Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

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DurzoBlint38
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Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by DurzoBlint38 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:48 am

I would like to share what I have done thus far to beef up the perimeter security at my home. These upgrades are mostly geared towards making my house less attractive to burglars and harder to force entry. I live in a suburban area in a city of about 80,000. What I have done at my house is by far not the only things that can be done and in fact I'm not finished with my "upgrades". I'm also not an expert on this subject so take any thing I have done with a grain of salt. I apologize for the poor picture quality.

First I'll start with signage to warn off any potential prowler before they ever step foot on my property. Signage just let's a "smart" criminal know to keep moving, easier pickings down the street.
This place is protected by a security system - keep moving. These kind of signs can be found at places like home depot or online.
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Don't bother knocking on my door to check and see if I'm home or not.
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Hop my fence at your own risk. It's locked and posted as private property so if you get caught back there you'll have no excuse. Just because I don't have a dog does not mean I can't easily make it look like I have one.
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I got this dog house for free.
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Night prowlers hate light. All my outdoor lights are motion sensors.
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What the heck, this door looks likes it's been reinforced. I wonder if it would take me to long to kick it down?
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This and every exterior door has been reinforced. Door wrap arounds, Mag Manufacturing strike plates and "The Door Club" on ever exterior door. Also a peep hole to see who is there before opening the door. I also replaced all the hinge screws with 3" screws to anchor them to the frame.
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"The Door Club" can be reversed so you can open the door about 2"-3" and see who is there or sign for a package without opening the door. Try and force it open and you'd have to bust out the entire floor.
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Well that's it folks. I few things I still plan on doing are installing burglar bars on the first floor windows (I know about the fire hazard, willing to risk it). installing a wireless door intercom and a drive way sensor to alert me when some one comes on the property. I was also given a wireless security system by my brother that I need to install. It consists of those window and door sensors that make a lot of noise when the contact is broken. I don't have any crime problems in my area but I like to be pro active and honestly I sleep better knowing some one would have to make a lot of noise to get in and it would take time. The basic goal of all of these upgrades is to make a criminal pass my house up as more trouble then it's worth. If some one really wants to get in and has all the time in the world then they can. I would welcome any other ideas anyone might have. I hope some people will find this post helpful.

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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by colinz » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:14 am

Doesn't look to bad to me, thanks for sharing. BTW love your name. ;)

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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by Rugger » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:10 am

Doors look good. Maybe a security film on the windows so they can't be shattered and things thrown in. Also, it's normally against "code", but reversing the doors and door jambs (so they swing out and are near impossible to kick in) is on my list. Maybe an enlarged "mail" port on some of the doors?

And as far as the burglar bars and a fire hazard... instead of bolting them into the frame/studs, have them run through the thickness of the wall with pins on the inside holding the bars in place. Brackets on the inside and outside can be used to guide/hold the bars as they pass through the wall. Pull the pins on the inside and the bars can be pushed away from the inside.
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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by Phoenix David » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:55 am

I'd get a big water bucket for the dog and a tie down stake with a good thickness chain leading into the doghouse.
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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by raptor » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:56 am

Good job!

IMO door clubs and the reinforced locks and hinges are excellent investments. The cost is nominal and the extra security is tremendous. If you have double doors are you appear to have, the extra reinforcement is absolutely vital.

My only comment is that the CFL bulbs on the outdoor lights are not outdoor rated and as such the rain may destroy them. You would not know this until it was too late. As much as I promote energy efficiency I suggest 90+ watt incandescent PAR38 bulbs on these fixtures. Since they only activate when you need them they will not be on long enough to use much power.

I think you have a great start.

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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by greenbeetle » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:22 am

Very nice work on the doors. Number one route of entry - kicked down in seconds.

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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by TacAir » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:01 pm

THanks for the post, good stuff.

re- window bars. Check local building codes before you do an installation. Many areas require a fire escape.
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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by jamoni » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:12 pm

Looks like a good start. I'd get a real dog, but I love dogs, so that helps.
Think twice about reversing the doors, Rugger. If you do it, you need some purpose designed hinges. Most door hinges can have the hinges popped out with a screwdriver in seconds. Door falls off, bad guy comes in.
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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by SlobberToofTigger » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:52 pm

Great improvements. Five suggestions.
1. Buy some signs from ADT or whoever your local alarm monitoring service is so that your house will be perceived to be monitored.
2. When you install that alarm make sure the chime goes off when you open the front door.
3. Do not put the key pad for the alarm where it can be seen from outside or the bad guys will know when it is armed
4. Install some motion sensor solar powered lights at your perimeter
5. Instead of bars consider the clear hurricane panels over your windows. They are not as ugly as bars and will stop hard objects from even reaching your windows. Of course they will stop you from exiting through your window...

