Home Security Tips For Your Outside Perimeter Layer


I couldn’t resist the ‘home security’ image above… but with that said, home security is about layers. The further out that you can deter or stop a burglar, the better. Your primary home security goal should not be something that alerts you to an intruder, but instead, first, to deter an intruder in the first place. This begins outside the home with deterrents that will increase the risk to the burglar (versus the potential burglary reward).

Your first goal should be to make your home look like (to a burglar /criminal) it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

Here’s how:


Outer Layer Of Home Security


Sight Lines From The Street

First, concentrate on your outer layer — the perimeter at which a burglar or criminal will see your home. If they can’t see it from the street, that’s even better. Trees, shrubs, a solid fence, anything that obscures or eliminates the sight-line to the house. But there is still the possibility of intrusion up the driveway or other…


Posted Signs

Signage located near public access will make anyone think twice. A simple sign might be all that it takes to cause a burglar to move on to easier targets. A posted sign tells them (anyone) that you’ve thought of this scenario and therefore you are better prepared for it than others.

The words on the sign are up to you and your intended tone.

No Trespassing
Private Property
Keep Out


Large Dog Bone On Porch

Step back from the house and look at what the burglar sees. If the criminal observes an enormous dog bone on the porch (available at most any Pet store), that’s a visual cue that trouble could be nearby. That alone might cause the would-be burglar to high tail it outta there… not knowing if Wolfy is inside the house or already outside somewhere about to bite his a$$.

Having said that, even better would be actually having your own ‘Wolfy’ ;) A dogs ears are far better than ours and a dog will bark before you even know someone’s approaching. When the intruder hears the dog, he will also know that you heard it too… That changes everything…


Alarm Decals or Sign

I’ve read a statistic that you are 300 percent more likely to be a target without an alarm system. You want the burglar to know (or to think) that you have an alarm system – whether you actually do or not…

Yard signs or security system window decals will do the trick.


Security Camera

You do not need to have a security camera system to create the illusion that you have one… There are plenty of fake security cameras that appear very real and functional. A burglar who spots a security camera will most certainly think again about proceeding with the break-in. If there’s one outside, then he’ll think that there’s surely more inside (as well as the likelihood of a security system).


Outdoor Motion Lights

Burglars do not like lights. While many homes do already have an outdoor motion light, consider adding yet another for further and improved perimeter coverage. I have written several articles on motion lights including this one, which exemplifies what I believe to be the Best Outdoor Motion Light.


Create The Illusion That You Are At Home

When thinking about additional ways to deter a home burglar, visualize what the burglar will see. What can you do to make it appear as though someone is at home? This is one of the keys for prevention. While there are some home invasions where the burglars are so bold that they don’t care (VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION), most will move on to easier targets if they believe that someone is home.

Here is your question… What are some other additional things that might be done to create the illusion of someone being at home – or to increase the risk vs. reward for the burglar – and/or to further deter entry from this outer layer of security?

Similar Posts


  1. Good article, but in my experience the “No Trespassing” signs are near worthless because no one considers themselves a trespasser, they were just __________ (fill in the blank with any reasonable sounding excuse). I have some “Keep Out / Do Not Enter” signs stored that I’ll put up if needed, more straight forward in the message.

    Dakota Alerts aren’t as cheap as they once were, but I love mine. If you have a lot of property to protect I highly recommend them. Wrote an article for a different site with some thoughts on how to modify and deploy them, google on “mat-mods” and “dakota alert” if you’re interested.

      1. Great article as always.
        Couple other things I suggest (more for SHTF):

        Trip wire (or just wire from the dollar store) with soda cans interspersed (spray painted camo) with small rocks inside. Someone coming on property at night will “trip” these and make a ruckus. They either leave and/or you are alerted.

        Solar powered motion detectors/lights. Lots out there, got mine from Harbor Freight. I also have electric ones but in case grid down…solar works!

        In my inner perimeter on wood fence I ran 2″ screws through top boards pointing outward so anyone trying to climb over would impale their hands.

        1. I suppose there must be, since you mentioned it,

          but ARE there solar powered motion activated lights?

          had looked around for some, and did not find.


