Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous is the catch-all for things that might not fit into a specific category. The content here is just as valuable, but maybe a little broader or off-topic. Look around and you may just find something you like.

Preparedness Fitness

Preparedness Fitness

Fitness is one of those things that may seem out of reach for many, but preparedness fitness is achievable for everyone. There are many ways to achieve “preparedness” fitness, and we will cover some of those, but ultimately the key is using the tools you have at your disposal. One of my favorite resources is a book called Convict Conditioning. It is a series of body exercise workouts that progressively get tougher. For this type of fitness, simplicity is the key. 

Now, the purpose and goal of preparedness fitness are not to get super strong or extra lean. The number one goal is to be able to sustain. Now, what do I mean by sustain? What I mean is that we can get fit and stay fit, all while performing the tasks that necessary in a preparedness-type scenario. 

Now preparedness scenarios will vary for everyone, which is why this type of fitness focuses on whole-body fitness and building endurance. Preparedness fitness also can be achieved with zero weights or equipment. Unless your daily life includes physical exertion of some type, you should plan on spending at least 30-45 minutes a day exercising.

Now let’s get into some of the exercises and their purposes. These will be in no particular order.

Pushups

To Speed Recovery, Try Pre-Sleep Pushups and Protein | Runner's World
Tried and true, pushups are great for working the pectoral, triceps, and anterior deltoid muscles. Very versatile as you can change up hand position, raised feet, or even adding movement to your pushups for the extra effort.

Situps/Crunches

The Sit-Up That Works Your Triceps | Prevention
Situps and crunches focus primarily on the abdominal muscles. With some variations and the addition of weight, one can target their lower back muscles also.

Squats

Expert Answers: How Low Do I Need to Squat to Get the Full Benefits? -  Experience Life
Squats suck! But squats are an important exercise, especially if you sit for extended periods throughout the day. Squats help to unlock the hip flexor and tighten your glutes. Squats also increase muscle in the thigh and quad while increasing mobility. 

Jumping Jacks

7 Facts You Might Not Know about Jumping Jacks • Cathe Friedrich
If you can’t get out and run, do jumping jacks. They are a great cardio workout that is easy to perform wherever you are. It may not seem like it, but a few minutes of continuous jumping jacks can burn the same amount of calories as a few minutes of a jog. They also help with flexibility.

Mountain Climbers

How To Do The Mountain Climber Exercise | Benefits, Form Guide And  Variations | Coach Exercise Guides
Another excellent calorie burner. Mountain climbers work a lot of the lower and core muscles. If you are looking for a great warm-up routine, combine some jumping jacks with mountain climbers, and you will get your heart rate up and sweat a bit.

Running/Sprints

Fit Man Doing High Knees Cardio Exercise - High Quality Free Stock Images
Running requires the ability to get outside and may not always be possible. One way to get around is to run in place, also known as 
“high knees,” or if you have a basement, sprint from end to end. Running helps build lung capacity and also burns calories. Adding a weighted vest or carrying extra weight is a great way to enhance your run.

Lifts

BREAK IT DOWN: The Deadlift - Experience Life
For this post, lifts can be anything from furniture to wood, children, or whatever else you can find to complete the task. The sofa is a great way to perform a deadlift of sorts. Utilize heavy trash bags to perform bicep curls. Use your imagination for this one.

Presses

How To Master The Bench Press | Coach Exercise Guides
Presses can be anything from a bench press to a shoulder press and more. Again use your imagination.

Axe Chop

How To Do The Dumbbell Woodchop | Coach
Now, I like this one for two reasons. First, it is an excellent exercise to strengthen arms, core, back, and hand muscles. Second, it can perform a chore that needs completing anyway. Chopping wood! 

Drag/Carry

DisruptiveStrong | Shop | StrongBagThe Drag and Carry is something that you will see military, fire & rescue, and sometimes EMTs performing. The two basic movements are a semi-squatted drag of a weighted bag and an over-the-shoulder carry of a weighted bag or similar. The Drag simulates removing a wounded person out of harm’s way. The Carry simulates the same and also helps with the ability to carry heavy objects.

