As men, we must acknowledge that God has made us to be providers and protectors. It’s part of our nature, even if we don’t recognize it as such. Modern society (especially Hollywood) has tried to destroy that image, portraying man as a bumbling fool who needs his wife to act like his mother, telling him what to do and cleaning up his messes.
But societal conditioning can’t change the nature that God has placed within us. All it can do is make us ineffective in fulfilling our God-given place, by denying us the opportunity to learn how to be the men that God created us to be. We may not know how to be a protector, and we might even cower when faced with danger; but that’s because we don’t know what to do, not because the desire to protect our families isn’t there.
Many of us depend on what others tell us in this regard. Depending on our political slant and our circle of friends, the information we are receiving might be false, in a number of different ways.
One such fallacy is the idea that all you need is a deadbolt in your door to keep criminals out. But a deadbolt, like any other lock, is only going to keep the honest people honest. Any criminal knows that you can kick through that deadbolted door, because the deadbolt will break through the door frame when enough force is applied.
So, if the best advice of the supposed “experts” is that bad, what can we do to make our homes secure?
Get Everyone in the Habit of Locking Doors and Windows
You’d be amazed at the percentage of break-ins that happen because people didn’t lock their doors or windows. Most “professional” criminals don’t want to kick your door open or break a window. The reason for that is it increases the risk to them. If they’re going to break into your home, they don’t want to attract attention by making noise and they don’t want to leave any evidence behind.
I don’t care if you’re going next door to borrow a rake from the neighbor, if you won’t be able to keep an eye on your front door from where you are going to be, lock it. Get your whole family in the habit of doing so as well. That goes for the back door and the windows as well. Nothing should be unlocked, unless you are going through it or have it open for ventilation.
This means that everyone in your family is going to have to carry a key at all times, so that they can get back into the house. That might take some training and some time to get used to, but you can do it. I still remember carrying a key to the house when I went off to kindergarten.
Get Rid of Your “Hidden” Key
Speaking of keys, if you have a hidden key, for those times when you forget to take your keys with you, then get rid of it. I can guarantee you, there isn’t any place you can hide that key, which professional break-in artists don’t already know about. Putting it in one of those hollowed-out fake rocks is like a sign saying “KEY HIDDEN HERE.” About the only way that would work, is if the rock was hidden in an area filled with similar sized rocks.
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Install a Security Striker Plate
The number one entrance that criminals use to get into homes is the front door. In addition to keeping it locked, you can make it a whole lot more secure by installing a security striker plate. This is a single striker plate, that both your door lock and deadbolt can go into. The cheaper ones are about a foot long, while the good ones are as much as four feet long. These better ones cost more, but they’re worth it.
The basic idea here is that the force of the kick is spread across a larger area and more screws. Those screws need to be at least 2-1/2” long, so that they go through the door frame and into the structural studs behind. That way, instead of just breaking the deadbolt through the door frame, they have to break many more screws out from the building’s structure.
While you’re installing this, take the time to change the screws for the hinges as well, replacing the ¾” long screws with the 2-1/2” screws you’re using for the security striker plate.
Put Security Film on the Inside of Your Windows
Windows are hard to secure, because they are made of glass. Few people want to spend the money or have the unattractive visual appearance of installing burglar bars across their windows. A less expensive option, which is all but invisible, is to install clear security film on the inside of your windows. This still costs quite a bit, but it’s considerably cheaper than the burglar bars.
This film is similar to window tinting film, except that it is much thicker and clear. Once fully adhered to the window (it takes about 2 weeks for the adhesive to fully dry), the film makes it considerably harder to break the glass. More than this, even if the glass is broken, it stays in place, just like an automotive windshield. To get through the window, criminals literally have to break it out, all the way around, making a lot of noise in the process.
Clean Up Your Yard
One of the mistakes that people make is to leave things out in the yard, which advertise their wealth. If your kids have expensive toys, like those electric cars to ride in, then don’t leave them outdoors. That may as well be a sign sitting there, telling the thieves that you probably have plenty of other valuable things in your home.
