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The Top 10: Best Ways to Improve Urban Security

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Being prepared isn’t just about EMP’s or super volcanoes. It’s also about being ready for common bad things that happen every day, such as home break-ins. And as you expand your prepping supplies and food storage, you’ll want to improve your security situation to protect those things.

The Top 10 Best Ways to Improve Urban Security via The Survival Mom

When we took a few minutes to evaluate our current home and property, we noticed a few areas that could be improved:

Curtains on basement windows
Like many people in our area, we have an unfinished basement that is mostly used for laundry and storage. But the tiny basement windows still allowed for someone to see in, especially if the lights were on. Because it’s an unfinished basement, it didn’t require anything fancy. I took a single curtain panel I found on clearance, cut it into 4 pieces, hemmed a rough border for a tension rod, and
instantly our storage downstairs became less tempting and more secure.

As a side note, I’m not very good at sewing, and usually, delegate this sort of thing to my mother-in-law. But general sewing skills are a good idea to have in your prepper toolbox, and it’s great when you can practice on something like this that doesn’t have to look good.

Cost: Less than $20.

Add padlocks and fix broken locks
We added a padlock to our perimeter gate, so at night, it can be locked from the inside. It doesn’t mean that no one can ever get in our fence, but it does mean it would take longer and make more noise to do so, increasing our chances a would-be thief would give up, or of us interrupting an intruder. We also fixed a broken lock on an interior storage cabinet, for similar reasons.

Cost: $15 for bolt-cutter-resistant keyed lock

Put solar garden lights on the perimeter

This was my favorite because it made my flower bed look so pretty, but having solar lights on our fence posts and down in the gardens means that when we hear strange noises, we might be able to see what’s going on without leaving the house.

The first week they were up, we stopped 4 raccoons heading to the chicken coop! True, they weren’t human intruders, but it was a good test that the solar garden lights would work the way we intended.

Cost: About $4/light.

Trimmed bushes
We have beautiful lilac bushes in front of our house. But they had grown so much in the last few years that it was difficult for me to see outside the front windows. That meant it was hard for me to see who was coming to my front door, or cars out on our street. By thinning these bushes, it left us some privacy but made it much easier for me to see out.

Cost: $0, since we already have the pruning shears, and my kids did the work.

Fix or install bright white lights and motion sensors at the entrances.

We had a motion sensor light above our garage, but the sensor needed some attention and wasn’t coming on reliably. We’ve also noticed a trend in our area where people change their outdoor lights to colored bulbs to show support for some cause, for example, green to support military vets. In my opinion, colored lights greatly reduce your home security.

The idea, after all, is to illuminate entrances for your safety when you arrive home after dark and to make bad guys feel less secure. Consider putting up a yard sign or bumper sticker for the cause
instead, and stick with bright white lights for your entrances.

Cost: Replacement bulbs will vary, a motion sensor kit is less than $50 on Amazon

Install closed-circuit cameras
Rather than paying home security company, we ordered a set of closed-circuit cameras and installed them ourselves. The sight of cameras may deter thieves, and if not, it may help catch them more quickly using video evidence.

Cost: about $100 for a few cameras and a storage hard drive. If you don’t want to DIY, there are inexpe nsive options out there, such as http://retinasoftsecurity.com/ that starts at $10/month.

Re-think access to your personal defense items
For example, if someone forced their way into your front door while you were home, perhaps you could easily reach your personal defense items in time. But what if it was the back door? Or that basement window?

People with larger properties often keep personal defense items with them at all times. You might re-think access even in a small urban home or apartment because if that situation occurs, seconds count.

Cost: $0 to rearrange what you already own so it’s easier to reach no matter where you are in the home.

Split up supplies
This one is specific to your preps. But consider dividing up your food storage, cash, personal defense inventory, or anything else to at least 2 places in your home. You’ll increase your chances of having something left in the event your home is damaged or robbed.

Cost: $0

Repair or Replace fencing
We had a 15-year-old section of privacy fencing that was literally falling apart. If the chickens could push through it, surely a bad guy wouldn’t be slowed! We also chose to replace our bent-up chain link with 6 food wood panel fencing.

Our backyard privacy and security improved drastically over just a few weekends!

Cost: varies, depending on repair or replacement, and length and type of fencing

Make sure items are stored out of sight
Again, this is just rethinking what you already have and where it lives. More expensive items should be locked up, or perhaps even stored indoors. For us, this will be an on-going effort.

Cost: $0

Most of these weren’t super expensive and didn’t take much time. All of them we could do ourselves.

Your list may be quite different than mine. But take a quick walk around your apartment, home, or property and see what you could do to improve your own security.

As a bonus, improving your home security might also reduce your home insurance payment. You could even start your list by checking with your home insurance agent to see what would count toward your policy.

What tasks made it on your list?

READ MORE: What will you do if a catastrophic disaster has occurred, one that destroyed hundreds or thousands of homes and businesses and destroyed a community’s way of life, and you discover intruders have taken over your home in your absence. Read more about how to retake your home from intruders.

The Top 10: Best Ways to Improve Urban Security via The Survival Mom

5 thoughts on “The Top 10: Best Ways to Improve Urban Security”

  1. One thing that only takes 5 minutes to do is replacing the existing 1 1/2 inch screws that hold your front door on the hinges and also the face plate on the door frame with longer 3 1/2 or 4 inch screws. Search YouTube and you will find several videos demonstrating how much stronger your front door will be. Costs less that $10 and if an intruder spends more time breaking in it allows people to prepare inside or ill just discourage them from continuing.

  2. A couple of minimal cost deterrents:
    1-Cut a broom handle to fit in the track of your sliding door.
    2-Buy the biggest dog bowl you can find & leave it outside your back door ( adding the name “Killer” or “Kujo” might be a nice touch!)
    3- Go to a consignment shop and buy the largest size men’s workboots and leave them on your welcome mat 😉
    4- Lights (motion sensor & other) around the entire periphery of your house.
    5- Light and TV timers for when you are away overnight.
    6- Common sense: never open the door to someone you don’t know. Talking through the door or even a second floor window is preferred.
    7- Post alarm company signs and window stickers, even if you don’t have an alarm. Thieves like easy targets.
    8- Make sure your car door ( with your garage door opener in it) is always locked, especially at home!
    9- Get a dog (rescue dogs cost little or no money…lots of them are coming in from Texas, Florida and PR)
    10- Additionally secure first floor low windows with window pegs ( drill a hole through the frames of both panes and slide a peg in)

  3. Wow — someone who doesn’t immediately advise me to chuck my job and move to the country! Thank you for acknowledging the reality that many of us live in urban areas.

  4. Another really good way to get an fresh perspective at what your property looks like to someone aka possible intruder is to take a video as you walk up to and around your property. It is a totally different perspective watching a playback. You’ll notice a lot of things you haven’t noticed before using an unbiased eye! Thank you for the article. Just reinforces and keeps my vigilance sharp!

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