4 Simple Ways to Harden Your Home

  • Beau Doboszenski, Owner/Lead Instructor

  • Originally published April 19th, 2017

Every week I read a story about a home invasion or a robbery. They've become so widespread and common, that in every radio or television program I take in, there's at least ONE advertisement for a security system.

Now security systems are good, but really, they're designed to help you AFTER the threat has made their way into your home. The hope is, that the security system will mentally deter the threat by scaring them into thinking that the police will quickly be on the way, but when you take into account average law enforcement response times....the threat really has a fairly useful amount of time to take action before fleeing.

What if instead of relying on the security system to get police response, we instead made our homes simply harder to break into? You don't have to turn your home into Fort Knox, but with a few simple steps, you can really make a big difference in how easy it is to break into your residence. Better still, as most burglars will case their target homes before robbing them, these simple actions can act as a major deterrent in themselves, meaning that you may get the burglar to say screw it, this house is too hard.

If you'd like the full lecture on house hardening, that's available in Sealed Mindset Training's DVD: Home Defense Rifle. You can get your copy here. So here are a few steps you can take to harden your home right now:

  • Do the simple things.

The most common form of entry for a burglar is an unlocked door or window. So do the simple things, don't leave exterior portals open! But Beau, it gets hot in my house and I need to leave a window open. Then make sure it's a window that is off of the ground floor and if the window doesn't come with a open lock, make one out of a simple wooden dowel you can buy at any hardware store.

  • Harden your doors.

If you have cheap doors on your entry portals, get either solid core wood doors or a metal one. These doors will be able to take a lot more abuse than cheap doors. Next, harden the contact points between the door and the frame with Doorjamb Armor. This simple product will quickly make your door much more sturdy. The company, and my own experience, says it makes a door "kick-proof." Now nothing is absolutely impenetrable, but you will definitely be giving yourself a lot more time with this set up. Finally, replace cheap deadbolts with high quality ones. If you go to your local hardware superstore, you will quickly see that not all deadbolts are created equal. The better the deadbolt, the stronger, more durable, and harder to pick the lock will be.

  • Motion lights 360.

Lots of crimes happen at night. Burglary is not usually one of them, they're often done during the day when the victim is off at work. That's where your good home security system comes into play. With that security system, we decrease the time the burglar may spend in the home to only a couple of minutes, because they know that the police will be notified and be on the way to check out the alarm. However, home invasion or robbery, where the intended victims are the people living in the home, not just their stuff, often happen in dark or low light conditions. The robber or invader doesn't want to be seen nor identified, if possible. By setting up motion lights 360 degrees around the house, such that the threat cannot approach the house without setting off a light, can act as a powerful deterrent. Pro-tip here, every month, take a walk around the house to make sure all of the lights come on, as it is not unheard of that the would-be robber or invader, may have cased the house and disabled the lights in the avenue they had intended to approach the house.

  • Window film ground floor windows.

The last house upgrade that you could take that is relatively easily is to instal is 3M Scotchshield Safety and Security Film on your ground floor windows. This clear plastic film adheres to the inside of your windows and will significantly increase the strength of the window against forcible entry. Here's a video of that 3M film in action. This is probably the most expensive of the home hardening upgrades, but it does take one of the weakest links, the glass of a window, and upgrade it's defensive capabilities, considerably!

Whichever of these steps you take to harden your home, any of them will give you more time to take action to defend yourself and your loved ones if a home invasion or robbery does occur. And remember that you can get the full instruction on home security in our DVD series, Home Defense Rifle.

Next week, I'll go over the three plans you must have in place in your home if you want to protect yourself and your loved ones from the three most common disasters that befall families in the United States.