Physical Security and it’s weaknesses.

Part of Self Defence. Physical Security and it’s weaknesses.

Fortify your home, put wire up, build gated communities, buy some big dogs, go underground into a bunker, and as standard, arm yourself.

Typical US and the “UK’s armchair prepper” talk, only to what end.
What or who are you trying to keep out? For how long?
Where are you going to do this, and if you can, how are you going to get there BEFORE the main event let alone during?

Home Construction in the UK.
In the main homes are built out of brick.
Older ones having two layers worth (8 inches plus), newer ones moving to either a single brick skin and a wood frame inside or brick outside and cinder block within. Brick making a more substantial building than the clap-board / timber build or clad dwellings found round the world.

Wow aren’t we lucky in the UK.
Bull we are and subject to exactly the same threats and weaknesses as the next guy no matter what our housing is made out of.

The most commonly expressed threats to individuals in a dwelling include:-
Theft (including rioting and home invasion), gunfire, fire, and extreme weather.
Plus the exotics.
The earthquakes, volcanoes, CBRN, EMP or geomagnetic events, solar flares,  paramilitary, or full military grade action.

For the “normal attacks” physical security can cope with a fair amount of abuse but lets face it, if you aren’t there and willing to use a gun or other weapon to defend your property, your security is just making things difficult for the intruder.

For example. UVPVC double glazing is very common for doors and windows in the UK.
Only glass doesn’t come as bullet resistant as standard, PVC bends with the correct tools, and as for door panels.
cbad8-cleanbootsGot to love modern thinking for heat conservation haven’t you.

So am I advocating you do nothing special to make yourself safe?
Nope, that would be stupid BUT hows about realistically reviewing your security beyond changing the locks to “industry standard”, and adding bars, gates, or shutters to all the lower access points.

What about adding a bit of perimeter security?
After all the best way of keeping people out is to keep them away.
They can’t get into something they can’t touch.
Which is fine if you have space to do that but pretty impossible when you live in a high density area or even worse, an apartment block.

It gets tougher when you live in the cities or townships doesn’t it and probably why the general consensus is to bug out to your prepared shelter or just into the countryside.

OK, I’m going move onto rural and the prepper’s Nirvana, a custom-built hardened facility for those with money, or a place in the country for some, or for those who like me and broke? Well we’ll be looking for something like a holiday home to ‘invade’ and take over if we need a refuge.

So is any of them guaranteed to make you safe?
Some will argue “safer” and I’d sort of agree with “safer” for the run of the mill type disasters or attack. Only what if you do encounter a determined attack from someone with or without firearms?

The main military and police rounds in the UK.
7.62 x 51 mm – 5.56 x 45 mm – 9 x 19 mm – 12.7 × 99 mm
FM 3-06.11 (FM 90-10-1) detail the long gun calibres penetration capabilities.
It makes interesting reading and if you’ve ever seen a GPMG hammering away at a brick wall, or been on the receiving end of sustained small arms fire, you’d suddenly realise just how vulnerable you are when someone knows what they are doing. Bricks or not.

Luckily, unless you encounter the military or someone who has purloined those weapons, it’s not going to be those loads you’ll be facing. Typically that will be 12 gauge, .17, .22, and perhaps 9 mm.

Yet why would someone use firearms in the UK (except in ambush or self-defence) when there are so many other ways to dispossess an individual. Ultimately that is what your attacker wants, you out of your shelter and what’s in it. Only what would you consider is the most versatile and easy weapon to deploy? I’ll give you a clue:-

firebombYep, fire.

Now with that in mind, what about the your dwelling, or the one you built, bought, or acquired as a bug out refuge. Is it fireproof? If it is not I submit that man’s first major triumph (i.e. making fire) may be your undoing.

I’ve also read posts by preppers about how hardened thus attack proof their refuges are.
“You’ll never get close enough” boasts. Meet my readily available “farmyard”wreaking tool.


A good argument for a perimeter defence and ground between you and that barrier which is dug deep or cluttered with debris rending it one hard task to clear before getting to you.

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6 Responses to Physical Security and it’s weaknesses.

  1. The average American car can cut right through the average American home. I don’t care how many bars or reinforced windows you install. Unless you are willing to bury heavy gauge steel pipe 20+ inches down into concrete all the way around your home you won’t stop most cars or light trucks. As everyone from the Chinese to the French have learned, fixed defenses can be overcome with time, a little intelligence and mobility. There is no such thing as safety behind most barriers.

    In my mind the purpose of alarms, barriers and such is twofold; buy me time to respond to the threat and encourage bad guys to look for easier prey.

    • I’m so pleased someone else gets it.
      The buying time bit.
      I’ve never been one for a fortress defence preferring the strong deterrent and at least two covert emergency exits.

      Besides most of what is important to us either lives in our backpacks or is stored elsewhere.

      • One of the strategies we are using now that some of my (grown) children are on board is distributing our supplies. Previously, our storage was very centralized (at my house) and therefore vulnerable. We still want them as portable as possible but decentralized so one tornado, fire, attack or whatever won’t destroy all our supplies.

        However, depending on what “disaster,” occurs there is still a strong preference to “gather” at one of several locations. The idea is, if possible, to pool resources and manpower rather than try and make it alone. I would think that six to ten adults who are reasonably well armed and supplied would be in a better position to survive than any of our individual family units would be separately. I’m fairly sure we could also provide a bit of a deterrent to all but the most desperate of bad guys…

        I do thank you for this post. because of it, I not only identified some weaknesses in our home defenses but thought of a couple of options for reinforcing those weaknesses should the need arise.

      • You are welcome.
        I try to help.

  2. Another thought provoking post. Thank you!

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