Use These Tips to Protect You and Your Family Against Home Invasions

by June 27, 2013 06/27/13
Rigging a Tarp Shelter 03

Home invasions happen, whether you think they will or not. A few days ago, an unsuspecting homeowner in New Jersey was shocked by her door being kicked in and a strange man entering her house. Obviously he was there to rob the house and while he did get away with some jewelry, he beat and choked the mother of two in front of her 3 year old daughter. Warning: The video below is graphic.

The entire scene played out in front of a nanny cam that was actively recording. While the footage will hopefully be enough to identify the criminal, it doesn’t help to prevent something like this from happening in the first place. Violence escalated quickly and the first obvious step to protect your family against this type of crime is to prevent a criminal from entering your home in the first place. Just know that nothing you can ever do will ever completely prevent a motivated criminal from attempting to enter your house. However, you can take steps to slow them down from entering or having your house so hardened that they’ll make their own decision to avoid it.

Remember this, all security is simply buying time. That’s an important take home and one to never forget. Locks, alarms and deterrents are all just buying time and are nowhere near foolproof. Locks can be picked, alarms can’t send anyone soon enough and deterrents can be avoided by an observant criminal. In this article, we’ll present some tips on what you can do to not only protect yourself and your family, but how to fortify your home to better resist becoming a victim.

Home Invasion vs. Burglary

There’s a notable difference between a burglary and a home invasion, that being you. If you’re home, it’s a home invasion. If you’re not, it’s a burglary, plain and simple. Criminals don’t always know what they’re walking into during the day, but at night it’s a different story. Who knows, in the video above, the criminal could have been as surprised by the homeowner as she was of him. Someone intent on a crime of opportunity will more than likely choose the most opportune time to commit it. You being home does not equal the most opportune time, no matter how stupid the criminal is.

A criminal that breaks into a residence at night is expecting a confrontation of some kind. Hopefully it will be short lived when you shoot them dead, but as we’ve mentioned before in “Dealing with Violent Confrontations” you should always avoid a confrontation if possible. This is the same in a home invasion scenario, not by using the same methods, but by using some forward thinking to deny criminals the opportunity.

Analysis of a Criminal

criminalIt’s important to understand how criminals work during a home invasion and some characteristics of these violent offenders. Primarily they target homes where they’re less likely to face resistance and gain access to important information like pin numbers, jewelry, cash, etc. There’s also the chance that these criminals are just looking for a violent confrontation or a sexual assault opportunity.

Unlike typical burglars, home invasions require homework and these criminals will spend the time to properly target a person or residence. Most good burglars will watch a home to see when the homeowner is gone, but home invaders will go as far as knowing your daily routine. This will include where you work, where you shop and where you hang out. All this information will be collected to determine not only the value of their target, but also the resistance they might face.

These criminals could use deception to approach your residence posing as a delivery man, salesman, or even have a woman accomplice to knock on the door why the agressor waits out of sight. This situation would normally occur during the day and is a technique employed by the criminal as a scout. Always be suspicious of those that you allow into your home, such as the exterminator, carpet cleaner, repair man, etc. If something doesn’t feel right, ask them to leave and request someone else or go with another company. This is also a good time to mention to use a reputable company that’s been recommended to you by someone you trust.

When attempting to enter your residence, home invaders will employ techniques commonly found in CQB (Close Quarters Battle), which are Speed, Surprise and Violence of Action. Speed and surprise are fairly self explanatory, but Violence of Action relates to the overwhelming control these criminal will use to overwhelm their victims and instill fear. This will occur during the first 60 seconds of their initial contact as they’ll be looking to counter any threat they might face.

Working in pairs is to be expected, so remember to always expect that. If you’ve countered one threat, there may be more, so always keep your head on a swivel and remember your situational awareness. You have to be prepared to be restrained with duct tape, rope or zip ties if these criminals do get the jump on you. While they shouldn’t if you’re prepared, you need to know how to defeat these restraints when the opportunity presents itself.

