Home invasion - best security?
November 25, 2009 8:13 AM   Subscribe

I live in a semi-rural area. After a rash of recent home invasions in my area (which is something new for here), I'm wondering whether to invest in an alarm system, a gun, or more motion detector lights and just keep locking the doors and windows as I have always done? I have 4 dogs that range from a beagle sized one that is mean to a 95 pound lab that barks like hell but is very loving. My wife is home alone (well, with the dogs) for a couple of hours in the morning after I go to work. Our house is set back from the road a fair distance, and we don't have neighbors that are within visual distance. What do you recommend? I've called the Sherrif's office to ask for advice and they were no help, saying just to use deadbolts etc.

Recently (last week) someone rang a neighbor's doorbell at 4am. The neighbor went to the door (with a gun hidden behind his back) and in the meantime the person who rang the bell ran to the back of the house and was working their way in the backdoor (picking the lock). The neighbor saw them, held the gun up and pointed at them and then the bastard still kept trying to come in. Eventually the crook got the idea and sauntered off after getting ready to kick the door in. I don't know why he suddenly decided to leave after having a gun pointed at him the entire time.

A 2nd incident occurred nearby where the homeowner woke up to a .45 pointed at their head, until the thief got some cash. There was another incident where the intruder knocked an older woman out cold with a lead pipe! Now I'm paranoid and my wife says I should not worry!
posted by dukes909 to Home & Garden (36 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think the dog that barks like hell is the best alarm you can get. Just make sure you haven't made too much a habit of tuning it out and start paying a little more attention to what he is barking at.

If you do get a gun you will need to either have both you and your wife take a class on how to use it or keep it unloaded and it will be only a "fear" weapon. Be aware that fear weapons are useless if the intruder has a weapon.

You can also add a lot of chain locks to your doors.
posted by WeekendJen at 8:28 AM on November 25, 2009

Wow, it sure does sound like you need to invest into some type of self-protection. Simply not worrying about home invasion is not going to prevent it. Plus, I can bet you haven't been able to sleep all too well lately.

A gun will only protect the person who has it. It will also escalate the level of violence, should the robber also have a gun. Not to mention, you won't be able to stick around at home 24/7 to make sure no one breaks in.

Invest in a good alarm system. The kind that has motion detectors and sensors that react to glass breaking. It will protect your house when you're away and your wife can turn it on when she's alone at home (there should be a setting that turns the motions sensors off but detects glass breaking/doors opening). This 'home alone' setting could also be activated during the night.

And do keep locking the doors and windows.
posted by wet-raspberry at 8:32 AM on November 25, 2009

I think a gun is a bad idea. You're escalating a robbery into a shoot out.

You should invest in things that will make your house more trouble than it is worth to rob. An alarm system might help. Good deadbolts. Putting wood in your windows so they need to be broken to open from the outside is another good idea.
posted by chunking express at 8:44 AM on November 25, 2009

Good deadbolts (like Schlage or better) will make it very, very difficult for someone to break in. It'll take the person so long either the police will have time to get there or he/she will give up before getting in.

The dogs are a great deterrent, especially if they have deep, scary barks. You could even train them to bark more menacingly at the distinct sounds of breaking in. Do you have "Warning: Dogs On Premises" signs anywhere? Might be a good idea, I don't know.

Motion detection lights are great, too. Make sure they light up the area like daylight when they're tripped, and make sure they aren't too sensitive. You don't want a raccoon to trip them, only a person about to break down the door.

Do any of your doors have windows or sidelights? Get rid of 'em. Get solid-wood or wood-steel composite doors.

Make sure your windows have shades/curtains. If the theif can't see an easy way in, he/she will go to the next, easier house.

There was an article somewhere (I wish I could remember where I saw that) that said houses with alarm system signs - not even actual alarm systems - were less likely to be targets than houses without them.
posted by cooker girl at 8:57 AM on November 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

Here we go with this argument again, maybe I'll get MeTa'd again.

On preview, I don't suggest a gun. However, I live in a rural area where police response times are usually well over 15 minutes and the rural 911 system isn't all that awesome. Pretty much everyone out this way has some kind of harm-inducing home protection, whether it's a shotgun or an angry old coonhound. I do personally know people who have met someone coming in their window with a double barreled shotgun, walked the person to their phone, and made them call 911 on their own. Good times, good times.