Stretching

9 Ways Stretching Can Improve Your Health & Wellness - Loudou Physical  Therapy
Stretching not only helps to keep from injuring yourself, but it is a great way to burn fat. Dynamic stretching combined with static stretching helps maintain a limber body and keep your muscles from binding. 

Pull-ups/Chin-ups

The Chin-Up Hypertrophy Guide – Outlift
Another pretty self-explanatory exercise. Palms facing you is a Chin-up, while Palms facing away from you are Pull-ups. Both have their function and should be a part of your routine. 

Being prepared is not something that you should think about once you are in an SHTF or Shit Hit the Fan scenario. Preparedness is something that should be a part of your everyday life. Likewise, preparedness fitness is something that everyone should work into their day to day life. You never know. One day your life may depend on it! 

10 Skills Every Person Should Learn

10 Skills every person should learn in their lifetime. Many of these skills may not seem useful until you need them, but when you need these skills, they will be invaluable to have on hand. These skills will range from easy to expert. Every skill listed below is learnable by anyone. A few may require you to seek a person trained to teach you. 

Skill #1 – Cooking

Now I know this may seem like something everyone knows how to do, but you would be surprised how many people can not prepare a simple meal. FYI, the Microwave is NOT a cooking device. The ability to cook a quality meal using the stove/oven or even a campfire is an essential skill to have in your arsenal. Also, prepared meals tend to be a healthier option.

Skill #2 – Making Fire

I figure since we just touched on cooking, making fire would be a perfect segway. There are many methods in which one can make a fire, and the ability to make one without a fuel source or fire element like a Bic lighter is essential. The first way which I highly recommend learning is using a Ferro rod and tinder. A Ferro rod or Ferrocerium rod is a synthetic alloy that can reach temperatures of 3000C when struck. Combined with a synthetic or natural tinder, you are sure to get a roaring fire started with one of these.

Another method is the good-ole’ flint and tinder. Similar to the Ferro rod, the flint creates a spark that then ignites the tinder. Lastly, bow and tendril are one of those tried and true methods that have and will always be around. This method requires a little bit more work and training but can be found anywhere and used to make a fire. 

14 Ways to Start a Fire (No Matches or Lighter)

Skill #3 – Knots / Knot Tying

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Learn to tie knots; All kinds of knots. Knots are infinitely useful skills, whether tying a boat to a dock or pitching a makeshift shelter. 

Here is a great video showing some useful knots. – 8 Knots You Need to Know

Skill #4 – Building/Repairs

The ability to build or repair things in and around the house is another invaluable skill to have. Many people can’t do something as simple as replacing a sink faucet or toilet fill valve. Both projects require a few tools and are very easy to do. With the plethora of online resources, this is one skill that you shouldn’t skimp on or ignore. You may want to build a shed or a chicken coop; it is much cheaper to build yourself than hire someone to build for you.

Skill #5 – Self-Defense

Now, this is not an ordered list, and if it were self-defense would be much higher on the list, but it isn’t, so here we are. Self-defense is probably one of the most important skills any person can have. Many people don’t like to think about bad things happening, but the ability to protect yourself and your family is one skill that should be at the forefront. Self-defense could be something as simple as spatial and situational awareness, to owning a firearm.

Martial arts, specifically non-sport martial arts, are a great choice if you are looking to improve your hand-to-hand combat. This skill is great if you are someone who doesn’t want to rely on weapons, or your environment does not allow you to carry a weapon. The one commonality to what you choose is practice, practice, practice. 

Skill #6 – Water Purification

Water is the life-blood of humankind. We, the human race, cannot survive without water, which makes the ability to get and purify water such an important skill. There are quite a few ways in which a person can purify water. The simplest is boiling the water. Water must be boiled for one min at a rolling boil to be purified, three minutes at altitudes above 6500ft.

Another method is using liquid bleach. For this method, you will need to let the water sit for at least one hour before consuming it. Also, this will not remove any chemical pollutants from the water. The standard mix is a quarter teaspoon per 1 gallon of water.

The last method(s) are purification tablets and filters. Now, filters you purchase through the store should be a five-layer filter to make sure you are removing the most amount of contaminants, but they also take the longest to filter through. Filters also have a finite number of uses. Water purification tablets are one-time use and take time to purify the water. Time obviously will vary based on the amount of water to be filtered. Tablets are a solid choice because they can travel with you and don’t take up much space or weight.