Home invasion criminals have been known to be incredibly lazy while ransacking a home, sitting down to eat, taking a nap, etc. All while you’re restrained and forced to watch in disbelief. We’ll avoid cliches like “watching in terror,” because if you’re reading this on ITS, you’ve hopefully adopted a different mentality and should be rationally thinking about your next move instead of playing the part of the victim.

Ironically, drug dealers are prime targets for home invasions. The abundance of cash, drugs and valuables is highly desired by other dopers and criminals. Not that its a bad thing and we could all care less about them anyway. Whatever is driving the home invader’s motives, this threat is real and one that needs to be taken seriously.

Know Your Neighborhood

neighborhoodThis can’t be stressed enough, only you know when something is awry or out of place, like a strange car parked with multiple passengers inside. Always be cautious of change and shifts in the baseline. If you’re leaving for work in the morning and you see a suspicious car parked around the corner, don’t ignore it. Circle the block and see if its still there when you return. Be a few minutes late for work and blame it on the traffic.

Walking a dog is a fantastic way to know your neighborhood, learning your neighbors patterns, what cars they drive, how many people are typically around a residence, etc. Even jogging is a good excuse to learn the neighborhood. While meeting your neighbors is never a bad thing, letting them know too much about you could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it.

Note what construction vehicles and lawn mowing companies frequent your neighborhood. Don’t be afraid to call the police on a strange person/vehicle that looks out of place. You’d rather look like a paranoid idiot, than regret not preventing something from happening.

As mentioned earlier, better criminals will stakeout neighborhoods, observing patterns of when people come and go and when the best time to hit them is. If something feels wrong in your neighborhood, it is wrong. Trust your gut, because if you can’t you’ve got bigger problems on your hands.

Hard Target vs. Soft Target

targetWhile we’ll get into a list of tips further in the article, it’s a good time to bring up the difference between a hard target and a soft target, as this is what criminals are looking for. Think for a minute about businesses and how much security they typically have nowadays. You don’t often find that same level of security at a household, which makes them softer targets. Police will often patrol businesses and main thoroughfares more than they will neighborhoods.

This also applies to individuals, while looking unsuspecting can often work to your advantage, this may be one instance where it won’t. Appearing non-threatening could make you appear to be a softer target in these situations. If this is what you’re going for, great. Also be aware of how you’re dressed because criminals will look for this. Wearing expensive jewelry, watches or driving a flashy car will attract this kind of criminal scum to you, so be cognizant of this when you’re out and about. Obviously, single females are a prime target, so if that’s you, this article is particularly important.

We’re big advocates of SDRs or Surveillance Detection Routes, the path you take back to your vehicle or to your final destination can reveal a lot about what threats could have latched onto you.

A simple SDR you can run while on foot is to walk right past your intended destination and on a path that you know anyone that was following you would be going out of their way. Using storefront glass and other things to note suspicious characters following you is important. Driving is the same thing, take different paths to and from destinations to ensure you haven’t picked up a tail.

Observation is always key anywhere you are and is the primary tool against recognizing threats before they happen.

Protect and Fortify

So how do you fortify your home to become a hard target and take steps to protect yourself? Education and planning are key, so use these steps below and get started!

Home Exterior

  • Keep your house well lit at night to discourage would-be criminals. Have motion detecting flood lights on low-lit areas around your home.
  • Post stickers and alarm signs on the exterior of your home. Even fake alarm decals and signs can be a deterrent.
  • Don’t leave heavy objects in the backyard that can be used to throw through windows, particularly patio furniture.
  • Invest in security cameras with motion sensors, IR and a solid recording device like a DVR. The cost on these has come down considerably from what they used to be.
  • Make sure your camera recording system is housed in a lockbox so a thief can’t take the recording of their crime.
  • Redundant camera angles can help capture footage of a criminal that has properly cased your house and knows the path they can take to disable a camera before it sees them.
  • Internet cameras can also be a good option if you’re away from your home and still need to monitor them.
  • At the least, have a zone alarm to alert you when someone is coming to the door or up the driveway.
  • Use highly-visible house numbers so that the Police can readily identify your home.
  • Lock your gates using an Abloy Security Padlock and leave some nice surprises on top of the fence if they think about scaling it.
  • Don’t enter your home if it looks like it’s been illegally entered, leave the premises and call the police.
  • Be aware of the trash you leave on the curb. Break down boxes from recently purchased items like TVs and conceal them from prying eyes and the trash man.