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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by Mister Dark » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:20 pm

Excellent post, and timely (for me) as well. Having recently moved into a new home, I have been pondering my security upgrades for a few months. (had to pay for all the REALLY IMPORTANT stuff like new furniture and a new bed first. lol) Your post and the responses thus far are helping to cement my plans.

Much as you, my primary focus is to make it less attractive to run of the mill bad guys, but I am also hardening it a bit, to slow down the more determined thug. For me, my worst nightmare is a home invasion. So, if I can slow the bad guys down for 30 seconds, I can get everyone into the safe room, and make sure that I have time on my side of the equation.


Next week the work starts in earnest, perhaps I'll post a few pics of the work.

Thanks again for the post!

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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by jare-3 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:32 pm

Another simple thing I'd add if I were you. Get a recording of a barking dog to go with all that other dog stuff you have. The crack heads down the street tried to come in uninvited once and it was the dog barking that scared them off, not my alarm signs. Of course, the 12 gauge in my hand might have helped too.
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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by Electricity » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:36 pm

'Signs signs, everywhere there's signs..'
Awesome start right there. I hadn't heard of those door stopper deals, looks beefy.

My favorite deterance method is to put a spent 12g shell on each window sill.
Of course that anounces that you have guns. But it also anounces that you shoot them.


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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by A.C.E. » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:47 pm

How good are your locks? Are they resistant to picking and bumping? Do you have a garage with a remote controlled door?
Do you keep ladders and tools locked away properly?

As for upgrades, securing the windows on the ground floor mmight be something to look at. Available things include lockable windows, shatter resistant film and bars. Local regulations might apply as someone posted earlier.
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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by DurzoBlint38 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:26 pm

Raptor,

I have been having trouble with my motion sensor lights. One thinks it's a dusk till dawn light and stays on all night and another wont turn on at all. It's getting power, the red light blinks when it senses me walking in front of it and if I turn the breaker off and back on it goes into "test" mode for a few minutes and the light comes on. So maybe it doesn't like the CFL bulbs?

jamoni,

Probably wont be getting a real dog. I don't feel like I have the time for a dog. I do have an attack cat though.

A.C.E,

I think my locks are ok. They are the high grade locks, can't remember what number means what but I did buy the higher grade ones. The nice thing about the door club is that even if the lock is picked they still can't get through the door club. I am looking at stuff for the ground floor windows. Possibly bars but at the very least I'll install the alarm I mentioned in my post so that the audible alarm will go off if the window is breached. No ladders or tools are left out at my house, I'm very conscious of that sort of thing. Garage doors are manual right now. I plan on getting new garage doors within the next 12 months and security will be at the for front of my mind.

Thanks for all the replies everyone.

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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by A.C.E. » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:35 pm

There's this easy defeat for electric garage doors that you should be avare of. You drill a hole and poke a wire through. It can be seen on youtube. Make sure you take steps to make this impossible, usually removing the release rope will do. It depends a bit on what doors you get.
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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:45 pm

Phoenix David wrote:I'd get a big water bucket for the dog and a tie down stake with a good thickness chain leading into the doghouse.
I was going to suggest this, as well. Also, I got as far as "...I can make it LOOK like I have a dog in the yard", I was going to ask if you planned of crapping in the yard... :lol:

Good to see you are taking both approaches- the real and the impression versions of security- in other words, not just making it LOOK like it's secure, but also backing it up with real security.
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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by 2now » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:48 pm

my favorite trick is to put a key under the mat the fits in your lock but will not open the door.
costs less than $1, many places will give you a miss-cut key if you ask.

The question then is how long does the bad guy try to open your lock with the key under that mat, before he decided to split. It's a question of time.

There are lots of dogs being put down every day in shelters. Giving one even a mediocre life is still a big Plus to that dog.

real dog = very real deterrent.
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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by Azraeleternity » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:12 am

Dog. Dog dog dog. Both of mine may not be vicious attack dogs (actually, the old one might be), but if you knock on the door they're there in an instant and loud.

Blah blah building codes blah blah security bars. Its been said.