          1. DaisyK

            thanks for info. once you’ve had it a bit, would you please report back on it? does it last/does it go off when it should etc. Thanks.

        2. Trip wires may well cause an intruder to think you may have set up booby traps. The tough guy signs like “We don’t dial 911!!” merely serve to confirm that there are guns (and probably other goodies)in your home. While these signs may deter a home invasion, they probably invite a burglary when the home is unoccupied.

        3. My trip wire is better than yours. :-)

          I made one(Many)with a rat trap attached to a block of wood with a hole that holds a shotgun shell. Depending on the scale of SHTF,

          1) remove all shot and powder for just a small pop of the primer going off.

          2) leave powder in and make a big bang.

          3) Leave powder and put some cardboard or whatever and really scare the shit out of someone or

          4) I guess I don’t need to give stage 4. The other thing to keep around, but not for regular use is have carpet tack strip to put on your fences.

    1. The no trespassing signs, as you said, or worthless to deter people entering your property. I don’t know the laws of your state, but in Texas that sign gives you the right to use deadly force, especially at night. I keep signs up, just for the legal ramifications should anything happen. thanks

    2. Oh, I know. I dont know how many times Ive encountered people casually strolling on my property, ignoring signs and totally disrespecting boundaries. ” I just wanted to see what was back here”, ” I am looking for a spare tire”. ” we are just looking for our friend who lives here”.

      1. I have heard of this often, even in the city. I have had this happen, in the city. Lucky we had a large dog with large fangs, who circled the idiot and terrified him. Idiot begged me not to let dog eat him…Claimed he was going to meet up with girlfriend (in my trees)…Well, dog and I put the run on him.

  2. It is advised (by my lawyer) to not use signs that emphasize violence of “shooting” or “personal harm” to someone for trespassing. Even with signage and warnings of “no trespassing” you will be prosecuted and convicted if you shoot someone that is a non-threat, and unarmed. Signs such as “No Trespassing / Violators Will Be Shot / Survivors Will Be Shot Again” are exactly what a prosecutor will look for in a trial. You may and probably will be charged with premeditated murder if you kill a trespasser and cannot prove they were a immediate threat to you or someone else.

    In all reality you can not shoot someone that’s actually in your home unless he’s threating you or someone with harm. There have been many of cases that a homeowner shot and killed someone without “just cause” and have been tried and convicted of murder. As a bit of advice, do not listen to those that say “just shoot them and put something in their hands”, police, coroners, detectives and prosecutors know all the tricks, and how to tell if you did so. Even if a bugler is found in your home and is running away (non threating) you technically can not stop them. For God’s sake, do NOT shoot them in the back to stop them, you will be in jail for a long long time.

    Ken has a lot of good advice on how to make someone chose a different house, but be careful on using violence when confronting someone that’s not a threat to you or someone else.


    1. The old saying “I would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6” still applies. If someone is in my home illegally he will have to suffer the consequences. Sorry about that.

      PS Would try for the “wound” shot, but it is difficult with 12 guage 3.5″ Magnum 00 buck.

      1. @ cossack55
        I totally agree with you in your analogy of “I would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6”, and I guarantee if I even think I see a threat, that sucker is toast. Just trying to point out some of the consequences of pulling that trigger. Sometimes we see way to many movies, that’s all.


        1. Isn’t it really sad that we are having these discussions. The day they took from us the right to use deadly force to protect our property is the day America started to die. Where is the profitable use of property, if we cannot defend it with deadly force under any and all circumstances. Would the stores in Ferguson have been looted and burned if the owners had the lawful right to protect the hard earned fruits of their labors? Without the right to defend property, it is not really property at all. Under these circumstance it becomes nothing more than a millage venue for the tax office and a target of opportunity for the rioters and looters. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. thanks

        2. In such a case, you must decide whether or not to involve ‘the authorities’. No matter how right you were, the just-us system will try to crucify you, as the other guy is dead, making you the only available ‘defendant’. Just ask Zimmerman or Wilson.

