Dear Laissez Faire Letter Reader,
Do you know the old joke about the two men in the jungle?
It goes like this…
Two men are walking in the jungle one day, when suddenly, they spot a tiger in the distance racing toward them.
They both spin around and frantically start running away.
But then, one of the men stops, pulls a pair of running shoes from his bag, and starts putting them on.
“What are you doing?!” says the other man. “You think you’ll outrun the tiger with those?”
“I don’t have to outrun the tiger,” he replies… “I just have to outrun you.”
It’s a funny joke — but it’s an even better metaphor.
For so many things in life, we don’t have to be the “best” in some absolute sense to come out on top.
Instead, we can succeed — or avoid danger, as it were — simply by being slightly better than the average.
This is certainly true when it comes to protecting our homes from burglars or home invaders.
You don’t have to turn your house into Fort Knox to secure the safety of your property and your family…
You just have to put in a bit more effort than everyone else in your neighborhood.
And as Jason Hanson, former CIA officer and security specialist, writes in today’s email update, this isn’t too difficult to do, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either.
By implementing a few simple precautionary steps, you can render your home unattractive to criminals and avoid being a “mark.”
Director, Laissez Faire Club
Protect Your Home Like a CIA Officer
Earlier this year, my family moved into a new house. Our old house was quite small, and with a growing family, we needed more space.
(Well, I could have lived there a lot longer, because I don’t need much when it comes to a house… But I’m pretty sure my wife’s sanity wouldn’t have lasted much longer if we didn’t get a bigger place.)
Now that I had a new home, however, I had to “redo” all of my home security measures.
This didn’t take long at all… but I thought I’d share them with you so you can implement them in your own home too, if you choose.
“Case” Your Neighborhood… and Your Home
The first thing I did was “case my neighborhood,” walking up and down the streets to see how the other houses looked securitywise.
Since a criminal almost always cases a neighborhood before committing a crime, I wanted to see what I was up against to make my house the least likely on the street to be broken into.
For instance, out of all of the houses, I saw only one that had a home security alarm sign in its front yard.
I also saw only one house that had a security camera near its front entrance.
The rest of the houses looked nice and normal but didn’t have any signs of home protection measures.
I’d be willing to bet that if you walked your own neighborhood, you would have similar findings, since most people don’t do much at all to deter criminals from their homes.
After walking the neighborhood to see what others were doing, I then “cased my own home.”
Since I’d just bought it, there weren’t any security measures, and it looked like every other house on the street.
Security Measures for Outside Your Home
So I immediately put a sign in the yard showing that I have a home security system, in addition to a home security decal on the back door.
I also purchased some new security cameras. Uniden Wireless Weather Proof cameras are the ones I like (and for indoors, it’s the cameras made by Dropcam). I put these at the front of the home and also at the back. These cameras have night vision and allow me to see about 50 feet in the dark, which is plenty for the intended purposes.
In addition to the signs and cameras, I put a large dog bowl at the back entrance to the house.
Now, I’m not going to tell you if I have a large dog or not… but I will tell you this: Even if you only own a little poodle, put a large bowl in your backyard. If a criminal is casing houses and he thinks you have a dog, he’s likely going to skip your house and go to another house where he’s 100% sure there is no dog.
Of course, I also had new locks installed on all of the exterior doors.
The previous locks on the doors were the cheap Kwikset locks that builders use.
If you’ve taken my Spy Escape & Evasion training, then you know how easy it is to pick a Kwikset lock and why you never want these on your doors.
That’s why I put Schlage locks on all of my doors instead.
Once I was satisfied with the exterior of the home (including making sure that I had floodlights that light up my entire yard), I then moved to the interior of the home.
Security Measures for Inside Your Home
For the security system, I simply took the system from my old home and hooked it up in the new home.
I also installed new entry sensors on the doors and windows and put motion detectors in place.
(My advice for when choosing a security system is don’t be cheap. The main thing you have to ask yourself is whether you want a wireless system or a system with wires. Wireless costs more, but one of the pluses is that if you move, it’s much easier to pick up and transfer it to the new house. A wired system also means that you have to drill holes into the house to run the wiring.)
I made sure to put my guns in rapid-access safes on every level of my home. I like the GunVault brand, specifically the GunVault MV500-STD microvault.
I’m a big believer in doing this, because if you’re in the basement during a home invasion, it’s a long way to your master bedroom if that’s the only gun you have.
Another thing I did was to put two of the smaller fire extinguishers in my home.
Statistically, you’re more likely to have a fire in the home than a home invasion, so you want to be prepared for all types of events.
I realize that some people may think my home security measures are overkill… But I enjoy doing it, and my family’s safety is absolutely worth it.
Plus, everything above is simple to do and doesn’t take much time or cost a fortune.
So when you head out for work tomorrow morning, take a look at the other houses in your area when leaving your neighborhood.
If your house looks exactly like everyone else’s, that’s not a good sign, because it means a criminal might choose yours if they ever case your street.
Jason Hanson is a former CIA officer and security specialist. He’s appeared on numerous television shows, including ABC’s Shark Tank and NBC’s Today show.