sleeping intruder
Firearms & Tactics Survival

Home Defense – Your Firearm is Useless if You’re Sleeping!

How many of you own a firearm for home protection?  I’d imagine quite a few of my readers do….good!

How many of you have a home alarm system?  Hmmmm, I think this question might get a 50/50 response at best.

How many of you are heavy sleepers?  Starting to get the point here?

Your home defense plan is useless if you wake up at the last minute right before your attacker is in your bedroom.  Whether you are or are not a heavy sleeper, you need to have passive perimeter security that will alarm and wake you up.  Time is of the essence!!!  Here are a couple practical tips that range from the super cheap to middle class family income:

The Dog

Having a dog can obviously be your first line of defense for notification of intrusion even if it’s only the little Chihuahua dog.  However, you really have to know your dog.  

Some dogs don’t always bark or make loud noises when they hear something in the middle of the night.

  • Some are lazy and don’t do a thing
  • Others will pace back and forth
  • Or you might get one that whimpers or whines

You also need to understand your dog!  Is your dog one that barks at everything?  If your dog woke up in the middle of the night barking, would you be desensitized and tell him to shut up or would you investigate?  Personal story is that I had a Siberian Husky in my apartment and while I was gone, he barked to hell and high water as some individual(s) broke into my home and stole all the electronics.  Even though he was not a dog that barked much at all, neighbors in my complex disregarded it as “that damn dog!”

The Cheap Solution

At bare minimum, you should have sensors on your doors and windows.  This is especially true for low lit areas or window/door penetrations on the side or back of the house.

window alarm This two pack magnetic alarm system from GE ($10.00) yields 120 decibels when separated.  Each unit is its own self contained alarm system and is battery powered.  With a little 3M tape, you can be ready to go with no programming at all!  Even nicer, with a little bank line or twine, you could rig one of these up around your camp site and have a trip wire alarm.

If you are really adventurous and want to go for “the cool factor”, this is a really neat DIY on how to make a multi-pass laser alarm system.  

The Middle Class Solution

For around $200-350, you can get a DIY alarm system that is completely wireless and does not require a plan.  Although these DIY systems are a little confusing to program at first, they are wonderful when you get to know them.  With my particular system, I can add as many door and window sensors as I want in addition to motion, fire, carbon monoxide, flood, etc.  Remember, even if you have sensors on your windows, a burglar can smash the window and keep the magnetic sensor intact so that it will not alarm.   That’s where motion sensors really shine!  You really can’t get past them easily.


These things are almost limitless with the number of options you can add on.  The best thing is that you do not need to sign up for a plan.  You can either have the alarm be audible/local only, have it call your cell phone only, or sign up for a 3rd party monitoring company.

The Break In

If you’re ever in the situation where you alarm sounds and a break in is occurring, what do you do?  The macho man in me imagines myself picking up my shotgun and tactfully clearing rooms and hallways.  “Whoever broke in to my house is going to pay for it!”  However, that is always risky business!!  No matter how much training you have, clearing rooms carries with it inherent risk.  The criminal might be in the right spot at the right time and get a shot off at you before you fully turn a corner.

My advice – Arm yourself, camp out with your family members in a secure area of the home where you have line of sight to entry ways, call the police and wait.  The only time I would suggest venturing out into the home is if you have family members with rooms which are not in proximity to your own.  This sounds like cowardly advice… However, life is always more important than material goods.  Camping out, securing sights on a doorway and letting the criminal come to you puts him at a severe disadvantage.

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