Home Security Now and after TEOTWAWKI

The story about the unfortunate Petit family in Connecticut has been in the news for months now.  I read the articles about them and it makes me sick to think about what the mother and two daughters had to go through before they died and what the husband and father of the victims has to live through every day.  I just finished reading a story about the case on CNN that talks about one of the killers and what he was thinking.

I’m a former Marine, so you can probably guess how I feel about the story and what I would (along with most other citizens in America) like to do to these guys. But let’s step beyond the horror of that evening and think about the lessons we can learn from this terrible event.

Sometimes I wonder whether home defense is more important now than it would be after TSHTF.  Then I g0t thinking that it’s important all the time regardless of where you live whether TSHTF or not.  Maine is a pretty quiet state with most people respectful of other people’s privacy and property; however, we still get break-ins and people wake up in the night to find armed people in their houses with the intent of doing evil things.  As private citizens how can we protect ourselves?

You could go out and spend thousands of dollars on a home security system, but to be perfectly honest I don’t have that kind of money.  I’m not destitute by any means, but I simply don’t have the thousands of dollars kicking around necessary for this kind of set up.

Here’s what I do and what I’ve done for a measure of self protection:  First, I lock the doors after I get home, especially in the winter when it’s dark by 4:00pm.  My reasoning here is that if someone does try to get in they’ll have to make enough noise to alert me no matter where I am in the house.  Hopefully that will give me enough time to get to a gun.  I feel lucky that my wife is also a hunter and shooter and I know that if someone ever breaks in and gets the drop on me, and she gets to a gun undetected, the bad guy had better be square with whatever God he worships ‘cause he’s gonna meet him face to face real quick. Nothing is certain of course, but I figure the more shooters we have in the house the better chance we have of survival in a situation like that.

Second, we have dogs.  My guys aren’t the most vicious around, but they’re big and when they bark it sounds intimidating.  They’re a good warning system and in the next few years my wife and I are going to get a German Sheperd Dog.  I’ve had a GSD in the past and for pure family protectiveness you can’t beat them.  They’re intelligent, fearless, and intimidating and they are incredibly protective towards their families.

If someone breaks in this is the first thing I want them to see…


Followed by…

looking down pistol

And about three tenths of a second later…


I’ve also got motion sensor lights outside the house that pop on and off when something walks in front of them.  Of course in Maine in Fall they might switch on because of leaves whirling by in the breeze, but that’s ok because I can look out and see what the situation is when the lights come on.

Of course I can’t give away all of my personal home defense secrets, but I’d appreciate it if you shared some ideas with me.  I like low tech, hi-tech, no-tech, and any and all suggestions or ideas that you might have for home defense.  Lay them on me!

-Jarhead Survivor

BTW: The Friday post has pictures of yours truly, so if you want to see what I look don’t forget to tune in.  :-)

13 comments… add one
  • Spook45 November 17, 2010, 9:37 am

    first, layers are where its at. I mean, face it folks, you have to sleep sometime. By having GOOD storm doors with locks you buy time from the bad guy and he has to work harder and make more noise. My favorites are the ones with the double paine laminated glass and the deadbolt. Second, cameras are a great asset, I really dont like them but the truth is when someone is standing at the door and you can see them but they cant see you, it is a tremendous asset to your attack/defense plan. Thirdly, one must understand the ramifications of a force on force situation in YOUR HOME. In most states(not MINE thank god) there is some screwed up “duty to retreat” law before you are entitled to use deadly force. This is something to think thru if you ever have to actually do it, have a plan and a system and stick to it.

  • Presager Buddy November 17, 2010, 11:11 am

    Good post. It’s always good to be reminded of these things.

    Just as Spook45 does, I have multiple layers of security. All entrances to my home have a minimum of 3 doors to breach before entering the living space. When I purchased the house, the inner of the three doors did not have locks on them. I had locks installed on those doors even before I moved in.

    Since I had worked with an alarm company when I was in college, I had the knowledge to completely wire the house. I wired it for as an elaborate alarm system that I could dream up. Then I had an alarm company install a really good system. I saved at least a thousand dollars by wiring the house myself. In addition, I have independent, battery-operated alarm units on each of the basement windows. Strategic windows and doors on all four sides and on each level have alarm company stickers on them.

    My neighbors on all four sides have dogs. These dogs consider me a part of their family environment and they are all well aquainted with me. I have gotten used to their specific barks. Some I know as “let me in” and other barks are “there’s a stranger in the neighborhood”. For the latter barks, I alway check to see what they’re barking at. I remember one day all four were barking furiously and, when I looked out, there were some rather suspicious people making a quick get-away from the neighborhood.

    As far as locking the doors are concerned, the only time a door is unlocked is when I’m going through it. All exterior doors are locked at all times. I spent several decades as an urban survivalist where this was SOP. Now that I’m in the suburbs, I still continue the practice.

    Needless to say, I’m also armed with enough of an arsenal to protect myself. I have many additional security features inside the house that give me even more defenses.

  • Jarhead Survivor November 17, 2010, 11:54 am

    @Spook45 – layering is an excellent point and so is the fact that you have to sleep. I’ve heard about the law that you refer to, but I’m not sure if it applies here in Maine. I figure if someone breaks in I’ve already fallen back as much as I can and will respond appropriately.

