Scenarios: Unrest: Home invasion Pt10: Physical protection: Gardens


  • But supposing the intruder makes it into your back garden or is heading for your front door. Now you need a defensible space, increasing fear of being watched through lighting, CCTV, alarms and windows, avoiding helping breaching your building, and giving you time to react before they make any impact on the facade.


  • Your front garden may have no boundary to buy time so would need extra lighting, CCTV and alarm, which can be provided by a PIR lamp and wifi camera with mobile alerts and maybe also floodlight. Products include Ring, Nest, Netvue, Hive, Canary, Blink, Logitech, Somfy, Neos, Swann Floodlight. Some cameras have lights and even run on batteries, but a dedicated PIR lamp will be much brighter for when you have electricity, some do not charge a subscription for video storage.
  • Try to portray a boundary out front with some kind of fence.
  • Ideally for security, gardens should be an empty, alarmed, lit and filmed surveillance gap.
  • Keep up with maintenance and litter picking to avoid looking like you don’t care and can’t cope and can’t afford security, to further show you are not a soft touch.
  • Keep tree crowns above 2 metres and shrubs below 1 metre to maintain vision, keep tall plants away from fences, trim branches away from lights and cameras.
  • Are you OK with the cost, mess and exercise involved with a guard dog? Most guard breeds need a big house, over two hours exercise a day and plenty of grooming.
Belgian Malinois
  • Beware diversions as adversaries may launch mock attacks, by, for example, luring you into an ambush out the back while sneaking in the front. Ensure you have 360 degree awareness.
  • Survey your land and surroundings to work out what concealment and cover you and adversaries would have and what are the avenues of approach.
  • Randomly check buildings like garages, sheds and the location of your stash when tensions rise.
  • Even if you have a big enough garden to have a big perimeter it is inefficient to patrol it, as an intruder can make it from perimeter to building faster than a guard can make it from potentially the opposite fence. Unless bombs are a risk and so you want standoff, it may be better to station guards at the building, with the benefit of early alarm from sensors on, or beyond, the fence. Running with tools is about six times faster than climbing, so hardening the ground floor makes extra sense.
  • Force intruders to attack an upper floor and straight into an ambush. Assume that by the time you react to a fence alarm the intruder is at the facade.
Perimeter standoff
  • Ideally you want a garden big enough to give you standoff.
  • Consider surveillance bots. You could remote control a CCTV robot round your land based on a concept like the Qinetiq Dragon Runner.
Qinetiq Dragon Runner 10 recon robot
  • Challenge all suspected trespassers.


  • Lock away potential makeshift tools, ladders and weapons like wheelie bins, furniture or rocks. Solon Security sell wheelie bin locks which are padlocks and chain bracketed to a wall; there is also the Bulldog WBL10 wheelie bin lock. Armorgard has SBD & SS Bronze rated security chests for tools such as the Tuffbank.
  • Lock away a machete, rope, nails, saw, pickaxe, shovel, sandbags, barbed wire and posts to combine with elements of your MoE kit for building fortifications.

Anti climb

  • Harden drainpipes with a collapsible ‘Kelly’ coupling if you can still find such a thing (or make your own with EPDM rubber tube), or anti climb box (£50 for 2m tall box) or spikes or anti climb paint, or replace with a 10’ length of high security downpipe for £100.
  • Plant Hawthorn under accessible windows and roses up fences.


  • If you can block your access roads with ditches, logs, steel hedgehogs, traps and caltrops you can get the best total obstacle by buying with a river to your rear, although then you are putting yourself near a line of drift. Other possibilities include ravines and escarpments.
  • What is your escape route if you are overrun? A tunnel?.
  • Hide and armour utilities underground.


  • If things get real bad, and you have the hardware and land to take a stand, you can buy a Burton Safes Ares portable ballistic wall made of metal lego-style blocks from Safe & Vault Company, or you can buy sacks of ceramic balls, or build with rubber ballistic blocks from Rosehill.
  • Eurotrade do ballistic sentry boxes like the Aspis, that can double up as outside panic rooms with gun ports to pick off undesirables waging armed warfare against your stash.
  • Other options could be snow or dry sand which can stop bullets if thick enough.
  • The ultimate, though, may be a Salzer guardhouse from Germany, used as a garden panic room. They take up to a week to build, from steel framed modular panels on a concrete base (and small ones can arrive pre-built). They are available gas-tight, and to RC5 or RC6 (depending whether windows open), FB7 NS ballistic and EXR3 blast. The US embassy 15FEBR standard is also available for forced entry with ballistic option. They come in 10′, 20′ and 40′ lengths, all modules 8’6″ wide to fit on a lorry before being doubled up on site if necessary. Sanitary and power supply is possible, and colours and materials can try to complement existing buildings with aluminium, stone, wood or stainless steel. They can as easily be designed as pool houses as embassy lobbies. They also make watch tower booths, so have experience in mirrored glass.
Salzer guardroom example
  • A less than lethal option is something like the X-net man catcher; try shops like NetGunStore.