Skill #7 – Offensive/Defensive Driving

I am sure many people will be like, but I drive every day I already know how to do this. That is where you would be wrong. Offensive and Defensive driving are very particular skill the majority of people will never learn, nor need. I won’t dig too deep into these, but both have their purposes, and there are driving schools that teach both. 

Skill #8 – Hunting/Skinning 

Now this one may be slightly controversial to some. But the ability to harvest your food and process the animal for things such as mittens and moccasins is a skill that seems irrelevant but is invaluable. 

Skill #9 – Gardening

Ok, don’t laugh at this one because gardening is just an encompassing term for all things growing. Specifically, learning how to plant and grow a variety of plants and crops. The ability to be self-sufficient is an important skill to have. This particular skill goes hand in hand with hunting also. The ability to grow your food could mean the difference between life and death if the need should ever arise. 

Skill #10 – Situational Awareness

Situational awareness is simply the ability to be aware of your surroundings and the situations that may arise. Extremely important to helping avoid putting yourself or others in a scenario that may not be conducive to your health.

Jeff Coopers 4 Levels of Situational Awareness

Lastly, I would like to mention an honorable mention skill that may not seem like a skill too many people. That is the ability to unwind or destress. Many people find this to be a difficult task to accomplish. And if you can perfect this, you will find your life to be much happier and more fulfilled. 

Prepping 101

Prepping 101

A Beginners Guide to Prepping

Prepping 101. If there is one single thing in this life that should be valued over anything else it would be preparedness. This is not just preparedness for times of catastrophic levels but even everyday life. It could be as simple as keeping bottled water on hand in case of a water main break. To the extreme case of a hurricane. Being prepared is not something one should do after the fact. Nor, at the time of an event. It should be done well in advance and done with strategic planning.

Prepping 101 is designed to get you to think about these types of scenarios. What you might personally need to “ride it out” as the saying goes.

The “FIVE” of Prepping 101:

  • Fire
  • Food
  • Water
  • Shelter
  • Communication

Now, these may seem super simple to most people. For many, these are items that they have never been without. They have never had to make their fire (without a fuel). They never had to go without food because a grocery store is right around the corner. Water comes out of the tap or they can buy bottled water at any time. And since cell phones are in every pocket communication has never been easier.

The recent development of COVID-19 and previous outbreaks like H1N1 and SARS, this should serve as a warning to all those who believe life will always go on as usual. We have seen complete shutdowns of schools, non-essential businesses, and stay-at-home orders across the country. You might be asking yourself where do I begin? Well, you came to the right place.

Water

Let us start with water as it is essential to life as we know it and is a great starting point. On average an adult needs 1 gallon of water a day. Now this varies from person to person and day. Some days might require more water some less. The less active you are the less water you will need, the same goes for temperature, the hotter the more water your body will require.

Water is an inexpensive item to start stockpiling. An average-case of 32 – 16oz bottles of water will run you roughly $4 depending on where you are. Let’s do a little math, shall we! Let’s use a single person for this as the math can then be multiplied; depending on the number of people you have in your party. Our starting point is 1 gallon of water a day.

The Math!

1 – gal = 128 fl oz of water
1 – 16oz x 32 = 512 fl oz
512 / 128 = 4 days

One person with a 32 case of bottled water has essentially a 4 day supply of water. So if you are looking to stock up for a family of 4, do the math. That is what you will need to sustain your family for a minimum of 4 days.

Food

Now food can come in all shapes and sizes as we are well aware and this wouldn’t be a true 101 if I didn’t mention the fact that one can get their food through hunting, trapping, and fishing. For this 101 we will be discussing the types of food that are good for stockpiling long term and what may be needed to cook said food.

The average adult needs 1200 calories a day to survive and from 2400 to 3200 to thrive. Keep this in mind while prepping.

Freeze-Dried

Freeze-Dried foods will always be one that is on the top of my list. You can get these in a variety of shapes and sizes, but one of the best and easiest to store and cook is going to be a #10 can. Two of my favorite brands are Mountain House & Augason Farms. Both offer a great product and pricing is reasonable for what you get. The #10 can specifically store very well and are stackable. They also allow for “in-out buying”, which is the practice of buying a can and keeping the newest in the back and always taking from the front is the oldest can, but with a 25-year shelf life, you usually don’t need to worry about this.