Windows

  • Always lock windows, even second floor windows.
  • Use secondary locking devices on windows to prevent them from opening past a certain height. Just one more thing to make it more difficult to gain entry.
  • Ensure windows have vibration or glass-break sensors connected to the alarm system.
  • Consider Solar Screens on your windows which will not only save on your cooling bill, but allow you more privacy and prevent window shopping.
  • Solar Screens also are typically screwed into your window frame, which makes removing them slightly more difficult.
  • Look at anti-break window film as an option. If you have glass doors, make sure they’re double paned and laminated.
  • Fortify basement windows with bars or anti-break window film. Secure windows where A/C units are attached.
  • Put a dowel rod in the track of your sliding glass door to prevent it from being opened if the lock is bypassed.
  • Secure any skylights or roof-access with upgraded hardware or anti-break window film.
  • Be aware of the bushes surrounding exterior windows. Sharp hedges (along with the noise created) will discourage these as entry points.
  • Trim your exterior bushes to prevent hiding places and trim tree limbs that allow second story or roof access.

Doors

  • Use solid-core exterior doors including the door into your garage, which should also have a deadbolt.
  • Get a wide-angle peephole and use it before answering the door, but consider covering it up while not in use. Reverse peephole viewers are readily available.
  • Invest in anti-kick door solutions like a Door Devil to prevent brute force entry. A door chain isn’t going to help one bit, even answering the door.
  • Upgrade your locks to high security locks. Bump-Proof locks, Medeco locks and others like these are worth the investment. Most household locks are simple to bypass.
  • At the very least you should install longer screws into your door jambs and hinges, preferably 3″ screws.
  • Have a spare key hidden in an uncommon place outside your home or better yet, with a neighbor.

Home Interior

  • Get a security alarm with interior motion detectors and set the alarm when you’re at home (obviously not the interior motion detector). Criminals rely on an alarm not being set while someone is home and awake.
  • Insure your alarm is monitored and will continue to work in the event you lose power in a storm or it happens to be neutralized. Look into cellular monitoring.
  • Have a secondary alarm keypad in your master bedroom that can be used to sound a panic alarm or quickly access alarm controls.
  • Have a plan for your family or roommates in your home in the event of a home invasion. Talk it over and know what each person’s responsibilities are. That plan should include ways to escape the home if necessary.
  • Consider a safe room as a rally point where you have the ability to protect yourself and call the police. Stash a spare cell phone here.
  • Keep your cell phone by the bed ready for you or another person to call 911.
  • Keep multiple weapons in places that you’ll likely be taken to in an invasion. Obviously you need to be aware of leaving weapons where children can get to them.
  • Have a loaded gun mounted inside the door to your safe. If you’re forced to open it, you’ll be able to give that criminal more than your valuables.
  • Get a dog. A barking dog will bring unwanted attention to a potential burglar, but don’t rely on your dog to attack a criminal unless trained to.
  • Change alarm codes often and when you have to distribute a spare key, make it to a specific (differently keyed) door in case a key is lost you’ll just have to replace one lock.
  • Record serial numbers of expensive items and have backups of your computer off-site using Mozy, Carbonite or in the cloud somehow.
  • Mark and engrave your property with your driver’s license number (not social) to aid in returning your stolen property or discourage theft in the first place.
  • Discuss the importance of home security with everyone, it only takes one person to forget to lock a door or window.
  • Bolt down safes, filing cabinets and lock up expensive items like bikes and four-wheelers.
  • Shred all personal documents using a cross-cut shredder. This includes credit card offers, envelopes with the name of your bank, etc.