  • Plan how you will take, keep and dispose of prisoners. Perhaps it is enough to strip, hood, shackle and sleep deprive them before interrogating them then dumping them at night in the middle of nowhere. Nappying, walling, slapping, standing, waterboarding, hosing down or immersing them or using stress positions or stuffing them in confinement boxes or blasting rock music at them 24 hours a day will probably be counterproductive by wasting resources, risking injury, alerting passers-by and making enemies. They are unlikely to know anything you have the resources to use by the time you get it. But it is all explained in the Al-Nashiri case if you are interested.


  • Drones can compromise your operational security but generally are a minor nuisance as amateurs only have models that can carry a pound in weight and last half an hour.
  • Your main risk is living near a nuclear reactor where a terrorist might fly a UAV into the spent fuel pool. Also a terrorist tried to nuke the Japanese prime minister with a drone carrying powder, others have been used to set fires, and ISIS dropped hundreds of IEDs in Mosul from them. But it is unlikely anyone just wanting your stuff will get hold of anything scary enough for you to fear them dropping it from a done.
  • State actors have options, which officially may not exist and would run up against proliferation laws, like the AeroSurveillance MPL30 bomber copter, Schiebel Camcopter smoke grenade (in reality, non lethal munitions) launcher, Desert Wolf Skunk pepperball drone or ISPRA Cyclone pyrotechnic riot drone.
  • Your detection options are video analytics, acoustics, infrared, radar or RF. Radar needs line of sight and a big object but can spot multiple drones and find altitude. RF is the more sophisticated solution using nodes dotted around your area, which can find the operator, although it is useless if the drone is on a preprogrammed route.
  • Your effector options are hack it, jam its RF and GPS, shoot it with direct energy like laser or catch it with a ground based or drone based net or trained bird of prey. Radar can detect them whereas radio sensing can fail in built up areas with too many confusing signals. Governments can buy neutralisers such as the Dedrone Federal jammer which can be shoulder mounted or spin on a gimble. Leidos say they have THOR and TIGER microwave blasters but they do not really exist yet. The RAF use Leonardo C-UAS and Metis Skyperion to help them build ORCUS counter UAV.


  • Remember to secure your car as it might be your lifeline to new resources in future.


  • Your vehicles should be secured behind a barrier.
  • Minimise vehicle accesses.
  • Ensure you can see around your exit as you leave.


  • For basic hardening consider:
    • extra door locks (unfortunately they tend to be big ugly glorified padlocks) and
    • run flat tyres.
  • For higher risks consider armour:
    • overlap door frames,
    • ballistic tyres,
    • ballistic seat covers,
    • 3D moulding
    • GRP riot panels (5mm, anti shotgun / sledgehammer),
    • GRP anti-cut panels (20/50mm),
    • aramid blankets (1-40mm protecting up to grenades),
    • polythene panels (1-40mm),
    • aramid spall liners,
    • steel (2.5-80mm), and
    • maybe even 18-40mm ceramic standoff applique for armour piercing risks.
  • Consider countermeasures like:
    • smoke screen,
    • tack dispenser,
    • shock/smoke handles,
    • ram bumpers,
    • remote start,
    • oil dispenser.


  • Any garage you may drive out of should have a door viewer or CCTV so you can check what you driving into.
  • Security garage doors are dealt with here later under security shutters.
  • Having a garage is thought to increase burglary risk, probably due to weak concealed connecting doors but also burglary tools stored in them. In fact a detached garage makes you 25% more likely to be burgled than someone with an attached garage, and an attached garage makes you twice as likely to be burgled than no garage.


  • Keep a grey man car with a full tank of fuel.
  • Ideally drive in convoy, or at least take passengers.
  • Stick to lit popular roads and drive at random times.
  • Stay in the middle or outside lane to deter boxing in or running off the road
  • Do not stop for dodgy ruses like fake checkpoints, accidents, roadworks and detours.
  • If attacked, ram the adversary or obstacles out the way if necessary, go up the kerb at 45 degrees if necessary, and put another vehicle between you.
  • Consider an evasive & defensive driving and security chauffeur course to learn driver down drill, reversing, ramming, skids, rolling slalom, PITs, Y-turns, J-turns, kerb mounts and, for convoys, cross decking.
  • SeesPIT on moving cars needs powerful cars nowadays, as ESC protects newer cars from some of the impact and you need to be able to brake heavily to avoid crashing into the bad guy afterwards and to accelerate again if you need another go due to ESC. A moving bad guy’s ESC will easily throw you off the road unless you are in line with him.
  • Consult an expert on deactivating airbags and any fuel pumps inertia switch ready for PIT.

