October 22, 2018 at 10:04 pm #1355
What things do you do to harden your home? I have replaced my front door with a steel door with a small window at the top. The old door had a large decorative glass center. Replaced the screws in the dead bolt and latch plates with 2″ screws. The sliding door had the bottom lock (kick lock?). What other things should I do? I live in the suburbs with neighbors all around. Thanks
October 23, 2018 at 7:32 am #1371
When we lived in town I did a few basic things like putting dowel rods in the windows/sliding glass door to make it more difficult for someone to get in, but we mostly rented in those days so we couldn’t make big changes. Someone tried to kick in the back door while I was home with the babies, but was apparently too weak to accomplish it. The door held alright, but I would have felt more comfortable if we had been able to install bars for the doors.
One thing that we are planning on doing is installing bright lights we can turn on outside for better visibility. We keep things pretty dim inside in the evenings so help save on electricity and to wind down. Right now the lack of lighting outdoors as both a deterrent and as a way to help us quickly identify who we are dealing with is something we need.
But if you can, try to get to know your neighbors a little, they will help look out for you. We lived in a variety of neighborhoods, some were “bad” but still had some good people, some were a mix of folks, and sometimes we lived on military installations (loved having seriously armed guards between my babies and the outside world). But in each situation having a few trusted neighbors really made a big difference in my peace of mind.
October 23, 2018 at 8:50 am #1382
We have basically labeled out car a junker since the junkies man handled the mess out of it. Screwdrivers do amazing things to locked glove boxes! Our house is locked up and our windows are not easily accessible thanks to height and storm windows.
I always worry about our utility room, it wouldn’t take much to bust it open, probably one good kick. All the yards are open and since we rent there isn’t a lot of improving we can do. If you want to keep it don’t leave it outside, opportunity doesn’t bother with the knocking and runs like hell around here.
If you’re lucky they toss what they don’t want in the street and the neighbors yard for you to get in the morning 🙁 Never did find the paperwork for the car registration last time, guess they kept it til they got to a trashcan, but not one on the main road cause I checked!
Lights are worthless around here. So many false alarms nobody pays them any attention. Pole lights get bullets within 24 hours.
If someone some how gets inside they will have a huge problem because my domain is mine and I don’t play fair. As far as outside, it’s a wash.
October 23, 2018 at 9:47 am #1395
How much hardening to do depends on what level of crisis is in the planning to defend against. As well as what is feasible given the structural parameters of the building and location.
October 29, 2018 at 6:56 pm #2435
Tractor supply sells wheels of barbed wire. Once I get another shed built, I plan to set a few wheels aside in it. Also, a chainsaw and a few wedges will enable you to drop trees to block vehicular access.
My concern is that the house itself isn’t very secure – first floor windows will need plywood covers, patio door is a problem, door frames themselves are just standard framing.
Another consideration is what if someone wants your home, remember to consider window covering so that no one can snipe you when you walk around the bedroom.
October 31, 2018 at 3:33 pm #2617
One thing you can do pretty easily is to grab some decorative gridwork from Home Depot and get it cut to fit over your windows or sidelights. Then in an emergency, you can screw these in – being sure to hit the studs for added strength. If you are a renter and your landlord is okay with it, you can add this ahead of time to make it more difficult for people to break into your house by smashing a window and reaching through to unlock the door.
October 31, 2018 at 3:42 pm #2620
Really. Have someone come in and dig a ditch that would stop a 4×4 truck.
October 31, 2018 at 8:23 pm #2651
November 5, 2018 at 5:43 pm #3178
laminated glass is heat defeated
door better to use drop bar on a good steel door
use ir light and nv as a force multiplier you see them they see nothing.
sandbags and fill material cant have enough
look up what rhodesian farmers did to defend learn what work in real world
November 5, 2018 at 5:56 pm #3182
for those of you with little background in this there is a web site called thelizardfarmer look at the hardening ideas it is in depth and in detailed minutia.