Energy Bars

Energy Bars are another great choice to keep on hand. They are easy to transport, usually decent calorie count, and have ample sugar to keep you going. These aren’t always the cheapest option, but if you plan and buy as you can these have a decent shelf life and are great temporary meal replacements or added calorie snacks.

Protein

Protein is an essential element of your daily caloric intake, especially if you are active and tend to burn calories throughout the day through any sort of physical exertion. These days protein comes in all shapes and sizes. Red meat, powder, beans, and even milk are fortified with protein. That being said not all protein is created equal. To maintain your body and not lose critical muscle in a survival situation 10 – 20g of protein a day is needed. Plant-based protein will burn quicker in the body than a meat-based protein, so keep that in mind. Similarly, protein bars are going to be higher in sugar which will balance the burn of sugar and protein.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates in a survival, situation carbs are your friend. Carbs provide much-needed energy and sugars to help you power through the day. They can come from grains, beans, nuts, but they should be on hand in some fashion or another. Pasta will always be a great choice to stockpile as it lasts a decent amount of time and is fairly easy to prepare, while loaded with carbs.

I could go on forever about the different types of foods. In an SHTF scenario though, these staples will prove invaluable to help see you through it.

Fire

Ah, fire! The warmth-giver and the ever mesmerizing temptress. Fire is essential to life as it allows us to cook food, stay warm, and light our way. Although technology has replaced things like oil lamps and torches they are still in use by many preppers. There are 5 types of fire starters that I will always have on hand no matter what.

Side Note:

Now, many are probably thinking isn’t a Zippo a windproof lighter? Yes, but 2 is 1, and 1 is none. There are different types of windproof lighters and Zippo is one. There are very specific types of windproof lighters that I consider to be, actually windproof. If you have ever used a Zippo on the golf course or in a large open field you will know what I mean.

Along with the actual starter, I will usually carry some sort of waterproof tinder or fire starting material in a waterproof case. Here is one of my favorites as they are easy to use and store. Exotac Tinder

Shelter

Shelter is pretty self-explanatory. A place where you can get out of the elements and stay warm and dry. This could be anything from a lean-to to a tent or house. Depending on a bug-in or bug-out type of scenario you might already have a shelter or not. A quality lightweight tent is always a good thing to have on stand-by. In the case you need to move from your home base to find food or water.

Communication 

Often overlooked but extremely important, communication devices will be not only used for communicating with the outside world. They are a prepping 101 staple and will also be used as a means of calling for help or helping others. There are 3 types of devices I recommend to first-timers and one will require you to obtain a license to operate.

Whistle

You may be asking yourself, why a whistle? Well, plain and simply a whistle is a great tool that cuts through everything and if you are hurt, lost, or trying to communicate under the radar with people in a close distance, a whistle is an amazing tool. Be sure to buy either a marine whistle or a survival whistle as these will be sturdy and loud.

Two-way Radio / CB Radio

Now, I put the two-way and CB in the same category because they are both short-range, and operate on channels vs frequencies. Neither requires you to obtain an FCC license and they are a cheap and effective way to communicate at short range. Unlike the whistle, only people with radios and on the same channel will be able to hear you or communicate with you. Make sure to do your research and purchase a quality item and enough to fit your needs.

Ham Radio

This is where things start to get interesting. The world of Amateur radio is an interesting one and unfortunately a dying art. Now, if you are looking to just listen and not talk it is 100% legal to own and operate a ham radio. If the time comes that you ever want to talk by using the PTT, you will need a license from the FCC, which will come with a “call sign”. Ham radios can reach extremely long distances with the right equipment and in an SHTF situation will be an invaluable resource.

In Conclusion

Seeing all the panic buying and irrational behavior that COVID-19 and the media have created, there are probably many of you who are looking into starting to prep. It may be to account for another lockdown scenario, or it could be a larger prep for something more substantial. Whatever the case may be I am glad you took the time to read prepping 101 and start somewhere. Interested in helping keep the blog alive check out our shop.

