Home is where the heart is as the saying goes. In the home, we have people that we love and property that we have acquired by the wealth we have worked for. So it is very important for us to have protection for them. In this post, we are going to discuss the home defense layers that saves lives.
There are a few crimes that can happen in the home. Such crimes include property and violent crimes. These crimes can be broken down into categories including burglaries, home invasions, murder, etc. However, by having home defense layers you can greatly reduce the risk of those crimes.
In this post, we are going to talk about how to prevent burglaries and home invasions. There tends to be a lot of confusion between the differences. So let’s break that down.
Truth about burglaries
A crime is considered a burglary when there is an unlawful entry into a building with intent to commit a crime, especially theft. Typically it is someone that has been eyeing the possessions that you have and track your whereabouts. Shockingly, a lot of burglaries are committed by people close to the victim.
Truth about home invasions
A crime can be considered a home invasion if:
- A person enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling with the intent of committing a violent crime
- A person knowingly enters the dwelling place of another with the knowledge or expectation that someone (one or more persons) is present
- The unauthorized entering of any inhabited dwelling or other structure belonging to another with the intent to use force or violence upon the person of another
The differences between a burglary and a home invasion
Burglaries are typically committed during the day with an expectation that the household members are not present. They don’t intend to commit any violent crime. Although they can turn violent if someone is present. The intruder’s main motive is on stealing items.
A small percentage of burglaries also happen at night. They tend to be dumb criminals or junkies looking for medications. However, smart criminals have already scoped your house and can determine when you are home. They tend to pick the most appealing house without any security or defense. Other criminals tend to be friends with the victim.
Home invasions are typically done at night. The intruders have an expectancy that the resident is home. Their intentions are not really to steal anything but to commit a violent crime like murder. Home invasions are typically committed by someone that the victim knows. They tend to be motivated by emotions or revenge.
FBI and BJS data on burglaries and home invasions
- In 2015, there were an estimated 2,904,570 burglaries (Bureau of Justice Statistics)
- 22 out of every 1,000 homes are burglarized
- By category, 57.9 percent of burglaries involved forcible entry
- Victims of burglary offenses suffered an estimated $3.6 billion in property losses in 2015 (FBI)
- In 2015, 102 people lost their lives during a burglary (FBI)
- 27% of burglaries were conducted when occupants were present
- 26% of burglaries involve a violent crime
Most commonly stolen items during a burglary
- Laptops, iPads, smartphones, etc.
- Household goods
What this means
Most of the commonly stolen items can be found in bedrooms and in the living room. So intruders are going to go directly to those rooms. Burglaries typically last about 8 to 10 minutes. When they tend to linger the possibility of violence increases.
So you want the burglars to get in and out as quick as possible. You can do this by placing decoys around in the room to make them believe that the have hit the jackpot.
The second most popular rooms for burglaries are in the garage and the kitchen. Knowing this you should place your valuables in the rooms they are less likely to be in. I did a video before on how to hide valuables in the house that can help you with this.
Now home invasions are a lower percentage of burglaries. However, there is still the possibility of being a victim. Either if it is a burglary or home invasion you still need to have some sort of defense system to protect your family and property.
It’s not really realistic to build a fortress or castle that is impenetrable. That would be crazy expensive and just ridiculous. Besides, it would draw more attention if there is ever a collapse type scenario.
You just need to make your home less inviting than the other options. There is a common saying among campers and hikers about bear attacks. The saying is, “I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just need to outrun you.” The concept is true in this case well.
You will never be able to fully protect yourself from intruders. However, you can make it less likely that they target your residence. If the intruder is desperate or motivated enough they will find a way to break in your home. In order to become less of a risk, you need to have 4 home defense layers.
4 Home Defense Layers That Save Lives
Deterrence is making your house not look like an easy target. Intruders look for easy and fast targets. If your house looks like it will be a lot of work then they will move on to the next potential target.
Not only do you want to appear as a harder target but also more intimidating. Having a barking dog is a good early warning system. They can also be very intimidating for criminals who may be scoping your residence. Most intruders are fearful of police, dogs, and firearms.
Examples of deterrence include exterior lights, alarm system signs, barking dogs, cameras, etc. I have personally placed security stickers on my windows to deter intruders. My residence also has Arlo Security cameras to deter intruders and also act as an early warning system.
You also want to limit the information that you are communicating about yourself. “Smart” bad guys typically do the research about you before coming over unannounced. They look for empty parking lots. It tells them that no one is home. Open blinds will give them a bird’s eye view of what can be found inside. A dog bowl outside your door could communicate that you have a dog. The bigger the bowl the more intimidating.