I like the suggestion of the water bucket and chain. But if I may add to it: if you go this route, make sure the chain is visibly long enough to reach the front door.
OR
If you have two trees that are on opposite sides of your doorway, run some rope in between and a tether so it appears the dog can cross the path of your front walkway if it needs to.

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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by colinz » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:24 am

DurzoBlint38 wrote: I have been having trouble with my motion sensor lights. One thinks it's a dusk till dawn light and stays on all night ...
Is it a fancy programmable one? ie, one off/on switches it to sensor mode, two off/ons turn it to daylight sensitive, and three off/ons turn it on permanently. It may be in the wrong mode.
DurzoBlint38 wrote: It's getting power, the red light blinks when it senses me walking in front of it and if I turn the breaker off and back on it goes into "test" mode for a few minutes and the light comes on. So maybe it doesn't like the CFL bulbs?
For this one I'd have a play with the sensitivity setting (usually a twiddly knob), if the sensitivity is set too low the sensor will still register movement (blink red), but it won't switch on as the 'object' is seen as too small.

Unless it's a type of sensor light I haven't come across yet, the type of lamp in it shouldn't affect the operation of the sensor. I'd certainly do as Raptor suggests and switch in PAR38 lamps instead of the CFL's. Incandescants can handle the repeated starting a lot better than CFL's.

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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by chrisaka » Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:45 pm

Another +1 on switching to incandescent bulbs in the motion sensor. The CFLs take a bit to warm up and give off their full level of light, which is not ideal for a security light.

I also had some CFL bulbs fail very quickly in an outdoor light with a "dusk to dawn" sensor.

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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by azstinger » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:29 pm

On any door with a peep hole I recommend getting a cover for it. That way you can open it when you want to see out but people can't peek in using those reverse peep hole viewers.

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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by raptor » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:10 pm

DurzoBlint38 wrote:Raptor,

I have been having trouble with my motion sensor lights. One thinks it's a dusk till dawn light and stays on all night and another wont turn on at all. It's getting power, the red light blinks when it senses me walking in front of it and if I turn the breaker off and back on it goes into "test" mode for a few minutes and the light comes on. So maybe it doesn't like the CFL bulbs?
Are they on the same circuit? I have read that some brands of motion senor lights need to be the only motion sensor light on the circuit something about interference via the power cable.

They also make PAR 38 CFL light bulbs. If you are going to leave lights on for 10+ hours per day a CFL is the best route to go (power usage/cost benefit) wise. For momentary use, halogens are much better.

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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by squinty » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:40 pm

If you hang your doors to swing "out" instead of "in" be careful to reinforce or cover he hinges somehow. An outward swinging door generally implies hinges on the outside of the house.

A cheap webcam/wi-fi based surveillance system, separate from your alarm, is a great security measure. One that uploads surveillance images to a website or e-mail account. Put cameras on the opposite sides of rooms from windows and doors. Better yet, a 4g wi-fi hub, and a backup power source. No cable to cut outside the house. If bars aren't an option, use the shatter resistant film some have mentioned already, and reinforce the windows against being forced upwards with pieces of wooden dowel or 1x4 braced between the top of your window and the upper window jamb. The dowels can be tossed aside pretty quickly if you need to throw open a window and escape.

Also, for a swing out door, plates that overlap the door jamb to protect the bolt from getting crowbarred.
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Re: Upgrading perimeter security - pic heavy

Post by Shinhao » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:44 pm

If you're getting the signs from Home Depot or an online vendor, wouldn't the professional robbers recognize them as well? Other than that, I really like your setup.

From personal experience, I highly recommend metal doors on metal frames. I was renting an apartment in my younger days that had such a door, and for certain reasons my door received a couple good heel-kicks from an above-average strength guy. The door and door-frame were untouched, but there was a thin crack in the paint, all along the seam between the door frame and the wall. The alignment of the hinges and locks were completely unchanged. Basically, the entire door assembly had sunk into the wall by less than 1mm. I'm not sure if it was hollow-core, or if it had some structure inside, but the door wasn't even dented. It's much stronger than the exterior wall of most houses. They're expensive ($250+), but worth it. Downside - the door gets cold in the winter.
My favorite deterance method is to put a spent 12g shell on each window sill.
...
my favorite trick is to put a key under the mat the fits in your lock but will not open the door.
Heh. Not sure I'd do either of those techniques myself, but that's pretty awesome.

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