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Old 11-01-2012, 12:58 AM   #81
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Very well said axxe55. +1
you're welcome.

not everyone has deep pockets and can afford the best and greatest in safes and security systems. those who can't need to learn a less expensive option, such as camoflage or concealment. most any type of safeguard is better than nothing.

i also have to agree that a dog is a very good deterrent for a casual thief. if the thief is determined and knows that you have a dog, he is quite possibly willing already to kill the dog if needed anyways. there was an article i read many years ago that most thieves would bypass a home if there were dogs in it. plus i like my dogs!
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:14 PM   #82
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Just as the saying goes- "out of sight, out of mind"

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Old 11-02-2012, 10:33 PM   #83
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Hey man, shhhh, don't get him started, he knows everything......
If your reference is to me - I don't know "everything" - but, because I deal with security 40 or more hours per week, and have done so for the past 35 years, I may actually have some experience beyond the average person. I'm willing to share this for free - and you're free to ignore my advice if you want to.

Hiding things is a very good strategy - it works. The federal government hides things all the time - I've helped them do it. They especially like to put things underground. Six or more feet of dirt is a wonderful deterrent.

Another thing you can do is give thieves a directed target. If they do break in, easy access to electronics and they're gone. Just make sure you have the serial numbers of the items and good photographs to aid in filing the claim on your home owner's insurance.

I can tell you the strategy I use, and it's relatively easy for most people to implement. Appearances count. Thieves are lazy in that they will pick on what appears to be the easiest = fastest score. Your job is to make your place the least attractive so it appears the slowest to get into and out - and presents a higher risk to them.

If you can, setup physical barriers in layers - that's what you want to do. At my house, I live on a large enough lot that I can setup two fence lines and have done that.

The outer fence is 6-feet high and has one vehicle entrance. It is locked at night with a Master "hocky puck" lock with the security plate welded to the gates. Because Medeco is owned by Master, you can retrofit Master high security padlocks with Medeco cylinders - so all of my padlocks have Medeco cylinders and are all keyed alike

The inner fence line is 5-feet high and has three passage gates. These gates are secured with Master high security locks with shackle guards - you can't get bolt cutters onto the shackle. If the type of latch mechanism includes a cover, you can hide the vulnerable part of the lock, which is the top of the shackle - making access to it time consuming. Remember - that's what you're trying to do - make it unattractive as they have to be exposed for too long.

All of the accessible windows at my house are over 5-feet from the ground making them difficult to access without an aid to step up to the window - and easy placement of a physical booster (ladder, person, etc.) is blocked by shrubs. Pyrocantha is especially useful for this as the thorns are particularly unpleasant to deal with.

Other friends have bars on their windows - the caveat with bars is to meet the state and local building codes and the National Fire Code, the bars must have an interior release mechanism. Some states, like California, require the release to be of a type approved by the state fire marshal.

Several of my windows that are not used for ventilation have had the lower frame permanently screwed shut. On double hung windows another strategy is to limit the distance the lower frame can be raised to 8-inches so that you cannot lift up the lower frame high enough to get through the window.

I also have automatic security lights and a security system, including glass break sensors. One of the most vulnerable parts of a house is the garage door. If you can, put a high quality opener on it to hold the door "down" when it is closed. Manually operated garage doors are fairly easy to get past. Once in the garage, the thieves can close the garage door and take their time getting through the door to the house.

Make the garage-to-house door as difficult to get through as possible. In order of security: solid core steel door with a steel frame, hollow core steel door with a steel frame, solid core wood door with a steel frame, and then any door with a wooden frame.

If you can, put a high quality, dual cyliner deadbolt on the door (keyed cylinder inside and outside) along with a high quality passage set with a lock. The deadbolt should be 1-1/2 inches long. If possible, put the door frame into place with 3-1/2 inch screws so that the frame is secured through the house double framing.

Remember what you're trying to do - keep the thieves outdoors and visible for as long as possible dealing with layers. That's why strategically placed lights can help for keeping them out at night.