The second layer of defense is the fortification layer. Each layer acts as a road block to the intruder. If you failed to have a complete Deterrence Layer then the next step up for the intruder is the Fortification Layer.
The fortification layer is designed to make it physically difficult to get into your house. The harder it is to get into your house the less likely they will continue. However, if the intruder is highly motivated then they will find a way in.
There are some tools that you can use to fortify your home. Such fortification includes garage with multiple locks, window security film, solid reinforced doors, deadbolt with a strike plate, multiple door locks, keyed window locks, etc.
Along with some of those options, I use the Master Lock Dual Function Security Bar to help fortify my door. This tool can withstand 350 pounds of force. Again, it isn’t guaranteed to keep someone out but it will slow them down. This is not really used for when I am gone but when I am home. If I can slow down an intruder from coming into my house then it will give me time to protect myself and call for assistance.
Early Warning Layer
If your previous two layers have failed then the early warning layer kicks in. Ideally, this will warn you before they reach your fortification layer. However, it isn’t likely that you will be watching a security camera all day.
But you should have some early warning system inside of your residence as well. That way if you are in another room of your house then you will know if someone is inside. Now, this should be audible to the intruder as well. You will want to have something that emits off a loud sound to possibly scare them off.
For this, I use the Canary All-in-one home security device. This device not only monitors movement inside of your house but it has a loud ass alarm/siren. This is guaranteed to shake up an intruder to make them think twice before proceeding.
It also has built-in access to local authorities. You can set it so that it automatically contacts the authorities so that you can focus on protecting yourself.
Now, some may disagree about home security cameras being used as a deterrent. I believe that to an extent. However, if someone is looking to rob you then a camera is going to be too much work to try and avoid.
The camera can also be used as an early warning system. This can be done by setting it up to send notifications whenever it records movement. With the Arlo Security camera system, you can set it up to a smart home hub like Wink. It comes along with a smartphone application where you can turn notifications on and off.
Another great tool to add as an early warning system is a perimeter alarm system. You can set it up by zones. Once someone or something crosses that zone then it emits an alarm. This will possibly scare off a potential intruder and act as an early warning to you.
The final layer is the confrontation layer. The confrontation layer is when you are personally interacting with a threat in some way. If an intruder has reached this layer then your 3 other layers have failed.
If an intruder is in your house then you have already lost the fight. This is especially true if you don’t have an early warning system to alert you. You won’t have time to protect yourself or your family.
The confrontation layer can have multiple options. It doesn’t always mean you have to use lethal force. The confrontation could mean telling a suspicious person to piss off or shining a light in their face.
However, the likelihood that those methods will work are slim. You may be forced to lethally defend yourself. This is why it is important to understand when you legally defend yourself. On top of that, you would want to know what to do after shooting someone in self-defense.
To help you with this I would recommend having some sort of CCW insurance like United States Conceal Carry Association. They will have you covered when it comes to legal representation in a self-defense case. However, they also provide some really great legal advice and training that will help you on that dreaded day.
Having the 3 other layers of home defense help you not be caught by surprise. They give you the opportunity to prepare for the situation if it escalates to a confrontation.
Not only should you utilize your home defense weapons but you should have a safe room. The safe room should have a reinforced door and the ability to fortify it quickly. You can fortify the room by placing dressers, shelves, and other heavy items in front of them.
Now, I wouldn’t recommend clearing the rooms in your house especially if you haven’t been trained. Most burglaries and home invasions are conducted by 3 or 4 people. This is why you should call reinforcements to back you up and even the score.
However, I am not against protecting yourself at all. I’m just saying be smart about it. Keep your guns close in case that you have to pull the trigger. In the meantime, you and your family should be in the safe room until the backup has arrived.
You and your family should already know beforehand where to go in the case of a home invasion. However, the safe room is not guaranteed to protect you. It will simply slow down the intruder.
When it comes to layering your home defense I recommend having 2 or 3 methods of each layer. It acts as a spider web. The tougher the layer then the harder it is to get through it.
On top of that, a lot of the layers overlap with each other. Like I mentioned before, the camera system acts not only as a deterrence but as an early warning system as well. By overlapping the layers you are making it harder for the intruder.
Altogether, these would be my tips on 4 home defense layers that will save lives. Feel free to leave any feedback or suggestions below. Your feedback helps the community prepare the smart way now so that we can thrive later.
Photography by David Brossard