Vehicles/Garage

  • Keep a weapon and tools to defeat restraints concealed in your vehicle. You could be kidnapped and forced to withdraw money from an ATM.
  • Keep spare vehicle keys or any important spares in a lock box or safe, not within reach of anyone that might gain access.
  • Always keep the alarm set on your vehicle, even in the garage. Consider a Club or secondary device to prevent theft, even in your garage.
  • Having your the keys next to you while you sleep, you can press the car alarm panic button in a pinch.
  • Consider disabling the release-cord to your electric garage door opener, particularly if you have garage door windows. If this function is needed you can have something nearby to use.
  • Change your factory set garage door opener code, thieves can drive neighborhoods with common openers looking for a doors that they work on.

Skill-Sets

  • Learn skill-sets like lock picking and defeating illegal restraints. If the criminal does get the jump on you, have the means to escape when the time is right.
  • Buy a gun and seek proper training on how to use it. Become proficient and know it’s limitations.
  • Get a concealed carry permit if allowed in your state. Always carry!
  • Don’t open carry if allowed. Why show all your cards if you have the option of concealed carry?
  • Use PERSEC (personal security) when discussing anything outside of your circle of trust, don’t reveal personal details to anyone who doesn’t need to know. That includes over the Internet and Facebook!
  • Letting people know when you’re away from home over Twitter and Facebook is just plain stupid.
  • Log all property into a trusted system with serial numbers, photos and even video that is stored off-site.

Notes

It’s important to note that most home invasions are listed by the offense, such as burgularies or assaults. This means you won’t really find statistics on actual home invasions. Nevertheless, this doesn’t take away from the fact that the threat is real. Doing everything you can to protect yourself and your family should be priority number one.

Please share this article with your family, friends and loved ones. Warn them of the inherent dangers of home invasions and how to protect against them. Use the resources we’ve created here on ITS Tactical to develop your skill-sets and practice them to stay proficient. We don’t want to hear any stories of how one of our readers became a victim, rather we’d like to see a news report on you gunning down a criminal during a home invasion. Nothing warms our hearts more than hearing those kinds of stories on the news.

We’d like to also highly recommend everyone around you reads Gavin De Becker’s book, The Gift of Fear. It’s by far the most applicable book to exactly what this article is all about. If you have any tips, anything to add to the conversation, or anything we’ve overlooked, please leave a comment below. The more everyone knows the better prepared we’ll all be.


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JessicaWilliam1
JessicaWilliam1

With custom burglar alarm decals, you can prevent your house, office or building more effectively. Where security systems are essential for any building, alarm decals are also important for letting the trespassers know that the building, house or office is protected by security cameras, dogs and the like. In case, if the alarm systems are not installed, only the burglar alarm decals can protect your house from intruders. http://www.printcosmo.com/Decals/Alarm-Decals.html

Alex__
Alex__

I got everything described in this article, alarms (with stickers and yard sign), dead bolts and locks, dogs (big ones), good lit, according to the police my house is a hard target because of where is located,  yet my house got burglarized anyways. By the destruction they left behind it's pretty clear it wasn't their first rodeo. The next door house got burglarized 4 month after mine. We don't live in a bad neighborhood either. Something to note, nothing got stolen on either burglary, the alarm scared them off, but we have the stickers and yard signs !!! They broke in anyways !

So what's next? Hiring an armed security guard?

Aussie Allan In Thailand
Aussie Allan In Thailand

Great tips, logically presented, and I am not only a now retired to Thailand ex Australian Army rather special soldier.

