How to Protect Yourself from Home Invasions

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In case anyone has not noticed, we live in dangerous times. We live in an
age when the notions of private property and sanctity of human life are
considered, at best, to be abstract concepts and, at worst, to be totally
meaningless. We are a people under attack by the best of the criminal
mind–and then even under the aegis of our own government. More and more,
we are hearing of incidents where the homes of our fellow citizens are
being invaded by anyone from the common street thug to radical factions
within our own police forces. This post and the measures which follow are
designed specifically to SAVE LIVES! Use them at your discretion–and your
responsibility–to help protect yourselves and the members of your family
from unwarranted and hostile attacks.

Keep in mind that, if anyone wants to invade your home and has the
resources to accomplish the task, they will do so. The best you can hope
for, by implementing any or all of these measures, is to gain the precious
time to either manage or mitigate the consequences of attack upon either
you or your families. DO NOT be so arrogant as to assume that you can
effectively prevent entry into your home by anyone!

In reading these measures, you will notice that I have intentionally not
addressed the issue or installation of booby traps. The reason is simple:
each of you are smart enough, by yourselves, to know what type of traps to
use (passive or active) for your own situation, and are conscientious
enough to realize the consequences of their use. I recommend against their
use because I would not want to be responsible for the loss of life or
injury of innocent people. And now, without further delay:


All exterior doors should be made of or replaced with solid, windowless
steel or wood at least 1.75 inches thick. All voids within doors should be
filled with sand or concrete, and all door hardware (frames, hinges,
strikes, locks, etc.) should be replaced with the heaviest duty equivalent
available. Any windows immediately to the left, right and/or top of door
(within 36 inches) should be sealed over and their voids filled with sand
or concrete. Horizontal door bolt assemblies should extend to both sides of
the door (with an overlap of the door frame of at least two inches on
either side of the door) and should be attached securely, at four points
per bolt, to the door AND door frame by either eye bolts or clamps. The
bolts themselves should be a minimum of 1/2 inch steel reinforcing bar.
When the door is bolted, there should be no play in the assembly. All doors
should be equipped with battery operated intrusion alarms of sufficient
volume to be heard all over the house.


All exterior windows should be covered and bolted with steel wire “diamond”
mesh of at least 16 gauge wire. This treatment should be applied to both
sides of the window, and should be attached at the outermost portion of the
window frame. An outer sheet of 1/2 inch Plexiglass should be applied to
the outside of the window in a manner which makes the window flush with the
exterior of the structure. 2×2 inch “furring strips” should provide an
adequate distance for this purpose with a conventional window. At least one
window (preferably on the back or side of the structure) should be fitted
in a “temporary” manner (as with removable burglar bars) to allow easy
egress in case of fire. All windows should be equipped with battery
operated intrusion alarms of sufficient volume to be heard all over the house.

Eave, gable and foundation vents:
All vents on the exterior of the structure should be fitted with steel
dampers equal to the size of the vent and of a minimum thickness of 11
gauge steel plate. These dampers should be able to be engaged by both
electrical and mechanical means. This should include a damper for the
chimney/fireplace as well as plumbing vents where so equipped.

Where permissible, all exterior wall voids should be filled to a height of
at least 36 inches with sand or cement as the structural integrity of the
foundation allows. Solicit the advice of a qualified contractor in this

Exterior and landscape:
Where permissible, the structure should be surrounded with high shrubbery
(4 to 5 feet) and kept at a distance of 36 inches from the exterior of the
structure. Between the shrubbery and the structure, a barrier fence of
“chicken wire” should be constructed to the same height as that of the
shrubbery. All paths leading up to entrances of the structure should be
bordered by shrubbery which allows no more width than that of two persons
walking side-by-side. Where possible, and in an inconspicuous manner, all
other portions of the landscape surrounding the structure should be
interspersed with barriers (birdbaths, benches, pools, stone walls, wooden
planters, etc.) to limit vehicular approach to the structure.

Passive electronic countermeasures:
The structure should be equipped with a battery operated loudspeaker and
strobe light assembly located at the most inaccessible point of the
structure’s roof. An automatic playback device with amplifier should be
attached to the loudspeaker with a message to announce trouble at your
location to your neighbors. The chance of survival of you and members of
your family is increased by letting the largest number of persons know of
your plight (a looped and pre-recorded message like: “this home is under
attack, please call for assistance” should be sufficient). Both the
loudspeaker and the strobe assembly should be activated by means of a
remote panic button or buttons.

Either an audio or video recording system should be installed in the
structure which allows for the recording of events of at least one hour’s
duration within the structure. The recorder should be of the looped
variety, and microphones and/or CCD cameras should be placed at key points
within the structure. The system’s recorder should be placed in a steel,
moisture and fireproof box, and then located at a remote point. A trusted
family member or neighbor not living with you should be made aware of the
recorder’s location for later retrieval.

Several means of battery operated communications should be kept on hand at
all times. CB radios, cell phones, short wave radios and police scanners
are examples. In an emergency, someone among your family should be assigned
the responsibility of contacting help via these means.

Emergency egress:
Where permissible or financially expedient, a room in the center-most
location of the structure should be retrofitted with steel reinforced
concrete block and its voids filled with sand or cement. This room should
be on the lowest floor of the structure and the walls should extend to the
ground. The room should be windowless and should be entered by means of a
single steel door which is locked from the inside. In the center of the
room, an access door should be installed into the floor to allow egress by
means of either a tunnel or a crawlspace under the structure. All tunneling
should be braced (55 gallon drums–plastic or metal–work nicely in this
application, but allow only a minimum space for crawling) and a means of
positive ventilation should be installed.

Miscellaneous equipment:
All structures of more than two bedrooms should be equipped with a minimum
of two 20 pound ABC type fire extinguishers. Battery operated smoke
detectors should be installed immediately outside of each bedroom and one
per hallway. All structures should be equipped with at least the very basic
form of an intruder alarm, up to and including movement sensors around the
immediate proximity of the structure. All equipment within the structure
whose operation is considered vital should be battery operated and
batteries of all relevant sizes should be kept, and rotated, in plentiful
supply. Full-face respirators should be supplied for each resident of the
household–including filter cartridges for organic and acidic gases.

The family plan:
Each permanent resident of the household should be assigned both tasks and
locations in the event of an invasion emergency. Regular drills should be
held in the same manner as any other family fire/disaster plan. Drills
should include such life-saving measures as first aid, CPR and seeking the
lowest point of cover.

If you have found this information useful, please forward it far and wide.
Print it and discuss it with family members, friends and co-workers.

May God be with us all.

Larry Pomykalski is an NRA certified pistol instructor and a member of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers, as well as a former police officer, former military firearms instructor and lifelong student of the martial arts. He also felt that he had something of value to share with the firearms community, and wondered which gunzines he should approach with the above essay. The problem was that he was dealing in ideas and concepts, and virtually all of the present gunzines only want articles about products and services so that their advertising department can sell space and everyone can make money. This is the American way. This is his first published work.

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