          The Wilson case illustrates that the gubberment will not hesitate to eat it’s own enforcers if such action will deflect the anger of the masses. Cops are both arrogant psychopaths and dense to keep doing the bidding of an entity that has demonstrated this tendency time and time again.

    2. Good point regarding that particular type of sign… I added it to the post for some comedic value (along with the Dachshund Security Force), but point well taken. It would be a prosecutors dream following an event.

    3. Of course you can always claim you shot them by accident. Something like “I was holding him, waiting for the police to arrive, and I was so nervous that I accidently pulled the trigger”. Then they can write it off as an accidental shooting. Or if they charge you, it would be for manslaughter. My state does not have a castle law, so legally I am not supposed to shoot someone who enters my home illegally. As a result, home invasions are on the increase. I will do what I need to do.

      1. Peanut Gallery, I’m commenting a lot here tonight, but please allow me to add one more thing. March 3, 1983 at 0930 in the morning I pulled the trigger. When law enforcement arrive, I simply stated, “I want a lawyer.” That’s been over thirty two years and counting and I’ve never heard another word from them. You say nothing but, “I want a lawyer.”

        1. Good point, HD. My brother got into criminal legal trouble in the early 90s. The lawyer my parents hired told them that 90% of people convict themselves. Search YT for videos concerning “Never talk to police”. Anything you say can and will be used against you, but will NEVER be used FOR you. It is perfectly legal for police to lie to you (“We have witness who will testify”), but a crime for you to lie to them. Your words can easily be twisted against you. The just-us system is not interested in getting ‘the perp’, just a conviction. Any conviction will do.

          1. @Jack M: You are right, a District Attorney’s political career is dead if he/she can’t get close to 100% conviction rates or plea bargains. Not right, just the way it is. Hope everything went well with your brother’s case. And Peanut Gallery, you are right too, after shft and teotwawki we are on our own. Law enforcement, as you know will be so overwhelmed they will be no where to be found. I can’t blame them for going home and taking care of their own family.

          2. in case anyone was thinking Jack M was wrong, I have read several articles/seen documentaries, he is correct..

            ” It is perfectly legal for police to lie to you (“We have witness who will testify”)”

        2. Thanks, yes, say nothing. Of course after a SHTF event who knows if the police will even show up.

    4. As a woman, this scares the heck out of me. My brother told me if you shoot them be sure to drag them in the house. I want to be safe and not scared. If they are in my house, I can’t shoot them in the back?? I don’t mean to sound stupid, but….

      1. You are not stupid…you are just hemmed in by stupid laws. Unfortunately, stupid laws that may eventually get you killed by an intruder. And that is very sad indeed.

  3. My house is some distance( 1/2 mile) from the county road. I put this distance to good use. Thieves do not like to be separated very much from from their vehicle. Their vehicle provides for fast escape and a means to carry off their loot. So I have devised a reliable means to prevent any vehicle from reaching my house on a seconds notice. I can stop them just after they cross the entrance gate. They also can not turn around and leave. The fear of being trapped scares the hell out of most people.

    Then, the secondary means of alarm and defense kick in. These include well hidden observation/firing positions around the ranch away from the house. The last thing I want is a fire fight at the house even though the house is well defended itself.

  4. Just got some 00 rubber buckshot to use as the first round. Hopefully it would show that I didn’t want to kill somebody as it is “less lethal”. Kind of a serious concern as the soon to be ex of my step daughter has just moved 600 miles to be with his new girlfriend. Unfortunately he is now in the same county as we are. He has already told the step daughter that he would kill her entire family. Also has done time for trying to take a cops pistol from him. Anyone with thoughts on this please share them. When my neighbors called 911 a couple of months ago they were told response time would be half an hour.

    1. Permanent protective order is deemed necessary !!! If the slime ball shows up with in 250ft. KILL. Better him than you. Just a thought!!!

      1. A protection order has never stopped anyone from doing anything, at best makes them sorry they did it. OTOH, it provides excellent legal cover for the person under ‘protection’ of said order. “I tried everything I could to keep some tragedy from happening”.

