Riots have broken out lately in Egypt, and it has given us a good opportunity to learn and prepare. Typically, riots are an outdoor event and so being inside a good secure structure is your best bet. People are angry, hungry and broke. They are sick of rising prices, watching their pensions fade away, and are putting the blame on elected officials. Things can go from bad to worse quickly. How safe is your home from unwelcome invasion, and the possible robbery that would come with it? It is a good question to ask yourself now.
First and foremost the house should be sturdy. Brick and cement is better than wood. The weak point would be doors and windows. No structure is impervious but the idea is to slow down an unwanted intruder. Solid doors with solid locks are called for.
The two main types of deadbolts are single and double cylinder locks. A single cylinder deadbolt is about $35, has a keyed opening on one side, and a knob that can be turned by hand on the other. We use double deadbolts and leave the key in the door in case of fire. When we leave, the key goes with us. When we come in, we lock the door as a matter of habit.
Things are relatively calm right now, in this retirement area, but small changes are happening. The arrests are more about meth labs and cocaine use rather than the occasional possession of marijuana as it was a year ago. More and more pawn shops are opening up, which, to me, is a sign of urban decay. It is with good reason that we develop the habit of locking doors automatically.
As for windows, we invested in security windows for both the energy value and to stop invaders. They also have pins that allow them to open a ways for ventilation without giving access. In Puerto Rico, many homes had decorative iron work over windows, doors and patios. The iron has locks built into them to open in case of fire, but that seldom is a concern in the cement houses. You may consider metal or wooden shutters that are drawn from the inside. And as with the doors, keep it your policy to make sure they are locked. It is also a good idea to use shades, and window drapes to keep from advertising the goodies you may have.
Think about the advertising value of discarded TV, computer, gaming equipment boxes. Maybe you don’t want to have them wait for the garbage man and tell all would-be robbers about the new toys. Garage doors also should be kept secure. Consider carefully, where you keep the ladder. If someone can get to it, they can climb up to the second story windows or over a fence. Also, think about fencing, to make it all that much harder to get to you. Some preppers keep razor wire stored in case things turn ugly quickly. Some preppers have made plans to throw old clothes and such out on their lawn if the discord continues. The last thing they would want is to have their house stand out if nearby homes have been ransacked. If it comes down to this, my dearest hope is you won’t need this suggestion because you and your family are gone and not in the danger zone.
If it is safe to use, lighting is another deterrent, especially motion detection lights. You might also want to leave a light on in a front room at night, to give the idea that someone is still awake and aware. Some have also decided that a dog is a great alarm system. If you have a dog and an alarm system, you tell others that the motion sensor on the alarm system is not on. And do your dogs like doggie treats? Most robbers know they do. Our dogs may be small (miniature schnauzers) but they have great ears and sense of smell and let us know loud and clear that it is time to get the gun. Which brings us to the issue of firearms for home protection.
Of course, if there are children in the house, all guns should be kept locked. There are fingerprint and coded gun safes that allow for quick retrieval and many other methods to keep everyone protected from accidental shootings. Future articles will go into that more later. I suggest at least three guns for home protection including a 12 gage pump and two hand guns, one for him, one for her. Be trained, be practiced, and keep a handgun at each side of the bed. To the women, I would like to make the suggestion that revolvers are less complicated. Keep in mind that some states don’t recognize the use of a gun to protect valuables as legal.
If you have a heavy, locked door on your bedroom, you have added another level of protection. Did you know that it is better to have your door closed when you sleep in case of fire? Even better if your bedroom has an easily accessed escape or retreat if needed. Also keep your cell phones in your bedroom with you at night, in case the house phone has been compromised.
If you find your home in danger of civil violence, it may be a good idea to get all the things that could be thrown or burned out of the front yard. Make sure that the landscaping doesn’t provide hiding places. Gather your family into the rear of the home, away from possible gun shots or other thrown objects. Monitor the situation from there with TV or radio. Make sure you have fire extinquishers. Don’t go out, or let your family leave. If you are in the midst of it, you will have danger from the mob and the forces trying to control it. They won’t know what side you are on. The idea of plastic sheeting and duct tape that was chuckled over a few years back, might come in handy if there is tear gas or smoke from fires. Unless your home is compromised, stay put and make use of all those preparations you have stored.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF?
1. RIGHT NOW, HOW SAFE WOULD YOUR HOME BE DURING CIVIL UNREST?
2. HAVE YOU MADE PLANS TO STAY IN PLACE?
3. WHAT ADJUSTMENTS HAVE YOU MADE, OR PLAN TO MAKE FOR SECURITY?
4. IS YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD LIKELY TO BE A GROUND ZERO FOR RIOTS OR MOB ACTIVITY?
5. ARE THE ADULTS IN YOUR HOME TRAINED FOR FIREARMS USE?