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Home Security/Deterrent Measures So That You Don't HAVE To Shoot Someone.

I don't really know if this is the place to talk about this or not, since it's not technically a firearm discussion, but I'm wondering about some relatively quick/easy ways to make my property seem less appealing to criminals. I have six cheap-o solar security lights from Amazon that detect motion and come on at night, but that's it. Some kind of hardwired camera/light solution would be great, but I feel like that's expensive. As a kid, I remember seeing those threatening stickers on the doors of some of my friend's house (you know, stuff like "Forget the dog. Beware of owner.") with a picture of a handgun or something. Those are a little cringe worthy, but I wonder if they're effective.

Essentially I just don't want to ever have to shoot someone, so I want to do as much as I can to make criminals just decide that my house isn't worth the trouble.
I have a 6ft privacy fence, a decent dog, 10+ motion lights, a couple of motion detectors and half a dozen wireless IP camera that notify my phone of something moving plus records the incident.
Here is a very old post from quite a few years ago:

I am a 15 year veteran police officer. I have worked a burglary or two, so I would like to give a little advice to the OP from my own personal experience of securing my home.

First off I would like to say that home security should be like peeling an onion. Have you ever peeled the skin on an onion? If so, then you know that it has many layers. Home security is about having as many layers of security features that is feasible for "your specific" needs. As there is no two situations alike, so personal home security should be "tailored" to what works best for you, your family, and the specific layout of your home and neighborhood. Even the entire neighborhood encompasses a 'layer of the onion". This layering effect is what will send not only the petty thief looking else where for a "crime of opportunity" and a more softer target, but it will also deter the "professional boogeyman" as well.

Here is a list of feasible and inexpensive ways to add layers to your home and other surroundings that even if you cannot institute all of them, the ones you do will still provide a web of protection for you and your loved ones.

1. Let's start with the outer layers of that onion shall we? First. Before Mr. boogeyman attempts to gain access to your home, he must gain access to your neighborhood without being seen. So, is there a neighborhood watch program where you live? Are you an active part of it? If not, join up. If it doesn't exist, create one, become the leader. It will allow you to get to know people and start a social network of nosy neighbors. People are so unsocial anymore they don't get to know whats going on around them by simply not knowing everyone around them.

Retired and elderly neighbors are the best. Most, are home in the day when most burglaries happen. They notice strangers who are driving around casing homes for opportunity. So why have they not told you? Because they don't know you to tell you. Get to know them, give them your phone number. Tell them if they ever need you no matter what time of night to call you for help. trust me, the elderly will take you up on it. Change their light bulb, help them carry something heavy, or just talk to them because they may be lonely. And you will have an alert friend who will not only advise you of everything that goes on but will also pick up your mail and feed your dogs while you are on vacation. First layer done. :)

2. Secure your perimeter. If you can put a fence around the outer perimeter of your front and or back yards and house, you have just put a mental barrier up that tells the stranger to KEEP OUT! It doesn't have to be some huge wall of china type fence which makes your house look like a prison. A small chain link or other type of ornamental fence will not only be aesthetically pleasing, it will deter access from someone just walking onto your property unannounced. Second layer done.

3. And Now that you have installed a perimeter fence, put a big dog inside that fence. The bigger the better as far as intimidation factor goes. Big dogs don't have to be vicious or trained to kill to be useful. That deep, heavy bark will deter most anyone. However, even a medium sized dog will bite, and can and will be protective. At my house, I have an 150 lb Rottweiler who stays outside and guards the perimeter, and a small dachsund "weenie dog" who stays inside and barks at the slighest noise that she is not familiar with. If an alarm system is not in the budget; a small, highly alert yapping dog is just as good. A yapper on the inside and a big ole 'cujo' on the outside is a fearsome pair indeed. 3rd layer done.

4. Motion lights. These are not expensive and the benefits are self explanatory. Place in strategic areas around your house. There is no wasted electricity unless they sense movement. 4th layer complete. Man, this is easy!

5. Deadbolt locks. And not just any deadbolt but the ones with at least a 2 1/2" inch bolt that goes into a reinforced striker plate with solid wood or metal doors. 5th layer.

6. You should cut down any large bush in front of exterior windows that would block someone trying to get in from view of the street. Then, build some window sill planter boxes and put small clay pots with flowers in them. Have you ever tried to crawl into a window from the outside over an attached planter box on the window sill? Believe me, it ain't easy and it makes a whole lot of noise. 6th layer done. pretty big onion so far.

7. Double pane windows. Might not hear one pane of glass breaking but two? Definitely. 7th layer done.

8. Alarm system. The one in my house is wired to a built in cell phone instead of a land line. If the power or phone lines are cut, it still automatically calls the police. Threshold sensors on every door and window jams, and glass breaking sensors for the windows that can't be seen from the street. Motion sensors for the hallways which intersect the rooms in the house and the detached garage. wow 8th layer!

9. Last but not least, a safe room with cell phone and whatever gun they choose, and a "what if" "plan of action" for the three beautiful women of my house while I myself am at work at night chasing the boogeyman. :001_smile I hope this helps. You will feel safer just reading this wall of text! :)
Hope this helps. :)


Self Ignored by Vista
As usual, Rob has covered things nicely.

If you are in St. Louis I'm guessing you are in an urban environment. Alarm company signs in the yard/stickers on the windows may also help if you have an alarm system or not. Small yippy dogs are hated by burglars. The more light you can shed on the area the better.

