Title: Tips for Keeping You "Home Invasion" Free
Author: Scott Shaper
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Tips for Keeping You "Home Invasion" Free
by Scott Shaper

Home invasion formerly known as burglary is the type of crime
that you can do something to prevent. In this article I am going
to address preventative steps to protect your home from being
unlawfully entered. What is home invasion? Home invasion is where
someone enters a dwelling with the intent to commit a felony,
larceny (theft), or assault. In most cases these criminals look
for easy opportunities or in other words look for the path of
least resistance. In fact it is stated that statistically a home
invasion criminal will not at the most spend more then two
minutes attempting to break into a home. By understanding this,
your best defense is to create a path of great resistance. Here
are some suggestions to securing your home.

Install deadbolt locks. The downside of deadbolt locks is that
the deadbolt goes into the wood jam, which makes up the doorway.
Because most doorway jams are about three quarters of an inch
think, the deadbolt bolt is not long enough to penetrate into the
stud. A good kick or two and that door is going to fly open
causing the door jam to split. During my time as a Police Officer
I had to kick open a few doors and it's not all that hard to do.
The alternative is to get steel jams. The steel jams will not
splinter like wood thus making it very difficult to kick in the
door. I have also had my experiences attempting to kick in a
steel jammed door, in which I was unsuccessful. We usually had to
use a battering ram, or have the Fire Department come and pry the
door open. This took some time and caused a lot of commotion
something a criminal is not going to waste their time doing.
Unfortunately installing steel jams on all your exterior doors is
a costly proposition. However in researching this article I came
across a company that does have an excellent alternative. What
they provide is a steel plate called "Strike Master II" it's about
five feet long and easily installs on the door jam. It is
installed on the side of the door jam that the doorknob and
deadbolt secure to. By installing their product you in a sense
have just created a steel jam but without any of the high cost,
or extensive labor. For more information about all their products
you can find their website on the resources page of

Patio doors are another entryway that needs to be secured. Many
people do not realize that some patio doors can be lifted up
slightly and disengage from their locking mechanism. This is
especially true for patio doors that are a few years old and the
jams have expanded. An easy and cheap way to secure a patio door
is to put a pole in between the patio door end and the wall.
Place the pole on the track where the patio door slides when
opening up. This will prevent the patio door from being opened
until the pole is removed. You can use an old broom stick handle
or even a board. You want to cut it to the same length as the
open track area when the patio door is closed. To keep the door
from being lifted up and removed you can install a flat headed
metal screw into the top of the patio door frame one should be
about six inches from the edge and one in the middle. Make sure
the screw is just above the door so that it will not interfere
with the door sliding open or close. You can also purchase
products, which have been specially designed for patio door
security such as patio door security bars, patio door pins, and
patio door locks, etc. You can find these items at your local
hardware store. The same thing goes for your windows make sure
they are locked and secured the same way.

Note: be careful when you are installing anything, which
requires you to drill into your patio doorframe you could damage
the door, or break the glass. If you are not that handy I would
recommend you hire a contractor to do the work for you.

Lighting is an excellent deterrent to criminal activity at night.
I recommend if possible installing outside lighting on motion
detectors. That way the lights will go on when motion is detected.
Many times they will detect small animals or some other thing and
go on. Just because they go on doesn't necessarily mean there is
someone there. But having them go on is a good deterrent if
someone was. Like stated above thieves don't want to make a
scene, and they surely do not want a light shining on them. If
possible, it is suggested that you install floodlights on each of
the four corners of your home. That way you could have perimeter
lighting with motion detectors watching all sides of your home.
When purchasing a motion detector spend the extra few dollars and
get one of good quality.

Home alarm systems are also becoming popular and are a good
deterrent. If you get just an audible alarm that will help, but I
recommend that if you are getting an alarm system, get one that
has a service that monitors your home and will contact the proper
authorities when the alarm goes off. If someone does enter your
home you want the police to be notified as quickly as possible.
Also make sure your alarm company knows which police department
to contact for your jurisdiction. We had numerous calls for police
service from alarm companies whose customer's residence was
outside of our jurisdiction, this caused unnecessary delays in
police response. If you do get an alarm make sure to put the
notification stickers on the doors that state "This home is
protected by..." A would-be criminal might see those stickers and l
ook for a house that isn't alarmed.

When going on vacation I recommend you have a friend of family
member (someone trustworthy) to stay in your home while you are
gone. If that is not possible have a neighbor, friend, or family
member keep an eye on your home and come by daily to take in the
mail and any newspapers you have delivered. They should also do
a daily walk around the house and check to make sure all windows
and doors are secure. We have had people go away for a couple
weeks only to come back and find there home broken into. Later
it was determined that their home was broken into only a couple
days after they left. The rest of the time it sat wide open to
the elements of weather, and possibly another thief.

If you do not have anyone available to check your home, and take
in your mail, you can have your mail held for you at the post
office. You can do this online at

Remember the more difficult you make it to get into your home the
less likely you are of being a Home Invasion victim.

For more information of Home Invasion and what you can do check
out the book "Crime Awareness 101"

Copyright  2005 Scott Shaper

About Scott: Scott Shaper is a former police officer with over
fourteen years law enforcement experience. He is also the author
of the book "Crime Awareness 101", and the operator of the
website, http://www.crimeawareness101.com. Visit his website for
more crime prevention articles and information about his book.


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