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Scarred for life...
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a large window on the front of my house.

It faces the road and at night, especially when the lights in that room are on, you can see most of what goes on there. I have relatively heavy thick curtains on the window but they simply are not enough.

My kids room faces the back yard.

My neighbor has two boys who are constantly checking that window to see if my kids are home so they can ask them to come out and play. I also recently caught the oldest of the two trying to catch a glimpse of my daughter getting dressed after she took a shower.

Lastly, the back door allows for relatively easy viewing of whats going on in the kitchen. I have a curtain and blinds, but they are narrow and if they aren't exactly right, there is always a space from which a determined person could look in and possibly see into the kitchen.

All the windows in my house are the old type, that IMO are relatively easy to open from the outside. The latches that are supposed to lock the window are easily defeated. Simply break a pane of glass and turn the latch and the window opens right up.

My doors are relatively strong. At least they are not the weakest point in my house.

My front door is always locked and almost never used for entry and exit into my house. I have installed three locks on it. The first is a simple chain latch type lock that limits how far the door can be opened. The second and third are dead bolt type locks. They are keyed differently as well. I plan on using one more level of security to that door in the future.

My back door is the same, but since it is used as the primary entry and exit point of the house, usually only one lock is used.




All my doors are pretty strong, but a determined person could probably bust it down if they tried hard enough. Any suggestion's on further strengthening the doors short of just replacing them?

My plan is to find something like window tinting for my windows. The curtains are relatively thick and if i went with a thicker, heavier curtain, I would have to reinforce the curtain rods to hold the extra weight. Any suggestions?

I have two dogs in the backyard. They are smaller dogs but always alert and they never let someone come onto the property without letting me know about it. Any suggestions?

I use a section of wood cut to fit the windows that at least add an extra layer of security to the window but again they would be easily defeated simply by busting a pane out and pushing the wood out of the way. Any suggestions?
 

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How's it with stains?
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283 Posts
The natural approach - one that may draw less attention - would be to plant a nice bushy tree in the line of sight of those windows you mentioned. I wish I knew more about strengthening doors. As of now my plan is to simply make like a castle and bar them on the inside.
 

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cute is not always enough
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A good old fashioned bar or two on the inside of the door will make it much stronger. With a little creativity and some good steel they can be camouflaged with the door jam. Or you can buy a fancy smancy one. There is also the Davie Bar style. You can make a permanent one with some T-bar, a reinforcing plate on the door and a plate on the floor. Again, these can be hidden/camouflaged.

Half curtains can go a long way to shield your privacy, let in light, and provide a decorative touch. One problem is they are dust magnets. You can also paint the glass with un-tinted latex. This makes any shapes, like nekked people, into blurry unrecognizable blobs if they are more than two feet from the glass. I read a post about this recently but I did not book mark it. This stuff is simple, non-damaging, really cheap, and easily removed.

Does your curtain rod have a center support? There are a lot of different kinds of curtain rod but, for most of them, the weak part is the mounting brackets. The I or C channel that the sliders sit in is structurally strong. Maybe you can replace the brackets with some stronger ones. I prefer to have 1 1/2 inch dowel for a curtain rod and have curtains with loops on top. They are not quite as convenient but I like the look, they are strong enough to hang off of, and the rod can double as a quarterstaff ICE.

Are your curtains made from 'black out' or 'dim out' cloth? There are specialty materials designed for reducing incoming sunlight or casting a silhouette on the shade. You could talk to the staff at the local fabric place or curtain place.

Any hole (window, door, cat flap) large enough for someone to crawl through can not be defended against. You either need bars to make the hole smaller, like curdog said, or you compromise. For sash style windows you could replace the piece of wood with a piece of pipe. Screw an eye bolt in the channel at the top (so the window can still open) and cut a rectangular hole in the pipe to fit over it letting the eye bolt stick out just enough to attach a pad lock. Someone could still rip it out but at that point they might just as well bash out the whole window. Alternately, you can build an insert mebee eight inches tall that will fit in the window channel below the pane (probably with some kind of ventilation holes) then just screw the window closed.