November 9, 2018 at 3:15 pm #3795
Namelus mentioned the Rhodesian Farmers. Here’s a quick snippet of what I could find.
Rhodesian farmer tactics (most of this info ultimately derives from a guy named Ian Rhodes – not sure if that is a nom de guerre)
the windows are shrouded with anti‐grenade screens.
he varies the time that he gets up and goes to bed, to prevent attackers from taking advantage of a regular pattern. Mrs. Cartwright has also made adjustments. One new practice is to watch for freshly turned earth along the dirt roads she travels on to take her children to school—a sign that land mines have been planted.
Rhodesian Farmers Defensive Arrangements
(from the Small Wars Council forum)
I knew many Rhodesian farmers and have visited many farmsteads over the years. At every farm, defensive arrangements were made up to suit their particular situation and infrastructure. The following would be a general overview:
1. Most farmers fitted hand-grenade grills to the outside of all windows. Doors leading outside were likewise security grilled.
2. Many farmers built thick walls about a meter in front of bedroom windows to stop bullets, but particularly to deal with RPG 7`s. Beds were never placed against the outside walls of a farmhouse.
3. It was usual to have a designated safe room within the farmhouse that could be defended until support arrived. Sometimes this was a central corridor that allowed the farmer to move into other rooms to attack those outside through the windows. In the loft or ceiling over the safe room, some farmers laid sand bags to deal with possible mortar attack.
4. Every farmhouse in a given area was linked by a radio system called “Agric Alert”. This allowed radio contact with other farmers who formed their own defence units, usually under the umbrella of PATU (Police Anti-Terrorist Unit), which would react to a call from one of their neighbours for assistance. Another means of alarm raising was the use of a signal rocket – The Agric-Alert system was not done away with after the war, such was the lack of trust in Mugabe`s promises. It performed admirably as well when dealing with criminal activity such as stock theft. The alert system arranged for all farmers to check in with each other at a given time in the morning and evening as a means of monitoring their status.
5. Around all farmhouse gardens were erected security fences with barbed wire (or razor wire) and which often had simple alarm systems built into them. Some I believe were electrified, if not before the end of the war, certainly afterwards. Within the fence boundary, every farmer usually had a couple of large dogs. The dogs were fed their largest meal in the morning instead of the evening, in order to help keep them awake at night. Other farmers had geese or ducks, which made excellent guard “dogs.” Gardens were kept deliberately trim so as to keep clear fields of view and fire etc. The farm houses also had outside flood lighting erected in such a way as to blind those outside the fence, but not to interfere with the vision of those within the farmhouse.
6. All farmers and their wives were armed with an assortment of weapons, and most farmers were trained military men. They had at least one assault rifle, usually an FAL 7.62, assorted shot guns, .303 hunting rifles and so forth. It was also not unusual for wives to carry Uzi`s around with them, or other equivalents such as the Rhodesian Cobra. All members of the family were trained on the various weaponry available to them, including the kids. In one famous incident a child successfully fought off the attacking terrorists after both of his parents were wounded. The main defensive weapons were at all times within immediate reach of the adult farmhouse occupants, and were placed next to the bed at night.
7. Some farmers used mine protected vehicles, as a favourite of terrorists was to landmine the driveway outside the fence. A great deal of time was spent looking at the dirt roads for freshly dug earth points and so forth when driving around the farm.
8. Some farm gardens and particular points external to the fence were wired with home-made claymore like devices strategically placed in areas where attackers were likely to take cover. In a few instances farmers deliberately erected “cover positions” for the terrorists to use outside the fence, which were then blown up upon attack. A particular favourite was a section of plastic piping filled with nails, nuts, bolts, screws and so forth. I witnessed tests with these and the tubes cleared large areas of their intended aiming point of all bush cover and leaves from trees etc for about 30 meters into the bush. By placing a number of figure 8`s in front of these tests, it was apparent from the strike patterns that not one of them would have walked again had they been terrorists.