Key safes

  • Keys hidden in gardens undermine security, and even key safes still reduce your facade security rating to that of the product. A risk, certainly to cheaper key safes like some HuanLang (can be jiggled open with a penknife), Kiya, Abus, Masterlock and Brinks models, is the Sparrow Decoder, or even a drink can shim, or by feel in the base of push buttons, or plumbers torch in the case of circular tumblers.
  • There are, however, SBD rated key safes (in increasing order of strength) such as the:
    • Squire’s 1.66kg Stronghold at £65 also with SS Bronze (they also do an SBD rated 0.68kg Keykeep2),
    • Masterlock HSHC or 5426EURD to SBD & SS Bronze,
    • Loxol KSL letterbox key safe with SBD & SS Bronze rating,
    • UTC’s Supra P500 to SR1 (£79) (extra steel & alarm integration version option (£96)) or C500 also to SR1 for £60,
    • Burton/Banham Keyguard XL for £75 which weighs 2kg and is triple rated to SBD, SS & LPS1175 but only to A3 (SR1 with extended time) so will not keep out any real tools but still stronger than the Supra,
Sentrikey LPS1175 C1 keysafe


  • Sheds can be improved with something like the beefup kit for £8 from Pragmasis which replaces hinge screws with bolts.
  • Or you can buy an SBD & SR1 shed from Asgard if you have at least £1,250 to spare; they are windowless so you may want to rig up some kind of lighting.
  • Do not store valuables outside, force intruders to risk coming into the inner sanctum for anything you need for survival.
  • If you want to stash supplies outside and stop anyone opening it and have the cash to spare and don’t mind weatherproofing it, you can buy a Burton Safes Pylocx tube with removable code key, leaving nothing to hack or pick.
  • Bolt down kit weighing less than 500lb, such as crates of gear.
  • Although obviously do not store preps or potential burglary tools in a shed, it is debatable whether sheds affect burglary.
Asgard shed testing to SR1


  • Ideally you would have a bunker to combine nuclear and blast protection with a saferoom, plus an escape tunnel. This is a specialist subject and even the best nuclear bunker builders may not use the right reinforcements or doors for a saferoom – normally they use thin watertight and airtight submarine-style blast doors with the hatch taking the brunt. Nuclear bunkers are typically made from concrete or corrugated steel. You will not get much change out of £200,000 after stocking it, even assuming you do not want sophisticated decontamination shower, generator, compressor, tanks, filtration, ventilation, fire fighting and operating theatre.
  • The question is can it give you survivability for an acceptable life? The UK is too small for you to easily dodge a large blast, so even if you can afford a strong enough bunker what will be left when you emerge?
  • There expectations are:
    • no military, utilities, fuel or medicine,
    • only subsistence rations of food (for up to 20% of the population if they can find enough staff and gas has not been cut off, such as biscuits and tins if not looted from councils by mobs and not until one to three weeks has passed to organise lists),
    • hospitals will be moved to makeshift clinics accepting the most survivable patients, the dead will remain unburied,
    • rubbish will not be collected,
    • refugees (including most Londoners) will flock to the countryside and eat animals,
    • unscathed homes will be ordered to accept billeting,
    • about 20% will be dead from burns, cuts, disease and starvation,
    • 80% of staff will not be working,
    • 50% of industry will be taken out,
    • 40% of homes will be rubble,
    • military will be unable to help civilians as they will be busy moving NATO from USA to Europe,
    • police will be backed up by traffic wardens and volunteers (where not effectively replaced by vigilantes) and retasked with redirecting people and sealing petrol stations,
    • firemen will be stood down to await water distribution and decontamination assignments,
    • government will commandeer transport, utilities, land and communications,
    • people will be asked to work on farms,
    • cashpoints will be disabled,
    • lighting will be banned,
    • courts will be allowed to sentence to torture or death,
    • some phones might be left working,
    • some conurbations will declare independence,
    • some villages will unilaterally close to refugees,
    • special forces (Chinese, Russian, Iranian or North Korean) will have landed disguised as asylum seekers, and
    • biological or chemical weapons may have been unleashed.
  • By comparison, Kelvendon bunker with 10’ concrete walls was only rated for 20kt near miss and Chilton with 0.5m concrete walls was only rated for 500kt at 5 miles.
  • For nuclear shielding, lead is dense but heavy and soft, so unnecessary unless you are tight for space, so you are better off with steel that can double up as physical security. Each half inch steel halves the gamma radiation.
  • Once you have enough security layer you can add shielding with weaker material like plasterboard which you need five times more of than steel but benefit from being lighter to carry.
  • If the bunker is buried then the soil can do the shielding, leaving you only to worry about waterproofing, ventilation, structural strength to PSI of over 11 and attack resistance.
  • Remember that once you have a steel structure to hold up the soil or collapsed house and keep out adversaries, shielding can be added quickly and easily with loose bricks around it.
  • Assa Abloy do 1.75” thick lead lined doors with up to an inch (1/16-3/16 inch under latest spec) of lead sandwiched between 22 gauge steel reinforcements behind 16 gauge steel skins under wood finishes with fibreglass insulation, with ballistic, blast rating up to 12pi and beyond, and RF options.
  • You can buy RF film, foil and paint from shops like ElectroSmogShielding. Skunkworks like Qinetiq have been known to add a crafty extra 25db attenuation by nailing up wall hangings of chainmail, although at high frequencies it has nasty resonances. You can see a youtube video of one such abandoned site with RF/IR film left on the window; these metal & oxides films can stop 99% of IR and 40db of RF.
  • Now, what if the intruder makes it to your facade – they might only have had to stroll up your garden path.

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