I am also in the past the owner of 2nd business in the security, close personal protection, and private investigator areas. Hence I do know exactly that nearly all criminals are cowards, who seek victims rather than a known armed and aggressive fighter. Cheers Allan Leigh


Sherlock Who
Sherlock Who

Also another tip: you can keep a open can of wasp spray by your bed to keep assailants from coming close. Normal wasp spay will spay up to 20 feet and will temporarily blind the person  


dfs
dfs

......Or a AK 47 or Glock or AR15 would be better than buying all this.

sylverdrag
sylverdrag

Another detail you might want to put on the list is making sure that none of the cell phones and cameras in your possession store GPS location in the pictures they take, encoded in the photo's metadata. Shockingly enough, "GPS data" are often enabled by default on modern cellphones.

Without realizing it, a lot of people post pictures online which still contain the exact GPS coordinates of the place they were taken. This means that if you were to, let's say, take photos at home (for a kid's birthday or the like) and share it online, you could be providing automatically the GPS coordinates for your house, along with a detailled inventory of your possessions and photos of the layout of your house. 

And of course, it's not just your home, but every damn place you take a photo, making it possible to draw a profile of your habits more accurate than if you were tailled every day for a week.  

Fortunately, some services will automatically remove these info before posting the photos but not all. And even if the services you use do remove the data (like facebook), there is no guarantee that it will remain that way.

stincky1
stincky1

This article has been mentioned on another site:  

Scott Cox
Scott Cox

great article! A must read !

Scott Cox
Scott Cox

great article! A must read !

kf4lhp
kf4lhp

I get rid of all of my cardboard, especially big-ticket purchases, at the recycle center. Toss it in the dumpster and go about my business. I think it's a much better way than breaking down boxes and trying to hide them at the curb.

kf4lhp
kf4lhp

I get rid of all of my cardboard, especially big-ticket purchases, at the recycle center. Toss it in the dumpster and go about my business. I think it's a much better way than breaking down boxes and trying to hide them at the curb.

LeeGill
LeeGill

eguns, I looked into what camera video quality and I found 2 cheap car cameras off eBay. I went with the cheap ones for the pilot testing and a better quality camera will normally do a better video. The exact cameras I purchased were $88.00 for the pair, delivered to my house: Qty x 2 = 2.5" TFT Color LCD 6 LED IR Vehicle Road Eye Car HD Camera Video Recorder DVR, from a seller on eBay named ‘fabulous5812010’. This was not a made in USA item but does the job. For less than $100.00 it made a good test. I also purchased the micro cards online, same day, from Amazon. The maximum capacity of the above car camera is 32GB so I purchased 2 of these: Qty x 2 = SanDisk Ultra 32 GB MicroSDHC C10/UHS1 Memory Card with Adapter (amazon.com and locate SanDisk-microSDHC-Memory-Adapter-SDSDQUA-032G). Side note, if you dislike the car camera idea after the fact. These 32 GB micro cards are the series that are very good for cell / smart phones as well as digital cameras (vacation home type as well as field/hunter placed ones). So you have reusable equipment or gift able items on hand!

LeeGill
LeeGill

eguns,

I looked into what camera video quality and I found 2 cheap car cameras off eBay. I went with the cheap ones for the pilot testing and a better quality camera will normally do a better video. The exact cameras I purchased were $88.00 for the pair, delivered to my house:

Qty x 2 = 2.5" TFT Color LCD 6 LED IR Vehicle Road Eye Car HD Camera Video Recorder DVR, from a seller on eBay named ‘fabulous5812010’. This was not a made in USA item but does the job. For less than $100.00 it made a good test.

I also purchased the micro cards online, same day, from Amazon. The maximum capacity of the above car camera is 32GB so I purchased 2 of these:

Qty x 2 = SanDisk Ultra 32 GB MicroSDHC C10/UHS1 Memory Card with Adapter (amazon.com and locate SanDisk-microSDHC-Memory-Adapter-SDSDQUA-032G). Side note, if you dislike the car camera idea after the fact. These 32 GB micro cards are the series that are very good for cell / smart phones as well as digital cameras (vacation home type as well as field/hunter placed ones). So you have reusable equipment or gift able items on hand!