I have seen these type of signs deployed on rural property, but it was wolf traps. I ain't goin' in, and we don't even have wolves here.

Signs that say, "trespassers will be shot" can be effective. Big dogs are great. I'd say cameras would make a nice deterrent but criminals don't care about being recorded anymore. They want to get their quick fix and don't care about the future consequences. We keep our gate locked and I clean my guns on my front porch. But I figure, why rob myself of the joy of shooting a violent attacker in the leg during a home invasion? :)


George Bailey Fanboy
Signs that say, "trespassers will be shot" can be effective. Big dogs are great. I'd say cameras would make a nice deterrent but criminals don't care about being recorded anymore. They want to get their quick fix and don't care about the future consequences. We keep our gate locked and I clean my guns on my front porch. But I figure, why rob myself of the joy of shooting a violent attacker in the leg during a home invasion? :)
Always aim for center of mass!


George Bailey Fanboy
As my brother from another mother @OkieStubble has said truly all that needs to be said, I should shut up now.

But since today has been a hard one on me physically, I feel like his MUCH older brother, and though I am possibly only more experienced than him in the care and feeding of the mentally ill, I WILL not shut up, lol!

He did say it all, but I want to ask him: Rob, how do you feel about signs like "forget 911, I call Sturm and Ruger!" with a beautiful picture of a Revolver? @simon1 , thoughts?

I always figured I'm advertising that my home has guns to steal in it when I'm not home? And my former patients couldn't always read, even if they were literate, as they oftentimes viewed their meds as "optional" lol.

Your point about neighbors is spot on. We all have keys to each other's homes, almost. They are like family, as my home is the oldest, and the youngest house is 40years old. They "babysit" my guns in their home when I'm on vacation, if it's a long one, and feed my attack cats that roam the neighborhood, ha.

You could say our neighborhood is like Mayberry, with a little bit of the Twilight Zone mixed in!

Lol, guess which side of the street I live on?!?


George Bailey Fanboy
@_MementoMori_ : thanks for a WONDERFUL thread! I have been around too many dying and dead people in my career. I too do not want to be in a position to end someone's life that merely wanted to be pain free and decided to break into my castle and threaten my family's life.

If I happen to be home alone I would give them my gold, as when I get to Heaven it will be merely pavement, but if my wife and child is with me? Let's just say I hope the person lies down on my carpet voluntarily until the police arrive, because he WILL surely lie down unless he decides to run away like his feet are on fire!
I have heard that just about any type of dog is a deterrent. They can make a lot of noise and have to be dealt with some way. They may just move on to an easier target.

Is this really, really true ? I can only imagine this only works for burglars without dogs. Our 50lb mutt dog sounds like a viscous attack animal when pernicious amazon delivery || deer || or neighbors cat is about .. but lets be honest we all know all a burglar has to do is bring say some peanut butter and our slutty dogs would be like "HAALLO my new bestest friend in the world I love you sooooOOOooOo much, take his crap I've peed on it just for you!!!!111!!!1!!!!!!!!!!"


If the dog wakes me up, then job well done. I don't expect the animal to do the fighting. Anyway the point is why have to deal with the mutt at all when the next house over doesn't have one?
Plenty of good advice.
Don't leave blinds/open that allow people to see what is in your house. Don't surround your house with stuff that can be used as cover. Don't leave packages out by the street showing everyone what new expensive electronics/tools/etc you've purchased.
I've heard of people leaving a water bowl or toys outside so it looks like a dog is there, which I thought was creative.


Moderator Emeritus
Not a big fan of signs that say there are guns in this house.

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Same. Seems to me you are advertising that you have something expensive that criminals want. And it is not going to do you much good if you are not home when they burgle you.
Same. Seems to me you are advertising that you have something expensive that criminals want. And it is not going to do you much good if you are not home when they burgle you.
I would like to put pro 2A organization stickers on my vehicle and the like, but I don’t do that either. I might be forced to lock a weapon up in my truck. I hate doing that.

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I'm not where I want to be from a personal security standpoint yet but our home was broken into while we were away and they ransacked two bedrooms and made off with a fair amount of jewelry. Probably in excess of $20,000 to $25,000 worth. At the time we had left my wife's step sister and her husband there because we had to travel for a family event. The amount of time between when they were expected to leave and our return was literally one lousy day. They left on a Saturday and we arrived home the next day, Sunday. We have an alarm system that I could have set remotely but for some inexplicable reason, I didn't. I also didn't give my wife's step sister and her husband any instructions to leave some lights on. Clearly I should have set the alarm but I have a feeling they still would have broken in if it had been set. They would have heard the alarm however, and they might have just run or if they were experienced they still would have gotten the stuff because they would know that the phone would have to ring, and then if no answer, only then the police would be called and it would still take some time to get to the house. After that tramatic event, I bought two ring doorbells. Two because one went on the front door of the house and the other at the back door as that is the door they broke to get in. Now I always put lights on timers and put them around the house. I also leave lights on the side porch and the back deck. Basically, the lights alert a burglar that there could be someone home, a deterent. The alarm system is in case they actually get inside and it could scare them away. And the cameras could help catch the little buggers. I figure the only thing I can do about a break in when I'm not there is to get a rig set up that shoots flames at anyone who even approaches either door or any window, charring any burglar to a crisp. As for weapons, I do intend to file my application for gun permit. It's not burglars I'm worried about. It's anarchy. This country is going into the crapper so I at least want to take one or two with me if things do go that way. So, to answer your question, you already have the motion lights. Think about cameras and an alarm system. What else can you do?