Door and Window Alarms

How To Build a Surveillance Plan For Your Home

Never An Unexpected Guest

“The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because generally, they are the same people.” ― G.K. Chesterton.

In a grid-down or partial grid-down situation with spotty or limited power where we have also slipped into a without the rule of law (WROL) status, there may be several people from just bad guys to looters to opportunistic criminals looking to break into our home and steal from us or do us harm.  Maintaining a visual of the perimeter of your home, knowing when people are approaching or trying to breach your home is critical to your survival.  So, what can you do to prepare your home for this possibility?  We get asked this question a lot, and we think it’s a valid concern.

This blog will discuss simple things you can do to maintain observational awareness over your perimeter.  Of course, defending yourself is a whole other video.  This blog will focus instead on surveillance, keeping a constant awareness and alert system in place to know what’s approaching your safe zone, and throwing up enough of a deterrence to make even the angriest of lawless mobs want to seek other softer targets.  The goal is to keep aware of what’s happening outside and deter potential intruders from coming onto your property.  Let’s jump in…

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Wall LightNo Power, No Problem. If the power in your neighborhood goes out or some nefarious individual tries to cut the power to your house specifically, you can’t let it also take down your security.  When it comes to lighting, you have to realize that would-be criminals don’t want to be seen.  Even in a world without the rule of law, they risk retaliation from the occupants of a house when they are lit up and blinded by light.  A burglary occurs every 22.6 seconds in the United States during times of peace and order.  Burglars go after soft targets– houses that are dark and will conceal them while they attempt to gain entry.  Just one well-placed light can be enough to make a burglar pass on your home.  

Fortunately, batteries and small solar panels become more affordable and smaller every year.  A little over a year ago, we made a visual inspection of our entire house.  We tried to view it from the perspective of an opportunistic criminal.  It was far too dark on one side of the house, and we only had a partial wall.  We also didn’t have an electrical outlet or wiring on that side.  One method we implemented for remedying this weakness was to install a motion-activated, solar, LED floodlight.  These have significantly come down in price and offer increased brightness.  We mounted the whole system, panel, and lights on a board that we installed high and out of reach.  We check it now and then, and it has worked perfectly for over a year now.  Consider a system like this or individual, smaller lighting options for any unilluminated areas of your house.  Avoid the miniature panel versions meant for stairs and walkways.  They are neither bright enough nor are they built to last.  We have had to replace several of these small units under windows.  They just don’t seem to hold up.

If you’re worried that people might see your house as having power, don’t.  Solar-charged systems that are elevated out of reach still have visible panels, and they clearly show onlookers that they have a self-contained power source.


Security CameraWhen it comes to no power, you want to check any electrical surveillance product you buy to determine the total runtime after the power goes out.  Most now come with lithium or another type of battery backup that can run for 24 hours or more of continued usage.  Whether that’s a camera, video doorbell, or monitoring station, plan for it to have its own battery backup of some kind independent of your electrical system.  These are usually trickle-charged from your home’s power, so factor that feed, if you can, into your emergency power needs if considering a home generator or battery backup system.  Even if the internet goes down, your WiFi devices will still be working so long as you are providing electricity to your internet router with a UPS or other similar battery backup.  A home Wi-Fi network, which is almost always hosted by a router, is independent of the internet. Meaning that any devices on the network can always work with one another to share and back up data, print, stream local media, and so on.  So, even if the power goes out, you don’t have to be in the dark when it comes to monitoring your perimeter.

For this reason, cameras at high elevations around your property provide you with unobstructed and complete views at wider angles than what you might get looking out a window.  Cameras can be mounted, hard-wired into your electrical system, come with solar-charged batteries as an option, and even infrared nighttime vision.  Even a well-placed baby monitor can be repurposed in a small environment to give you a constant visual of your exterior surroundings.  If you need to watch both the front and back of your house, place a baby monitor in one of the windows.  If someone comes to your front door while his partner tries to sneak in the back, you will know and won’t be surprised and overtaken.