LeeGill
LeeGill

I have been recently (past few months) advising people to purchase car cameras (DVR style) and connecting them to vehicle switched power. I have both front and rear cameras; both have 32GB micro SDs on a loop recycles. So far I’ve been able to pull out 2 good .avi files for law enforcement (proof) of collisions to clarify driver accountability and I have noticed a huge decrease in law enforcement profiling. I get pulled over far less now that they “that back SRT8 has active cameras”. They need to have a reason to pull me over, not just random road side checks without cause. I took this step simply because I wanted to ensure something could speak for me on my behalf, in the event I could not.

LeeGill
LeeGill

     I have been recently (past few months) advising people to purchase car cameras (DVR style) and connecting them to vehicle switched power (key ignition). I have both front and rear cameras; both have 32GB micro SDs on a loop recycles. So far I’ve been able to pull out 2 good .avi files for law enforcement (proof) of collisions to clarify driver accountability and I have noticed a huge decrease in law enforcement profiling. I get pulled over far less now that they “that back SRT8 has active cameras”. They need to have a reason to pull me over, not just random road side checks without cause. I took this step simply because I wanted to ensure something could speak for me on my behalf, in the event I could not.

bryanpblack
bryanpblack moderator

@Alex__ Sorry to hear about what happened, was it a door kick-in? I'm glad to hear your alarm did its job and I'd say it was successful in protecting the contents of your home. You may have incurred damage, but it sounds like it could have certainly been a lot worse.

RyanArbuckleSr
RyanArbuckleSr

Sherlock Who, I would advise against the wasp spray! It can and most likely would be considered use of deadly force, as wasp spray is a known poison.

judgejohnston
judgejohnston

@Sherlock Who How do you know that?  I hear it all the time. I know that pepper spray, buckshot, and 9mm + P works. I just haven't seen any test results on wasp spray.Maybe it does, but why take the chance?

LeeGill
LeeGill

-When you get this camera there will be a camera, thin square battery, windshield mount, USB connector and a power source (that plugs into a cigarette lighter in car, like 8 feet long cord). The thin battery is charged off the car power when connected and can be set to continue to record after the car is turned off. I also have motion detection on, so it turns on when people walk across the front / rear of the car. The battery will hold enough power to run independently and shuts down in absence of movement.

LeeGill
LeeGill

-When you get this camera there will be a camera, thin square battery, windshield mount, USB connector and a power source (that plugs into a cigarette lighter in car, like 8 feet long cord). The thin battery is charged off the car power when connected and can be set to continue to record after the car is turned off. I also have motion detection on, so it turns on when people walk across the front / rear of the car. The battery will hold enough power to run independently and shuts down in absence of movement.

tarditi
tarditi

LeeGill Good call - this is very popular in Russia (hours of youtube footage from Russian dash cams) to either defeat opportunistic aggressive drivers or corrupt law enforcement

eguns
eguns

LeeGill This is a fantastic idea. Do you have suggestions as to how to go about doing this? Devices, method, installation, etc etc?

tarditi
tarditi

@LeeGill Good call - this is very popular in Russia (hours of youtube footage from Russian dash cams) to either defeat opportunistic aggressive drivers or corrupt law enforcement

eguns
eguns

@LeeGill This is a fantastic idea. Do you have suggestions as to how to go about doing this? Devices, method, installation, etc etc?

LeeGill
LeeGill

The setup: I tapped into my switched power. This is a feed off the car is from the turn key ignition. That wire from the turn key switched power goes to a push button toggle (standard on / off) switch (I’ll explain why later) and from this toggle switch I have a female car cigarette connector. My female cigarette power source meets the car camera male connector, behind my glove box. So quick glance summary: Car key ignition wire tap, to a toggle on/off switch (manual), to female cigarette socket, behind glove box.

