We've all seen the ads for various home alarm systems that depict a burglar fleeing at the screeching of an alarm, and we've all probably had the same reaction: "Boy, that family would be better off with a gun!" Nevertheless, a burglar alarm is usually a good idea, because while it may not scare off a home invader intent on causing harm to your family, it can certainly help police catch a criminal or alert you to the presence of an intruder.
The services advertised on TV, however, can be quite expensive. In our November issue, we profiled some products that can enable you to build your own security system for a fraction of the cost, including trail cams, noise makers and motion-detecting lights. The last item in particular is something every home should have, regardless of the presence of a security system.
Most burglars want to snatch an item of value and bug out of a home as quickly as possible. Being hit with a powerful light as they approach a residence will at the very least make them consider a different target. These lights are usually quite inexpensive and easy to install.
Trail cams are also useful, but more to provide critical information to law enforcement following a break-in. If you train one on your door from close range, you might be able to identify the culprit. Another good idea is to have one trained on your driveway and/or the road in front of your house to potentially capture a license-plate number on the criminal's getaway vehicle. These units were originally designed to photograph wildlife without alerting the animals to the presence of the camera. Since most deer are significantly more attuned to danger than your average meth-head burglar, trail cams will likely never be spotted by a criminal and can help you recover stolen valuables, or at least put a crook in prison.
Ultimately, plenty of options exist to provide your home with layers of defense between yourself--the armed homeowner--and a malicious intruder. Should these budget options fail to deter a criminal, you've got your home-defense firearm as a last resort to protect life and limb.