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Simple Home Defense Upgrades for Under $100

Self sufficiency isn’t a singular action; rather, it’s the combination of many actions with good integration in planning and execution. Being self sufficient in a world whose socioeconomic and geo-political structures are under such immense pressure each day begs the question: what can you do to ensure a safe existence and still not have to go to extremes? Some might view the off-the-grid lifestyle as extreme, but in reality, when things degrade further, there will be a scramble towards self-sufficiency.  This isn’t a shock and awe article: it’s more of a practical guide to some easy reinforcements and helpful home security items that can help you feel safer in a constantly degrading environment.

Securing our homes doesn’t have to be a tedious, expensive, or overbearing project. There are many simple, efficient, and cost-effective techniques and tools to ensure your home is safer against the threat of burglary or worse.

It’s really the items that we take for granted that need the most attention in shoring up our security at home. It’s not difficult for a burglar or child predator to ascertain information if they have motivation and opportunity. Many of the things you can do to deter them don’t cost anything except a change in your mindset, a checklist, and the willingness to implement the changes on a day-to-day basis.

Most criminals who know you have teenagers (which can be ascertained in a few quick casings of your neighborhood) will know there’s a high likelihood that there are doors on cars and in homes that your kids forgot to lock. At that point it’s just a matter of the right time and right place before they snatch an opportunity to rob you. Encouraging your children to lock the door, fasten latches on the windows, and avoid leaving the blinds open when they go to bed can all help deter a burglar. Using a combination approach for sliding glass windows and doors can also come in handy; you might use a fitted dowel on the bottom track and a simple-to-install latch at the top track to keep that sliding door secure. It’s a fix that’s less than $15, and you have tripled the security of the weakest entryways in your home.

Keeping the main doors properly weather-stripped and sealed may do more than just cut your heating bills. Thieves are more than likely to target a house with gaps in the door when it’s closed; the ones with gaps are easier to pry open.

Using two locks on main entry points (i.e. a deadbolt and a regular lock) may prove more viable than a single lock. Thieves tend to go through the most frequented entry/exit, as it is the one that tends to be unlocked the most. Having two locks will serve as a reminder that you need to lock the door, and of course presents more of a challenge to a thief. Additionally, a child safety latch can be installed for $10 and in less than ten minutes.  It’s a two part hinge that fits in between the door jamb and the door with a right angle latch that falls into place by gravity when you move it slightly.  The piece will keep children from going out that cannot reach it, but more importantly; it will give warning and buy time for you if a forceful intruder is at the door attempting to come in. These simple and cheap latches are better than door chains, and they are very hard to defeat.  Two or three of them could further strengthen the door’s breaking strength, though if it has gotten to the point where you expect real force to be exerted on your doors, there are other more drastic protective measures available to you.

Doorstop alarms may alert you early on that you have a burglar if you don’t have the money or haven’t yet installed a whole house system. They’re relatively inexpensive at $5-$10 apiece, and they are incredibly efficient for what they do. You may also look into simple door break alarms, which are also relatively inexpensive and can be had for under $25. They are typically (read: always) combined with a “screecher,” or a noisemaker, which will allow you to know when a door or window has opened. (I have personally bought several at under $5, and they are incredibly efficient as early warning detection systems.)

Installing a garage door lock on the inside of the garage door and using a combination lock may be a good option, provided you have adequate emergency fire exits and your kids/guests/friends know the garage is locked down in the event of a fire.  Would-be burglars and intruders won’t be able to (in most cases) override the security of that garage door.  Normal garage doors, especially those with a single locking point or those with an automatic garage door opener, are relatively easy to overpower or override the system.

A camera with motion sensor technology may also be a good deterrent; combined with a motion sensor flood light and/or a motion sensor doorbell chime, it may provide you with an excellent way to deter burglars. A simple system might be between $75 and $200, all depending on the range and sensitivity as well as the amount of units included.

The goal here is to give you some ideas on how to securitize your home without breaking the bank. All of these fixes are inexpensive relative to commercially available options, and yet they still provide a substantial amount of increased security and home protection.

It’s important to feel safe and secure, but perhaps most importantly, it’s good to know that you are not reliant on the grid for safety, and you don’t necessarily need to pay big dollars for real-world security solutions. Simple fixes and a change in mindset can be incredibly effective.