But, a lot of burglaries now happen in the day time specifically because the burglars can look like service people. So, the layered physical barrier strategy is something you want to try to figure out for your place so day or night - you're less attractive than other houses.

The barking dog does help - burglars are less apt to try a house with a 4-footed audible alarm - that's all part of your appearance of deterrance. Unfortunately for me - my dog would be pointing them at the dog "cookie jar"....
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:36 AM   #84
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If your reference is to me - I don't know "everything" - but, because I deal with security 40 or more hours per week, and have done so for the past 35 years, I may actually have some experience beyond the average person. I'm willing to share this for free - and you're free to ignore my advice if you want to.

Hiding things is a very good strategy - it works. The federal government hides things all the time - I've helped them do it. They especially like to put things underground. Six or more feet of dirt is a wonderful deterrent.

Another thing you can do is give thieves a directed target. If they do break in, easy access to electronics and they're gone. Just make sure you have the serial numbers of the items and good photographs to aid in filing the claim on your home owner's insurance.

I can tell you the strategy I use, and it's relatively easy for most people to implement. Appearances count. Thieves are lazy in that they will pick on what appears to be the easiest = fastest score. Your job is to make your place the least attractive so it appears the slowest to get into and out - and presents a higher risk to them.

If you can, setup physical barriers in layers - that's what you want to do. At my house, I live on a large enough lot that I can setup two fence lines and have done that.

The outer fence is 6-feet high and has one vehicle entrance. It is locked at night with a Master "hocky puck" lock with the security plate welded to the gates. Because Medeco is owned by Master, you can retrofit Master high security padlocks with Medeco cylinders - so all of my padlocks have Medeco cylinders and are all keyed alike

The inner fence line is 5-feet high and has three passage gates. These gates are secured with Master high security locks with shackle guards - you can't get bolt cutters onto the shackle. If the type of latch mechanism includes a cover, you can hide the vulnerable part of the lock, which is the top of the shackle - making access to it time consuming. Remember - that's what you're trying to do - make it unattractive as they have to be exposed for too long.

All of the accessible windows at my house are over 5-feet from the ground making them difficult to access without an aid to step up to the window - and easy placement of a physical booster (ladder, person, etc.) is blocked by shrubs. Pyrocantha is especially useful for this as the thorns are particularly unpleasant to deal with.

Other friends have bars on their windows - the caveat with bars is to meet the state and local building codes and the National Fire Code, the bars must have an interior release mechanism. Some states, like California, require the release to be of a type approved by the state fire marshal.

Several of my windows that are not used for ventilation have had the lower frame permanently screwed shut. On double hung windows another strategy is to limit the distance the lower frame can be raised to 8-inches so that you cannot lift up the lower frame high enough to get through the window.

I also have automatic security lights and a security system, including glass break sensors. One of the most vulnerable parts of a house is the garage door. If you can, put a high quality opener on it to hold the door "down" when it is closed. Manually operated garage doors are fairly easy to get past. Once in the garage, the thieves can close the garage door and take their time getting through the door to the house.

Make the garage-to-house door as difficult to get through as possible. In order of security: solid core steel door with a steel frame, hollow core steel door with a steel frame, solid core wood door with a steel frame, and then any door with a wooden frame.

If you can, put a high quality, dual cyliner deadbolt on the door (keyed cylinder inside and outside) along with a high quality passage set with a lock. The deadbolt should be 1-1/2 inches long. If possible, put the door frame into place with 3-1/2 inch screws so that the frame is secured through the house double framing.

Remember what you're trying to do - keep the thieves outdoors and visible for as long as possible dealing with layers. That's why strategically placed lights can help for keeping them out at night.

But, a lot of burglaries now happen in the day time specifically because the burglars can look like service people. So, the layered physical barrier strategy is something you want to try to figure out for your place so day or night - you're less attractive than other houses.

