Notes for hardening your house, and retreat, so the bad guys pass you by in favor of soft targets. In part #1 of Home Invasion, I mentioned the need to use strong, long screws for your hinges, locks, and frames. Consider also installing metal clad industrial doors for your exterior doors and the door to your safe room. These will provide superior resistance to kick-ins and fire.
If possible, eliminate windows in doors. Or install double deadbolt locks (key needed for each side) in said doors to eliminate the criminal's easy access. Another alternative is to install a sheet of lexan over the interior side of the door window to hopefully give the burglar a broken hand when they try to bash in the door window.
Everyone has heard about the latest trend in burglary; lock bumping. This is a quick way to jar many locks open with a minimum of effort. Bump proof locks are widely available, expect to pay about twice the cost or more for them. In Montana, our burglars are behind the times so bumping is not a real problem here now. But with all the people moving here??
Good visibility is vital to home and retreat security. Make it hard for bad guys to skulk near your doors by eliminating concealing bushes, etc. near your exterior doors. At entrances to your property, be aware of possible vantage points for wrong doers spying on your retreat/compound. Be especially aware of places enemies can lie in wait near where you must dismount to work your gates or doors. Rehearse what you would do if some person accosted you as you got out to open your gate.
For your retreat, plan now for how you will dominate your approaches and interior lines whether with firepower, obstacles, fences, light or use of animals. Consider setting up motion detector floodlights around your house and barn. Solar powered ones are available that are easy to set up without the need for an electrician. If you can afford it, have all of your exterior floodlights tied into a single switch in your sleeping area. This way you can light up your whole compound if you suspect a burglary of your house or barn is in progress.
Making the house look occupied by using lights that turn on at dusk and off at dawn is nice. For added security, and a nasty scare for home invaders utilize remote controlled light sockets, available from Sportsmans Guide among others. Imagine the thieves surprise as lights come on in widely separated rooms and a radio comes on. Probably send them running or at least give you a few seconds of surprise to run your plan on them.
Key control is vital. Change locks as soon as you move to a new home. Be very careful who you give keys to. Impress on them the need to maintain control of your keys at all times.
A quick way to control access to your property is to use tanglefoot. This slows down those approaching, it will not stop them. Traditionally, you make it by driving in a number of posts in the area, of varying height. You then string wire between the posts, usually barbed wire. This will force any bad person to slowly pick their way through, giving you plenty of time to sound the alarm, etc. But this is an inflexible system that is highly visible and tends to make your property, in peacetime, look like a little piece of Kosovo.
A more flexible way to use tanglefoot is to just make loops of baling wire, about 2.5 feet around, and scatter them around the area to be protected. For added force, scatter broken cinder block or broken glass around the area. The booby steps on the front of a loop, or gets an ankle in it, and steps on the trailing edge of the loop=trip time from the trap for the booby. This "trap field" is easily cleared as needed with just a sturdy metal rake and a good pair of gloves.
Deploying inexpensive IR and contact alarms that have built in sirens is a good move for outbuildings, and can be used for the house to provide uninterruptible alarm coverage.
Your home is your castle. fortify it like one. In TEOTWAWKI conditions, be prepared to dominate the space around your home. Make plans for how to respond to threats from "dead spaces" (i.e. you cannot directly see them) around your area. Fill such spaces with barbed wire? CCTV Camera system? Sonic "crowd control" devices set up to turn on by remote control?
Have safe holidays in your secure home. Next up; drills for home invasion/intruder on your land. Until then, enjoy our coming Montana Winter. Hope you got your vegetables in in time, I did.