The best technique for defending yourself is one that never has to be performed. By being vigilant, you can better protect yourself from ever having to be in a situation where technique is required. One of the most important things to do is make sure your home is a safe area. Home invasion is a real danger, and by taking a few steps you can make your castle a little stronger.

1. Use a deadbolt lock. A well-made deadbolt like the Medeco Maxum will help keep home invaders from getting through a locked door. Installed on a solid door, it is an effective attack stopper.

2. Install motion-sensor lights near windows and doors. One of the best in the business is RAB Lighting. It makes a variety of lights to fit a spectrum of locations and budgets.

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3. Install a camera at the front door. While door peepholes serve a purpose in hotels or small areas, a security camera is better suited for home use. The more cameras you have around your home the better, but sometimes cost is a factor. One of the best entry-level camera units is the NetGear VueZone. It’s a wireless camera than can be placed anywhere with the capacity for expansion.

4.  Use an alarm system. Choose a system that has professional monitoring with a variety of service options. One that is highly recommended is FrontPoint Security. Professional and well respected, it can provide service to meet any need.

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5. Consider a protection dog. Dogs have been one of the most popular forms of home defense for centuries. Working both as an alarm and a deterrent, they can be a great addition to the household. For those serious about using a dog, there are companies one can purchase professionally trained protection dogs from. One of the best is Canine Protection International.

6. Secure your sliding doors. Sliding patio doors are some of the primary points of entry for intruders. They can easily be manipulated and opened. By using a security bar like the Master Lock 265 Security Bar, you keep the door from being forced open. This security bar can also be used on standard doors.

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7. Add kick-resistant plates to doors. Even with a quality lock and a deadbolt, a doorframe can give way if kicked hard enough. The best way to stop this is to reinforce the frame with a support like KickProof’s Rebar Door Security Device. It reinforces the doorframe and is capable of stopping even the most serious attempts to break the doorframe.

8. Make a safe room. The ultimate goal would be to include a safe room during the construction of your home. If that is not possible, then consider aftermarket solutions like those offered by Creative Home Engineering. They can retrofit a panic room into most existing structures. If this is not possible, then choose a solid room that can act as a safe haven in the event an intruder enters the house.

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9.  Leave the lights on. An age-old technique that is still effective today is to leave a light on in the house. This serves two purposes. The first is to give the impression from the outside that someone is still awake and alert inside the home. The second is that if someone does get inside, you have at least some light to see.

10. Keep shrubs and plants trimmed. Keeping bushes and other plants trimmed eliminates a possible hiding spot for would-be assailants. Go a step further with bushes or plants that have thorns. These can be a solid deterrent.

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To learn more, check out the upcoming Fall 2014 issue of SURVIVOR’S EDGE, available on newsstands and digitally July 22, 2014. To subscribe, go to

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  • blue2golf

    And the chick with the AR rifle isn’t even mentioned? Dumb article.

    • Gumpsumoto

      I believe the point the author tried to make with the opening statement is that facing off with an intruder inside your home, or expecting your wife or kids to do so, is not a very good ‘first line of defense’. That’s great if you can (or they can), but it should be the ‘last’ line of defense, after many other safeguards have failed or been bypassed.

    • Ross

      Did you read the opening statement, clearly not, its pretty much saying it right there… Next time try reading.

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  • RJ

    Parts of #9 i do not agree with… I keep my lights off so if an intruder breaks in I know i know my house better then the intruder… I hope the intruder trips and falls on something when i know to step over or around it.. just a thought

    • Ross

      It’s prevention article the light is to discourage anyone from breaking in, to make them believe that someone is still home/awake.

      • Gumpsumoto

        I actually agree with *both* of you. To keep observers guessing, I prefer to keep a small, low wattage light or two switched on – but always upstairs. The problem with keeping first-floor lights on is that it allows prowlers to see right in my windows from the comfort of the shadows. The light can give them all the info they need to act;
        -location, number, and type of occupants, (if any),
        -status of occupants (alert, sleeping, pre-occupied, etc.),
        -the presence and location of threats to the intruder (dogs, alarm system keypads, gun cases, a shelf full of karate trophies and shooting awards, etc.)
        Additionally, if anyone is home, bright lights on the inside will keep them from seeing into the darkness outside. That is why #2 is so important.

    • BeamerSmith

      I always liked the fog machine attached to a motion sensor trick.. Even if they get in they have trouble seeing anything.. add strobe lights and they get messed up..
      Oh and don’t store your valuables in the “same old places” like the freezer or bedroom desk. where even a blind crook can find them.

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  • Keith Taylor

    5. Keep the big dogs indoors at night, sleeping anywhere and everywhere in the house. They will then alert you if they hear prowlers and (hopefully) scare the would-be intruders away. The burglars will have great difficulty poisoning and otherwise incapacitating or distracting the dogs if they don’t know where they are and dogs see better in the dark than we do, so they don’t need light in order to mount a defense.

  • KJ

    For women who live alone, leave a pair of oversized well-worn work boots outside the front door. Slightly change their position day to day.

  • BeamerSmith

    Plant thorny plants closest to windows – the thornier the better.

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  • Myne Gaim

    Not owning a firearm is trusting everyone except yourself. Tell that to your liberal gunaphobe friends.