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Kevin Fanning’s Home Security Basics

Dangerous times call for drastic measures. From mental combat to homemade weaponry, a few good tricks to keep the bad guys away.

Dear friends: When I say that we live in dangerous times, you know I am totally not even kidding. Recently you may have seen reports on the news about how someone broke the law in one way or another. If you are anything like me, you are totally freaking out that someone is going to break into your house while you are sleeping and take everything you own. Well I have spent a lot of time worrying about this, and now you will benefit from my ‘extreme paranoid dementia,’ because here I will now tell you three cinchy things you can do to prevent such a thing from happening to you.
 

1. Secure Your Perimeter

A recent survey conducted at the Mobil station near my house asked: ‘How tall should your electrified fence be?’ Believe it or not, a significant number of the respondents answered: ‘About yea.’* Folks, you have got to be kidding me. You have to know this stuff because an electrified fence’s worth is based, to a large degree, on its height. Also by its voltage, but mostly by its height.

Think about it for a second: there’s a burglar on your street, and he’s walking around, trying to figure out which house to break into. Now is he going to break into your house? Which has a wicked-tall electrified fence all the way around it? Which no way could he climb, even if he could withstand the damage to his central nervous system caused by the approximately 10,000 volts of electricity coursing through his system? Or is he going to instead walk over to your neighbor’s house, where the electrified fence only goes up, at most, six feet?

I think you see my point.

*Actually the minimum acceptable height for an electrified fence can be determined by adding the height of the tallest man in your town to the height of the shortest man, and then adding on a little bit extra. The theory is that this would prevent the tallest and shortest men from forming a burglary gang and trying to break into your house to steal your goods. If you’re wondering why you don’t have to worry about the tallest man teaming up with the second tallest man, it’s because tall men tend to be very suspicious of each other, and rarely join forces. Again, though, keep in mind this formula is just for determining the bare minimum height of your fence. Feel free to get creative and go crazy and have a huge fence that is unbelievable. I’m not sure if zoning laws would apply.
 

2. Know Your Weapons

Open your mind to the world of household weapons. A lot of times when people recognize me on the street, they tell me all about their lives and their problems and about how they saw some really great show on TV last night, and I’ll be looking at my watch and sighing heavily but they do not pick up on my subtle clues and still keep going on and on, and eventually they want to know if I think gun ownership is right for them. Man. Usually what I tell them is ‘Yes, it is not right for you,’ and then change the subject to what I had for lunch that day. I’m something of an amateur chef in my free time, so this subject is way more interesting than it sounds.

Basically my point is that if you are uninformed about the facts, totally lazy about home protection, not at all concerned about accidentally shooting your TV or a family member, and just generally someone who isn’t known for doing more than what it takes to get by, then, ‘Yeah,’ I say, ‘Sure, go ahead, yup, sounds good, right on, word up, gun ownership is, in fact, the best plan for you.’

But in all actuality the truth of the situation is that you probably already own many implements of harm that will do just fine. Here is just a short list, off the top of my head, of things that could be used against the person prowling around your house:

  • Small table lamp
  • Many coat hangers tied together
  • Cat (thrown)
  • Books with sharp edges/crisp dust jackets
  • 15-inch computer monitor
  • Bronzed baby shoes
  • Walking cane that has a sword hidden inside it
  • Accordion (or Concertina)
  • Two guns that look real but are in fact from Toys ‘R’ Us

And besides being well armed, there are other tricks you will learn—just as I have—the more time you spend thinking about how to foil a robbery. For instance:

Drop a glass while doing dishes? Don’t sweep it up! Just leave it and always remember to not walk through that area. Then when the burglar comes through he will have no clue, and if he happens to be barefoot you are totally in luck.

Always keep a plate of cheese and crackers by your bed. That way if a scary man comes in during the night trying to steal from you, you can distract him by offering him a taste of your Wheatables and Port Wine cheese. Then when he’s like, ‘What the???’ you threaten him with the cheese spreader and he realizes he’s been had, and runs off screaming like a little girl. Guaranteed. And if no burglars come that night, well you have yourself a fine snack, don’t you?

So to wrap up this section, when you are weighing the options of household weapons versus guns, I say think about this: with non-guns, there’s less of a wait and little-to-no background checks, plus they are often non-lethal in mistaken-identity situations, like if you think there’s a burglar but really it’s a houseplant.
 

3. Pretend You’re Already in the Midst of Being Robbed

If you hear someone creaking up the stairs, say words to this effect in a really loud voice: ‘WHAT? OKAY YOU WIN, TAKE THE SILVERWARE BUT PLEASE DON’T HURT MY FAMILY. AS YOU CAN IMAGINE I’M JUST VERY EAGER TO GET THIS ROBBERY OVER WITH SO I CAN BEGIN THE PROCESS OF PUTTING MY LIFE BACK TOGETHER. WOW, YOU’RE REALLY TAKING ALL OUR GOOD STUFF, AREN’T YOU? NO, NO, I’M NOT ARGUING WITH YOU, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? DUDE, THAT IS A HUGE GU.N. YOU ARE POINTING AT ME, CRIPES!’

If you follow this procedure, nine times out of ten you will find that the actual burglar just turns around and goes to someone else’s house, because your house is obviously already someone else’s turf! And there’s a code of ethics that prevents burglars from trying to horn in on another guy’s action. I don’t know if you knew about that, but yeah. It was a resolution made in 1973, I think. I am a really firm believer in this one. Sometimes, even if I don’t hear any suspicious noises, I’ll yell out, ‘HEY! STOP ROBBING ME!’ just in case there’s someone in the house but they’re very quiet, or sitting down. I mean, it can’t hurt. There comes a point in every person’s life where you have to weigh a sore throat versus losing your entire snowglobe collection.

Anyways, that’s just three of the many easy ways you can protect yourself against burglary and associated mischief. If you like this one then maybe I’ll write up another one and tell you about more advanced techniques such as Boarding Up Your Windows So No One Can See If There’s Anything Inside Worth Stealing, and Put A Freaking Ton Of Locks On Your Front Door.