    @Presage Buddy – it’s nice to have neighbors who are all on the same game plan if that’s your situation. And it’s definitely good to get to know all the dogs in the area too. After all, they’re mans best friend!

  • russell1200 November 17, 2010, 12:30 pm

    The family had had dinner and the father fell asleep on his front porch. Bad guys walk up and smack him in head with baseball bat before going into home.

    Obviously father is not alert.

    But the other problem is that these are incompetent bad guys who are not dissuaded from doing bad things by the strong possibility that they will get caught.

    Most bad guys would not be in that neighborhood because they know that they would stick out like a sore thumb. Since one of the bad guys grew up as a rich kid, that did not apply here.

    These are not at all typical home invaders. Typical home invader will prefer to prey on other criminals. This greatly reduces the chances of getting reported.

    But they will go after people displaying wealth which may have been an issue here (they saw the Mom and youngest daughter at quick-mart type store and followed them home).

    There is a subset of home invaders who do kill their victims. They are a very small subset and usually get caught because they scare even the people they hang out with, and the people they hang out with want to get the reward money that inevitability is posted.

    The biggest problem here is not security, but lack of awareness by both the family (at all levels) and by their neighbors.

  • Steelheart November 17, 2010, 1:13 pm

    Something to add to the above is to make yourself a harder target than your neighbors. Locked doors, windows that don’t show anything of real value and no easy way to sneak up to a door will all help. A fence will deter some people even if it’s a height than can be easily climbed over.


  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. November 17, 2010, 1:33 pm

    Dog or dog(s), high window sills w/ thorny plants below, commercial quality hollow metal doors with grout filled steel door frames and GOOD door hardware will usually convince BGs to move to easier targets. If in the boonies though – not a whole lot you can do. No one to call LEOs – it might take hours for them to show up, and BGs are long gone. Not to mention the BGs being there in 1st place and checking on when your schedule is leaving property.

    One of my coworkers lived out there a few years ago and her house was the only one NOT broken into – all her other neighbors had some type of issue. Her advantage – her husband worked from home 24/7, had a handy shotgun, a halide light on pole at two lot corners and 4 dogs with appetite for meat.

    Pretty good deterrents.

  • Shotzeedog November 17, 2010, 3:48 pm

    When we lived in the country I wanted to put blinds on the windows because at night I felt like a sitting duck. Now that we live on the edge of the city, I see peoples windows without the shades pulled at night and you can see into their homes and everything inside. Not too safe.

  • GoneWithTheWind November 17, 2010, 4:26 pm

    Two points: 1)This has been in the news 24/7 and everyone has heard the story and are apporpriately angry about it. But you remember that couple that was kidnapped and the guy got his junk cut off in front of his girlfriend and then killed and the girl was gangraped repeatedly for days and sodomized with various object before she was killed??? Maybe you don’t remember it even though it was a heinous crime as bad as the Petit family. Well, in that crime the scumbags were black and it wouldn’t be right to inflame any passions don’tch know…
    2)The Mother in the Petit family made a mistake. Had she walked into the bank and called 911 and then waited for them the police would have likely been able to prevent the murders. Maybe not, hard to know how it would all go down but clearly the woman would have lived. I understand the emotional issues involved but any clear thinker would recommend the same thing. The problem was that she never thought of this possibility in her life before that moment and was ill prepared to deal with it. And therein lies the answer; prepare ahead of time for possible scenarios so that you aren’t making bad decisions under pressure. As difficult as these decisions are can’t we all agree that you cannot depend on the word of people who intend to lie and kill you anyway.

  • jjmurphy November 17, 2010, 6:13 pm

    I currently have three nice big dogs. Grew up with German Shepherds. Awesome dogs. Currently have two Belgian Sheepdogs and Belgian Tervuren. You may want to look into them. They are less prone to the hip problems of GSDs and live longer due to the smaller bone structure. They look just as big with all that hair, though! They are fiercely loyal and protective of their family. No one gets near our house without all three dogs warning us very quickly.


  • Joe November 17, 2010, 6:32 pm

    Door Locks–Medeco (American made) or Multi-Lock.
    Forget about the $50 lock from Home Depot.

  • Suburban Survivalist November 17, 2010, 8:24 pm

    Nice post. I especially like the sequence of things you’d like an intruder to see. However, I do have to quibble with the last image, I think something like this more appropriate;


  • Al November 17, 2010, 9:09 pm

    Happy Birthday NRA – Nov. 17
    After being granted a charter by the state of New York on November 17, 1871, the NRA was founded. Civil War Gen. Ambrose Burnside, who was also the former governor of Rhode Island and a U.S. Senator, became the fledgling NRA’s first president.

  • Mike November 17, 2010, 10:52 pm

    Good article. I also layer the defense. Entire property is fenced including the driveway. Heavy solid core locked doors, and while he’s a lover and not a fighter, a 100lb doberman that takes patrols very seriously and makes a lot of noise if anything looks or moves out of place. I also keep pistols in the various locations in the house where I spend a lot of time. No small children around anymore and they are out of sight to the casual observer but ready to hand should the situation arise.


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