    2. @me: My last post didn’t show up so if this winds up redundant I apologize. But this guy has threatened to kill every member of your own family, has disarmed a police officer, been in finishing school for thugs (prison), and you have made the decision to use a wad of rubber pellets as your first line of defense. There is a problem here Mr. Me. Please reconsider your strategy. No disrespect intended.

  5. We fenced in our entire property, after having it re-surveyed and that survey recorded at the local County Recorder’s Office. All along the fence, we fixed to the fence, “Beware of Dogs” and “Private Property” and finally, “This fence marks the Property Line-Do NOT CROSS”. A bit of overkill perhaps, but they came in handy when the teenage drip on the property behind us, insisted on trying to cut through our property to save a long hike to his friend’s home.He and that same friend also were firing bottle rockets onto our property in violation of the fire codes and was not pleased that we dimed him out. This may have been his motivation for his stupidity. When he last tried to cross our property, I arrested him via Citizen’s Arrest(legal in our state and recommended by local law enforcement). Turns out he had just turned the magical age of 18, so we also had him served with a Restraining Order, and filed an insurance claim against his parents homeowners Liability Insurance all in an effort to curb his illegal incursions onto and through our property.

    IN an effort to “settle” our pending legal issues against them they sold their home and moved Junior out-of-state. No issues at all with new neighbors, they are GREAT people. I learned a long time ago, if, you do not control your property’s perimeter, you will not be able to legally defend it in Court either in Civil or Criminal Court.
    Great article, your perimeter IS your first “legal line of defense”, make it Causal Intruder Proof, so that the intruder’s actions are anything BUT “casual”. Signs are inexpensive compared to hourly attorney’s fees and court costs. Good article!

    1. Really curious, does thick woods, swampy area and ticks full of lime disease count as a first line? I mean no one in their right mind just wanders in to this stuff.

      But if not trekking through the woods, the normal approach is a long, hilly, narrow driveway with Dakota alarm and video surveillance signs. Next are motion sensor flood lights 360deg around the house and finally very little but loud wolfy.

      AND YET at least twice a year we have someone drive up to the house, and turn around to drive out, we have the pictures!

    2. Wow, you got a restraining order on a teenager for crossing your property? People like you are what’s wrong with country; you run to the gov’t every time you have a problem, pitiful really. It’s sad when a grown man needs the gov’t to keep a kid from using a short cut on his property, if things ever fall apart you will be in big trouble with out Big Brother to handle your business for you.

  6. The link provided in the article brings me to the RAB Super Steath and the ad states that it has 1000 Watts of power. That’s 8.3 amps! It also states that it is rated for 2 – 150 watt bulbs maximum. Or 300 watts that would draw 2.5 amps. I don’t see how a small solid state circuit would draw 5.8 amps. Where does the 1000 watts come from? If it’s true, it would a 12 AWG wire to run just 2 lights. Might be a nice light, but…..

    1. The RAB Super Stealth is indeed rated on their spec sheet for 1,000 Watts switching capacity. I suspect their additional statement regarding the the PAR-38 bulb (receptacle assembly) may possibly due to the inherent limitations of that type of socket (typical flood or spot light). I’m going to contact them to find out regarding the discrepancy.

      With that said, I’ve never had a better motion light ‘brain’ (the Super Stealth head).

      1. UPDATE: I received a response from RAB regarding the confusion.

        My question:
        The RAB Super Stealth spec sheet indicates 1000 watt switching capacity while it also states a limitation of (2) 150 bulbs. Can you please advise regarding the discrepancy if I am limited to 300 watts?

        Their response:
        The STL series can switch up to 1,000 watts incandescent as its capacity. For the double headed light kits, the lamps that fit max at 150 watts, It would allow you to control more lights.

        So my initial thoughts were correct – the lamp assemblies themselves (the flood-spot light ‘PAR-38 receptacle base’ assembly) is limited to 150 watts each – while the STL head assembly is rated to switch additional lamps up to a total of 1000 watts (one would have to simply add the wiring for additional lamps to be controlled by the Super Stealth ‘brain’ assembly. Hope this clears things up.

