Archive for the ‘Perimeter Security Pt 3’ Category

Perimeter Security Pt 3
By Bo Perrin

The Skin of the house.

The walls of a home are similar to the skin of your body. Of course, this is an analogy and like all analogies there are limitations to the comparison. The body’s skin is a barrier with multiple responsibilities. This skin is very skinthin. Part of its responsibility is to keep out anything which could harm what is on the inside of the body. Additionally, the skin also maintains the proper internal environment so that your body will function as God intended when he created it.

The skin does an incredible job despite some natural and necessary holes. It has a number of openings through which harmful insurgents can penetrate into the body’s interior. The openings are the ears, mouth, nose, hair follicles, sweat pores, etc. What is incredible is how well the skin can protect the body’s internals possessing so many openings.

The walls are the skin of the house’s structure. It too is thin but substantially stronger due to the materials used in its construction. The wall has many purposes. One purpose for its construction is to keep out harmful insurgents whether human or not. Another purpose the walls possess is to maintain the wallproper internal environment by keeping out weather and evil people and maintaining safe internals for the individual or the family. Thankfully, the skin of a house has much fewer openings which we must secure against the insurgents of home invasions. Penetrating the walls is possible but so far the only “insurgents” I have heard using this tactic is SWAT. Therefore, the home owner, renter, only needs to secure windows, doors, chimneys and any openings which the home owner has created. Nevertheless, we can rule out chimneys and most openings. Despite the childhood stories about Santa Claus using the chimney to enter the home to spread Christmas cheer, the chimney is far too small to use to enter the home. Additionally, most openings which the home owner might create after purchasing the home is so small as to be useless for criminal activities. Therefore, the only two openings which we must be concerned with are windows and doors.

The Windows

The window is a crucial adornment to the structure of the house. It allows in sunlight to brighten our day, to see the weather outside and to see who has windowcome visiting. Nevertheless, this opening is a weak point in the skin of the house through which insurgents can enter. Over the last couple of decades the window has been systemically upgraded mechanically and materially making it so much easier for the home owner to secure this opening.

The window has a number of possible vulnerable areas but the two most important are the glass and locking mechanism. The glass of modern windows has been treated in multiple ways which substantially strengthen the material over its predecessor. Additionally, many modern windows have two panes in each section making it far more difficult to breach the skin of the house easily. But the glass in most, if not all, windows are now impact resistance. This resistance not only protects those inside from tornadoes, hurricanes, etc., but it makes it near impossible for an insurgent to enter the house through the windows. Locking mechanisms have also window2undergone a positive evolution as well. Modern systems make it nearly impossible for an insurgent to unlock to gain entry. Nevertheless, if the homeowner or renter has windows which have the older mechanisms or not and is still a bit worried about the possibility an insurgent may be able to gain entry you can strengthen the window by placing a stick of any material between the top of the window and the bottom of the frame. Nevertheless, the stick must fit snug, very snug.

One exception to what has been said about the modern construction of the glass in windows is the sliding door. Modern sliding doors are tempered to withstand impact and the structure has been substantially upgraded so that knocking the window3door is far more difficult off of its tracks. The older sliding doors still have both problems. One method the homeowner can use to secure the sliding door is to put a stick, of any material between the base of the sliding door and the end of its track. If the insurgent is able to force the door open it will create a lot of racket and give the homeowner some additional time to prepare or it might scare off the insurgent altogether.

There are a number of methods to increase the security around the lower windows of the home. One method is planting bushes or plants directly under the windows. The only bushes or plants which will increase the home’s security will be those which have sharp needles, thorns or leaves. Rose bushes, cacti and Holly plants are great plants to use to make an insurgent’s night a horror.

catusrose bushHolly

Another method is safety film that goes right on the window. I will simply quote from Off The Grid news. This is a great website that you might want to favorite. OTG states,

“Standard safety film is the basic theft-prevention technology, offering perhaps the best value for strength and cost for the average user.  The film protects against things like golf balls and baseballs in the low end, to things like crowbars in some cases.  Essentially, it adds elasticity to the glass and at the very least makes it incredibly difficult to get through the glass in a timely manner.  These window films aren’t perfect, but they do slow down criminals and help you to get to a safe place or take action.  In many cases, it will prevent breaks on the glass from low impact hits like a ball or a fist.  The films in this category are typically four to six mils thick and do an excellent job containing glass fracturing and avoiding fragmentation.

