Don’t Give them a Hiding Place

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

Thieves and robbers are meticulous sorts. They have to be in their line of business. Not only do they have the police to be concerned about, but every neighborhood seems to have its resident busy-body who is spying on everything going on. Their number one goal is to avoid attracting attention to themselves, especially attention from that neighborhood busy-body. That attention could lead to someone calling the police and messing up their whole day.

Part of their methodology involves them working to hide from anyone’s sight. When they look over a neighborhood, they are looking for hiding places which will help them get near a house and through an open door or window, without drawing attention to themselves. In order to successfully do that, they look for fences, plants and shadows they can hide in as they make their approach and then as they try to find an open door or window.

Homes with a lot of shrubbery around them are ideal targets for break-in-artists, as all that shrubbery provides them with an ideal place to hide. When I bought my home, that was a concern that I had to deal with. I’m still working to cut out “volunteer” trees and shrubs that the previous owner had allowed to flourish. While I kind of like how they look, many are in places where they could either damage my fence or my basement. Those same ones are the ones which are most likely to provide a burglar the cover they might need as they try to get into my home.

But vegetation isn’t the only thing they use for hiding places. They’ll use your cars, the shed and the kids toys if they can. Anything you leave laying out in your front or back yard can be used as a hiding place.

Okay, so what do we do about this?

First, make sure that there’s nothing in your yard that doesn’t need to be there. Old cars, leftover building materials and your kids toys may not actually have to be there. If you don’t need them, then there’s really no sense in keeping them.

Secondly, make sure that anything in your yard is set in such a way that people can’t hide behind it. Just because you need a gardening shed, doesn’t mean that you have to set it in such a way that you can’t see both sides and that the back is up against the fence, so nobody can hide behind it. If you have shrubbery, trim the shrubbery up from the ground, so that you can see anyone’s feet who are trying to use it as a hiding place.

Thirdly, add automatic lighting, especially if you have hidden areas in the yard. Automatic lighting can serve as a visual alarm, letting you know that someone is out there. As such, it works well for chasing off would-be burglars that might be hiding in the shadows. That goes back to them not wanting to attract attention and be seen. When lights go on, it attracts attention, getting people to look. Unless they can do a really good job of hiding, they’re likely to be seen; and because they don’t belong there, it will attract attention.

Don’t forget indoors either.

The same idea of not leaving them any hiding places should be applied as much as possible indoors as well, although it is much harder to manage that. Most of us don’t have enough extra room in our homes so that we can arrange the furniture in such a way that we can see everything from the entry to the room.

One not so good option is to mount mirrors on the ceiling, allowing you to see into those hidden areas. While that’s great from a security standpoint, it’s not so good as home décor. Chances are, you’d have to do a lot of explaining to friends and family members, when they are visiting.

But it’s not all that hard to determine where those hiding areas are and memorize them. While that won’t keep a thief from using them, it will make it easier for you to clear your home, should you suspect that someone is inside. By knowing where those hiding places are, you can plan your building clearing routine in such a way as to make sure that you check them all, as well as putting some thought into how you can see into those areas, while reducing your exposure to risk.

You may never need that information; but there’s no way of knowing that in advance. Better to be sure, than to need it and not be sure. Just like it’s better to keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand, whether you’re expecting to need it today or not.

Dr. Rich

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