LeeGill
LeeGill

The setup:

I tapped into my switched power. This is a feed off the car is from the turn key ignition. That wire from the turn key switched power goes to a push button toggle (standard on / off) switch (I’ll explain why later) and from this toggle switch I have a female car cigarette connector. My female cigarette power source meets the car camera male connector, behind my glove box. So quick glance summary:

Car key ignition wire tap, to a toggle on/off switch (manual), to female cigarette socket, behind glove box.

eguns
eguns

LeeGill Great little DIY. I'm going to look into what system/set up may work best in my vehicle. I think your set up is done really well but I think I may need to work on the rear camera placement for my vehicle. Good thinking on the wiring as well, having the option to power them off the battery or let them run on their own is a nice touch. How are low light images when using those particular cameras? Have you explored running this setup off of existing rear parking cameras on vehicles equipped with such?

LeeGill
LeeGill

The ‘why’section: If asked on an inspection about the device. Ensure you say that it’s there to speak for you in the event you cannot. In a fatal collision it may be your only representation of the events. External vehicle conflicts that you can’t run (escape) from; evade as much as possible and move to the front or rear camera views. Learn to always keep you back to the car and defend. If you’re going to die the biggest jump start for law enforcement to act upon is the details recorded. The stronger the evidence is for them to work with the better chance at swift, secure justice. Hope this helps. Save travels.

LeeGill
LeeGill

The ‘why’section: Additionally, you can remove the car camera battery and have the cameras turn on, only when dedicated power is provided. If you don’t care about what happens when your car is off, pull the little thin battery out. If you have no thin battery in the car and you are driving around. You can use the inline manual toggle on/off switch to instantly turn off front and rear camera recorders. I suggest planning you cabling and wiring for any DVR setup and you can choose how you want your car cameras to record ad-hoc whenever you want them. Car cameras are basically same size as radar detectors so you might be pulled over if you’re living in an area (like me) where they inquire about it. Very big, important note. These are not password protected access devices. If you’re pulled over with a potential cause and they are unable to prove anything. These units become fair game for them to review (audit) what’s been recorded. 2 car cameras are a good idea because if the road side stop (and camera audit) occurs. You have a second active camera recording the events and delays you encounter.

LeeGill
LeeGill

The ‘why’section: You want the primary power source to be on key switched power to ensure any power you provide to the unit(s) is controlled. There is no need to ‘remember’ to turn on or off anything. Zero concerns with letting it stay installed as designed and have any power source problems. If you have a dead battery someday, this is not a factor to be concerned with (type thing). The manual on/off inline switch is there so you can remove the direct power source from charging the battery for events; 2-3 day car shows where the car is turned on for very short durations; extensive car storage where car is turned on for short periods of time. It’s always wise to have a manual inline intervention to avoid (or eliminate) electrical issues from the system. If the batteries are in the cameras and you manually toggle off the power; the cameras stay alive until batteries drain out but only the device rechargeable batteries die out, no impact to the car system.

LeeGill
LeeGill

Rear camera: I placed the rear camera driver’s side, mid height on glass, about 4 inches away from edge. This puts the device out of your line of sight when looking in the rear window. I have a second power line from the mentioned above manual toggle on/off switch that goes onto my car trunk. My SRT8 has a battery in the trunk but I have both camera power sources from the same manual toggle (we’ll get to why later). The power cable from the camera goes into the side material and routes into the trunk same male to female connection. I did the same cheesing with the extra length and I have the extra length placed against my rear strut brace. The Velcro holds the cable real nice and the Velcro to the strut brace behind the trunk material is tight enough there is no rattling.

LeeGill
LeeGill

Front camera: I placed my front car camera middle windshield, passenger side, right up top, behind the rear view mirror. The windshield disc is very high up on the windshield. Placement is pretty much anywhere you like. Mine is so high up, central windshield. I have the power cable tucked into the roof line front central, across to passenger down column (I pulled off my column and tucked it in). It works its way behind the glove box; cheesing (coiled) the extra length circular to prevent breakage (military habit). I used Velcro computer wrap. Anyhow, plug male into female. Should hear a camera tone for it turning on (at least I did).

eguns
eguns

@LeeGill Great little DIY. I'm going to look into what system/set up may work best in my vehicle. I think your set up is done really well but I think I may need to work on the rear camera placement for my vehicle. Good thinking on the wiring as well, having the option to power them off the battery or let them run on their own is a nice touch.