Bullet-resistant films are typically twelve mils thick or so and can be used for aggressive burglars, small arms ammunition in many cases, and to help in situations like hurricanes.  There is some minimal bomb or explosion protection at the bullet-resistant category, with a typical elasticity around 115 percent to 135 percent elasticity (or elongation) at a penetration point or break point. There is about 350 lbs./inch break strength on polyester films of this thickness, which offers some ballistic protection against projectiles.  The tensile strength at a penetration is around 30,000 psi, which makes it incredibly difficult to make sustained or quick damage to the window/film.  While it would be easy to penetrate a single window with film using a close-proximity high-powered cartridge, it would be very difficult to penetrate it at a distance and expect a hit on a target. Furthermore, multiple layers of film on multiple panes of glass could be enough to defeat a large caliber projectile.”

The companies which sell these films can be found by searching the web. This film can also be used on your vehicle. In the event of a total collapse of society the film can be used to make the vehicle more resistance to blows and projectiles.

Another method is the use of bars. I would suggestion using bars or anything which inhibits a person from entering into the house from the outside because it will most likely keep those on the inside from exiting the structure if necessary. If you decide to use bars I would definitely NOT use them on a Barswindow located on a second level if you have such. A window on the second level could be used as an escape route since it would be difficult if not impossible for the insurgent(s) to secure such windows. Often, rooms on the second level belong to the children. If so, keeping the windows free from such obstructions will permit the children to escape and go for help. This is why a plan is necessary in the event of a home invasion.

Motion sensors placed on the window or frame seems to be a reasonable precaution. The problem with the typical home alarm system is that it is generally turned off when the occupants are home. Some systems react to the motion of a touch upon the surface of an object such as a widow. If the occupants are home and do not touch the surface the sensors are placed upon then, the system will be able to do its job. If not, then the motion sensors are as useless as most alarm systems when the occupants are home. An alarm system will do its best if it is posted away from the home’s structure to give the occupants an opportunity to investigate and respond if necessary.

Finally, how can you secure the windows in the event of a societal collapse? In a civil society everything we do to protect ourselves ought to be non-lethal if at all possible. Of course, if there is a deadly threat in a civil society then respond in kind effectively and viciously. Yes, viciously. Your life and that of your family is in the balance during a real home invasion. But when you survive a home invasion, you return to a civil society.

When society collapses the rules change. In fact, there are no rules. This is the difference between civilized and uncivilized society. Rules. But rules for you. In a home invasion or during the collapse of society the insurgent(s) does not operate by any moral standard to which normal people are used. Some might say that the insurgent is guided by the rule of the jungle. Maybe. Nevertheless, he will do whatever is necessary to achieve his goal. In a civil society ruled by a moral people, the moral person must live within those rules as much as is possible if, for no other reason, than to live with themselves.

Interestingly, many people will try to live in a collapsed society as if such is a merely an out of control society such as happens during a natural catastrophe. Such thinking is fatal. When society collapses there will be no need for rubber bullets, personal defense rounds or alarm systems. In such a society “any means necessary” will be the operative phase. If a home owner stays home during such a catastrophe he or she will need to increase the lethality of the protective measures used especially around the window since it is only one of two areas which are really susceptible to an insurgent. Or at least increase the damage the technique can do to the insurgent to force them to stop.

There are two areas on the window the occupant will need to fortify. The two areas are the ground directly in front of the window and the window’s bottom ledge. There are a number of things the occupant can do. First, the occupant can put large pieces of glass or very sharp pieces of metal on the bottom ledge. Whatever material is used it will have to be “glued” to the ledge. Remember, the situation is critical as society has collapsed so how the house looks is of little to no practical consequence. Additionally, nails can be used as a weapon. These nails can be used both on the ledge and on the ground in front of the window. The nails need to be rather large. The nails placed on the ledge ought to be no less than four inches long. The nails placed on the ground ought to be ten to twelve inches long. Both group of nails need to be nailed into a piece of wood large enough for the ledge and ground. The nail weapon placed on the ledge will need to be permanently fixed to the ledge so that the insurgent cannot remove it. The nail weapon placed on the ground in front of the window can be set up in two ways. The weapon could be placed directly on the ground. If so, the occupant will need to camouflage the nails and possibly use spikes to anchor the system. A great place to hide the nail weapon would be between the wall of the house and a plant whose limbs or leaves will cover the system from the eyes of the insurgent. Additionally, the occupant could dig a hole, place the nail weapon in it and cover it with soft camouflage that looks like the surroundings but that will instantly collapse when stepped upon. In Vietnam the VC used something similar (I know the differences) called punji sticks. Finally, electricity can be used as a weapon. Wires could be run along the ledge of the window and secured by nails, screws or staples. The electrical lines can be powered by a battery of some sorts and while the lines need to be camouflaged, they still need to be accessible to the insurgent. Clearly, this weapon is not lethal but it will clearly discourage an insurgent.