Dogs will tell you someone's there. If they bark when they shouldn't be barking, call the cops. If there have been real home invasions going on, I'd err on the side of caution and call if it felt weird. Of course, if you're concerned for your safety you should protect yourself, just make sure you don't blast a hole in the deputy when he comes in your open back door after you call 911.
posted by TomMelee at 8:57 AM on November 25, 2009

If you go the gun route . . . I would seriously think about that, but it is a personal choice . . . . be aware of the following:

1) As WeekendJenn says, you shouldn't have a gun unless you first take a serious gun course. At which one of the first things you will learn that the only reason a gun is ever pointed at a person is to kill them. There is no such thing as using a gun to scare someone off.

2) You have to have a plan for a gun . . . usually, what is suggested is a plan of retreat e.g. into a closet, with access to a phone, and with an agreed safety word for people like you. The way this works is that if there is an intruder, the person at home retreats into the retreat area, dials 911 from there, and takes out the gun to deal with any intruder that finds the retreat area. Any responders, including you, need to know the safety word so there is no risk of accidental shooting.

Guns are tools and those who use them need to be educated and trained in their use, which should be very carefully planned in advance.

Dogs and alarms and locks and shades are all great ideas as deterrents . . . a gun is a means of last resort defense.
posted by bearwife at 9:26 AM on November 25, 2009

Get the gun, learn how to use it, and be ready to use it if the time comes. And be really, really, careful with it.
That being said, all the above advice is great, listen to the dogs, alarm system sign as deterrent, deadbolts, etc.
It's all good advice, and it's all helpful, but if the time comes, it's better to have insurance that the "him or me" scenario is going to go your way.
posted by BillBishop at 9:28 AM on November 25, 2009

You don't mention what state you're in, but you'll want to read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Doctrine_in_the_United_States

Out in the sticks, I would own a good old pump-action 12-gauge shotgun AFTER taking a hunter/gun safety class. Not just for people, but for any other weirdness that shows up (rabid skunks camped on the porch and so forth). I REALLY doubt that anyone with a hand gun is going to stick around after hearing you chamber a shell and if you have to use it, you won't be likely to miss. If there are no kids in the house, I'd keep it loaded and in one of the quick-opening safes next to my bed. However, since you're VASTLY more likely to commit suicide with your gun than to shoot a robber, only do that if you're in honest-to-god good mental health and not a drinker.

But...you're not likely to need it if you invest in making yourself an unappealing target.

Loud dog. Stickers for an alarm system. Motion detecting lights on the house and on the driveway. Nasty thorny bushes around all windows. SERIOUS locks and that can't be undone by breaking out a window along with something stronger than a chain in case the lock is picked. Reinforced door jambs/frames. Some sort of silent alarm on the driveway that alerts you when someone walks or drives up. Ladders under lock and key. Keep vegetation from obscuring the view of the house. Make sure there's nowhere easy for someone to hide outside your door.Make sure you can see who is at the door without them knowing you're there. NEVER open the door unless you know who is on the other side (don't be fooled by some jackass with a gas company uniform). Keep all expensive toys out of view. Cars parked in the garage so it's not obvious when people come and go. Lights on timers. Cops AND NEIGHBORS on speed dial. Oh, and for the the truly paranoid, get some nice loud geese.

I wonder how effective a nice note taped to the door that says "Dear robber: I am home and will shoot you. Here's $20. Take it and leave."
posted by paanta at 9:43 AM on November 25, 2009 [5 favorites]

Also, if you do get a gun, realize that using it to kill someone is way, way more traumatizing than getting robbed by a gun-wielding jerk.
posted by paanta at 9:44 AM on November 25, 2009 [3 favorites]

I would also recommend door bars. They go between the door handle and the floor and prevent the door from being opened even if the lock is picked. We keep them on our doors at night.

Door Bar

I also keep a shotgun just in case, everyone knows the saying about the scariest sound in the world is a shotgun loading.

The best defense is having multiple deterrents ie spotlights, security alarm signs, dogs, lights on in the house, etc. so that the criminal will think your house will be too much trouble to try and break into.
posted by nuke3ae at 10:12 AM on November 25, 2009

I think a gun is a bad idea. You're escalating a robbery into a shoot out.

This says it all, and I believe it backs up statistically. People who own guns are far more likely to be victims of gun related injuries. Also what paanta said: don't underestimate how traumatic it would be to kill someone whether they deserve it or not (this ain't the movies).