Stay calm, Stay safe, Stay strong.
Happy Prepping!

15 Most Common Home Security Weak Points

15 Most Common Home Security Weak Points

Foxfire Armory focuses exclusively on performing security assessments for residential/private residences. These are the fifteen most common problems that we find when conducting home security assessments, along with some possible solutions for remedying these problems.

#1 – Inexpensive Lock Hardware Used on Exterior Doors

Builders typically use inexpensive lock hardware when they build a home, sometimes even at homes which cost millions of dollars. Most inexpensive lock hardware made with cheap materials, which can easily be forced open or otherwise compromised by a potential intruder. These inexpensive locks use traditional pin tumbler lock cylinders, which can be “picked” or “bumped” open by a potential intruder.

Solution: Replace existing locksets on all exterior doors with heavy-duty lock hardware from a reputable manufacturer. We recommend the use of ANSI Grade 2 locks at a minimum, with the use of ANSI Grade 1 locks preferred. For the highest security, the use of high-security lock cylinders (such ASSA or Medeco) help reduce the risk of picking, bumping and unauthorized duplication of keys. Many residential handlesets come with only a deadbolt, but for added security, a lock set with both a high-security cylinder and a high-security deadbolt lock is preferred.

#2 – Inadequate Reinforcement of Door Frames

One of the most common and easy ways for an intruder to gain entry to a home is to kick-in the exterior doors. The reason this is so easy is due to inadequate support provided by standard door frames and cheap lockset. Often, the bolt and/or latch enters a wood frame that provides a 1/4 inch or less of support for the door bolt or latch. A swift forceful quick kick to the door near the lock set provides enough force to split the wooden door frame, allowing the door to be easily opened.

Solution: Install heavy-duty strike plates in conjunction with minimum 2 1/2 inch wood screws on all exterior door frames. Use longer strike plates with a greater surface area that permits the use of more mounting screws. Fasten strike plates with longer screws, we recommend minimum 2 1/2 inch, that extend into the wall stud (2×4) next to the door rather than just into the door frame itself. For added security, consider using door and frame reinforcement kits, such as the StrikeMaster II Pro or Door Armor MAX.

#3 – Exposed Hinges on Out-Swinging Doors

Some homes have out-swinging doors, which leaves hinges that are exposed on the outside of the door. To open the door from the outside, an intruder simply needs to remove the hinge pins, allowing the door to pulled out of the door frame.

Solution: Security studs added to all the hinges on out-swinging doors will prevent someone from removing the door even with the pins removed. Commercially-made security studs can be purchased, or studs can be homemade ( For homemade studs, 1/2 inch round metal stock is recommended, but 3/16 inch at a minimum. For best results cut 3x – 2-inch pieces with an angle grinder or hack saw. Drill the proper hole size through the center of each hinge on both sides making sure the holes line up correctly. You can also place these above/below the hinges if you choose, but through the hinge is more secure. Once your holes are drilled and pieces cut you can now install your studs. [Professional installation is recommended] ).

#4 – Poor Locking Hardware on Windows and Sliding Doors

The standard factory-supplied lock hardware on many residential windows and sliding doors is of very poor quality, allowing the window or door to be easily forced open or lifted from its tracks. Casement windows and other non-sliding types usually don’t have the same issues, but can still be broken to gain entry.

Solution: Providing supplementary locking devices on sliding doors and sliding windows helps not only to deter but to slow speed of access. These devices are available in a wide variety of different types and are sold online and at larger home improvement stores, they can also be homemade from wood or metal.

#5 – Unprotected Glass Used In Vulnerable Locations

Exterior glass is used at nearly every residence. Some homes have only a few exterior glass doors and windows, while at other homes glass makes up a significant portion of the exterior wall. While all glass is a potential entry point for a burglar, certain glass can especially vulnerable. This glass includes Glass panes within doors or beside doors. These windows can be broken, allowing the burglar to reach inside to unlock the door. Glass windows located at grade level in concealed locations. These windows can be broken and allow the burglar to enter unobserved. Glass windows located in window wells ( Egress Windows ) that are below grade. These windows allow a burglar to crawl into the window well, break a window, and enter unobserved.

