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Old October 5, 2005, 09:23 PM   #1
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This is non gun releted

Because I ask that we put aside our guns and look at other tactics that we can use to enhance our security. Around the house or out in public.

I guess that I'm one of those paranoid types, because we all know that we're safe at home and especially in the bathroom

And let's make this hard, lets take the person on the bottom, who lives in a place that isn't the best, can't move out because of money, want's to live, and has one gun but it's not worth it if someone breaches his/her domain unless they were given time.

And in this place, no pets are allowed, the gun only has two magazines and both are loaded to full, .25 cal., total 14 shots, can't afford to buy more. But, has a friend that will give little things to help enforce the home, and maybe can give a few light systems, very few. Has a friend at (insert your fav. mart here) that can get a few things, but the house's outter shell stays the same.

Instead of throwing money at things, let's see what we can come up with for those on a limited budget and creative thinking.

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Old October 5, 2005, 09:54 PM   #2
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.25cal? Get a 45!

no, seriously. I dont know how low-budget you are thinking...

But what about tin cans on the door. Kinda like a wedding car has dragging from the back? It would alert them somewhat.

Other than that, I really dont know what to do on such a low budget, as you described.
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Old October 5, 2005, 10:12 PM   #3
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Okay, I'll play - how about lights, motion lights if possible, outside of the house - especially in the back yard or other areas that may be hidden from street view. Plant thorny bushes under windows. Check and reinforce all of the locks on windows and doors, add deadbolts to all outside doors. Make a safe room in the bedroom - add a deadbolt and heavy duty hinges to the BR door and if your friend can get a solid core door add that too, or if that costs too much screw a 3/4" plywood sheet to the inside of the door. keep it locked at night while sleeping. Get a loud siren or alarm that can be manually activated to alert the neighbors if needed. Put a beware of dog sign outside complete with a chain leash and a bowl of water in a conspicuous area. Get some 'Protected by Brinks' stickers from a friend and put those on windows and doors. Maybe a couple of NRA stickers wouldn't hurt either. Get to know the area LEOs, ask them to swing by whenever they can.
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Old October 5, 2005, 10:36 PM   #4
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I like the "Beware of Dog" idea complete with bowls and leash. I've seen people with ADP security signs in the yard and stickers on the door and windows...with no security system inside. Deadbolts are a good start to decent security. Also, you can very cheaply buy a plate to reinforce the door striker. Screw the plate in with 3" screws and replace the 3/4" hinge screws with 2 or 3" screws to help make a kick-in more dificult. There are motion sensitive light switched that can be purchased from home centers, automatically turns on interior lights when you enter a room...having your living room lights go on when an intruder enters your home is good, light alerts you, helps wake you, intruder is lit while you take a firing position in the dark. You could hang a small bell on front door knob or over door.
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Old October 5, 2005, 11:27 PM   #5
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I'd just stay in the bathroom with the .25

If no pets are allowed then its an apartment. So motion lights etc in the backyard aren't doing it.

How about trying to get a better job, so he can move to a better place? The best security is a good job. Don't be a fool, stay in school. Or find a ugly, middle aged biatch to move in with. Fat ugly chicks are easy to mooch off of. They have nice bathrooms too. And you can keep them in the sandbag bunker by the door to provide covering fire when you are in the shower with your bestest love, Mr. Colt.

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Old October 5, 2005, 11:46 PM   #6
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Here's an easy one I taught my sister after people started shooting one night in front of her apartment. She hadn't realized, before she moved there, that she was going to be right on the edge of Hooker and Crack territory.

We grabbed two metal hooks for hanging flower pots, just like you can get in the gardening section at Wal-mart for $1.97 each. We found where the studs were on either side of the door, and mounted the hooks to the studs. Then we took a peice of steel rebar that we 'appropriated' from a nearby construction site and slide it through the 'artistic curls' on the main body of the hooks.

You end up with a pretty effective cross-bar for the door.
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Old October 6, 2005, 10:17 AM   #7
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+1 on replacing the door screws. Last time I checked $1.97 for a 10 pack at Lowes. And there is no visible change as far as the landlord is concerned.

