Layered security is a strategy that combines various security components in order to protect people, property, assets, and other assets. The military refers to this as a defense in depth.
The advantage of a layered security approach is that it uses to address the key elements of protection, detection, and response to the strengths of each layer to compensate for the weaknesses of the other layers.
As a result, the system as a whole is greater than the sum of its components. We’ll show you the framework for implementing a layered home-defense strategy that you can use to protect your home, personal assets, and loved ones in this article on layered home security.
Community deterrence is the first layer of home security. When the crime is deterred in your neighborhood, your home becomes a less likely target for all types of criminal intrusion.
A neighborhood watch program is one way to create a strong criminal deterrent in your community. A neighborhood watch allows neighbors to collaborate to keep an eye out for suspicious people and activity in their own neighborhood.
A well-established communication system enables neighbors to communicate important information to one another in an appropriate manner. A neighborhood private social media page or text message group are two examples.
Simply getting to know your neighbors can help you establish this first layer of security. By cultivating a connection with your closest neighbors, they’ll eventually know who to expect to see knocking at your door and going from your home and will most likely notice if someone appears out of place.
They can also take or hide packages left at your door while you are away to prevent porch pirates or remove flyers left by solicitors. These flyers, if left in place for too long, can tell onlookers that you’re out of town.
When the weather warms up, hosting a neighborhood block party is a great way to meet your neighbors and build relationships. In some communities, the local government or police department will actually fund such events as part of a neighborhood watch program. When it comes to knowing who lives near you, it’s difficult to go wrong with free burgers and ice cream.
Control and limit access
Limiting and controlling access to your property is the next logical step in layered home security. Physical barriers (such as walls, fences, and doors), structural defenses, locks, and security codes are used to accomplish this.
This layer of security is divided into sublayers. The curtilage, or property immediately surrounding your home, is the outer layer. A physical barrier, such as a wall or fence, can help protect your privacy and deter intruders.
Even if we all know that a fence or wall won’t stop someone who is determined to gain access to your property, it will for sure slow them down, make it more obvious that they don’t belong there, and obstruct their progress when they’re trying to get away with your belongings. It also restricts legitimate traffic routes and directs them to the appropriate access point.
The transitional layers of controlled access are included in the middle layer of controlled access areas between your lawn and your house.
The garage is included in this as well as any interior secured areas such as a screened porch or a gated walkway. Because they are frequently treated as more secure than they are, these are likely the most vulnerable access points for most homes.
Many people, for example, often leave their garage entry door unlocked during the winter since their garage door is closed and secured by the carriage of the automatic door opener. An automatic garage door, on the other hand, can quickly be broken through. Thieves often do this with the help of a coat hanger slipped under the top weather seal, and the carriage can be disengaged by pulling the emergency cord. As a tip, you can remove or shorten the emergency release cord as an effective countermeasure.
The inner layer is made up of actual or potential entry points into the home, such as exterior doors and windows. These should be kept locked the majority of the time, especially at night or when you’re not at home.
Again, nothing can completely prevent someone from breaking into your home, but doors and locks can act as a deterrent and buy valuable response time. There are a few additional measures that can be taken to help harden these interior entryways points and deter an intruder:
DEADBOLTS – When properly installed, deadbolts penetrate deeply into the doorframe, providing more surface area to secure the door.
When installed on a solid wood door, a higher-mounted deadbolt (about 60 inches from the ground) makes the door more secure from being kicked. It is more difficult to kick the lock mechanism directly if it is located higher.
HINGES – The hinges are the most vulnerable part of an exterior door. The reason for this is that most hinge screws are only a half-inch long or even less.
You should replace the standard hinge screws with 3-inch screws to give your door a lot more oomph. The strike plate screws can be treated in the same way. Commercial products, such as Door Armor MAX, can also improve the defensive capabilities of your door and doorjamb.
SECURITY SCREENS – Installing metal security screens is another suggestion you should put into practice. Properly installing them over your exterior doors and windows adds another barrier for an intruder to overcome before entering your home.
Window film can also be used to prevent entry through a window unless the entire piece is removed. This means more time for the thief and more time for your neighbors to notice something is wrong.
Early threat detection
It is critical to detect an uninvited guest as soon as possible. Answering a door without knowing who is on the other side is similar to playing Russian roulette. A peephole, for example, allows you to see who is at the door without jeopardizing your position.