Solution: Installing Window Security Film on windows that are in particularly vulnerable locations is a great option. While an intruder can shatter the glass, the security window film keeps the glass shards together, making entry through the window opening much more difficult. Security Film can also slow entry by requiring more time to break and remove the glass.

#6 – Unlocked Doors and Windows ( Simple I Know )

Surprisingly a number of home, exterior doors and windows are left unlocked, even at times when the homeowner is away. Often, homeowners feel leaving second-floor windows open is safe because of the height that these windows are from the ground. The reality is burglars have no trouble at all gaining access to windows that are located two, three, or even four floors above ground. Some homeowners even make things easy for the burglar by leaving an unsecured ladder somewhere on the property, this includes garages.

Solution: All exterior doors and windows should be kept locked at all times at night, when away from the home, and even when in a basement or backyard. If certain windows must be kept open for ventilation purposes, consider the use of alarm window screens connected to the home’s intrusion alarm system or the use of two magnets. One for the closed position and one for the open position. This way if the window is pushed open the alarm will sound. Likewise, the screen alarms cause the alarm to activate when the screen is cut or removed. Alarm window screens are custom-made for each window and are available from most companies that sell and install alarm systems.

#7 – Spare Door Key Left Hidden Outside

In this day and age, this is just a big mistake. Many people continue to leave a spare key to an exterior door “hidden” somewhere outside the home. Keys are commonly left under a doormat, beneath a flower pot, or hidden in “concealed” location, despite the fact that nearly everyone knows to look for keys in these locations. No matter how clever your hiding place seems to be, burglars have a way of finding it.

Solution: The practice of hiding a spare house key outside or even your in your garage should be stopped at all costs. Spare keys, if needed, should be left with a trusted neighbor, family member, or friend who can bring them to you when you are locked out.

#8 – Shrubbery and Trees Block View of Home From The Street

In many cases, the trees and shrubbery are overgrown and block the view of the house from the street and neighboring homes. This creates a condition where burglars can break into the home unobserved.

Solution: We recommend that recognized Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principals be used when installing and maintaining landscaping at the home. These principals suggest that clear sight lines be maintained between the home and the street to discourage criminal activity. To achieve this, it is recommended that shrubs and other ground cover be trimmed to no higher than three feet off of the ground and that the bottom of tree canopies be pruned so that they are at least six feet off of the ground.

#9 – Home has an Alarm System Installed BUT is Not Used

Sadly there are a high number of cases where an alarm system is installed at the home, but the homeowners have stopped using it. This often happens due to high monthly costs or the fear of false alarms. Even at homes where alarm systems are being used, homeowners often fail to arm the system when they leave for only a short period, such as when running an errand.

Solution: We recommend that the home’s alarm system be armed at all times when the home is unoccupied, even for very short periods of time. The alarm should also be armed to home mode at all times when home if possible. Most burglaries are committed in under ten minutes, and burglars often watch homes and make an entry just after the resident leaves. If the intrusion alarm system is difficult to use or causes false alarms, a qualified alarm company should be hired to upgrade the system and/or make repairs so that the system is easy to use and isn’t prone to false alarms. False alarms are most often triggered by pets and most modern alarm systems have remedied these issues.

#10 – Problems With Older Alarm Systems that Use Telephone Lines

Most older alarm systems use standard telephone lines to communicate with the monitoring station. In many cases where the homeowner has replaced their traditional telephone service with services offered by the cable company, the connection to the alarm system was not transferred as well. Recently cases the homeowners rely exclusively on their cell phone and have discontinued the use of wired telephone entirely, forgetting the alarm system depends on a wired connection.

Solution: Homeowners should understand the method that their alarm system uses to communicate to the alarm monitoring center. If the alarm system still relies on a telephone connection, homeowners should look into upgrading their system to an internet/cable-based system that will also work with no internet connection. For added security cameras should be used at all entry points of the house and tied to your alarms system.