The window is still a significant risk even with the advance in technology yet, it is not as significant as it might have been in the past. Nevertheless, each window of a house must be secured as much as is humanly possible to thwart the insurgent(s). If the insurgent breeches the defenses of the window he must be meet with techniques that will instantly incapacitate the insurgent or deadly force.

The Doors

So, the widow is not as vulnerable to being used as a entry during a home invasion or burglary as it once was. Despite this fact, the home occupant must make sure the window is properly secured to prevent any invasion. This leaves the door, front, back or side, as the weakest link in the skin of the buildingdoors and therefore, the door ought to receive the amount of attention equal to its weakness.

Doors comes in a myriad of shapes, sizes and ascetic variations. Doors are also produced with various types of materials like wood, steel, etc.  A door is often a single part of a two-part system which would include a storm door. Keep in mind that not all storm doors are strong enough to help prevent an invasion. Most of these doors are (1) built to beautify a home and (2) created with various structures, materials and doors2weights which are not conducive to security. Some storm doors can be very helpful in creating a barrier which is more difficult to breach. Often, the door’s ascetic variation increases its weakness against intrusion by placing weaker materials like glass close to critical areas like a door knob or the dead bolt. This article will look at each part of the door which needs to be strengthen.

The Door.

A door is generally made from either wood or metal. Additionally, a door can be hallow, solid or a combination. Finally, a door can have windows or not. doors12Metal is the best material to use for a door. Metal doors can be either solid or hallow. If a person tries to kick in a metal door with his foot it will jar the leg structure and possibly do some damage especially if the door is solid. But metal doors are very expensive. A solid wood door can be just as formidable as metal and costs much less. A hallow door is very weak and can be easily kicked in. Windows in a door are not always a security problem. If the occupant uses a door that has a window, the window ought to be located in the upper one-third of the door’s structure and generally in the door’s center. A window has to main purposes. One purpose is ascetic. The other purpose is security. The window allows the occupant on the inside to see who is requesting either entrance or an audience and determine whether to open the door or not. Therefore, the height of the window must be low enough for the occupant to be able to properly see enough of the area outside of the door to be able to make a reasonable conclusion of what to do.

My suggestion, if you are asking, is to purchase a door which is either metal or a hard wood and solid. If the door has windows it should not have windows located near the door handle or the dead bolt. Additionally, the window ought to be as small as is possible but large enough for the occupant to have a good line of sight from left to right to make a reasonable choice of whether to open the door or not. If the occupant chooses a door without a window, the door ought, at the very least, to have peep hole to identify who has approached the door.

The Frame and Hinges

The door’s strength cannot by itself keep out an insurgent. The frame and hinges are crucial links to the overall strength of the door system which must be doors10addressed. The frame is attached to the door and then placed within a frame attached to the skin of the house itself. The weakness of the frame lies between the spacing of the two separate frames. The less space that exists between the two frames allows the two to become closer to one and therefore, stronger. There are two ways to achieve this. First, if the door is to be replaced then make sure, as much as is possible, that the door frame fits as snugly as possible within the frame of the skin of the house. Additionally, once the door’s frame is placed secure the door’s frame to doors6the skin’s frame using strong and rather long screws. The screw needs to have good shear strength so the screw is more difficult to separate but a blow. Also, each screw ought to be at least as twice as long as the door’s frame and as large as possible. As the screw is being drilled into the wood it will pull together the wood of the frames making them one and therefore, much stronger.

The weak link between the strengthen door and frame system is the hinge. The hinge has three possible weak areas: the screw, strength of the metal and the hinge itself. A screw’s strength is determined by its shear strength, size and material. The proper screw will help hold the hinge strongly to the wood of thedoors9 door and frame. Hinges are made of various metals. Steel is the strongest metal and ought to be used. There are multiple types of hinges and there is no way to strengthen this section of the hinge.

My suggestion, if you are asking, is to use the deck screw because it has good shear strength. Also, bind together the frame of the door to the skin’s frame with a number of screws. Finally, chose a hinge that is steel and secure it to both frames with deck screws.

Door mechanisms and dead bolts.

The weak point for both is the strike plate that attaches to the frame. The purpose of the strike plate is to provide a solid stop for the bolt making it more door14difficult for the door to be forced opened. Both the tumbler unit for the door handle and latch of the dead bolt are securely positioned within the frame of the door. Each is positioned between either the door’s two halves or within the a drilled out portion of a solid door securely with strong screws and generally can withstand a lot of pressure.

