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Challenging tests of survival can happen in a multitude of ways and in a wide range of places. Your survival skills and tenacity can be tested during an emergency in the outdoors, and your quick thinking and preparation can be tested during a home invasion. Both situations can be life threatening and life altering, but both can be prevented. Carry a sat phone or mobile phone (and some survival gear) to better your odds in the backcountry, and employ these five home security solutions to decrease your odds of becoming a target of home invaders and burglars.

1. Get Professional Help
This is the easiest approach, since the security company does all the work. The door and window alarms, motion detectors, and other sensors of an in-home security system should keep you safe as long as the electricity is working. Be aware that you may have to fall back to “plan B” if the grid’s down.

2. Lock It Up
It might be nice to go back in time 50 years and sleep with your windows open and your doors unlocked, but you’re asking for trouble by living like that today. Keep all windows and doors locked, including garage doors. Opt for additional locking mechanisms, such as deadlocks for doors and locking bars for sliding-glass doors. You can also wedge a broom handle behind sliding doors and windows.

3. Light It Up
Let’s say you were a crook. Which house would you rather plunder—a dimly lit home or a house lit up like Christmas? Install motion-activated lights on the exterior of your house. Leave on a few lights while you’re out. Invest in timers for interior lights and leave a car in your driveway while you’re on vacation.

4. Cover Your Six
Take an active role in guarding your home by being careful what you say to others. Don’t discuss your valuables and material possessions with anyone. Consider keeping valuables in secure locations (such as bank lockboxes) instead of home safes or hiding places. Use only licensed, reputable workers for in-home repairs and always check their identification.

5. Back Up Your Systems
Place door chimes or bells on the backs of all interior doors. If the door moves, the bell will let you know that something’s up. You can also put bells on door handles or window latches. If you are hard of hearing, get a guard dog or two. Their senses are far sharper than ours, and they can be very frightening to intruders.

What steps have you taken to protect your home and loved ones? Let us know by leaving a comment.