  7. Another tactic (for after the SHTF) is to make your house (if it’s visible from the road) to look as though it’s already been looted, abandoned, and maybe even burnt out. A few strategically broken windows and some flat black spray paint in the right places around the window can make it look as though there was a fire there. Also, throwing some trash on the lawn that looks like stuff looters may have discarded on their way out of the house. If you have old broken furniture and appliances you could save them in the garage or somewhere specifically for this purpose. Boarding up the windows could help the disguise as well as help with defense, just don’t forget the black spray paint above the window and some on the sill too. Many burnt out buildings are often boarded up.

  8. I realize that some are applying the scenario of a SHTF post-collapse event. However I am also purposing this article towards day-to-day ‘normal’ life deterrents whereby I would hope that you’re not going to ‘pop’ someone walking onto your property ;)

  9. I firmly believe we must “harden” our personal and property perimeters and push them as far out as we can go. Each level of perimeter penetrated is a legal indicator of “INTENT” of the intruder/s making that penetration onto the property or into any of our structures.

    That eliminates most of the requirements for “bare fear” or Castle statues that exist. Let’s not make it easy for these jerks. There IS a huge difference between casual intrusion, and intrusion-for-purpose-of-predation(which includes burglary).

    Let’s not be mediocre “victims”, make these bastards WORK every step of the way. It’s better for us legally in the long run, even IF, we were in a WROL or Schumer-hits-the-fan situation.

    1. I don’t want to come across as a Rambo wannabe, but you can get a gadget at most any local gun shop, after a few months waiting period, that eliminates the sound of gunfire. Then there are shovels, that dig holes, and maybe a small shed could be build over the hole with a 6″ concrete floor. There are lots of waterways with very hungry gators where I live. Hogs galore, and they eat anything, dead or alive. There are also feed grinders, hay balers, huge rotary mowers, or maybe it’s time to have a tooth pulled and then invite the relatives and neighbors over for a feast while you have a ready made excuse as to why you can’t eat. If you think I’m proud of this post, you are wrong. But I’m way past the point of having one forgiving Christian quality within me when it comes to people vandalizing my property. thanks

  10. have been looking and not yet found such,

    any one know if there is such a thing as

    a sort of wireless contact which can be inserted in a gate (between back edge of gate and post), so that when gate is opened, contact is broken and alarm goes off in house (close by)?

    1. You are referring to a proximity switch. Yes there are many which are integrated with various alarm systems. However the typical wireless distance of a home alarm system isn’t all that far. No doubt though that this is available ‘at distance’. (somewhere)

      1. okay Ken, thanks, for the name.

        I am not at all technical, wondering if you can recommend any “names”/ brands etc..

        here is the thing I am looking for..

        I have a side gate, which is couple feet at most from house/window.

        I want to put some kind of switch/plate (don’t know correct terms) in between the back edge of the gate and post, so if someone opens this gate
        some kind of alarm goes off in house, or a light goes on, or hook up to a radio that goes on, etc..

        also, wireless, as not wanting to hire electrician.

        have some concerns that someone may have come through this gate and been in my back yard, and want some way to alert myself.

        other suggestion appreciated too.

  11. I have 3 signs, my alarm company,beware of pit bull and you are now in range. The alarm system may make them think,the pit bull sign may scare them, but the you are now in range sign maybe the last thing they ever read. Just a thought.

    1. The pit bull sign saved my Mom once,she was watching my kids in another state and I actually had the pit with me. Some guys, probably my ex’s friends showed up at an apartment and asked my Mom for a glass of water. They then saw the sign and asked is there really a pit bull here? She had her wits about her and said why yes there is and they left. Imagine that!!!

  12. this article was what I would expect from a suburban stay at home mom. in my opinion it offered no real help to maintaining a good outside perimeter. just a bunch of stuff that any homeowner has already heard a billion times. while the information is useful its not anywhere what I would consider to be effective for outside perimeter in an shtf event. more clickbait.

