This is the first in a series of short posts about specific security projects I’ve completed over the last few months upon moving into my new house. Some are simple projects, while some are slightly more involved. This will be a simple one.
Many home invasions start with an innocuous knock on the door and the home owner blindly opening the door like a gracious member of society should for another person. The bad guys count on this and will then force their way in (Example one, two, three). We can upgrade our home’s security and spend a small fortune on cameras, locks, doors, alarms, and guns, but if we bypass all of our security from the inside when we open the door for any Random who knocks, it’s all for naught. The same goes if we leave our doors unlocked. Here’s the Mighty Greg Ellifritz with some information on that topic. Lock your doors. Don’t open the doors unless you’re expecting company. Have a peephole. Don’t be afraid to say no. Don’t let people in your home to borrow a phone if their “car has a flat”. Let them know you’ll call the police so they can help. All of the stuff you already know.
All that said, I know you’re a good person and you want to help. You might find yourself opening the door from time to time. This post is for you.
If you read The Babysitter Home Invader Plan post, you know that having a large can of pepper spray in your safe room is a pretty good way to create a very uncomfortable gauntlet for the home invaders to navigate to get to the safe room door. I was thinking about the likely scenarios that would result in a home invader getting inside when I’m not home. Considering that my mother and wife are home with my son (when I’m out) on occasion, and they are not as distrusting as I am, there might be an occasion where they answer the door to an unknown person. We’re in the suburbs now so there are plenty of Jehovah’s witnesses, gutter cleaning services, and possibly home invaders probing for easy marks. So my wheels were turning and I decided to stage pepper spray at each of the doors that people would logically knock on.
Instructions for Use
If you’re going to open the door, the hand that will be behind the door will grab the pepper spray from the door frame and keep it at a ‘covert ready’ (behind the door or casually hanging behind the thigh) and a foot acting as a door stop a few inches behind the door. If things go south, you can quickly actuate the safety and spray him (them) down while forcing the door shut. I realize this isn’t ideal, but it beats having to go muscle to muscle against a possibly stronger person on the other side of the door. If it’s nothing (pizza’s here!), you can just as quickly and covertly stow it on the door frame. That’s it.
What You’ll Need:
- Pepper Spray of your choice. I chose SABRE Red Pepper Spray. It’s an effective formula, and the price is right.
- Adhesive backed hook and loop strips. I had Velcro Industrial Strength left over from a previous project. Use whatever you can get for cheap. Make sure the adhesive is holding up over time, because having your little kid find a pepper spray can on the ground and accidentally discharging it would make for a lot of nights sleeping on the couch. You could staple the velcro to the wood to assure it stays in place. The industrial quality velcro’s adhesive is very durable, in my experience.
All you need to do is cut a 2″ strip to wrap around the can, and a 1″ strip to adhere to the door frame. Stage it wherever makes sense. I put mine on the hinge side of the door on the door frame.
I hope this is getting your wheels turning. This is a cheap way to get some peace of mind if you have caretakers at home with your child while you’re out.
Protect the Brood and resist the urge to pepper spray Jehovah’s Witnesses,
More Reading on how to behave around doors: