destroyed and should be able to conceal valuables effectively. Think of a secret safe room or box. It's resistant to clubbing, equipped with complicated locks and hard to notice.

6. Perimeter protection

Using perimeter barriers like walls is an effective tactic to keep intruders from entering your property. While perimeter protection has little importance for people who live in an apartment building, homeowners will find this a useful home defense strategy. When planning perimeter protection, your perimeter barrier should ideally extend as far out as your property goes. This tactic might be expensive but it's an investment worth every dime.

7. Use perimeter intrusion obstructions

Intrusion obstructions deter anyone from attempting to enter your boundaries. These include obstructions like high chain-link fences or barbed wire fences and are excellent substitutes for perimeter walls if you find the latter more expensive or demanding to make. You can even build a natural obstruction by placing felled trees and brambles around your property.

8. Install perimeter alarms

If you live in a remote area where help may take a long time to reach you, perimeter alarms will give you enough time to alert the authorities and prepare for an attack. These alarms can be built using various styles and designs that range from cheap to state-of-the-art units.

9. Choose the right home defense weapons

Choose easy-to-use firearms with adequate stopping power and high selectivity. A hand grenade might be wieldy and stop an intruder but is not selective enough to spare other people in the room. (Related: Self-defense 101: Ways to protect yourself when facing a dangerous situation.)

10. Call your lawyer

If circumstance has forced you to fire a shot, you'll be needing to defend yourself before the court. Your lawyer will tell you the best course of action.

In the unfortunate event that intruders enter your home, do not panic and trust that your home defense preparations will serve you well on this dangerous occasion.

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