I have been thinking about some similar problems. The sink in my kitchen is across the room from the window so it is really unusable without turning on the light. I rent here so there is nothing I am going to do about this but I will eventually get my own place. Balancing the value of natural light with the security problems of large windows seems to be a lose lose situation.
 

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Go to guy
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661 Posts
A hardened door is only as good as the wall its bolted to.
This is true, there have been many doors that I decided not to go through but to go around because the walls were so weak that I could just about punch through, reach around and unlock the door.
 

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Securing your windows

I have a large window on the front of my house.

It faces the road and at night, especially when the lights in that room are on, you can see most of what goes on there. I have relatively heavy thick curtains on the window but they simply are not enough.

My kids room faces the back yard.

My neighbor has two boys who are constantly checking that window to see if my kids are home so they can ask them to come out and play. I also recently caught the oldest of the two trying to catch a glimpse of my daughter getting dressed after she took a shower.

Lastly, the back door allows for relatively easy viewing of whats going on in the kitchen. I have a curtain and blinds, but they are narrow and if they aren't exactly right, there is always a space from which a determined person could look in and possibly see into the kitchen.

All the windows in my house are the old type, that IMO are relatively easy to open from the outside. The latches that are supposed to lock the window are easily defeated. Simply break a pane of glass and turn the latch and the window opens right up.

My doors are relatively strong. At least they are not the weakest point in my house.

My front door is always locked and almost never used for entry and exit into my house. I have installed three locks on it. The first is a simple chain latch type lock that limits how far the door can be opened. The second and third are dead bolt type locks. They are keyed differently as well. I plan on using one more level of security to that door in the future.

My back door is the same, but since it is used as the primary entry and exit point of the house, usually only one lock is used.




All my doors are pretty strong, but a determined person could probably bust it down if they tried hard enough. Any suggestion's on further strengthening the doors short of just replacing them?

My plan is to find something like window tinting for my windows. The curtains are relatively thick and if i went with a thicker, heavier curtain, I would have to reinforce the curtain rods to hold the extra weight. Any suggestions?

I have two dogs in the backyard. They are smaller dogs but always alert and they never let someone come onto the property without letting me know about it. Any suggestions?

I use a section of wood cut to fit the windows that at least add an extra layer of security to the window but again they would be easily defeated simply by busting a pane out and pushing the wood out of the way. Any suggestions?
I have a daylight basement with several windows that start at the floor & run up to the ceiling. They let a lot of light in but were a real security disaster. The windows are one piece insulated glass & as wide as a person so anyone can bust them out with anything handy.
I found a security 6mm clear film that is applied to the inside. The glass has to be chopped out with a fire axe to get in now. I had this applied to all the downstairs windows. Sleep better at night:thumb:
 

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Part 1

Residential construction is not much of a deterrent to really determined criminals. The following illustrate how difficult it can be.

One method used by thieves is to place an old fashion car bumper jack across the door opening, and simply jack the door frame far enough apart so the dead bolt is free. Another method was the use of a battery operated saw to cut an opening through an exterior wall, entering around any door alarm switches or locks. They can roll under garage doors left ajar for pets, or fish to snag the door openers release rope and handle (remove it). Some garage door remote controls can be modified to step through all the possible codes. With such a device you simply point the special remote, press the button, and less than a minute later the door opens. The message is to un-plug your garage door opener if you will be gone on vacation. Gaining entrance to an attached house through an interior wall is simple once in the garage. Thieves stick on magnetic signs to look legitimate, like a contractor, may even carry a few boards to become invisible to neighbors. They back van up to the garage door, gain entrance, load up, and are gone. It is very difficult to "completely secure" a residential dwelling.
 

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Part 2

Ideas...Cultivate curious neighbors, start a crime watch, have a discussion with your daughters about the (peeping tom) neighbor. Consider replacing some of your closet door locksets with keyed locks, and lock the doors when you travel, to slow down thieves. Fence your front yard and give them access all around the house, let the dogs announce visitors. Install loud alarms. Wire up a security camera/recorder to a motion detector controlled porch light. Wire a security camera, with infrared LEDs to monitor the front or back of your house, intruders wont even know they are being illuminated and watched. If your TV has the picture in picture feature, you can watch a movie and keep an eye on the approach to your house at the same time. You can harden your windows with high impact plastic sheets, though it is very expensive if the window is large. Window and door bars will usually send thieves to the next house because it is an easier target, just make sure you have a fire plan if you have bars, and do practice fire drills with your family. Short of pouring concrete into the wall cavities it is tough to harden a frame wall.
 

