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35 Home Defense Tactics To Prevent Intruders [Updated]

home intruder defense tactics

We all train and prepare to be able to use our firearms to defend ourselves in any life threatening situation but of course we hope we don't have to. This article will outline things you can do to increase your home security and make it less likely that you will have to use the gun.

1. Good Exterior Lighting:

Intruders love the dark and hate the light. This is low hanging fruit for making your house a much more difficult target than any of your neighbors. Don't forget about the side and back of the house in your lighting strategy. Where appropriate use motion sensor lights that can be left on 24 hours a day.

home security lighting

2. Well Trimmed Vegetation

Eliminate places to hide by keeping the bushes, trees, and hedges well trimmed, particularly those that are up against the house.

home security vegetation

3. A Reinforced Door

Hollow doors are very easy to kick in. Make sure your door is solid and has no glass windows in it.

door kicked in - home security door

4. Get a Deadbolt

I'm still surprised how many exterior doors I see without a deadbolt. Adding one is a really easy way to more than double your home's security. Make sure you have a deadbolt on all exterior doors including the door from the garage to the home.

home security deadbolt

5. An Alarm System

Monitored or not, intruders don't like loud noises or the idea of the cops showing up.

6. A Barking Dog

Intruders don't like noise or sharp teeth. Dogs tend to make both. If you don't have or want a dog you can get one of these barking noise machines.

home security dogs

7. Security Cameras

Nobody likes being on camera and it is a sure sign of a prepared home owner. As a bonus you can avoid the door to door salesman! Learn More: “How to Setup A Video Home Security SystemHome Security Cameras

8. Security System Signs

You don't have to have the system… just the warning sign that says you do.

home security system sign

9. Maintain the Front Yard

Neglecting the grass or snow is a sign that you don't care or may be out of town.

home security list of things landscaping

10. Secured or Locked Garage Door

Garage doors can be easy to disable and open if proper caution isn't taken.

garage door home security

11. Window Coverings For the Garage

Allowing the potential intruder to take a look through the window to see if you are home, and what valuables you have in the garage isn't a good idea

garage door with windows security risk

12. Locks on Windows

You would be surprised how many Americans lock the door but leave the window open.

locks for windows

13. Pick up the mail and newspaper

Accumulated mail or newspapers also suggest you are out of town.


14. Reinforce the Strike Plate and Door Jam

No matter how strong the door, eventually someone can force their way in if the door jam gives way. It isn't as hard as you think to kick in a door if the door frames are old or weak.

broken frame door

15. Use timers on lights in the house

Home or not you should give the appearance of being occupied.

house lights on

16. Hide the Spare Key Somewhere Else

Intruders know to look in the common places for your spare house key. FBI stats suggest that 12% of home burglaries occur in which the intruder does NOT have to force their entry.

where to hide the spare key

17. Do Not Put Your Full Name On Your Mailbox or in the Phone Book

Intruders gain an advantage when they know your first and last name.

home security risk mailbox

18. Install Peepholes

Every exterior door including the one from the house to the garage.

peep hole security

19. Use Internal Door Hinges

If your door hinges are on the outside have the door re-hung to move them inside.

Door hinge security

20. Put some solder on the screws of your window hinges or locks

To prevent intruders from unscrewing them.

solder on screws security

21. Don't Advertise You Are Gone

Those vacation pictures on Facebook may be tempting… but are your privacy settings protecting you from advertising your absence.

Internet Privacy

22. Forward Your Home Phone

Burglars often call the number to see if anyone will answer before they attempt a break-in.

land line security risks

23. Park Your Car In The Garage

Parking the car on the street or in the driveway makes it easier for potential intruders to identify if you are home and discern your habits.

security concern car in garage

24. Put a security film on glass that is close to a lock

So that the glass can't be broken easily to give the intruder access to reach in for the lock.

braking glass with security

25. Use A Rod in the track of sliding glass doors or windows

To prevent them from being opened.

bar in windows for security

26. Never leave a tall ladder outside

That an intruder could use to reach upper level windows.

thieves need ladders

27. Cut back tree limbs that hang on or near the house

It makes it all to easy for the intruder to just climb the tree to gain access to a 2nd story window or attic that you left unlocked.

trim trees from the house

28. Get to know your Neighbors

They will watch your “back” and you watch theirs.

neighborhood watch

29. Never leave notes on your door for service people

It is really easy to tell you are not home when the note on the door says you are not home.

do not leave notes on your door

30. Lock the Gate

lock house gate to yard

31. Notify the City of Nearby Street Lamps Burn Out

Those street lights are your friend and the enemy of potential intruders. If you see they require maintenance be sure to notify someone.

security home street lamp

32. Research the Criminal History of Your Home

Did you recently move in? You want to know if the home was previously owned by gang members or drug dealers. One of the past associates may coming looking one day and it will help if you know what you are dealing with. Contact your local law enforcement and ask them to do a search based on your address.

criminal history of home

33. Pay Attention to Foot Traffic

Get familiar with the people who walk by with their dog and run past during their workouts. This will make it easier for you to spot the outlier or anyone who might be casing the home and trying to learn your habits.

foot traffic in the neighborhood

34. Sleep With Your Car Alarm Remote on the Nightstand

If you think you hear something during the night you can reach for your key remote and activate the panic alarm in the car. This emits a very loud and annoying alarm that is likely to deter intruders.

key fob home emergency alarm substitute

35. Change all the locks when you move into a new house

Who knows who the previous owners gave a key to and now has access to your home.

There you have it. Those are the 35 home defense tactics to deter criminals. Did we miss any? If you think we did, make sure you let us know in the comments section.

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3 Responses to 35 Home Defense Tactics To Prevent Intruders [Updated]

  1. JT March 17, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

    Non-Monitored alarms is bad advice for a few reasons.

    1. Home owner is not notified of alarm by phone. The siren only goes off for 4 minutes on most systems and turns off. If the siren is off, but someone is inside the homeowner could arrive home not knowing someone is inside and just walk in. Monitored alarms prevent this.

    2. Alarms need maintenance and service. Just like anything, an alarm can fail. Usually monitoring companies offer a service plan.

    3. Don’t assume all criminals are stupid. There are thousands of YouTube videos free online that explain EXACTLY how alarms work. Seriously a 12 year old can learn to disable an alarm in seconds using these videos. A monitored alarm has a tamper system that contact the homeowner and alarm company to notify of any tampering with the system. Non-monitored systems do not have this feature enabled.

    I am a trained alarm installer and locksmith…. not only is a non-monitored alarm useless but it gives the homeowner a FALSE sense of security and litigation wise is a nightmare for the alarm company that sold it to them if there is an assault, rape, or other violent crime. A non-monitored alarm is an attorneys wet dream.

  2. Chuck gazdik April 6, 2016 at 7:49 am #

    At top of garage door inside place a 3ft 2×4 on top so they can not slide wire to grab emergency pull rope to open door. Silicone will hold 2×4 in place secure. Stick and forget!

  3. Jerry Duplechin April 7, 2016 at 9:19 pm #

    Very informative.

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