This doesn’t just apply to children’s toys, it can apply to other things as well. Expensive lawn furniture, barbecue pits and sculptures all send the same message. Having them in your backyard is fine, as long as you have a privacy fence; you just don’t want them where others can see them.
Hide Your Good Stuff from View
Speaking of hiding that expensive stuff, make sure that the good stuff can’t be seen through your windows. The classic image of a grand piano in front of a picture window makes a nice picture, but criminals will appreciate that picture in a different way.
Probably the biggest way people do this today is with large televisions. A 55” TV isn’t considered to be much these days, but if you have a 75-inch TV, you need to be careful where you hang it. Try to make sure that it can’t be seen through any windows in the front of your home. Mount it in the Family Room instead, where you can enjoy it, while keeping it hidden from view.
Put Your Cars in the Garage
One final area that I want to talk to you about hiding is your cars. This isn’t for everyone; but if you have expensive cars or new cars, then I would highly recommend hiding them in your garage or put a gate in so that you can hide them in your backyard. This includes pickup trucks and SUVs, which can run over $60,000.
Once again, owning an expensive or new car sends the message that you have a lot of money, therefore have a lot of other nice things that thieves might wish to steal. Think about it; a lot of the reason why people buy those expensive cars, is so that they can show off, right?
Add a Sign
Adding a sign from a well-known alarm company will send the message that your home shouldn’t be trifled with and that criminals might be better off elsewhere. That’s just about as effective as having the alarm service itself. But don’t bother with the fake signs, as professional criminals can recognize them for what they are.
The only problem here is how to get your hands on one of those signs. Alarm companies don’t just give them away. You normally have to be signed up for their service, to get a sign directly from the company. However, if you have a friend who has alarm service, they might have a spare sign. If not, there are options to buy a couple or print some off and make them yourself.
Get a Concealed Carry Permit
While the measures I’ve mentioned above will go a long way towards making your home more secure, they aren’t perfect. Mostly, they deal with professional robbers, those who break into homes to steal, usually when the family is not at home. But there is another category of criminal that breaks into homes, called “home invaders.” These are usually not professionals and, rather than breaking in when nobody is at home, they intentionally break in when the family is there, believing that they can get more from the family by threatening their safety.
This category of criminal usually works in teams of two or three people. They’re not going to be impressed with your locks and they’re not going to be impressed with your bluster. They’ll use weapons to intimidate and violence to subdue.
If you’re going to protect your family from these criminals, you need to be able to fight them and win. In order to do that, you will either need to be a martial arts expert or have and be ready to use a gun. There’s a reason why the gun has been called “the great equalizer” and in this situation, if you are good enough with that gun, it can make you the equal of two or three of them.
I realize that there are those who are morally opposed to guns. If you’re one of those, I ask you to reconsider your position. At least take the time to learn about guns and not just hear the rhetoric against them. Yes, guns can be used to cause crimes. Bad people will use whatever they can. But those bad people don’t need a gun to be bad. The first murder in the history of the world was probably committed with a rock. But if Able only had a gun, Cain probably couldn’t have killed him. A gun in the hand of a good person, is nothing more than a tool of self-defense.
While most states allow you to own a gun without any sort of licensing, I’d still recommend getting a concealed carry permit and carrying a gun. I don’t care what kind of gun you have, it won’t do you a bit of good when they kick down your door, if you have it in your nightstand or closet. You have to have it on your person.
I’d also recommend practicing until you become a true expert. When push comes to shove and it all turns real, you’re going to have massive amounts of adrenalin pumping through your body. That’s part of the “fight or flight” instinct. One of the side effects of it is that it will really mess with your fine motor skills, which will drastically reduce your ability to shoot accurately, right when you need it the most. The better a shot you are, the better a chance you’ll still be able to hit your target, rather than sending those bullets through the walls, where none of us can predict where they’ll go or what they’ll hit.
All in all, what I’m saying is, don’t just make your home safe for your family, learn how to defend them as well. Use the tools that exist to your benefit, don’t just let others use them for theirs.