The barking dog does help - burglars are less apt to try a house with a 4-footed audible alarm - that's all part of your appearance of deterrance. Unfortunately for me - my dog would be pointing them at the dog "cookie jar"....
Do you have any sort of video surveillance system?
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:58 AM   #85
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Do you have any sort of video surveillance system?
No, I don't. The way my house is setup there is one way in - up the driveway. I have sensors that will detect someone crossing a certain point on the driveway. That gives me an alert in the house.

Video is of limited use when you're not home as you need it recorded, and in the process of the thieves taking electronic equipment - you risk losing the evidence unless the recording device is hidden.

Alternate strategies may be to have your system setup to record immediately to cloud storage; or, some cameras have SD card slots and you could use that type of camera as they record over the top of the oldest video.

If you have a break-in, you would need to remove the SD card before the alarm video was recorded over. The over write time would depend on the frame rate, record resolution, and the size of the SD card - and how long you were gone between the break-in and when the card is removed.

If a cameras is within about 8-9 feet from the ground and visible to the thieves - and they come prepared - a can of spray paint makes quick work of blinding the camera. So camera location is extremely important beyond positioning it for the best field-of-view.

You can, of course, find cameras that are disguised as smoke detectors, clocks, and other standard house hold items - so you need to think about what kind of camera you may want to keep it as covert as possible.

One thing to consider is that many of the home burglars are unknown to the the police, so having a picture of them won't do much to identify them hours or days (in case of a vacation) after the fact.

Cameras in high end security systems are used for two reasons - surveillance and alarm assessment. For surveillance, the police may be looking for pick pockets in an airport bag claim area as an example, or for alarm assessment security personnel may be looking at who held a door open for multiple people to pass through the door on a single ID, or in perimeter use - threat assessment when an alarm is annunciated for the appropriate level of response.

Cameras work in retail store robberies and bank robberies because the record devices are in a semi-secure location and the robber wants in/out of the situation as quickly as possible with cash - not electronics, jewelry, or guns to be sold from the theft.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:23 AM   #86
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I figured that a video system would be a pretty good investment if you do it right. The signs alone act as a deterrent. I put one in when my outlaw in-laws were starting to cause trouble (skimming from the family business). I put in a cheapo one from X10.com and also got some signs posted. My BIL got all pissed off and took down one of the cameras I had up in a tree. I immediately went to him and he said that I had no proof that he did it and I just looked at him and asked him "Did you really think there was just one camera? That is pretty stupid."

He gave the camera back.

I got a much better system since then that has 6 all weather low-light cameras with a dedicated 6-channel digital DVR that works on a loop. It will record 30 days worth on all 6 cameras before looping over the recording. Its a very versatile system and can be hidden very easily as the DVR is very compact. Installing it can be a challenge as I had to run wires but you can get wireless systems so the wires don't lead the BG's to the recorder. With 6 cameras that are pretty well hidden it is unlikely they will find all of them.

One thing that I learned with the cheapo wireless remote cameras is that some of them (like the one I got) work on the same frequencies as your wireless phone does so both will not work at the same time.

anyhow, I figure if my house looks like Fort Knox it is probably a bad thing as the BG's cruising for a target will look at my neighbor's $1.6 million house and hit them before they work their way past the old trucks, welding projects and garden supplies to get to the front porch before they have to deal with the loud hound dog trying to kill them from inside the house just to see if they can spot anything valuable inside. If they are really paying attention to detail they will see some spent casings lying about in the yard. All of that added to the fact that there is nearly always somebody home just adds up to a high risk target I'm a-thinkin'.

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Old 11-03-2012, 03:38 PM   #87
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Vikingdad, I'd probably give your house a pass, too, I were a burglar.

Quote:
No, I don't. The way my house is setup there is one way in - up the driveway. I have sensors that will detect someone crossing a certain point on the driveway. That gives me an alert in the house.
Your house must also have other things surrounding it other than driveway. No other way for someone to approach? On foot maybe?
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:13 PM   #88
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Vikingdad, I'd probably give your house a pass, too, I were a burglar.