For less than $30 you can get a battery operated motion dectector / Alarm (also at lowes). Set it on the floor out of site pointing towards the doorway. Not so much of a security device as a warning when your home. Also it may be enough to startle or frighten off an amaturer.

The NRA has an excellent class called "Refuse to be a Victim". Price varies depending on the instructor.
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Old October 6, 2005, 10:46 AM   #8
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Something tanstaafl4y said gave me an idea... I've seen those battery-operated alarms, and some are set up like door stops. Door opens and presses a switch down. Well, could you use those good, industrial rubber doorstops as a sort of security device? Place a couple at a closed entry door, so that they go under the door when it is opened. Not much, but it may buy you a few precious seconds.

If I remember correctly, on Guadal Canal, soldiers placed fired brass in tin cans and strung it on barbed wire to tell when the enemy was approaching. Too tacky? Get one of those little jingle bell things and hang it above the door like you see in some shops. Handy with electricity? Have a doorbell? Buy a reed switch for a buck and get a cheapo magnet. Interrupt the door bell circuitry with the reed switch and place the magnet on the door, reed switch embedded in the frame. When the door swings open, the magnet will pass the reed switch, closing it. Doorbell goes *ding*... as door opens farther, reed switch opens again... *dong*. This will probably sound more like *di*dong* which will set it apart from the normal *ding* [PAUSE] *dong* that most people use to ring doorbells.

There are a surprising number of things you can do for not much $$ if you're handy... lumber is cheap, so use some 2x4s to beef up your door frame. Angle iron can be found free in scrap piles at construction sites. Use some 2x2 angle to strengthen the deadbolt strike. Longer screws are a big improvement and cheap/easy to install to boot. I can turn a wire coat hanger into window locks for two windows (and have done so, and used them to successfully keep someone's crackhead ex-roommate outta their house, too)... just use your imagination... you'd be surprised what you can come up with.

I second making friends with the local LEOs. Make friends with anyone you can. Friends are more important than money anyway. Do your home security "stone soup" style... get some thorny bushes or seeds for one from a friend that has some. Borrow tools to work your home improvement materials from carpenter/welder friends... hell, ask 'em to show you how to use the tools. Most would be more than happy to give a tutorial.
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Old October 6, 2005, 02:52 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies.

The reason that this person can't move is due to fixed income. The housing is HUD (it's for older folks on SS).

And because it's government housing, they (the government) had the bright idea of building a section 8 complex right across the street.

Talk about putting low lifes right next to potential victims, only the government could come up with that idea

Anyway, I was thinking of the bar across the door and since it's been mentioned here, I will set up all the folks that want it in their apartments. I will most likely spend my own $$ to outfit with decent materials.

I have seen those door stop alarms, do the work as well as they say?

I was also thinking of drilling a hole in the floor and putting in a door stop device but drilling in HUD housing is a no-no.

On the ladies sliding glass door, I put in a cut down broom stick for the bottom track and I put up a holder system for a broom stick on the top rail as well.

I was thinking of getting one of those alarms, infared, from wally world that I can place the beam on the sliding door.

The only thing that I'm afraid of is that the alarm DBs will be enough to cause heart attacks (she is around 75) with her or the woman next door.

And after talking with my Mom, dogs/cats are allowed but they have to pay a $450.00 non-refundable deposit and they waive their rights of privacy and must sign a paper stating that the owner or the HUD inspectors can inspect their apartments at any time they wish without notification (supposily to look for damage by the pet without the person present and interfering with their "investigation").

