By Martin "The Baron" Hubley
How would you feel if a criminal broke into your home, left with all your belongings in a truck, and then beat up your entire family (including the pets)? You would probably be pretty ticked off. But you shouldn't be, because it was your own fault for not securing your home properly! I don't blame robbers and murderers for what they do. Those who do crimes are often poor minorities (chinese or polish people) who have a hard life and a low-paying job. Simply put: They can't help but steal. Riddle me this: Would you arrest a homeless black man who stole a rich man's car to support his starving family? Of course you wouldn't, he was only trying to survive.
But it is still a homeowner's right to protect his property! The key is to make your house so secure that the burglar will go and burgle your neighbor's home instead of your own. It might seem cold, but it's all part of the game of life. So read on to see all the hot and juicy tips I have for securing your home against invaders.
(Side note: You might notice a photo of a handsome fellow over there on the left. That's me! It'll be showing up on each of the articles I write for this site from now on, so look forward to it!)
1. Get An Alarm SystemFirst of all, you can bet your sweet biffy I'm not talking about one of those expensive electronic alarm system like you see on the TV screen. Systems like these are nothing more than a worthless scam (ever hear of a wire cutter? Thiefs have!) meant to grub money from the unsuspecting public. But you don't need to spend thousands to secure your home. No sir. You can create your own custom home-made security system which will alert you to the presence of an intruder instantly. And best of all, it's free!
Use NoisemakersBefore you're safely knustled into bed at night, stack up some old pans or cookery against the front door. If a would-be thief comes a callin', he'll swing the door open and send the whole kitten kaboodle crashing to kingdom come and sending that thief running to the hills! Better still, use a bunch of glass cups not only will he create a racket, but you've also just created a guntlet of razor sharp glass in your entryway. Try walking through that, crime doggies. YOWCH!
Create a Crunch TrapSprinkle some mixed nuts or crumbled chips on the floor in front of the bedroom doors in your home. If a prowler does ever happen to get past your other security measures (yeah...not going to happen) this will be your last line of defense between yourself and being robbed. The concept is so simple even a child could understand: The evil criminal creeps silently through your house. He's riding high on his horse until...he reaches your door and CRUNCH SNAP CRUNCH. Grab your gun, open the door, and start blasting.
Bet you never thought your life would be saved by popping a pringle. Just goes to show you how little the average person knows about home security!
Make Your Own Locks
If your locks aren't functioning (or you've lost the key) you can easily build your own locking system that's as good (or better) than a conventional lock our of common household materials such as bungee cords, tape, and superglue. I really don't have time to go into it now but needless to say: Those who learn this skill sleep much easier than the average bear!
NOTICE: If you have a sliding glass door, get rid of it. These doors are a crime waiting to happen, and there is currently no way safe way to safely secure one of these doors. Until you are able to remove it and replace it with brick or steel, staple a piece of plywood or paperboard with the words "KEEP OUT DANGER" painted on to the outside of the frame. This is more than enough to keep most burglars shivering out in the cold, but this is only a short term solution to a long term problem: Crime!
2. Use All Four SensesEven the best alarm system can't compare to the silent alarm system you were born with: Your body. Not only is your body beautiful but it can also be used as a crime fighting tool. Here are a few common scenarios in which each of your four senses can save you from being a victim of robbing.
SightYou see someone you don't know walking down the street in your neighborhood and you call the police. Remember, always call the police if you see someone you don't know or a relative who is acting suspicious (i.e. hands in their pockets, frowning, etc.)
HearingTrain yourself to recognize those tell-tail audio signs of a break-in in progress. Little sounds you may hear every day (such as screams, grunts, muffled thumps, splintering wood, moans, howls, creaks, booming, gruff voices, and breaking glass)
are among the first signals that a burglary is taking place in your home. Don't turn a deaf ear to these clues!
SmellCrime doesn't pay. If you smell or sense a crime in progress, run from the area immediately! You don't want to get charged with being a witness to a murder...or worse being charged with the murdering.
TouchWhen you arrive home from church or work, use your sense of touch to your advantage. Touch a doorknob to see if it is warm (if it is, someone may just have used it!)
3. Hide a Key for EmergenciesIf you read a lot of these other "home security" guides (written by amateurs) they tell you not to hide a key outside your home. What these geniuses fail to realize is that if a person happens to forget his or her key and locks the door, they will not be able to return to their own home! At best they will have to call a locksmith to let them in, and at worst the home will have to be sold as "inaccessible" and demolished by the bank because the owner will have defaulted on the loan by not being able to reach his checkbook.
DO NOT allow this to happen to you. Hide a key somewhere outside. The "key" (pun intended!) is to make sure you hide it somewhere smart, somewhere that no robber would ever think to look. Here are a few suggestions:
In a HoleDig a hole in the grass or a garden near the door and bury the key there. Place a marking flag or broken twig in the ground to mark the spot.
In the GutterRead my lips: Three simple steps. 1. Slit a hole in a tennis ball. 2. Tape it shut. 3. Put your key inside and throw it up onto the roof so it rolls into the gutter. If you're ever locked out it's easy enough to get. Either climb onto the roof or pull down the gutter. They're fairly easy to replace, and not too expensive. But anyway, you can't put a price on home security.
Under The gnomeIf you don't have a plastic gnome birdbath in your yard: Get one. This is the ultimate place to hide a key. Simply tip the gnome up, place the key underneath, and set it back down. Then fill the top with water. No criminal will be smart enough to look in such a place, and even if they do, they can't get to the key without spilling water everywhere, including on themselves, which can be helpful in identifying them later (from stains on clothes, footprints they leave, etc).
4. Crime Doesn't Take a Vacation & Neither Should You!Although you might enjoy heading out for a week of fun and the sun on the beaches of beauty-stuffed Virginia, you should remember that 90% of homes are burglarized when their owners are on vacation.
The easiest way to make sure this never happens is never to leave the house. While this works fine for me, some people tend to get agoraphobic and simply must leave the house for greener pastures.
If you simply must take that family vacation, here are some smooth and sensual methods you can use to fool the robbers into thinking you're still home.
Hire a Stranger to Come ByA few weeks before you head out, take out an ad in the local papers and on websites like craiglist.com asking for house-sitters. Leave your name, phone number, and address (without the state and zip code, for safety) and explain that you need somebody TRUSTWORTHY to come by every few days to read your mail, close the windows, flush the toilets (to keep the pipes from freezing/clogging up) and turn on lights while you're not home. But: DO NOT under any circumstances reveal that you are going on vacation, or a burglar might happen to see the ad and pay you an unwanted visit.
Create a "TV Tape"Rustle up the family tape-recorder and gather everyone around, because it's time to have some fun! All you've got to do is turn on the TV and let it run for a number of days while recording it. Obviously you'll need to switch out tapes every few hours, but luckily cassettes are fairly cheap these days (you can get 3 or 4 for a few bucks). You'll want 30-40 hours of tapes total. After you've finished recording, place the tape player by the front door, crank the volume up, and press play before you leave for vacation. Any burglar who happens by will hear the TV blaring and will be on his way.
Heck, you might even write up some humorful comments and say them out loud during a few programs and create your own version of Mystery Theater 3000! But be careful not to make it too funny, or the burglar might just die laughing (on your property, which you could possibly be sued for)!
That should about do it for home security. I've taught you everything I know, so hopefully you've learned enough to keep your comics and DVDs and such safe from the bad guys. I personally know if anyone so much as touched my compete Naruto boxed set I'd be crying ragetears while seeking revenge on the perpetuators!
Anywhoo, be careful and stay safe out there folks, and if you catch any burglars, give 'em one from The Baron!