I think your dogs are your best bet, particularly the fact that you have more than one. Otherwise ... what paanta just said about making yourself an UNAPPEALING TARGET (other than perhaps the $20 idea; that's just inviting return visits).
posted by philip-random at 10:13 AM on November 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Trimmed holly trees for the paanta's suggestion re thorny bushes. Sheer lace or patterned curtains let in light but make it difficult to see in. Lights on staggered timers. Taser rather than a gun?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:22 AM on November 25, 2009

I would purchase a Driveway Alarm as a first line of warning in case someone pulls into your driveway in the dead of night.

The dogs would then function as a second line of warning that someone is near the house or if someone approaches the house on foot.
posted by cinemafiend at 10:27 AM on November 25, 2009

The points have already been made, but I'll comment to reinforce; barking dogs are the best security alarm and burglar deterrent. An alarm system might be a worthwhile investment, but I've seen suggestions that simply having the alarm company signage accomplishes pretty much the same thing. One benefit to an alarm is that you can get ones that tie into your smoke/ flood detectors and have them alert you where ever you are. This is about the only reason I would consider one above and beyond my dogs.

As for the gun... this is a bit more difficult. I am a huge gun advocate. I own many. But unless you are willing to take the time to learn it inside and out, have your family learn it, keep it in a safe secure place, and practice with it regularly, all you are doing is introducing a serious complication to the mix.

A better choice is a bright flashlight, a cellphone, and a blunt object. Flashlight to find your way, cellphone to call the cops, and blunt object to protect yourself if needed. The blunt object isn't going to run out of ammo, you don't need to take off the safety, and the likelihood of you accidentally killing your neighbor with it through the wall is pretty minimal.

All that said, if you are willing to go the gun route; a 12 gauge pump action shotgun is the preferred choice, but if you decide to go handgun, consider a revolver. You can leave it loaded indefinitely (it will never, ever suffer from spring fatigue from having ammo in it, unlike a semi-automatic) and it can be made safe simply by using something like a barrel lock or handcuff through the frame to prevent the cylinder from closing.

I'd consider all the alternatives options first though.
posted by quin at 10:27 AM on November 25, 2009

Sounds like your community has a drug problem. The scenario is nasty, and an alarm system is a good idea. I'd also recommend going outside, and trying to figure out how to break into your house. And all the stuff Paanta listed. And, take the dogs to obedience training, and owner protection training, if possible.
posted by theora55 at 10:28 AM on November 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

I wonder how effective a nice note taped to the door that says "Dear robber: I am home and will shoot you. Here's $20. Take it and leave."

I'd think that's a bad idea. To a burglar, you're saying two things:
* If you're rich enough that you can give $20 to anybody who wanders by, you probably have a nice things to steal or more cash on hand.
* If you really had a gun, you wouldn't need to buy the burglar off.

You don't get rid of mice by leaving small amounts of cheese outside of your pantry.
posted by theclaw at 10:33 AM on November 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

Security film for the windows might not be a bad idea either. It's more or less impossible to make a liveable house burglarproof, but with things like a katy bar, security film, prickly bushes, motion sensing lights and dogs you can make your house pretty unattractive.
posted by electroboy at 10:38 AM on November 25, 2009

I wonder how often houses with four barking dogs get broken into. My guess is, not that often. Especially if your house doesn't seem particularly attractive otherwise (ie if it's not really fancy looking). I realize you can't see it from the road, but it's easy enough to drive up a driveway in daylight to scope something out.

Do your neighbors or the local newspaper or the local police have any idea about who is doing this? If it's a couple of crazy meth addicts (rather than professional, sober burglars), then I wonder if your house would be too much trouble because of the dogs. Perhaps a "Beware of the Dogs" sign near the end of the driveway would be good.

I also think motion detector lights outside would work. If a light comes on outside the house when they approach, that could deter them.

Plus add some deadbolts.

Also, it's great that your wife is not worried. Because being worried about it won't make it better.