9. Some farmers also hired soldiers on leave to guard their premises at night. Usually these were men looking for extra “beer” money. They were called Bright Lights, and often ended up in fire fights with the terrorists, where they came as a nasty surprise to the terrs when the latter were expecting a nice soft hit and run. Like all farmers in an area, Bright Lights would participate in the support of other farmers when the situation required.
10. Good relationships with farm labour, particularly the house staff, very often warned of problems before they occurred. All of us who grew up in the country have fond memories of those employees who took care of us as kids, and who often placed themselves at great risk for doing so.
All windows and doors, usually had expanded steel mesh, used for barbeque’s fitted to them in an angle iron frame.
Most had a designated safe room, with the Radio, within the farmhouse that could be defended until support arrived. Sometimes this was a central corridor that allowed the farmer to move into other rooms to attack those outside through the windows.
it was common to build sand bag walls in front of sleeping areas and under bedroom windows to stop bullets passing through walls as single brick walls will not stop 7.62×39 mm rounds, , sandbags were stacked in front of doors, to provide secured firing arc’s, about a meter away from the main building,
fox holes were sometimes dug to provide fire positions, and occasionally escape tunnels were also dug,
the basic setup was, at the very furthest perimeter, ( about 200 m away from the farm house ) a “fence” is placed , this is simply a coil of wire (about 60 cm loops that are hard to avoid, and impossible to see at night ) placed at random each day, the coiled wire is designed to move when disturbed and rattle the soda cans with stones in, that are attached to it , to wake the dogs, forming an effective trip wire alarm.
a ditch of about 60 cm deep and 1m wide was dug around the outer fence a few meters away to stop vehicles battering through the fences. The fence was about 40m or more away from the main house (out of throwing distance for petrol bombs and grenades but within accurate rifle fire range), the outer fence was lower ( mainly due to cost ) and topped and bottomed with barb wire and alarmed with simple soda cans with stones inside that would rattle and wake the dogs, if they were disturbed, this fence would often enclose all the outbuildings, a well or dam, and a veggie garden.
Around the farmhouse were erected security fences with barbed wire coils (or razor wire) and which often had simple alarm systems built into them, or were electrified. This inner fence was usually very high 10 feet or more and strong welded mesh, topped with barb wire and close to the main house, about 4-10 meters away from the sand bags, with a ditch about 1 meter deep and about 2 meters away from the inner fence.
The reason for the inner fence and ditch was, much like todays BAR Armour on Hummers that the American’s use .. the inner fence would catch grenades and they would then roll into the ditch and explode there, causing little damage, also an RPG fired at the house would also be caught by the fence and do little damage to the main house, exploding or getting tangled in the fence maybe even before it armed.
Within the inner fence boundary, every farmer usually had a couple of large dogs. The dogs were fed their largest meal in the morning instead of the evening, in order to help keep them awake at night. False cover is erected at the corner of each building outside of the main building
The farm houses also had outside flood lighting erected in such a way as to blind those outside the fence, but not to interfere with the vision of those within the farmhouse. The flood lighting often included hardened lighting, with either basic bullet proofing or reflectors . If the light is placed behind sand bags ,polished stainless steel sheet reflectors were used to provide light from the lights shining vertically upwards . lights were/are the first targets and if the reflectors were shot they still worked … albeit with a few holes.
All occupants were armed with weapons. All members of the family were trained on the various weaponry available to them, and assigned a weapon, including the children – usually a .22 rifle from age 10 -12 , then a full powered 303, if younger then 10 they can bring ammo and messages from other parts of the house , stand guard and bring water and food to other defenders. The main defensive weapons were at all times within immediate reach of the adult farmhouse occupants, and were placed next to the bed at night, some had bullet-proof vests with all they needed attached i.e magazines, medical trauma packs, high powdered torches etc .