©2011 Off the Grid News

© Copyright Off The Grid News


  1. When I read this it struck a cord. I have been looking for a DIY security system I could install but they don’t exist (at least so far) let me explain. While there are good systems out there they all require to be hard wired for a power source. And most people I know do not have power on the edge of the roof to plug them in. If you do your set because there are some inexpensive systems out there but the cost to have my four corners of my roof wired up is not cheap at all. I looked into solar but they may have some simple lights but none for the camera part. If anyone has any solutions I am all ears. Since I don’t live out in the country I live in the suburban area and feel a little vulnerable. I have way too many windows and if someone wants in breaking glass is not hard to do. With society breaking down and non-prep poeple out numbering us prepared people by about 25 to 1 I know I will have to defend against the sheeples out there. My son (who is a police academy graduate) gave me a T-shirt when he graduated from it. He said it had their motto they have to live by. It reads (BE PROFESSIONAL, BE POLITE, BE RESPECTFUL, AND HAVE A PLAN TO KILL EVERYONE YOU MEET” That says it all, because you have to be prepared for any situation to go very wrong. Those who think that the law will be there (when our society breaks down) will not like what they find. Just read about New Orleans during their hurricane ordeal and you will see how many revert back to basic instincts to survive.

  2. For reasonably priced DIY Security and Camera systems check out which includes alert system to call friends, family, neighbors if alarm is triggered. My system has wireless sensors for every door and window plus wireless motion detectors and my camera system has 6 cameras. All for less than 1 year commercial monitering fee. I would like it to be more capable but feel it is more than adequate, unless the invader were to cut power and phone.
    Yes, getting power to soffits (for motion activated cameras) is frustrating, but there is power readily available in the attic that can be extended to the outside corners. Even employing an electrician should be less expensive and more reliable than installing battery back up solar.

  3. One thing to check out about door alarm. Some door knob hanging alarms do not work on metal doors. But otherwise they are excellent.

  4. Intruders really don’t like lights. Outside motion lights work!
    They don’t like home owners with guns.
    They don’t like dogs either.

    I have a friend who was robbed at night while they slept in their bedroom only a few feet away from the items taken in their family room. I suggested that they get a wireless motion sensor which activates silently to that it alerts you and not the intruder. Put it at the main traffic route intersection of the house. Can’t sneak up on wireless and snip the cord.

    The key to security is your own alertness and multiple types of alarms.

  5. I lived in a suberb of Miami, FL for more than 38 years, and believe it or not, I never locked my door, day or night. I had 4 dogs, 3 in the fenced yard that was split front and back, 2 dogs in rear, 1 dog in front, and the meanest sob you ever want to meet, inside the house. I had my guns, and was more than willing to show anyone who wanted to rob me that if they were ever lucky enough to get by the dogs outside, they would be greated by the last one and me inside. I also let all know that I didn’t have much, but I intended to keep all of it. I had no reserves about finishing anyone who I caught in my house. Most all other houses in my neighborhood were broken into at one time or another over the years, but mine never was. I find my system to work for me.

  6. Thanks for a thought provoking article.

    Last summer my daughter broke the glass window on my front door.

    We went into town for some reason and when we finally came home it occurred to me how silly it had been to lock the door.

    With the glass missing, I just had to reach in and unlock it.

    I have since replaced the glass.

    Your article reminded me that I need to find a new front door, one with a smaller glass panel. Those secondary latches would also be a good idea.

    Glass dose not really provide any security at all, it is a false sense of security, a brick rock or stick is all it would take to get into most houses. Particularly if the door locks are accessible through the missing panel.

    The Viking

  7. Think we have kicked this to death. Dogs are good, they rarely fail to bark. But they are soft targets and can easily be killed if the owner isnt willing to defend them. When hungry people will eat your dogs for food. I cannot in my military mind envision any survival, or protecion system that isnt backed up by a weapon and an owner with intent not to be a victim. Despite the liberal wishful dreaming, people are not benevolent and kind when the chips go down, however even the islamists over here, understand action and determination and they do not want to die as much as people think. The reality is that there will be two enemies, the lazy “occupy” your stuff crowd who will actually attack you, and the benevolent government do-gooder who will disarm you. You have got to know in your heart and not have to think about what you will do when it comes time because each is as dangerous as the other. And the time is coming soon I am afraid. We have discussed all the techniques ad nauseum, it now falls to this one single consideration: Are you willing to do what it takes to survive?

  8. Best security system in the world, no matter what type, a dog.
    Little ones are watchdogs. Big ones can be man stoppers. Both serve their purpose.

  9. Genuinely no matter if someone doesn’t be aware of then its up to other viewers that they will help, so here it takes place.

    my web page – b7 b9 b11 b19

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