How are low light images when using those particular cameras? Have you explored running this setup off of existing rear parking cameras on vehicles equipped with such?

LeeGill
LeeGill

The ‘why’section:

If asked on an inspection about the device. Ensure you say that it’s there to speak for you in the event you cannot. In a fatal collision it may be your only representation of the events. External vehicle conflicts that you can’t run (escape) from; evade as much as possible and move to the front or rear camera views. Learn to always keep you back to the car and defend. If you’re going to die the biggest jump start for law enforcement to act upon is the details recorded. The stronger the evidence is for them to work with the better chance at swift, secure justice.

Hope this helps. Save travels.

LeeGill
LeeGill

The ‘why’section:

Additionally, you can remove the car camera battery and have the cameras turn on, only when dedicated power is provided. If you don’t care about what happens when your car is off, pull the little thin battery out. If you have no thin battery in the car and you are driving around. You can use the inline manual toggle on/off switch to instantly turn off front and rear camera recorders. I suggest planning you cabling and wiring for any DVR setup and you can choose how you want your car cameras to record ad-hoc whenever you want them.

Car cameras are basically same size as radar detectors so you might be pulled over if you’re living in an area (like me) where they inquire about it. Very big, important note. These are not password protected access devices. If you’re pulled over with a potential cause and they are unable to prove anything. These units become fair game for them to review (audit) what’s been recorded. 2 car cameras are a good idea because if the road side stop (and camera audit) occurs. You have a second active camera recording the events and delays you encounter.

LeeGill
LeeGill

The ‘why’section:

You want the primary power source to be on key switched power to ensure any power you provide to the unit(s) is controlled. There is no need to ‘remember’ to turn on or off anything. Zero concerns with letting it stay installed as designed and have any power source problems. If you have a dead battery someday, this is not a factor to be concerned with (type thing).

The manual on/off inline switch is there so you can remove the direct power source from charging the battery for events; 2-3 day car shows where the car is turned on for very short durations; extensive car storage where car is turned on for short periods of time. It’s always wise to have a manual inline intervention to avoid (or eliminate) electrical issues from the system. If the batteries are in the cameras and you manually toggle off the power; the cameras stay alive until batteries drain out but only the device rechargeable batteries die out, no impact to the car system.

LeeGill
LeeGill

Rear camera:

I placed the rear camera driver’s side, mid height on glass, about 4 inches away from edge. This puts the device out of your line of sight when looking in the rear window. I have a second power line from the mentioned above manual toggle on/off switch that goes onto my car trunk. My SRT8 has a battery in the trunk but I have both camera power sources from the same manual toggle (we’ll get to why later). The power cable from the camera goes into the side material and routes into the trunk same male to female connection. I did the same cheesing with the extra length and I have the extra length placed against my rear strut brace. The Velcro holds the cable real nice and the Velcro to the strut brace behind the trunk material is tight enough there is no rattling.

LeeGill
LeeGill

Front camera:

I placed my front car camera middle windshield, passenger side, right up top, behind the rear view mirror. The windshield disc is very high up on the windshield. Placement is pretty much anywhere you like. Mine is so high up, central windshield. I have the power cable tucked into the roof line front central, across to passenger down column (I pulled off my column and tucked it in). It works its way behind the glove box; cheesing (coiled) the extra length circular to prevent breakage (military habit). I used Velcro computer wrap. Anyhow, plug male into female. Should hear a camera tone for it turning on (at least I did).

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Fun Fact: All scorpions glow when exposed to UV light. This was found using the ITS Photon Micro-Light and it could prove useful during camping or backpacking trips.

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