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Old October 6, 2005, 03:15 PM   #10
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Take a 2/4 block of wood and nail it to the door(center, slightly to the right(away from the hinges)), then take another and nail it(or 6 in wood screws or whatever, just make sure its not going anywhere) to the floor about 3 ft back (make sure the door can clear, but just barely) from the door the the inside. then insert a beam of wood in between the two. Presto, not pretty but 100% effective, any force exerted on the door will be transferred to the top of the door jam and the floor, unless they can push your building apart that doors not opening. As far as windows, you need bars, which can be installed in the inside, there are several brands that are which appear to be "window panes" and are not really detectable unless you are looking at them up close with the window open. If you are on the second floor or higher, leave it alone unless there is easy access to your window(WITHOUT a ladder). These simple things don't cost much and make it all but impossible for an intruder to get in your home, certainly not without you knowing it and having time to react. Also FYI a good shotgun can be had for <$150 and will be enough to stop even the most determined BG.
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Old October 6, 2005, 04:14 PM   #11
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Well, if you can't drill then I'd suggest at least trying those big rubber doorstops. As I said, place them in front of the closed door so the door will catch them as it opens. Dunno if it'll work or not, but it's worth a shot (the stops are cheap at least). As for alarms causing heart attacks, I think they'd be in a lot more trouble if a BG broke in. Either the sound of breaking glass would give them heart attacks, or they wouldn't wake up and something worse may happen. I say get the alarms if they work and you can afford them... worry about heart attacks later.
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Old October 6, 2005, 04:59 PM   #12
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Hang cowbells from the doors so that they ring when the doors are opened.
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Old October 6, 2005, 06:18 PM   #13
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How about a door security bar?

And for the windows, as many knick-knacks, glass jars, plants (especially from the cactus family!), etc as will fit on the sill. All the more possibilities for making noise if someone's trying to ease their way in.

In fact, I seem to recall entire windows filled with empty beer cans when I was in college...
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Old October 6, 2005, 06:40 PM   #14
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OK, I'll play...just how "cheap" we can go!

A mouse trap can be nailed, then hook a battery to it, from that go to an alarm and back to the battery...then run a thread (monofiliment fish line works great) and you have a perimeter alarm.

You can also go to radio shack and get a NO reed (reid?) switch. This can be placed on the dooo, again a battery and an alarm...could use a car horn and a couple of wired in 6v lanter batteries...

Dowl rods can be painted black and placed in the windows so they look like they are barred.

oops, wife just got home and we have a couple of appointments we gotta go to so will come back later!
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Old October 6, 2005, 07:18 PM   #15
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At you're local home center (Lowes. Home Depot, etc) you can get a wireless security system for just a few bucks. motion sensors, door contacts and such. It can be programed to dial any number. Instead of adt or brinks, just program it to dial a trusted person (brother, mom,etc) who will then call to verify you are ok. If you don't answer, or answer wrong (set a code word) they then call the cops. this is all adt does for you anyway, but you don't need to pay the 30 bucks a month. Most systems have panic buttons on them as well to call fire, or ambulance or whatever.
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Old October 6, 2005, 08:38 PM   #16
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decent locks

First, I would obtain decent deadbolt locks. You can find those at surplus hardware stores. Second, secure sliding glass doors with a cut down broom stick. third, a loud barking dog.
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Old October 6, 2005, 10:12 PM   #17
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There are some good cheap alarms that dial 911 or the local police dept and play a recorded message something to the effect of "the alarm has been activated at (address here) please respond" and repeats a couple of times.

+1 On the various ideas for barring doors. Locks are meaningless unless they are high dollar locks. I learned to pick locks off the internet, and have a huge set of homemade picks. Something about apartment door locks I have learned is that if they have a master key, there are two keys that will open that door, and they are EXTREEMELY easy to pick.

Painted black dowel rods! That's pretty cool, MacGuyver would be proud!

I love to watch "It Takes A Thief" and it has made me really aware of the security shortcomings at my home. I'd be really bummed if I lost my guns. Some could never be replaced because of sentimental value.

I've got a few ideas I'm going to work on.

