15 SHTF Perimeter Security and Alarm IdeasLet’s imagine for a second that TEOTWAWKI (The end of the world as we know it) has just happened and our operational security gauge is pinned to the max, how long would it be until you noticed that someone, or some group was headed for your front door?

Perimeter security and alarms on our property in a SHTF event is critical because it could give us the valuable seconds we need to defend ourselves and our family.

This article is not about land mines and booby traps that could get you put in jail for accidentally taking your neighbors leg off, or about high-tech security systems. This article is about some low cost ways to deter someone from entering your property, or alerting you if they do.

SPP118 Perimeter Security and Alarms


These ideas are not just for home security, with a little imagination these can be used on the event you need to bug out or set up camp somewhere other than your home. If you have any perimeter security ideas that aren’t listed here I would love to hear them in the comments below.

Intruder Deterrents


This is the lowest tech option here, but affective none the less. You won’t need electricity or extra batteries, but you will need to feed them every day. The dog doesn’t necessarily have to be aggressive, it just needs to sound aggressive and alert you that something is out of the ordinary.

Lisa and I have 1 dog who stays outside and is very protective of his property, and a dog who lives inside that sounds like he would eat your face off, but loves people so long as they are welcome guests. If you can survive his dog style high fives to the crotch, you are probably good to go.

For this application the size and aggressiveness aren’t a factor, the ruckus they make is.

Dog Bones & Scarecrows

chiwawa big dog boneAlong with owning a dog (and even if you don’t) is having dog toys laying around the front yard. I’m not talking about tennis balls and little dog bones, I’m talking about a dog bone the size of a human leg.

Our dog doesn’t play with tennis balls because they get shredded within minutes. He does play with a flattened basketball however. These 2 signals alone might make someone think twice before entering your property.

scarecrow securityThis might sound a little like Halloween but think about it, If you had a scarecrow or mannequin set up on your front porch, sitting on a rocking chair and holding a broom stick, what would that look like to someone walking up to your house in the evening? The first thing that comes to my mind is a grumpy old man with a shotgun.

Posted Signage

you are on camera gun ownerAs I’ll talk about later having a sign posted and a fake security camera that says you have a security system could be a deterrent to an intruder. Most criminals are lazy and are looking for the easiest target with the least amount of risk involved.

In a SHTF situation this might not work as well as because the chances of police coming to help you are minimal. In this case a “beware of dog” sign or a “never mind the dog, beware of owner” sign might be more affective.

Operational Security

As the saying goes “You don’t have to be faster than the bear, just faster than the person next to you.” The same holds true for your home. Your house doesn’t have to look like a junk yard, but you might want it to be less appealing than the rest of the homes in your neighborhood.

Put yourself in the shoes of a criminal or marauder, what would they see as they drive by and case the neighborhood? Is there a nice shiny BMW sitting in the driveway, or is your garage door always open?  Is there anything about your home that says “I’m an easy target, come on in.”

Funnel Them In

funnel them inWhenever we walk somewhere (even just around the yard) we always subconsciously pick the easiest route, it’s only after we consciously think about it that we pick the best route.

Since 6” tall electrified security fences are not an option for most of us we need to think outside the box a little bit. Have a look at the perimeter of your home and figure out a system to funnel them where you want them to go.

You can plant trees like the Russian olive tree or put up a fence but if someone wants to get in, they will. If you make sure and have a clearly defined “easy route” you will at least know where they are coming from.  If there are bushes surrounding your house and the only two easy entrance ways are the driveway and back walk way, most people are going to take the easies, quietest route.

Know Thy Neighbor

This could possibly be the easiest and low cost option available, all you have to do is take some cookies to your neighbor and say hello. You don’t need to become best buds with your neighbors, but if they feel like they know you (even just a little) they will be more inclined to tell you if they see something strange.

Just a little side note, when you bring them a gift they will feel like they owe you. I’m not talking in a bad way like “Great! Now I have to make them some cookies.” I’m talking about “This person was nice to me, so I guess I’ll let them know I saw someone driving by their house really slow last night.”