#11 – Garage Door Vulnerability

This is probably one of the most overlooked security flaws all homes have. Residential garage doors are equipped with garage door openers, which have an emergency release mechanism that allowing the door to be opened in the case of power failure. In the majority of cases, the emergency release mechanism can be released from the outside of the garage using a coat hanger or other stiff wire. The coat hanger is inserted at the gap at the top of the door and is used to grab the cord connected to the emergency release. Once this cord is pulled, the door can be freely opened from the outside. This technique is often used by more sophisticated intruders as a method to gain entry to garages.

Solution: The simplest solution is to remove the pull cord and to tie back the emergency release lever using a plastic wire tie, but this is not recommended if you are in an area with frequent outages. There are commercially-made products that can be purchased to provide a shield around the emergency release lever, preventing it from being pulled except inside the garage. Likewise, homemade solutions such as removing just the T Style pull handle and leaving the bare rope also works well.

#12 – Older-Style Radio Controls Used With Garage Door Openers

For many years, simple radio controls were used in conjunction with garage door openers. These radio controls used a limited number of different code combinations, often 256 codes or less. An intruder with a compatible transmitter can manually try various code combinations until they find one that works. There are also homemade devices that can rapidly scan through all code combinations quickly, allowing the door to be opened in a manner of minutes. One way to tell if your radio controls are one of the older types is to look at your garage door transmitter (“clicker”). Transmitters used with the older systems usually had a “DIP” switch that allowed the code combination to be set. Opening the case of the transmitter will allow you to see if a DIP switch is present. If it is, you probably have one of the older systems.

Solution: Older radio controls should be replaced with newer radio controls that use “rolling code” technology. A rolling code system selects a new code from 4.3 billion possible combinations each time the system is used, making it nearly impossible for an intruder to ever match the code. New radio controls can usually be added to existing garage door openers without requiring that the opener itself be replaced.

#13 – Inexpensive Fire Safe to Store Valuables

Many homeowners are using an inexpensive fire safe purchased from big-box retailer to store their valuables. Safes of this type have been used to store hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry or investment grade precious metal. Safes of this type are A – not actually safes at all, but locked storage containers and B – they are specifically designed to withstand fire and water in the home, not a burglar.

Solution: A UL Listed burglary safe should be used to store jewelry and other valuables in the home. We also recommend getting a larger heavy safe that can be bolted to the floor or wall making it almost impossible for the burglar to haul the safe off for future entry.

#14 – No Secondary Line of Defense Within The Home

Most homes have no additional locked doors or barriers within the interior of the home. Once a burglar makes his way through an exterior door or window, he has free access to all areas of the home, including your family.

Solution: “Concentric Circles of Protection”, the premise of this is that security will be greatly improved using multiple layers of security, each of which must be penetrated in order for an intruder to gain access to the high-value assets within a home. For example, an additional layer of security could be created by installing a deadbolt lock on both the master bedroom door and the master bedroom closet. These doors would be kept closed and locked when the resident was away from the home. High-value assets such as jewelry could then be stored in the master bedroom closet. A burglar who was intent on stealing jewelry would have to make his way through three locked doors before achieving his goal. If the home had a safe, and this safe were installed within the master bedroom closet, this would create a fourth layer of security. These extra layers of security would also give a secure place to hide in the event someone forced their way into your home while it was occupied.

#15 – No Asset Inventory of The Home

Most homeowners fail to keep an inventory of the valuable assets in their home. Consequently, when they are burglarized, they find it difficult to provide the police and their insurance company with an accurate list of what was stolen. It is common to file a burglary report and then continue to find additional items missing weeks and even months after a burglary occurs.

Solution: A complete written inventory that lists all major assets (furnishings, antiques, equipment, jewelry, etc.) in the home should be created. This inventory could be used to provide information to law enforcement agencies and insurance companies in the event that assets were stolen or destroyed. The inventory should list assets by type and include make, model number, and serial number of each asset. A picture of each asset should also be taken. Pictures are particularly valuable to enable the identification of items such as jewelry or antiques which may not have a serial number and may be difficult to describe. Copies of the inventory and pictures should be stored in secure locations both on and off the premises. The inventory should be periodically reviewed and updated to add items that have been recently purchased and to delete any items that may have been disposed of. Companies now make software to help keep this list updated and easily maintainable from your computer or smartphone.

If you are interested in having a whole home assessment done Contact Us for a Quote!

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Foxfire Armory, MGMT