Concerned about zombies or burglars breaking into your home? If you’re worried about being targeted for home invasion, you can minimize the risks by increasing your security measures for whatever ends up at your front door. By focusing on fortifying your home, you make structural and hardware upgrades instead of focusing on physically defending your home.
If you’re like most people, then right now you have some basic security features already in place at your home. So, you might have an alarm system, some deadbolt locks, outdoor motion-activated lights, and maybe even a guard dog. While these can deter some invaders, it is simply not enough to keep your family safe when the zombie hordes come calling, or when the SHTF. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take against even the most determined burglars and zombies. First, you’ll want to focus on surveillance so that you know when they are coming onto the property. Next, you’ll want to make sure the home is secure so that they can’t breach it. And finally, you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared in the event that someone does get inside your home.
Our Complete Home Fortification Checklist
Below we’ll give you all of our essential tips for complete fortification of your home against looters, zombies, and other intruders.
Make sure that all of your exterior doors have one-way peepholes in them so that you can safely see outside. Ideally, the peepholes should have wide-angle lenses to help you notice if anyone is standing off toward the sides of the door.
If you’re building a home, or searching for one to buy, then try to find a house with windows on every side of the house. This gives you viewing of the entire perimeter of the house, which is vital for being able to see intruders or attackers coming before they actually try to breach the house. It’s safer for you if the windows are on the upper level of the house since that offers more protection by being more difficult to access from the outside.
Even if you have windows that offer full coverage, you should still consider getting a good camera surveillance system for the property. This is a great way to know what’s going on outside the house, even if you don’t have windows that allow to you to see everything. Plus, some of the surveillance systems have cameras with night vision capabilities, which gives you more protection than you simply looking out the windows at night.
4. Motion-activated lighting
Motion activated lighting on the exterior of the home is a great way to catch any intruders who are trying to sneak up on you. Often, this can be enough to force them to turn around and retreat since there is no longer an element of surprise.
5. Flood lights
If someone is coming for you at night, you need to be able to see outside without any glare from outdoor lighting. That’s where floodlights can be put to good use. These are mounted so that they point away from the house, which means when you flip the switch to turn them on, you end up blasting anyone approaching with blinding lights. The added benefit here is that the positioning of the flood light means that when they’re on, your position in the window will not be revealed.
6. Motion detectors
You can set up perimeter motion detectors around your property so that you’re notified whenever someone is approaching in the distance. These typically work as part of a home alarm system, so you just need to call up your security company to inquire about getting it added to your current alarm system.
7. Perimeter warning systems
In addition to adding perimeter motion detectors to your alarm system, you can invest in some perimeter warning systems. These are typically used by hunters, but they work well for catching intruders also. With these, you can mount the units to trees, fence posts, and even the side of your house. When an intruder, or large animal, is detected the unit sends you a notification alarm.
8. High fence
You want to make it difficult for intruders to make it your front door, and a high fence is the perfect way to do that. The fence should be reinforced and in the ground with concrete for added stability. You can also put spikes or barbed wire on the top to deter intruders from attempting to scale the fence.
9. Landscaping deterrents
One way to make intruders think twice about attacking your home is by making it more difficult with some unfriendly shrubs and other plants. If you’re in a desert climate, then you could line your fence and home exterior (especially under the windows) with some cactus varieties. Other plants that you might want to consider are those with thorns or briers, like rose bushes, as well as something like poison ivy plants that will make someone think twice before getting in the middle of them.
10. Guard dogs
Never underestimate the protection of some good guard dogs. A few big dogs in the yard are sometimes enough to scare away any would-be intruders. Just make sure that you’re sticking to large breeds known for being good guard dogs. Their barks are a great substitute for security alarms.
11. Security doors
You can get security doors installed for all of your exterior doors. These steel doors are basically a second door that fits over your regular exterior door. The benefit of these is that they are super strong and provide an additional obstacle to anyone who is trying to break in through the exterior doors.
12. Good exterior doors
The most common entry point for home invasions is an outside door. So, you need to have strong exterior doors on your home to make it more difficult for invaders to get inside (this is in addition to the security door). Avoid weak doors, including solid wood doors, and get yourself some steel doors. And whatever you do, avoid doors that have windows or glass panels because intruders can break the glass and then compromise the locks. Do know that these commercial grade steel doors do have a higher cost than solid wood doors, but the added value you get from the security is definitely worth the expense.
13. Replace sliding glass doors
Since sliding glass doors are so hard to reinforce, it is best if you can replace any sliding glass doors with French doors. By replacing them with French doors, you can then reinforce those doors the same way that you would any other regular door. If you can’t replaced your sliding glass doors, then you should reinforce them with a bar or dowel rod to prevent it from opening. And, prevent the sliding glass doors from being lifted off the frame by inserting some screws about halfway down the frame to reinforce it.
14. Long screws
One often overlooked area in home fortification is something very simple and very cheap. Where your door lock components are installed on the door and the door frame, there are screws that hold those components in place. The lock kits come with screws that are relatively short, which makes them weak when someone tries to kick in the door or use a battering ram. Replace those screws with longer ones and you’ve just reinforced that door for less than ten bucks.
15. Deadbolt locks
If your exterior doors do not already have deadbolt locks on them, then definitely invest in these for each door. Deadbolts are longer, which results in a more secure door when it is locked.
16. Steel plates
To further strengthen the security of your exterior doors, you should bolt some steel plates to reinforce the lock mechanisms. This is another simple and cheap tactic that offers a lot more security for your home.
17. Security bars
A common home security device, you should use security bars inside your home for all of the exterior doors. These are simple and cheap devices that work for further reinforce your doors from being forced open. One of these typically is placed against the door at a 45-degree angle to prevent the door from opening up toward the inside of the home.
18. Window bars
Though you can reinforce windows sheets of good plastic, the better choice is to use security bars on the window. While not attractive, the bars are the best way to secure windows from intruders. Of course, if you end up needing to flee the home, you won’t be able to use the windows to do so. Typically, you only need to use security bars on the windows that are on the first level of your home, since those are the ones most accessible to unwanted visitors.
19. Locking door handles
For all of your interior doors, replace the handles with locking door handles. This gives you an additional barrier for intruders who happen to make it inside your house.
20. Safe room
Though most widely known as a security feature for rich people, you can build an interior safe room into your home. The door to the room should be similar to your strong exterior doors, including the wide-angle one-way peephole. The walls of your safe room should also be reinforced with steel mesh and/or plywood so that intruders can’t just break through the sheetrock.
If you have to fight it out or break out of your home, you need to have weapons on-hand that make it easy to do so. Guns and knives are the obvious choices for self-defense needs. And for breaking out needs, you can consider a crowbar and tactical axe as your tool choices.
What If You Live In An Apartment?
While our tips above are designed for houses that people own and can actually make changes and improvement to, you can still fortify your home if you’re renting an apartment or condo. In fact, you can use the list above and do all of the things on it that you can.
For instance, you can’t build a fence or plant a bunch of thorny rosebushes, but you can strengthen your doors with longer screws and a security bar. You can also put up security film in your windows and replace your interior door handles with locking handles. And if pets are allowed, you can get yourself a guard dog.
So, just go through the list and see which things you can implement and for those that you can’t implement, consider if there is an alternative action that you can take to accomplish a similar end result. Focus on what you can and start saving up your money and planning to make the move to a house when you can afford to do so, since that will give you greater control on home fortification tactics.
Preppers Home Invasion Security Defense: Hardening the House for SHTF
Want to see of these tips and tactics in action in the real world? We found the video below on YouTube and it shows some practical applications of ways you can fortify your home right now.