Good luck.
posted by bluedaisy at 10:50 AM on November 25, 2009

However, I live in a rural area where police response times are usually well over 15 minutes and the rural 911 system isn't all that awesome. Pretty much everyone out this way has some kind of harm-inducing home protection, whether it's a shotgun or an angry old coonhound.
My father-in-law lives on 1,000 acres in a very rural area. He and most of his neighbors (distant as they are) all have a lot of guns in the house (since most of them are avid hunters), and once upon a time that fact was incentive enough for potential burglars to stay away. As my husband used to say when I commented on the flimsy lock they had on the back door "Burglars aren't fool enough to try to break in - they never know who might be waiting on the other side of that door with a shotgun." However, a neighbor's home was broken into recently (thank goodness the elderly residents weren't in at the time) and everything in their gun case was taken along with other valuables, so who knows what acts as a good deterrent these days. FIL's area's local police department consists of just two patrol officers. Motion-activated spotlights and an alarm system aren't much of a safety net; any burglar who has been casing the area knows that he has 15 minutes or more to finish the job before law enforcement arrives. The local sheriff recommends one or more large dogs as the best first line of defense. Steel, windowless doors with deadbolts are second. And then he'll also recommend a shotgun, presuming the homeowner knows how to use it.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:56 AM on November 25, 2009

Re: Door bars

These things are such a joke. Don't bother. My grandma has a door bar and clings to it like it's a security blanket. We (my family, aren't we nice?) were all making fun of her one night, and my uncle stepped outside, had her set up the door bar, then gave the door a good, solid kick. We all watched as the door bar (without the door even being opened) went sailing across the room.

Seconding the idea to get some ADT stickers and signs and place them around your property and in your windows.
posted by phunniemee at 11:10 AM on November 25, 2009

There are two types of security, active and passive. Passive is such things as locks, bars, bolts, etc. These are important and should be as good as you can afford. Solid core doors (or modified to act as solid core) without windows or small windows well away from any locks. Window bars work as does making the window hard to get too. All of this makes your home less attrictive to break into by increasing the amount of time necessary to circumvent the security measure. Also any house hard to get into is also hard to get out of in case of fire or other emergency.

Active security is you, your dogs and possibly an alarm company. I am dubious about the alarm companies usefulness in the event of an actual home invasion where the perp is intent on harming you or doesn't really care if they harm you. If the perp just wants your stuff, they will likely wait until you are gone or abort the attempt when they discover you aren't gone. This scenario is when you should get dogs and a gun. Dogs are a great alarm system IF YOU PAY ATTENTION to them and train them to be. Dogs can be trained to be great alarm system that don't give too many false alarms, especially in a rural area.
Guns are tools and YOU NEED TRAINING IN HOW TO USE THEM. A class is best, but a couple of good books and adequate range time (lots of practice is mandatory) can go a long way. In any rural area there is likely to be some neighbor willing to at least show you the basics of gun handling. If you are unwilling to go through the practicing and training you are probably better off without a gun. If you want to go this route go find a local gun shop that gives a damn and talk to the counter person on a slow day. If they are jerks, dismissive or act like a Mall Ninja (look it up on wikipedia) go find another gun shop. The best gun shop I have ever been too also bred really cool Jack Russel Terriers, so i use this as something of a touchstone-do the do anything besides make money selling the latest trendy guns. If you have Cabelas close by i have also had good luck with knowledgable assistance there, just not at the gun counter. Anyway to stress this point if you are not willing to put in the time to learn to use it, skip the gun, get a good bat or someother scary hand weapon and learn to use it. Accidents are pretty easy to avoid with a bat. if you do get a gun get a long gun (shotgun or rifle depending on taste) and learn how to use it and how to handle a gun in general. YOu don't need anything fancy or trendy, just a basic gun and you will have a myriad of choices for less than 500. Count on spending about double that for adequate training ammuntion, classes and storage security. If your state allows it get a concealed carry permit. The training requirement in most states to get this at least covers what is required to establish a legally justified shooting and the aftermath. This is not a trivial thing. it also establishes to law enforcement that you are not part of the criminal community(the background check is not trivial either) in the immediate aftermath of any encounter.

As far as trauma from shooting someone, well that depends on the individuals feeling about that. I would personally much rather go through the trauma of shooting someone that broke into my house and might have killed me to making those I love go through the trauma of losing me. Or any combination of ensuring me and mine survive an encounter with someone intent on our harm.