Each weapons would have ammo stored in magazines : 300-500 rounds for assault rifles, 50-100 ssg for shotguns, and 50-100 rounds per hand gun
As it was a favourite of terrorists was to land-mine the driveway outside the fence, Some farmers used mine protected vehicles, A great deal of time was spent inspecting the dirt roads for freshly dug earth.
home-made claymore like devices were used extensively and strategically placed in areas where attackers were likely to take cover. In a few instances farmers deliberately erected “cover positions” for the terrorists to use outside the fence, which were then blown up upon attack. A particular favourite was a section of plastic piping filled with nails, nuts, bolts, screws and so forth the strike patterns are aimed low to strike the legs and crawling attackers.
Out buildings were often fitted which screens of thin steel or wood. they provide false cover to intruders, who would have to stand behind the sheets to fire around the corners of building,s but could easily be picked off if they did, by firing through the false cover.
BTW, this is some ugly stuff here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YUEgNYRl44
November 10, 2018 at 9:56 pm #3981
February 13, 2019 at 7:23 pm #9078
I read this article some time ago, but I never found a source for these recommended thorn bushes. Anybody know where I can buy some?
pyracantha, or fire thorn bush,
catsclaw acacia also contains burning nettles
February 13, 2019 at 9:50 pm #9079
what temparate zone do you live in it will affect what plants will grow fire thorn is 6-9
Bouganvilla goes 8 in pot to 11 outside
If you are north there are seabuck thorn get males and females the berries are excellent in vit c the thorns are nasty and grows In zone 3
Black berry brambles are also zone 3 nasty and provide nice habitat for furry edibles.
With both tie aluminum cans with some rock to rattle as the plant grows someinecuts through your dogs hear it. Or you can go full out and have it grow through concertina wire wall.
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February 14, 2019 at 9:03 am #9086
I suppose as a prepper I’m supposed to already know what temparate zone I live in, but I had to look it up. I suppose you mean the numbers as shown on this map https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardiness_zone#/media/File:2012_USDA_Plant_Hardiness_Zone_Map_(USA).jpg
Black berry patches grow here. I can at least try to transplant some of that. Not my first choice, but better than nothing.
February 14, 2019 at 2:28 pm #9089
Try seabuck thorn https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippophae when you start set a wire lines so you can train plant to grow how you want the is a process called thorn row it’s has been used for longer than written word, this article is basics, I add put them in slight swales not enough for cover but enough so the water drains to them making the watering free in most climates reducing work to havesting pruneing .https://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/sustainable-farming/living-fences-zmaz410onzraw
February 14, 2019 at 8:26 pm #9094
These are the things we have done so far to harden our home. Both front and back doors are steel doors no window but a peep hole to see who is at door. Garage door is also a steel door. Our sliding glass door we have a masters lock pole in the slide and it is steel so would be very hard to get door open or out of the frame. I am going to buy another one for the top of door for extra strengh when needed. Our windows are casement windows that can only be opened with a crank handle that we do not leave on the windows. But do have them at the windows where we can get to them to open a window fast if need be. Windows are also double pane glass so if they were to try and break them they have two pains of glass to get through. Windows in garage are high up and would be very hard to get to as well as the ones on house but not as high up as garage. We are planning on replacing the storm doors with steel security storm doors later. Right now we are dealing with new air conditioner. So on back burner for now. We do need as said above need to have more lights outside. The one over garage is one that comes on at night and cuts off during daylight. Need one on bedroom side of house. So looking to replace all flood lights. Have been looking at the ones that cut on if any movement outside which at bedroom side would light up bedroom and wake us up to something going on.
Also I am making blackout curtains for if anything happens we will be covering windows so no light can be seen from outside. I have them on two of the bedrooms and have tested them. Turned on overhead lights and the lamps as well and then went outside to see if we could see any lights inside so they work very well. But also we have what they call black out blinds on some of the windows as well. Just bought some for the 2 bathrooms but not put them up yet. Buying them a room at a time when on sell.
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