Your house must also have other things surrounding it other than driveway. No other way for someone to approach? On foot maybe?
You make a great and valid point. One of the neighbors ($ million-plus dollar house) had a series of burglaries a couple of years ago. They have an electric gate and a marginal fence bordering the gate, house is 1/4 mi from the main road. The BGs came in through a neighboring property and apparently cased the place for a couple of days. The first day they broke in the homeowner was gone for literally one hour dropping the kids off at school. It is probably that they had heard her coming down the driveway and escaped through the neighboring property. The BGs came back two more times, at some point cutting a hole in the neighbor's chain-link fence and burglarizing that property as well (stealing several valuable hunting rifles from that place). Over the course of a few weeks we (the neighbors) put together enough evidence (pictures of cars and people, times, notes, some loot that had been abandoned in the woods, that sort of thing) that the Sheriff's office made two arrests and convictions were secured. The Sheriff's office did absolutely nothing beyond taking reports and making the arrests. All of the investigation and gathering of evidence was done by us. The main target neighbor has installed a commercial alarm system, purchased a shotty and installed a dummy camera at the driveway gate on the keypad with a couple of signs saying the property is under video surveillance (they may have active video at the house).

Point being, if your perimeter fence is approachable from a point where the BG's won't be seen they can cut a hole in it and access your house from there. I don't know about you but my perimeter fence (which is not a hardened barrier- gotta let the deer onto the property after all!) is a mile of fencing. I don't walk it regularly, at least not where it is more difficult to access. Ideally I would have a Jeep trail alongside the entire property line, but that isn't in the cards right now. Maybe if I had that I would walk the fence line every day.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:00 PM   #89
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nothing is going to keep a truly determined thief from breaking into your home and stealing your valuables, and that's just a fact of life. doesn't really matter if you have video, a dog, hardened locks, high dollar security system or whatever. give time and the tools, they can steal what they want. we can't be home 24/7, so we have do the best with what we have to spend. i still believe that camoflage and concealment to be some of the best options. they can't steal what they can't find. quality locks are good deterrents for the casual thief looking for an easy mark and a quick score. dogs are one of my favorite deterrents. also, IMO, the higher the property value and it's valuables, plus more expensive security systems and deterrents, the more sophisticated the thieves will be.

now let's discuss home invasions, which are totally different from home burglary. homeinvaders will not care if you're home or not and most likely be done at night when you are home. these are very dangerous and many times have left the homeowners dead. your best protection against these types of break-ins is early warning and a firearm. the knowledge and willingness to use that firearm, will be your best defence.

now Buckhorn brought up some good points, but not everybody may have the location or resources to be able to fortify their home in the way he has. Clr8ter has some very valid points also. so get a dog if you can, buy the best locks you can afford, get homeowners insurance and record all your valuables serial numbers and keep a copy at your insurance carriers, video tape or photograph your valuables, if you rent, get renters insurance, and if possible look at options of camoflaging or concealing your valuables.

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Old 11-03-2012, 11:16 PM   #90
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Vikingdad, I'd probably give your house a pass, too, I were a burglar.

Your house must also have other things surrounding it other than driveway. No other way for someone to approach? On foot maybe?
I live in New Mexico. My lot is all native vegetation to within about 35 feet of the house. If you wanted to avoid using the driveway, you'd have to cross soft sandy areas with heavy desert vegetation, including 4-wing salt bush, chamisa, cholla cactus, prickly pear cactus, etc. - then you get to the second fence.

So, have at it. Get past the first fence, then cross through the desert vegetation, get past the second fence, through the wall of pinon trees, and 6-foot high chamisa. Then, Whatever you take, IF you can get into the house, you have to carry back through all of the natural barriers, past the fence, back through the desert vegetation with soft sandy soil, and then get it all past the perimeter fence.

You can certainly get to my house by foot - it's just not easy. If you do take something, you have to carry whatever you have back. That will take a lot of trips to make it worthwhile as you'll find the gates all locked - so, once you're inside the area - you're locked in.

You could also hang glide in or parachute onto the site - but, how realistic is that?

Ask yourself this question - if you were a burglar, would you go after my house - or the one across the street with no fence, a grass front lawn, and a convenient circular drive?
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