But spend your money first on passive measures and dog training. Most robbers are robbers and not interested in complications of conflict with potentionally armed homeowners. Pepper spray and/or tasers are not as effective as a gun in stopping an intruder buy they aren't worthless either. Make sure you practice with these as well if you go this route. Hell, practice with the bat, hitting a person effectively with a club isn't the same as hitting a home run (many years in SCA has demonstrated this fact to me). The most imprortant way to first avoid the situation is not act like a victim that will passivelly accept what life brings you. Prepare for it but don't let the possiblity overwhelm your life. Chances are that the likelihood of this happening to you are pretty small.
posted by bartonlong at 11:12 AM on November 25, 2009 [3 favorites]

This sounds like what I have heard about in communities that have a Meth problem. I understand that people have been burglarized while they were working in the front yard, and the thief came in the back door. This prompted the folks I know to lock their house even when they are home, which is a far cry from the rural life that we all used to know.

The key problem is that no one can see your house when you are not at home. Some guy can show up, kill your dogs, break through your locked doors or windows, and take everything. All with the benefit of having time to do so.

If you could arrange to have some sort of mutual watch with a neighbor, this would be good. Perhaps have their alarm ring at your house, and yours at theirs. Then, even though they can't see your house from inside theirs, they can come outside and take a look, from a distance, and call the sheriff. Have a panic button to press, as part of your alarm, so that you can trip it if someone tries to get in while you are home.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 11:43 AM on November 25, 2009

I don't think tasers and pepper sprays are home defense items. They are both short-term incapacitating but non-lethal, and designed for:

1. Law enforcement getting compliance
2. Escaping street crime

Neither of these really apply. If you have to use it, what you will have is a criminal on your property who is incapacitated but only temporarily. It is quite possible that criminal will be back on their feet before the cops come, and you may not want to run out of your own house. If you used pepper spray, it may even be hard to stay in your own house.

Guns are different. If the person runs, the situation is over. If they don't, well that's why you have the gun in the first place.
posted by meowzilla at 12:00 PM on November 25, 2009

If you're thinking about getting a gun in order to shoot home invaders, I would absolutely recommend you read In The Gravest Extreme before you make that decision.

That said, a shotgun is often considered a good home defense weapon. You aren't as concerned about concealability, so god for the bigger bang. It's also intimidating to look down the barrel of.

Dogs are a great warning system. I'd recommend that both you & your wife watch/read some Ceasar Milan and make sure you've got your dogs under control at all times. That way, when the dog is barking and he refuses to shut up like he usually does when you tell him to, THAT'S the "No really boss, there's something out there" signal.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:04 PM on November 25, 2009

eBay has security system signs/stickers you can put up on your house without needing to pay for an alarm system. Actually having an alarm isn't a deterrent, it is primarily for notification, or to shorten the duration of the invasion.

Make sure you keep windows and doors locked. Put bars on basement windows. Motion sensing lights everywhere else. Keep a cell-phone close at hand.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:06 PM on November 25, 2009

Response by poster: Ok, from it sounds like, a gun is probably not the best choice for this situation. I am not against guns - I have had a plinking rifle since I was a kid (I'm 42), but that's about it. The comment about not owning one if someone drinks in the house gave me pause.

The alarm system: not sure. I had an alarm company come out today and for a monitored system that can detect doors or windows opening, glass breakage, motion detection and fire alarm the estimate was about $1350 + $20 month monitoring. I'm a little inclined to this (except the proximity to holiday$), but I also wonder how I made it 42 years in homes with no alarms (other than dogs). So, I have to go over that with my wife.

I like the driveway alarm idea, but I can see deer/raccoon/cats setting the thing off all the time?

Unfortunately our house has a lot of large casement windows. I don't know of a good way to make those more secure. 2 of the doors on our house are steel, except that they have large glass panels in them like this! I'm thinking of replacing them with steel doors. The front door, which is solid and steel encased, also has one of those sidelights nearly identical to this one except that it is full height! I have no idea what I could replace this with, perhaps box glass?

Ok, so the security bars that hold doors closed are not recommended. Anything else I can use (I have a basement door that I'd like to secure other than a deadbolt).

I plan on putting in more motion detector lights this weekend. Do the fake alarm stickers really do anything? I mean I think thieves might be like "Yeah right"...
posted by dukes909 at 12:43 PM on November 25, 2009

Develop a "Home Defense Plan" (google it) and consider adding a good short-barreled 12" ga. pump action shotgun to that plan. My plan basically boils down to barricading my family into a bedroom, calling 911, and issuing a warning that I am armed, will defend myself, and the police are on their way. As others have said, a firearm requires training and practice, but, to me, it's an important last line of defense. They can have our stuff, but I'll do everything I can to protect our lives. Cross the threshold into my "defensible space" and they can expect a rain of buckshot.
posted by maniactown at 12:51 PM on November 25, 2009

Security bars certainly work if they're installed correctly, which means mounting them to studs with decent screws, and having a door that doesn't come completely apart when some tweaker kicks it.