Edited to add: Just FYI, lockpicking is a hobby I picked up from a buddy that is a locksmith and info on the net. It has come in useful a few times, gaining access to a patient for the EMS, or letting elderly folks back into their apartments when the get locked out after hours.
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Old October 7, 2005, 08:43 AM   #18
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in my house on the doors i have bells. every time you open it the bells ring. ever if you try to open it slowly. when i close the door i put a chair on the door just in case someone tries to kick it down. but by the first kick i will be in the hall ready to protect my family.

he has to cross 20feet before he can get to my room my room is near the livingroom.
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Old October 7, 2005, 11:26 PM   #19
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Just put "No Guns Allowed. Patrolled by PETA, Brady Campaign, and Janet Reno. Please check your condoms at the door."
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Old October 8, 2005, 08:42 AM   #20
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On the ladies sliding glass door, I put in a cut down broom stick for the bottom track and I put up a holder system for a broom stick on the top rail as well.
Watch it! Whatever you do make sure that it can come down or out easily, for a person in her golden years. In case of fire, you want to make sure that they can easily find their way out. And find their way out rather quickly. Be it by way of front door, back door or windows.
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Old October 8, 2005, 10:25 AM   #21
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Thanks for the replies, I've already incorporated some of them into action.

Jehzsa, thank you, I didn't think of that. I will screw in "pull strings and place them on a lever system (see, I did learn some things in school ).

I got the owner of the complex to install dead bolts on all the doors on all the apartments. Nice guy. He said that the deposit for pets was HUD mandated so I am going to write HUD and my congress critters about how it's been shown that pets help the elderly and that HUD was actually creating a hostile living environment for the residents. May not get anywhere but it may (since they do have a "pets for the elderly" law in Oregon. Basically, this law allowed dogs to be brought into nursing homes once a week for theraputic(sp) purposes).

HUD also has a "no guns policy" (I've been reading up on HUD and policies) but they will have a hard time enforcing it. In Oregon there is a renters law that states that just because you rent, you can't be denied your rights. Now, as I read it, HUD states that the housing is "federal housing" which means that it's "federal property". But it's owned by a private person which is substadized by the federal government so that the rent is lower and that they get reimbursed for repairs/etc.. That may be a "loop hole" that I could use.

As for the .25 that the lady has, that's all she wants (and she said that she will give it to me in her will, I guess I showed too much interest in it). It's a Browning Model .25 Renaissance Model with some nice engraving, nickel plated and has pearl grips. From what I understand (if she can find the paperwork), the grips are real pearl, not fake. Her husband bought it for her in the late '50's (one thing about older people, they have alot of history to tell, that's why I love being around them) in a jewery store (yes, I said a jewery store ).

Seems it was their 5th anniversity and her husband wasn't well off but they had money so he took her to the store to pick out her gift. She wondered around the store and saw the pistol and feel in love with it. She thought it was "pretty". So that's what she got. She couldn't remember what her husband paid for it, $50 bucks or so she thinks, I don't know, I wasn't even a gleam in my fathers eye back then. Maybe some of the older members can remember what prices were back then.

Anyway, it's a nice pistol and that's all she wants and I'm not going to argue with her.

Oh, and she's going to get that home monitor thing (don't know what it's called) but the type of system that you wear around your neck with the button and you hit it and then it calls the company and you can speak anywhere in the apartment and the speaker will pick it up. Like that system in the "help, I've fallen and can't get up commercial some years back. Medicare pays for it so I talked her into getting it.

Oh, I did change out the striker plates on my Mom's and her deadbolts. I saw them in the lock and safe store and they are reinforced models, not that thin plate that the locks came with. I also installed those wireless door bell systems on their apartments as well as put in a wider peep hole on the doors, the type that gives you a wider viewing angle so you can see if anyone is on the sides.

I feel that they are pretty secure now to at least get to their protection if needed. Neither one of them can handle a shotgun, well, maybe a .410 but even the youth models are kind of large and I don't have the money to try to buy any SBS and I don't know the legalites(sp) of buying them under my name and then letting them "use them". I also don't know the ladies background (she's never bought a gun before and in the '50's they didn't have the restrictions that they do now) if she is able to buy or not. She is kind of secretive about some aspects of her life (there is a "blank" five year period that I've noticed that she doesn't speak about). I know that my mom would pass the check but she doesn't want a shotgun anyway.

Anyway, sorry for my long post. Just wanted to say thank you again for the replies and wanted to update on what was going on.

Thanks again.

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Old October 8, 2005, 08:50 PM   #22
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She sounds like a sweetheart. And we all have periods of our life that need to be kept undisclosed. I call my seven, "the lost years".
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