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Warlord of the wastes
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My plan is to find something like window tinting for my windows.
If you just want to tint the windows, you can buy a roll of window tint in the automotive section of walmart or in most automotive stores. You can get it in permanent or removable, and in varying degrees of tint. Tint alone wouldn't stop someone seeing in the window at night, though.
 

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We don't have problems with neighbors peaking but there are those motion sensor flood lights. My brother puts them up at his house to keep the kids from sneaking out. If the neighbors get caught by a bright light one too many times they may change their minds about peaking.

I have a twelve camera outdoor monitoring system so I can see what is going on around my yard. I use it to keep predators out of the chickens, but they might be useful just to know what's going on outside.

That's about all I have though. We don't lock our doors here and it would be easier for me to find the key to my grandfather's house than it would be to find my own keys. If someone actually found themselves way out here just to peal in my windows I would be shocked.

Best of luck with your daughter's peepers.

blt
 

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I would get window tinting that is self sticking with a mirrored tint. You should be able to get this at the local car parts store fairly cheap. If the windows have you worried Lowes and Home Depot have latches for a window that you can put on yourselfm that require a key to allow the window to be opened. For someone who wants to Break in, A Pet allowed in the house during sleeping hours is a great head start...to lock and load! Cleaning your gun on th front porch is a great message to all the local punks, Stay Away.
 

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Products like this are great:
http://www.windowfilmworld.com/frosted_privacy_film.htm
You can frost the window and no one can see through it but you still get a lot of light through the window unlike window tint film. I have seen it cheaper in other places though.

It does nothing for security though other than not letting people see what you have inside but it does keep pesky neighbors from seeing everything that goes on in your house
 

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Everyone should have a roll of black plastic film; you can buy it in 6 mil 4 foot wide rolls or larger. WTSHTF you will want to cover your windows at night so the zombies cannot determine exactly where you are and take a pot shot at you through the window.

Also good for sealing out nuke dust so buy lotsa ducktape.

Next time the nosey neighbor is eye balling your daughter call the cops: if it continues wait till they are not home and spray paint THEIR WINDOWS with rustoleum.
 

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When I did the reno on our house I put in roll shutters on the windows. It always bothered me that at night it was very easy for someone on the outside to see into a lit rooms. Like anything the shutters will not stop someone intent on getting in but it does stop them from scoping out the place befor entering. Because I work strange hours I put them on all of our windows but perhaps you could use something like them on you problem spots. I first tried them out while renting an apartment in Europe, they are very common over there. It took a bit of serching but you can find them in North America. The link has photos of the shutters.

http://www.rolletta.com/rollshutters.html
 

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Psalm 34:4
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Mirrored Window Tint. Avalible at AutoZone and probably a bunch of other places. You can see out, they can't see in.
 

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Limpin to safety.
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I am working on underground tunnels that will connect my buildings. My land is off the road, on a defensive tactical lay out. What I mean is before you get to me, you have to drive for about 8 minutes down a gravel road passed many of my friends. My home is gated, and we have thick over brush concealing our existance. After (if your trying) you get through the thorns and wire, you will come to a wall. This wall is about 10 foot high. If you break it (wouldn't be hard) and you climb through you will see a clearing and in the distance a house. Markers line my yard every 50 yards. They are usually tree's or objects you wouldn't identify as anything but normal yard obstructions.

By the time you walk out, or crawl, my camera's should have spotted you. My dogs might have noticed you as well. My home looks nomal as it is just a simple home. Nothing out of the ordinary. No sand bags or visible bunkers. Everything is tucked away.

If you made it this far, my spare key is tucked away in a yard gnome. Have fun.

lol, hopefully your arrested, captured, or the other things I have not mentioned have already detered you. However my home in my opinion, is fairly plain and unattractive. No bars on the windows, nor anything weird. We are just a simple family. We don't even own a gun....
 
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