Sunday, December 23, 2018

How to Protect Yourslf Against Burglary or Housebreaking by Using Surveillance Systems and Safe-rooms

I was watching the news the other night and just like every night, they were showing criminals that had broken in to homes while the owners were away.  There was even footage of the family dog chasing the burglar away.  But one story caught my eye.  It was the story of a homeowner who had installed a doorbell system with a camera.  We’ve all seen the ad where the bad guy approaches the home and the owner say “Get off my lawn” or something to that effect.  Then the perps run away.  It was one of those types.

In this particular case, the homeowner was inside the house with her son.  When the would-be burglar approached the door she got an image of the burglar standing by her front door.  He knocked on the door and pulled a gun from his waist band.  The homeowner took her son and hid in a closet and called 911.

Can’t say I blame her.  After all this was more than a burglary this had all of the potential of being a kidnapping, sexual assault or worse.  I think she did the right thing in hiding.  That said, however, a closet offers very little protection from a dedicated intruder.  What she needed was a closet that had been converted into a safe-room.  A room that was impenetrable from the outside.  There are materials out there that can be used in new construction or retrofitted to an existing closet space for a few thousand dollars. It could even be a DIY project over a weekend.  Shouldn’t every home have one? 

But the real problem here is that the homeowner had bought the security system thinking that it would protect them.  I guess it did, sort of, because she was able to see the perps and take action.  The standard action is to tell the perps to go away.  She didn’t do that, so in essence she didn’t use the system the way it was designed to be used.  Fortunately, the perps weren’t able to force the door open and eventually gave up and left. 

There are two things to remember about having a home security system; 1) it must be used the way it was designed in order to be truly effective, and 2) unless, there is a police or guard force’s immediate response, it really only collects evidence.

More tips on what you can do so it doesn’t happen to you, here:

A one-day class on safe-room and shelter design and construction will be conducted on 20 June 2019.  Sign-up by calling 805 509-8655 or sending an email to  

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