Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Home Security

When thinking about home security, the last possible thing on your mind is how environmentally friendly your system is, right? We only recently installed our own security system due to a rash of break-ins in our neighborhood and "choosing green" wasn't remotely on the agenda. Choosing the right price was. Our house was pre-wired so basically all they had to do was install the keypad and start taking money out of my checking account each month. The system provided a (modest) sense of security for our family and we figured we were done "protecting" ourselves from outside intruders. Until Sunday....

I was standing over the sink washing up from our Father's Day dinner when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a tall young man in my backyard. He had appeared out of nowhere and my heart leapt in my throat. My husband tore out to the yard but the young man had already seen him, climbed up on a planter, and vaulted over the seven foot fence into our next door neighbor's yard. We went out front to warn our other neighbors of the man's presence and were confronted by a good number of police officers and canine units. It seems that young man was running from something and was bounding through all of our backyards as a means of escape.

Cartoon from
They never caught him. And we have no idea as to what crime it is that he committed. His uninvited presence in my backyard unnerved me to no end. What if my children had been a back there, playing as they usually are? What if he had come in my unlocked back door and used my family as means of leverage? My neighborhood is not typically one where I would fear for my safety but my puny little alarm system began looking like a big fat joke.

The hubby and I agreed that we needed to step it up, security wise. As with every project, I of course, wanted to upgrade in the greenest and cheapest ways possible. In addition to our alarm system, we have decided to make the following upgrades:

  • Bamboo Dowel Rods-When wedged between the sill and the sliding part of the window or door, a dowel rod makes it pretty difficult to open them without breaking a window. We chose bamboo because it's a sustainable wood and is stronger than most hardwoods.
  • Motion Lights-Motion lights illuminate the yard or front door when someone steps into it, eliminating creepy dark places where scary people can hide. We've been looking at these solar lights so we don't have to pay to power them!
  • Weather Stripping-You can see daylight around my front door. Not only does it let out my precious and paid for air conditioning, it provides a perfect little slot for a crowbar. They make ready to nail strips so the job is easy peasy. I realize that a crowbar could easily bend away any weather stripping we install but it makes me feel better and it needs to be done anyway! 
  • Additional Locks- I want to install one of those slide chain locks on each door, like the kind you often find in hotels. This may also come in handy for keeping my sleepwalking kids in the house! They haven't escaped yet, but they wander regularly.
As silly as it may seem to even think green while you are beefing up security, remember that every purchase and every project is a chance to do better. Yes I could use regular craft dowels and hardwired lights but that little voice inside chides me to do better. I can protect my home and my planet, all in one fell swoop.

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  1. Never thought about the weather stripping one. Don't forget about putting up a Beware of Dog sign and a dog bowl - or better yet, rescue a dog from a local shelter. :)

  2. Home security is very very importnat!

  3. Since you started with this so called “green-security system”, here is one you might also want to try. This is also a good choice for a home ornament. A wind chime can act like a sensory device. It is sensitive to motion. The moment the door hits it, it will move and make a sound. But we can’t rely on these improvised security systems. A system from a trusted provider is still much better.

  4. I’d like to congratulate and applaud your efforts and achievement in coming up with eco-friendly protection systems for your home! You’re right – staying “green” isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when one is thinking about home security systems. It’s a good thing you upgraded your system and came up with all these other great ideas to keep intruders out or to alarm people inside the house. I can’t imagine what could’ve happened if there was anyone out in the yard when that man was there. Let’s hope his face ended up on someone’s security cameras, and he’ll be caught and brought to justice soon.

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  6. “This may also come in handy for keeping my sleepwalking kids in the house!”- Safety first for children! Haha. Well, having a chain lock for your door is great because you can identify a person outside your house without totally unlocking and opening your door. If that person has a bad intention, he can’t easily get into your house because you have to close the door again before you unlatch the chain.

  7. I’m glad nothing happened to you and your family. It’s a good thing that you saw the man first, which probably scared him away. Now that you have a security system at home, have you thought of adding sensors also? I think having those will definitely help deter intruders from entering your home. Also, even with all these things installed, I’d still encourage you to be vigilant in protecting your home. Regularly check the locks and windows and make sure none are damaged.

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