Dog“If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace, and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter, if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside, will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.”  Truer words were never spoken, but  We all know that different dogs will provide various kinds of security.  We have known dogs that bark ferociously at every sound when their master is home but don’t make even a whimper when they’re home alone, and the doorbell rings.  We have seen big dogs that will tear a person apart if their owner doesn’t tell them they can be trusted.  We’ve seen little, yippee dogs that we thought would tear me apart even though they probably weighed less than ten pounds.  They certainly acted like they could.

You just never know with a dog, and that’s how they provide both surveillance and security for you.  If a malevolent person approaching your house hears a dog bark, they know first that their approach is no longer a secret.  That awareness alone may be enough to deter them from further approaching.  With a dog may also come an armed dog owner.  The second thing is that the approaching bad guy doesn’t know your dog’s size, breed, or ferocity.  Even a tiny yipping dog can be an incredible hassle if it’s biting the intruder’s hands or clamped onto their leg while they are trying to overtake the occupants of a house.  

Fortunately, most dogs instinctively want to protect their perimeter.  It’s up to you to train your dog to know where that perimeter is.  If you’ve never walked your dog entirely around your house, you cannot expect the dog to be familiar with your perimeter.  Leash the dog and walk them around your house’s perimeter every day for a week.  Repeat the same word like “perimeter” several times on your walk.  We once had a Rottweiler trained in this way.  We could say “perimeter” and open the slider, and he would run my whole fence line.  Eventually, the word became “squirrel,” but the effect was the same.  Imagine being halfway over a fence when you see a hundred-plus pound dog tearing out from the house after you.

Even if you don’t send your dog out after a bad guy, having your dog know its borders, the smells, and the sounds of your perimeter helps it distinguish between intrusions and everyday activity.  Dogs are a great way to keep a watchful eye and ear on your property.


SimpleSafe Security CameraThis blog is sponsored by SimpliSafe who is currently having their best deals of the year with 50% off.  Simplisafe is an effective and reliable home security system that’s easy to use and set up.  Simplisafe has now rolled out a new outdoor camera, something We’ve been waiting on for a while now.  It has a 140-degree field view at 1080p HD with an 8x zoom, so you can zoom in and capture critical evidence such as faces or license plates.  It also has a built-in spotlight with color night vision for nighttime usage and 2-way audio, allowing you to speak through the phone app.  With the easy to snap-on magnetic base, you can position the camera at the angle you want, easily adjust it and quickly remove it to charge it.  In the past, having to wire up external cameras has excluded many, but this has alleviated this problem.  With the Simplisafe phone app, you can easily access the camera when away from home. Their interactive monitoring service will call the police if the system is alerted to anything. Save 50% off your Simplisafe security system during their biggest sale of the year.  Visit to learn more.


Perimeter AlertsYou can greatly extend your area of surveillance with motion detectors.  We have reviewed the Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm, and we will link to that video in the comments below.  This system is a force multiplier.  It will run off batteries, can communicate with the base unit up to 400 meters or 1/4 mile away, and you can string several sensors around your perimeter to have a massive alert system.  While it won’t provide you with a visual of the threat that is out there, it will tell you from which direction it is coming.  They call these driveway alarms, and they are great for that purpose, but you can easily string multiple sensors around your home and build a complete 360-degree detection system of your perimeter.  They can also easily be thrown in your bugout bag to take a layer of security with you.  You can be sleeping in an unknown location while these sensors alert you to any motion approaching your campsite.

A slightly more expensive option is a live stream capable trail cam.  These can be affixed high on trees and will pass unnoticed.  Like regular cellular trail cameras, live streaming game cameras detect motion and send an alert with a picture. However, a live streaming trail camera allows users to log in and stream live video directly to their phones. Live video feed game cameras are an excellent option for security.

As well as around the exterior, consider sensors in places cut off from your house, like your garage or any side of your home with limited windows.  Knowing something is lurking beside your house or in your garage without having to hear them puts the advantage back in your court.