The strike plate has two weaknesses which must be addressed. One weakness is the depth of the hole created to hold the bolt. Often, the bolt for the door mechanism is only about one-half (0.5) inches long which is rather short. The bolt for the dead bolt is usually a bit long being about one (1.0) inch long. The door mechanism’s bolt is clearly insufficient to withstand a strong blow like a kick or some tool designed to force entry. The typical deadbolt is clearly more sturdy and ought to be able to withstand more force nevertheless, dead bolted doors have been breached by kicking the door in.

The next weakness is the typical manufacturer screws. Often, these screws are generally less than one-quarter (0.25) inch long and not steel. The wood of the frame is weak and becomes more so with age. The length of the screw and age of the wood are important factors in the over strength of the door system.
If the strike plate is not securely attached to the frame, less force will be necessary the bolt horizontally through the side of the frame taking the plate with it.

My suggestion is to lengthen both the bolts and screws. After market companies provide door mechanisms and dead bolts which have substantially longer bolts. This means the occupant must lengthen the frame’s hole into which the bolt seats. Some aftermarket bolts are four (4) to six (6) inches long. Also, replace the strike plate’s screws with deck screws that are between four (4) to six (6) inches long. Together the two modifications will substantially strengthen the link between the door and frame making it more difficult for an insurgent to force open the door. At the very least, if the insurgent is intent on breaching the home through a door, the door’s increased strength will give the occupant a few more seconds and maybe a minute to become armed and get the family to safety. A minute is a long time in a home invasion.

Storm Doors and Door Jamb Security

Storm doors come in a variety of colors, metals, weights and shapes. In reality, only the type of metals and weights ought to affect the choice of a storm door door21for security. The storm door simply creates a secondary level of defense against an intrusion. The storm door (1) makes it more difficult to access the actual door, (2) creates noise when struck which alerts the occupants and (3) gives the occupants six or so inches of a buffer.

Multiple door jamb security units have been created each with varying success. One mechanism is called the Devil Door. (This is not a endorsement, merely an example) This mechanism is bolted to the door jamb and is located between the door and the frame. It is said to be able to withstand 1,000 pounds of pressure. The cost of this unit ranges from $118.00 to $236.00. There are some low-cost variations. Here are some photos of these variations.

door16door17door18door20door19

My suggestion is two-fold. Purchase a storm door which is rather heavy no matter the materials used to create it. The heavier the door the more difficult it will be to breech. A door jamb is also a great way to increase the door’s strength against an intrusion. Make sure that materials used in its construction will allow the mechanism to withstand a kick from a large individual or a tool designed to force entry.

My suggestion is two-fold. Purchase a storm door which is rather heavy no matter the materials used to create it. The heavier the door the more difficult it will be to breach. A door jamb is also a great way to increase the door’s strength against an intrusion. Make sure that materials used in its construction will allow the mechanism to withstand a kick from a large individual or a tool designed to force entry.

Before I end this article let me offer a few suggestions. Safety must be first. The modifications should not make it more difficult for the occupant(s) to escape to the outside in the case of an emergency. Some analysts have suggested placing at least two dead bolts on each door. This would increase the door’s strength but it would also make it much more difficult to open the door in the event of a emergency. The smallness of the dead bolt’s handle and the sympathetic nervous system will make it very difficult to do something as easy as unlock the dead bolt. The same can be said of the various jamb security measures. I would stay away from those units which cross the door horizontally because it becomes one more thing that has to be opened to reach the outside. If door consisted of a storm door, regular door and a horizontal jamb mechanism it would mean the occupant would have to unlatch three separate items lengthening the time to escape. It could be the difference between survival and death. The mechanisms which triangularly brace against the floor and door will provide the extra resistance needed against an intrusion but can be easily kicked away in the event of an emergency which demands the occupant leave the house for their safety.

So, before purchasing anything that will increase resistance to an invasion, think first about safety and the unit can be easily removed during an emergency. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Lets face it, if an insurgent thinks the occupant is a worthy prize and he is willing to do whatever it takes to breech the home he will succeed. So, the occupant has secured the home as well as possible. But the insurgent gains entry. Now the real battle begins, a battle that very few people have ever faced and that too many simply do not survive. The home invasion is a different species of combat. What makes it so different? The terrain on which you will fight and the purpose. The terrain is not like what is outside. It is the hallways of the house, the corners of the doorways, the furniture and plants which might scatter the home. The fight will be fast, brutal and bloody. The purpose of this combat is the future of your family. The first fifteen to twenty seconds of a home invasion will determine the family’s future. So, when the insurgent gains entry, how do you respond?

Perimeter Security Pt. 4