    1. &jp, Sorry to disappoint you. Not all of my articles are intended for post-SHTF doom and gloom survival amongst the apocalyptic roving hordes and gangs… You need to go elsewhere to get your complete fill of that. I have a diversified set of practical preparedness-related articles here to do with ‘modern’ day living during so called ‘good’ (uncertain) times (although that seems to be changing fairly quickly for the worse). While I do post my share of shtf articles, this one was not intended to be (and would have included more hard-core thoughts and ideas for such a reality). There are lots and lots of newbies who land on this site every day from ordinary web-search, and articles like this (and the comments contained within) will help the beginner who may not have thought of all the basic things to get started. There are always (fortunately) newbies to the world of preparedness, and I would like to think that this site helps some of them from time to time…

      1. Good response Ken;
        You have a LOT more patience than I do, that’s for dang sure. I would suggest anyone that has suggestions please state them, we’re always interested in other views. It’s so very easy to criticize yet have no input or just drop a line and leave. Personally I get a LOT of very good info from this Blog, and I will say, other sites are ALL wacked out with the SHTF, EOTWAWKI, “oh my God were all going to die” stuff, it’s amazing some of those people out there even have a life. Personally I want to live my life as free as I can and not live in Sajmište trying to protect myself from every fly that may land in my yard.

        Ken, keep up the GOOD work, I know there are a LOT of people that appreciate it, Me for one.

        Thank You


        1. Thanks NRP – Additionally as ‘jp’ probably does not realize – I often put up an article with a few ‘teaser’ thoughts or ideas on a given subject, while counting on some good input from the readers as a result… I certainly don’t know it all and never will – and I enjoy (as well as others I’m sure) the productive (constructive /beneficial /helpful /thought provoking /etc..) comments from others. Thanks again.

          1. @ Ken
            “teasers”? who you??? ahhh hell no. HAHAHA
            I know you got my hair on fire a couple of times doing that… LOL
            One thing for sure, it make one use the “gray mater” a little more.

  13. just to add my thoughts…

    jp…if you have useful practical (legal) methods to suggest, have at it….we’re listening / reading…Keep in mind, most of us do not want to have to answer to authorities. Implemented suggestions are not useful if one keeps opening door to constabulary.

    Ken, I appreciate the information on this and other posts.

  14. How about concealed collision posts. I mean steel poles filled with concrete behind bushes in front of your house. Film on windows, armored up door for starters. If you can afford it batman window and door covers they have electric with manual cranks in case power is off. Fences, barbed wire, nail boards and sharp stick inside of fenced area. Notice all of these things are concealed the attacker doesn’t need to know your defences. Dogs, motion detectors,alarm systems and cameras are your alert systems. Hope this was helpful for home defense. Do the cheaper things first unless you have the money. Just a thought.

    1. PS if martial law is applied parking your pickup in front of your front door may stop a battering ram on an armored vehicle and can have ready to leave if but out is necessary. Just a thought.

  15. we’re on just over an acre in a decent neighborhood. Man’s best friend has been our ‘system’ for a while now. Two healers (female) and a big ol’ boy. All three are inside on occasion. Anyone that comes to the door gets a long, loud earful of chaos. No thug surprises for occupants inside. The girls pull night duty each night. Sally, mon-wed-fri. Sue, tue-thur-sat. Sunday we all play inside. Big boy pulls couch duty each night of the week. His bark sends shivers. Girls on night duty get a harness and 50 ft steel cable anchored just outside front door. When the girl on night overwatch lets out the slightest warning the two inside go ape-sh*t. This way if nightwatch is compromised, still have two inside who are going nuts. Of course all this allows dad AMPLE time to rack Mr Shotty. (thats a diff story altogether)

    In case anyone questions mother nature’s warning devices, take one camping over night. Nothing gets close to camp without your dog ‘alerting’ well ahead of time.

    Perfect? Not by a long shot. But two or three make a very redundant system not easily defeated. You WILL be alerted. YMMV

  16. Indeed, having things be visible, like the alarm or camera system. Don’t have it accessible though, because if they think they have a chance to disarm it, they will probably try. My favorite one though, is the outdoor motion lights.

    1. Sarah Anderson

      I used to think visible was good too, but lately been thinking that someone with a paintball gun (or such) could easily foil them, from a fair distance (if they are visible).

Leave a Reply

>>USE OPEN FORUM for Off-Topic conversation

Name* use an alias