Monday, October 22, 2012

How Secure Is Your Home?

A couple of months ago, I locked myself out of the house.  On one hand, it was a bad thing.  On the other, however, it was a very good thing.

I'm not advocating locking yourself out of your house to see how secure it is, but if that's what it takes to identify any security weaknesses...*shrugs*... okay, maybe I am advocating locking yourself out of the house.

Our zombie-proof apartment

Fortunately, we live on the second floor.  Our bedroom windows face a street with a streetlight on a busy intersection.  The only way to break into our bedroom windows would be to use a 30 foot ladder that would extend into the street.

The living room window, which you can see in the picture, is almost inaccessible.  I say "almost" because someone taller and stronger than me might be able to leap from the stairs to the sill, pull themselves up and get into the apartment.  The locks on the window are good, so it might be more difficult than it's worth.

Our door, which would be an obvious entry point, is unbelievably secure.  I should know.  I tried jimmying the lock and I tried flat-out breaking the doorknob.  No go.  The door is metal and both the primary lock AND the deadbolt are securely anchored into the door jamb.  Someone might be able to kick the door in, but it would take a lot more effort than most bad guys want to expend.

The weak point in our security is the window above the door.  Yes, someone could reach it to crawl through.  In theory.  However, the window doesn't open.  The storm window is completely sealed and the inside window is sealed from the inside.  Could someone get in through it?  Yep.  If they wanted to badly enough.  But it seems like an awful lot of work.  Especially considering the apartments below us on the ground level are much easier to get into.

Also, we've got two security lights; one at the first landing of the stairs and one next to the front door. Anyone wanting to break in after dark will be well illuminated.

Though I felt like a complete idiot for being locked out of the apartment in my pajamas for a great deal of the day, I actually came away from experience feeling much better about the security of our apartment. Not that I really doubted it, but it is reassuring.

Maybe you should give it a try. Or pretend to lock yourself out.  Spend some time walking around your house/apartment and look for entry points.  Use your imagination - in this case, you can't think like a good guy, you've got to think like bad guys.  Try to get yourself into your house.  If you can do so easily, so can someone else. 

Don't fall into the "it can't happen to me", especially if you have guns in your house.  The last thing you want to do is arm a bad guy with your well cared-for, hard-earned guns.

I'd love to hear from you - what was the outcome of this little exercise?  What changes did you make?  Do you feel good about how secure your home is when you're away from it?


agirlandhergun said...

Great, great post!!

We had a similar thing happen to us a few years ago. It was before I was into guns, but i still cared about home security. we were sitting on the back deck and out of habbit our older son said good bye, locked the vackmdoor, wentmout the front, locked it and went on hisnway. My husband, neighbor and I spent about an hour trying to get Into the house. Short of busting out a window, there was no way. The locksmith was a tad bit annoyed with our lock as well.

Glad you made it back in!

Unknown said...

funny thing is, I know a million ways to get into not only my own, but most of my friends' houses.

GunDiva said...

Rico - hope they don't have anything too valuable :)

Double Tap said...

Everyone should walk out to their sidewalk, look back at their home and ask themselves, "how would I break in?" And be honest, cause if you are not honest with yourself, you are going to get a rude awakening. The next part of the exercise is to perform mitigation, or create obstacles for entry. Clean up your grounds, provide broken glass to the rock beds under windows, plant roses, etc... Remove big rocks from landscape near windows, obtain solid doors with dead bolts for master bedroom and basement, etc... Thanks for the article, we should all review our abode security.

Unknown said...

Several years ago, I locked myself out of our house by accident. I was able to climb our 6 foot fence (with the help of a ladder from the garage) and crawl thru the doggie door. Then I found myself face to face with our male dog, one of four dogs. Found out pretty quick he took his job very serious. :) Thankfully he realised it was me before he drew blood!!