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Home Security & Early Alert Warning

by Grayman

Normal home security systems fail to implement a strong perimeter defense or early warning. These are methods of setting audible and visual alarms that will trigger when a suspect is near your homestead. They allow you to detect, deter, and deny. We’ll cover your basic alarm systems, motion detectors, tripwire and mouse trap alarms. Use these ideas as a springboard for deciding on your own improvised or commercially available options.



Alarms: There are an array of alarms at your disposal, get one! There are plenty of commercially available alarms like ADT, Safewise, CPI, etc; are all better than nothing. At the very least consider a doorbell alarm like Ring or Vivint. There are other options too.

》Doorbell and Active Detection Cameras – A doorbell camera paired with 1 or two exterior cameras (such one facing driveway or backyard) offer near instant notifications and can record and capture suspicious activity. Most of these systems use WiFI but some are available with cellular data. Ring, Arlo, and Nest are popular systems to consider. The systems can be hardwired or used a built-in battery. Notification settings often allow you to ignore vehicle or animals related motions and filter only human motions. However, keeping all recording settings on can help you capture suspicious vehicles in the area. Law Enforcement and Neighbors often attempt to locate nearby houses that have doorbell cameras if a crime occured in the area. Having a system like this acts as an early alarm even before a would be criminal attempts to break into your house or car giving you time to react.

》Motion Alarm – The alarms are often called driveway motion alarms. It includes an interior home station unit that plugs into a wall outlet and uses bluetooth, radio, or another near field communication signal to send an alarm to the home station unit when the motion is detected by the exterior motion sensors. The sensors usually are battery operated and should be tested bi-monthly for operation. Each home station includes the option of 2 to 8 sensors, each of which can often be set to signal a different sounding alarm, and many home stations will also display on the unit which alarm was activated. Position the sensors at the front driveway, other pathways to the homestead, and other points of interests. Label and program the home station so that you know which sensor corresponds to which location.

》Motion Lights – These lights can warn you visually of intruders on your property. If the lights are not networked they can also alert you as to the direction/location the intruder came from or is at. The mere activation of light often can deter a would be suspect into leaving. The draw back is you have to see the lights turn on to receive the warning, so motion lights alone will not alert you when you are asleep.

》Bells/Chimes – Placing noise makers on gated fences, doors, mailbox, windows, storage boxes, and equipment left outside; can all be a warning if someone is attempting to enter your property or steal something.

》K9 – Yea, a dog is an alarm also. Dogs not only will bark when they hear suspicious behavior (or the mailman) but they also offer a last line of defense for their owner.


Alarms (Trip)

Tripwire alarms and hazards prey on the intruders lack of situational awareness in hopes their foot or ankle triggers the alarm or becomes their downfall.

》Trip Wire – There are many variations of trip wire activate early alert systems. Each includes a length of line/string (monofilament fishing line, kite string, wire etc) that is set across an area between two fixed posts/trees/buildings. The line is pulled tight so that any touch of the string will activate the alert.

》Tin Can Trip Wire – Tie a trip wire line and then hang tin cans with rocks inside (this causes a clanking sound) or use small glass bottles close together or anything else you can improvise that will make a sound when the string is disturbed. Bells are an obvious choice. Set the wire low so it serves as a trip hazard, or knee height to avoid injuring a friendly person that unintentionally triggers it. Hang the noise makers near trees or behind bushes along the length of the line so they are not detected.

》Trip Hazard – Tie a trip wire line at ankle height to cause intruders to trip, fall, injure themselves, and potentially make enough sound for you to know of their presence.


Alarms (Mousetrap)

There are many variations of using a mouse trap, here are a few options, not all may be legal. These alarms involve a trip wire tied to the holding arm of a mouse trap so that when the arm is pulled out by the wire being touched, the hammer will swing making a loud sound or activating a modification alarm.

Note – For all the below alarms follow these instructions first. Remove the holding arm. Remove bait holder catch. Remove the holding bar but leave U-loop in place. Straighten bait holder catch with pliers.  Remove the arm of spring temporarily to ensure it will not activate. Pull hammer to activated side.

》Basic Mouse Trap Alarm – To make a mousetrap only alarm which uses only the sound of the mousetrap hammer slapping the wood base. Replace the arm of spring, tie loose end of trip wire to the holding bar, set trap by placing tension on the hammer and holding in place then insert holding bar into U-loop and over the hammer. Ensure that there is no slack in the trip wire. It will be difficult to find the amount of tension needed on the trip wire to avoid slack but not too tight to pull the holding bar out until tripped.

》Cap Gun Trip Wire Modification – A cap gun cap averages about 153 decibels when fired. You can add these caps to your mouse trap. Wrap a length of duct tape around the wood plank on the hammering side where the hammer hits the wood. Then tap 2-3 small nails into the wood directly under where the hammer hits. You want the nails heads on the top of the trap and the nail heads should be small enough to fit inside standard ring caps. Remove 2-3 ring caps and place on top of the nail heads. You can use glue to hold them in place. When the trap is activated and then set off the hammer will hit the ring caps into the nails causing a loud pop sound.

》Chemlight Trip Wire Modification – This involves placing a glow stick or chemlight on the hammering side of the wood plank so that when the hammer is activated it will pop the glow stick and cause it to glow. This will only allow a light based location alert that is required to be seen to alarm you.

》Primer Trip Wire Modification – This involves installing a housing unit for a shotgun shell, blank round, rifle round, bullet round, etc. The idea is to cause the hammer to hit the primer and cause the ammunition to fire.

》9 Volt Trip Wire Modification – There are endless methods of using a 9 Volt battery to power sound and light alarms. The basic premise is using the trip wire to cause the positive and negative terminals of the battery to connect thus powering whatever alarm is being used. A basic Christmas light bulb or noise alarm can be wired to the battery so that when the circuit is completed they will activate.


This article was originally written by the Grayman Briefing. Stay in the know, sign up for Intel and Situational Awareness alerts pushed to your phone on emerging threats and preparedness warnings. Click HERE to subscribe to the Grayman Briefing.

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