More sophisticated early detection devices, such as motion cameras, motion lights, and smart doorbells, are relatively inexpensive and simple to install, and they provide an excellent early warning system as well as a significant deterrent factor.
Motion detectors alert not only you but also your neighbors. Motion cameras will alert you to the presence of someone, but will also provide you with a live view and recorded footage to use as evidence later on. Smart doorbells enable you to interact with whoever is knocking at your door, even if you are not present.
An audible alarm system is also included in this category. Although an audible alarm indicates that someone has already broken your last layer of controlled access, it will warn you before the intruder stands over you as you sleep in the bed. Consider also adding an external siren for your home security system to also alert your neighbors.
Many people consider using dogs to detect threats early on; this is fine if your dog either naturally alerts when it senses danger or has been trained to do so.
Even the tiniest poodle can serve as an early warning system if they’ve been properly trained; remember, this is about threat detection, not removing the threat. If a dog alerts you, well, the dog has pretty much completed its task. Everything else is a plus, but ultimately it is up to you how you handle the situation from then forward.
When a potential or committed intruder is discovered, call 911 as soon as possible. The sooner you call 911, and the sooner law enforcement will arrive on the scene. This also starts a recorded timeline of events, which will help you in court if things go wrong.
Keep your phone charging on your nightstand at night to ensure it’s close by and ready to go. Keep an old cell phone charged up around the house as well. Federal law requires all cell phones, even inactive ones, to provide 911 call service.
In the event of an intruder, a monitored alarm system will expedite the 911 activation process.
Similarly, a system with a panic button allows you to immediately activate the system and notify the monitoring company that you are in danger and unable to call or answer the phone.
In some areas, it is required to register an alarm system capable of dialing 911 on its own, and fees vary depending on your municipality. Cellular systems used to be much more expensive, but that is no longer always the case; costs have dropped significantly in the last 5 to 10 years.
How about a safe room?
Create a designated safe room where all family members can go in an emergency. Establishing this procedure allows you to gather all members of the family into a single location that you can fortify and defend.
Establish the best strategic location in your home for a safe room. The majority of the time, this will be in the master bedroom, such as a walk-in closet.
Your safe room should be stocked with various survival items to keep you going until help arrives. This includes a trauma kit (hemostatic dressing, tourniquets, chest seals, and gauze), bottled water, energy bars, and cell phones, as well as a means of defense.
Replace a hollow-core interior door with a solid-core exterior door and deadbolt to fortify the space. Set up a code word for your family members to enter after a “lockdown” to prevent an intruder from tricking the kids into opening the door if their parents aren’t present.
The ability to respond calmly and rationally to any situation is critical to survival. Having food and water can help to calm agitated family members triggered by an adrenal response.
The ability to respond to a violent intruder with lethal force is the final layer of defense for a comprehensive home-defense strategy. This necessitates more than just having a firearm in the house.
If you want to be efficient and effective, you must plan ahead of time and have the right mindset. It is critical that everyone in your home, whether or not they are capable of using a firearm, is trained in the safe handling of firearms. Bring your children to the range to see and hear firearms in action.
Teach them about firearms safety and how to pick up and carry a loaded weapon. This exposure removes their fear of the unknown and helps them develop a healthy respect for firearms, all while giving them peace of mind that their child is safe around an unattended firearm. If they’re responsible enough, they should be able to locate your guns and retrieve them if necessary.
The majority of your firearms should be stored in a gun safe, but a few should be kept on hand. When someone is kicking in your front door, a gun in a vault in the basement won’t help you much.
Aside from personal carry and keeping little grubbies away from guns they shouldn’t be touching, having weapons hidden in plain sight is the best option for quick access. There are various products on the market providing discrete storage solutions for every room in the house, allowing you to place items where you want them.
Alternatively, you can keep your preferred home defense weapon in an open or partially hidden safe. In contrast to a smash-and-grab, while a thief may recognize it (similar to your gun safe), they will not be able to immediately obtain the gun and use it against you or yours.
Finally, you must be ready to fire the shot. You must have determined in your mind that you will use a gun to defend your life and the lives of your family members before ever reaching for one. Introducing a firearm into the situation when you’re still unsure about using it is a dangerous game.
Implementing a comprehensive home security strategy necessitates planning, planning, awareness, and relationship building. The peace of mind that comes from knowing you’ve done everything possible to keep your family safe is the return on investment of layered security for your home.
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