A Home Perimeter and Defense Model For The Prepared, by P.F.

I will admit it; I’m slightly paranoid, especially these days I’m more suspicious than ever. However, I take comfort in knowing that I’m in good company.  Some degree of paranoia is probably good, like the fight-or-flight survival mechanism, since without it our prehistoric ancestors would have become dinosaur appetizers. So, viewed in a positive light, slight paranoia is a survival and coping mechanism.

I am also an Eagle Scout and so I’ve lived the “Be Prepared” mindset since my early teenage years.  My second adult career is as a remodeling contractor, so I am a bit handy with most things in building and home repairs.  Like many of you, I’m a civilian, not ex-military or ex-law enforcement; just an average guy with a few skills, some common sense and awareness, and a quest for knowledge in being better prepared for adversity.  With that in mind, I have developed a Home Perimeter Defense Model that will be helpful for you to think about and plan for the layered defense of your castle.

Area of Operations Intelligence

The objective of having a well-thought-out perimeter defense plan is to gain time to react through early warning and slowing down the attacker(s); and to also make your home a less-appealing target to frustrate an attack in the first place.

There are five perimeter defense “layers” leading to YOU at the center (in the bullseye); the outer layers are:



Your defense plan begins with observation and intel. Consider:

Your community’s Demographics – How is it changing? Is the socio-economic population shifting upward or downward?

The Law Enforcement Organization Structure – Do you know your Sheriff or Chief of Police, your Community Resource Officer? How visible and active is policing? Do you have an active Neighborhood Watch group? – This offers a ready-made starting point to team up with like-minded security-conscious neighbors and a low-key way to identify members for your mutual assistance group. If you don’t have a Neighborhood Watch, your police department’s Community Resource Officer can help you start one.

Unemployment – What are the trends in your area?

Crime Reports – can be requested from your local police or state police legal affairs division. Multiple year (2-5) statistics can reveal crime trends by neighborhood areas and types of crime.

Politics – Is your community conservative or progressive, and to what degree? Is politics an ever-present vibe or just around local elections?

Activism – How visible and influential are these groups? Are they gaining momentum and growth? How active are they in local political organizations?

Mandates – How compliant or defiant is/was your community and citizens to the recent mask mandates? What is the everyday mood in town, in public places and in the newspapers?

Urban Migrants – Are you seeing increased out-of-state license plates popping up in town and parked in driveways of newly sold homes? Are you noticing more urbanites fleeing to the suburbs and rural areas?


What is the Character of your neighborhood? It’s the first impression you have when you drive down the street, and the vibe you have from meeting your neighbors.

Related to Character is Activity Level. Is it a busy neighborhood? What is the daily tempo of auto and foot traffic?

Being attuned to the above two will enable you to observe Changes. The primitive brain is wired for pattern recognition and spotting something out of place.

The next tool will help you identify potentially like-minded neighbors, short of meeting them in person. Voter Registration online databases, such as www.voterrecords.com  can reveal your neighbor’s political leanings combined with Ally Mapping to be aware of red and blue team residents in your proximity. It’s a starting datapoint to identify commonality (like-mindedness).

Topography – looking at Google Maps satellite view and other online tools such as The TopoQuest Map Viewer, www.topoquest.com/ will give you a bird’s eye view of your neighborhood and surrounding area and, most importantly, its topography and geographic features.

Now, that you’ve completed your operations area analysis, you can examine:


Let’s start with Profile. Try to look at your home and landscape from the bad guy’s perspective. Is your house and landscaping the nicest house on the block? Is it prominent or presumptuous? Yes, it’s nice to keep up with the Joneses in a great economy, and having pride in your property is also being a good neighbor. But now, having a gray man house is even better and will make you a lower profile target than the guy with a flashy house, a perfectly manicured yard, and nice cars in the driveway. You don’t want to be that guy during these times.

Looking at your yard, note the access points to your property and lanes of approach to your house. These are the areas that need to be secured. Well-placed lighting will deny hiding to prowlers; a combination of hard-wired electrical and solar lights will ensure lighting in a power-out situation.