The problem with windows is that whatever lock you put on it, someone can always smash the glass to circumvent it. One possibility for the door sidelights is to install a fixed panel storm window type thing, but you'd have to work out the best way to mount it. Obviously those plastic tabs wouldn't work. If you contact a local glazier they may have some ideas. Combine with the security film, they'll at least slow someone's entry and maybe make them move on to an easier mark.
posted by electroboy at 1:03 PM on November 25, 2009

Mod note: comments removed - please keep answers to constructive ones and not ZOMG-y shock value stuff. You can go to metatalk if you need to. thanks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:13 PM on November 25, 2009

"People who own guns are far more likely to be victims of gun related injuries."

Maybe people who already have good reason to expect to get shot are more likely to buy guns for self defense.

To OP: I would suggest one of those security systems, like ADT, that will not only sound an alarm but automatically call the police for you. Preferably with a panic button installed anywhere you are likely to be caught by surprise (bedroom etc.).
posted by Jacqueline at 3:50 PM on November 25, 2009

I love my alarm. My husband works a lot of nights, and I feel so much safer with it. I also have a very large, very protective German Shepherd Dog, but I still love my alarm.

The other great thing about an alarm is that it will help protect your home when you aren't there. The peace of mind that I have is worth the monthly fee. Shop around, we got our system for free. We pay a higher monthly bill though. We don't have sensors on our windows. Most are too small to get anything through, so the burglar would have to open the door. We put our dog outside when we're not home and use the motion detectors.

Security cameras, especially well seen ones might deter someone better than a fake alarm sticker. Maybe you could even put up a notice at your front door, something like "Smile, you're being recorded." Then if something does happen, you'll have evidence.
posted by TooFewShoes at 3:52 PM on November 25, 2009

Response by poster: Ok, I think we're going to do the alarm system. My wife seemed a little keener on it tonight. And I like the idea of it alerting if the smoke alarms go off (though I hope they do not go off when it is too late to save our dogs!). For those with alarm systems: do you recommend the key fobs things? Do they have a "panic" button??

I also like the protective film thing from what I read about it on the web, and asked for a quote..waiting on that.

I have a good friend, coworker that offered me a pistol. I like the idea, especially after the rabid raccoon comment, but I want to think long and hard on that. My job occasionally brings me into contact with police officers, though we rarely talk about crime/law enforcement. I am going to ask them since the local sherriff's office were no help.

For those of you with basements, do you block off or put sensors on those little windows in the basement? I don't see how anyone could get through one (9" high) but I guess it's possible.
posted by dukes909 at 6:14 PM on November 25, 2009

The key fob is nice, and it has a panic button. Mine also has a button to turn on the lights (I don't have that system) so you don't have to walk into a dark house. If you can get it for free or at a nominal cost, go for it. It isn't worth a lot though, easily something I could live without.
posted by TooFewShoes at 7:17 PM on November 25, 2009

Regarding basement windows, a lot of people around here (downtown Baltimore) do bars, or glass block windows. There's some building code issues with both bars and glass block in the basement, since you wouldn't be able to get out in case of fire, but they are pretty secure. If you have a walk-out basement, it's not a problem.
posted by electroboy at 7:29 PM on November 25, 2009

Do you have a door at the top of your basement stairs? Getting a good lock for it might be better than trying to secure the basement windows.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:36 PM on November 25, 2009

I have a weird door jamb that makes it nearly impossible for someone to kick my door in. The previous owners installed it after someone kicked in the door. Steel door, deadbolt, regular lock, no windows, facing a busy street and it still got kicked in. Tweakers are dumb. The door jam kind of wraps around in front of the door you you can open it outwards but cannot force it in without ripping the entire jam off the wall. I'm sure it violates all kinds of fire codes but I think it probably makes it damn near impossible to break in via that door.

The 10 large windows are another matter but they are quite high off the ground so I don't worry about them as much.
posted by fshgrl at 8:27 PM on November 25, 2009

« Older How to merge data fields into a plain text file?   |   Brining for too long? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.