The world is a mess right now. 2020 has not been good to us. From a pandemic with lockdowns, to civil unrest with looting and rioting, you may be thinking more about home security.
People are fueled by scarcity. And right now, things are feeling scarce for many people. Even in my relatively unpopulated, rural state, I have heard of goat and chicken thefts. Can you believe that people are now stealing animals?
Home security is part of a larger picture that I believe everyone should be practicing anyway – emergency preparedness. You need to take the necessary steps to protect your home, your family, and your supplies.
Home should be where you feel secure, at peace. But how do you protect that when the world around you feels like it’s falling apart?
Whether or not you have a homestead, it is important to protect what you have worked so hard for. So how do you do that?
Make sure you have good visibility.
Visibility is extremely important for home security. Make sure you have an open view from all front windows and doors toward the road. You want to be able to have a clear path of vision from anywhere that someone might have entered your property, to the front door.
Bushes can become makeshift hiding spots, and can hinder your ability to see clearly. Keep trees trimmed to allow plenty of visibility underneath the bottom branches.
Set up security cameras.
Whether you are concerned about your animals being taken by predators, or trying to protect yourself from would-be looters, a security camera is a great investment for the homestead. You may decide you want more than one, so you can have a couple different angles covered.
There are lots of things to consider in buying a quality security camera. Your options are also going to be dependent on how “on grid” you are. Consumer Reports has a good security camera buying guide that you may want to check out.
Buy motion activated lights.
Motion activated lights are pretty standard on homesteads. They can alert you when any unwanted visitor gets within their range. Predator or person, motion activated lights will get their attention and put them “in the spotlight”, so to speak.
Our motion activated lights have proven themselves invaluable. They have even come in handy when I have stepped outside for a minute without a flashlight.
Install deadbolts and peepholes in doors.
Of course, you need to make sure your doors are secure. Deadbolts should be installed on every exterior door. You should also consider installing a peephole. It’s a very good idea to be able to see who is standing on the other side of your door, before you open it.
For sliding glass doors, I also recommend installing a large dowel into the tracks of the sliding door, to prevent someone from opening the door by jimmying the lock. I don’t recommend “doggie doors” at all, as it can make an easy point of entry for someone trying to break into your home.
Make sure your windows lock properly.
Your windows need to be able to lock from the inside for real home security. It is also a good idea to not put anything under the windows that could enable someone to reach the window more easily. Most windows are a fair height off the ground, and will naturally deter someone from trying to enter through the windows.
Have window boards at the ready.
Ok, this one may seem a little extreme. And maybe it is for your situation! But in other situations, it might be just what is needed. Having window boards ready to install (like you would if you live in tornado country) can make boarding up your windows a breeze.
To have window boards ready to go, simply measure your windows and cut your wood slightly larger than the window, so you can drill the wood into the window frame. Label each board so you know which window it fits. You also may want to have a 2X4 ready to brace it up even more.
Make sure you also have your drill at the ready.
Get locking gates for your valuable animals.
If you have very valuable animals, I would strongly suggest getting gates that you can lock securely. Even a chain with a padlock wrapped around the gate will usually work. And I would also suggest security cameras and motion activated lights installed near them, to protect your investment.
It is also smart to lock those valuable animals up in a secure barn (of course, with locking doors) at night, to protect them from both predators and thieves.
Get a dog that barks a lot.
If at all possible, get a guard dog. Or at least a dog that barks at strangers. They don’t have to be aggressive, but it’s great if they APPEAR to be aggressive!
A lot of homesteaders have a livestock guardian dog. Those can be wonderful against human predators as well, but they usually stay in the pastures instead of guarding the house. If that is the case with your livestock guardian dog, you may want to consider a family dog that is a little intimidating to guard the house and front yard.
Invest in a gun (or two!).
I know I might get some flack from this, but I’m going to say it anyway! You need a gun or two to protect your homestead. Home security can only go so far. If there is a coyote on my property threatening my animals, you better believe I’ll get my gun. Ditto if I have unwelcome 2-footed visitors.
I strongly suggest getting a shotgun. A shotgun is very intimidating. The very sound of racking a shell into a shotgun is enough to drive away most would-be thieves or looters.
A shotgun is great for home security, as the pellets spread out and cover a wider area. Since the pellets are small, they fan out much more and hit the ground at farther distances. It is much less likely that you will shoot something over 50 yards away, such as a neighbor’s property, like you could with a long-range rifle.
Improvise like “Home Alone”.
When all else fails, improvise! Homesteaders are notorious for using what they have. You know, like you see on TV with booby traps, tripwires, and cans for home security. This actually isn’t a bad idea!
Some strategically placed obstructions and noise makers will give you more of a heads-up to the presence of danger. So get creative, use what you have, and stay safe!
What are you doing to increase your home security?
So tell me, what are you doing in terms of home security? Are you amping things up, expecting the worst? Or just carrying on with normal life?
We have had more predators lately, and with the widespread chaos and unrest, we are amping up our home security here on the farm. What are you doing to protect your family? Please share in the comments.
This post may be shared on Family Homesteading and Off The Grid Blog Hop, Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Farm Fresh Tuesday, and Old Paths to New Homesteading & Self-Reliant Living.