Well-placed obstacles, such as downed trees, known as an abatis defense, in wooded areas, including thick vegetation, shrubbery, and fencing (wire, barbed wire, or post), will direct or slow down a would-be trespasser.

In addition to lighting, motion sensors, such as the Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm is a simple cost-effective early warning of driveway or foot traffic.  Doorbell cams also provide night vision and sound capability, which will extend your perimeter view.  External floodlight cameras are an excellent way to monitor blind spots on your property – Google Nest Cam and Ring are reliable higher quality alternatives, but lower cost alternatives will do the job and are better than nothing at all.

Dogs. We can’t forget man’s best friend to help sound an early warning, and deterrence both on the property and inside the home. If you don’t have a dog, consider adopting and training a medium or large breed to multiply your eyes and ears. My preference is for pit bulls, they are among the best all-purpose working breed that can blend well with a family, are very trainable, and also offer a high deterrence factor. Even your common burglar respects a pit bull. Plus, they also work when the power goes out.

Looking at your property, think about the optimum Fields of Fire (FOF), or a less dramatic – Observation Area (OA), from your house into the yard. Can the attacker gain an advantage from natural obstacles or blind spots? Does your property’s topography or man-made obstacles create mobility channels to direct the bad guys where you want them to go?

An important consideration on security devices and fortification measures is to keep it low profile. You don’t want to have your home appear as Fort Knox, as that will attract attention equally with people curious as to what you are protecting.

Defending the Castle


As the intruder(s) approaches your house or building, are you well aware they are coming and can see them?  Can your structure keep them out? Common houses are generally the worst designed fortifications, but there are a few cost-effective and basic ways you can reinforce weak spots:

1. Reinforce External Door Locks and Hardware – The puny screws that are installed on the door can be easily kicked in, so replace the hinge screws and strike plate screws on your exterior doors with 3″ deck or construction screws, which will sink into the door frame. Do this today.  If you can’t, hire a handyman to do it.

2. Sensors and Cameras – install battery-powered glass break sensors on lower-level windows. Door motion sensors linked to a security system provide a warning when doors are opened.  Wireless cameras with night vision can help you monitor cellar and garage areas.  WYZE wireless cameras offer decent quality, night vision for a low-cost solution; the Google Nest Cam offers the next level up in quality and capabilities.  That said, these fancy cameras only work when there is power and are dependent upon wireless internet.  Otherwise, see Item #7.

3. Secure windows – limit the opening height of lower-level windows by installing stops or pins in the window frames.

4. Reinforce glass – install 3M safety and security window film on large glass windows or sliding doors to prevent shattering.

5. Security bars – use a security bar on sliding glass doors.  Install bars on all cellar windows to prevent entry by kicking in.

6. Upgrade your external door locks. All of them.

7. Reminder, man’s best friend is one of the best early warning and deterrence tools. Plus, they’re great companions.

Room/Living Space
If the attackers have made it this far, then you’re at the fight or flight stage and in home invasion territory. Knowing the egress routes from the house (and on your property) ahead of time and practicing your escape plan will increase your odds of avoiding a confrontation. Yes, this would be a tactical retreat. This is a good thing to discuss and do before you need to do it. Otherwise, it’s down to standing your ground using all the tools at your disposal.

At this stage, your adrenaline will be in overdrive, so it is crucial to Plan, Rehearse, and Train, regularly so the above actions become reflexive.  Visualize what the break-in actually looks like, and think about what you are going to do down to the specific actions. I am no self-defense authority, but have taken professional self-defense firearms training classes, and also know from first-hand experience that the stress reaction in an emergency overrides normally relaxed clear thinking and fast action. Remember, action heroes exist only in the movies, so it’s best to keep your inner action hero in the box.

Closing Thoughts

Many of us have prepared our entire lives without knowing when our skills will be called upon, such as at this moment in time.  Put into practice the ideas presented in my article and you will gain confidence that your castle and loved ones are more secure.

Be Prepared.