Depending upon your area and ingenuity, a perimeter trip alarm is another option.  These are old-fashioned tripwires you can set up that make the sound of a gunshot because they are blowing off an explosive cap, and it’s equivalent to a loud 22 caliber.  Beyond just getting your attention, they make any would-be intruder immediately think they are getting shot at.  The ASR Tactical Alarm Signaling Anti-Intruder Perimeter Trip Wire Trap will give you a warning wherever you set it up.  If you have to bug out to the wild, it can easily be thrown in a bugout bag and will send intruders and 4-legged wild animals scurrying away while you have time to wake up and prepare your defenses.  In the same category, minus the scary blast, are tripwire alarms.  These, too, are cheap and can give you an audio warning or simply blare from wherever you have placed them if the tripwire is tripped.  Many people opt to make these themselves or repurpose more affordable personal alarm systems.


DroneDepending on the type of crisis, sometimes sending up a video recording drone straight up with a 360-degree rotation can give you a many-block or many-mile view of any threats in your area.  In this way, your location security is maintained, and you can quickly survey a community of thousands of homes.  You can determine if an angry mob is heading in your direction or where the smoke is coming from.  If you work with one or more neighbors, you can take turns surveying in this manner at regular intervals.

This method is mainly for daytime surveillance.  Though night-vision drones are available, they tend to be more costly.  Some countries may have laws against operating a drone at night or covering the drone’s anti-collision lights, but your situation may necessitate you to do both.  In a world without the rule of law, it isn’t likely the Federal Aviation Agency will want to track you down for flying a drone at night with duct tape over the lights.  It is much easier to track a drone at night with anti-collision lights than during the day, so be aware of this if you take your drone up for a quick 360-degree surveillance.

We will be doing a future video specific to using drones after a disaster, so subscribe to this channel if you would like to be alerted when that comes out.


NeighborNeighbors come in many types.  Some you can trust.  Some you wouldn’t trust at all.  Some you wonder about because you never see them, and when they come home, the garage door closes before they’re even out of the car.   Some have wildly different views or political views than ours, but none of that matters after a disaster.  After a disaster, you indeed find out who your neighbors are.  Unfortunately, that’s not the time to discover the true nature of your neighbors.

We always encourage people to get to know their neighbors.  We think your odds of survival go up when you get even one of your neighbors to be more prepared.  The conversation can start small; maybe ask them if they’re prepared for the next fire, hurricane, earthquake, tornado, power outage, or whichever type of disaster you’re likely to all face next.  With the right neighbor, you can build an alliance and maybe even pool resources a bit.  Likewise, you can quickly make a plan after a disaster.  That can be as simple as giving them a walkie-talkie to turn on after a disaster.

In a limited grid-down situation when the rule of law is no longer in effect, that extra set of eyes on your property may prove to be a lifesaver; and your mutual assistance group (MAG) begins to grow.  That trusted neighbor probably knows someone else who knows someone else.  Suddenly, the surveillance of your area is vastly increased, but you have to start building those relationships now.  Don’t wait until times of desperation only to find out that your neighbor is even more desperate and will think of taking from you.


When you cannot have eyes around your perimeter, it is still vitally important to know what is out there or what may be coming for you.  A partial or full-grid down situation and its accompanying world without the rule of law can present a host of challenges.  Keeping eyes, light, and ears on your perimeter is vitally important.  Hopefully, this video has provided you with enough information to understand what you can put together for 24/7 perimeter surveillance.  The items you put together will depend significantly on your environment.  What you might have on a farm will be different from what you can have in an urban apartment or even a suburban neighborhood.

Thanks again to SimpliSafe for sponsoring this blog. Now you can save 40% or more on your SimpliSafe security system during their biggest sale of the year. You can visit to learn more.

What do you think? What’s your go-to perimeter surveillance strategy or item? Let us all know in the comments below.  We always learn a great deal from you, as we are sure many subscribers do.  


As always, stay safe out there.


Guardline Wireless Alarm: , 

1/2 Mile Long Range Solar Wireless Driveway Alarm Outdoor – 

Personal Alarm System for TripWire – 

ASR Tactical Alarm Signaling Anti-Intruder Perimeter Trip Wire – 


Visit to learn more and to get at least 40% off your SimpliSafe security system!


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6 months ago

Since October 7th, I’ve tried to reassess how to protect our home. No one may be able to help if hundreds of military aged attackers with no homes in the US start attacking in a similar way. I’d love to hear any ideas.

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