Perimeter Alarms & Cameras

Motion Detector

mighty mule driveway alarmThere are all sorts of options when it comes to motion sensors ranging from well under $100 to over $200 dollars.  A simple motion detector like this one is less than $20 has limited range, but depending on the size of your property is very useful.

Some of these motion detectors will set off an alarm at the detector itself, but some will alert you remotely, as will some of the higher end models.

Game Cameras

Having one of these game cameras won’t alert you right away, but if you happen to scare someone off you might get a picture of who or what was trying to get a closer look at you.

These game cameras run around $50 give or take so it might be a better idea to cover your other bases before you get one of these. These are more of a ‘Recon” or “Intel” type of security rather than an alarm.

Motion lights

solar security lightsThe bad guys like to hide in the cover of darkness. If we can take that away, we take away the element of surprise. These might not alert us like sound would, but combined with an audible alarm this could be very affective.

These could be as simple as a few solar yard lights strategically placed, or high wattage security lights that make them feel like they just stepped on stage at Madison Square Gardens. The more you can see, the more you can assess the situation.

Trip Lines

Brite-Strike Camp Alert Perimeter Security Alarm SystemsI recently ordered one of these Brite-Strike Camp Alert Perimeter Security Alarm Systems and will be doing a video review of it shortly. It comes with 65 feet of mono filament line, 2 L.E.D. lights and the alarm unit.

This product is marketed for camping and hiking which makes it perfect for bug out bags, but it can be used in places around your property like driveways, walkways or funneled pathways you have created.

Tin Can Trip Wire

Along the same lines at the Brite Strike is a DIY trip line. These can be made with fishing line or paracord and tin cans filled with rocks or anything else that clanks and makes noise.

Pull String Firecrackers

Ok, were talking super low budget here, and you probably won’t want to depend on securing your entire perimeter with a bunch of firecrackers, but in certain situations they can be better than nothing.

These could be used around a barn, shed or even the threshold of your front porch to alert you of an unwanted presence. Just like the Brite Strike these can be useful for bugging out or camping.

Night Vision

night vision monocularDepending on what you get night vision binoculars (or monocular like these) can get pretty expensive. This could work out in your favor though because that means not everyone will have them…civilians anyway.

Being able to see at night will level the playing field and possible tip it in your favor. While the really good night vision will put you back over $1000, there are some lower cost monocular’s that will do the job, and even some toys that can do the job at close range.

Night Vision Camera

Bunker Hill Security Color Security SystemI found this night vision camera set up on eBay and for the price it almost seems too good to be true. But after watching a few videos it doesn’t look too bad for the price.

This is not true night vision like you see on TV, but you will be able to see movement at night. With some strategically placed lighting this could be a good set up for the price. I’ll be doing a review on this soon also.

Fake Security Cameras

fake security cameraAt the very least you can get a couple of fake security cameras, and in combination with a “this property protected by” sign in the front yard. Keep in mind, just like the scarecrow, this is a bluff that will hopefully make someone think twice.

If you were to combine just a few of these options and use them to secure the perimeter of your property, you would become less of a target than just about everyone in your neighborhood. Sometimes the impression you are paying attention is just as important as having these security devices and alarms themselves.


Survival and being prepared should not only be a passion, it should be a lifestyle. The definition of a prepper is "An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances, without substantial resources from outside sources" Like the Government, police etc. I don't believe that the end of the world will be the "end of the world" I believe it will be the end of the world as we know it now. You can also find me on Google Plus and Twitter

    4 replies to "15 SHTF Perimeter Security and Alarm Ideas"

    • d j zickler

      Sent more great shtf stuff.

    • Gorrilla

      Her’s one for ya, that most city folks never think of. Giunnee fowl! You’ve likely seen em round farms and such. Funny looking bird, about chicken sized. Gray and white dappled feathers. Bare head and neck, or at least it looks that way to the first glance. They’ll prefer to roost on top of the shed instead of in it. Very noisy birds. “PaTRACk, PaTRACK.” But they are THE BEST GUARDS I’ve ever seen, IF you can getthem to stay around. You have to feed em, and give em the things they look for, which really ain’t much. Food, water, protection from hawks and such. In return, they will absolutely make a raucous hullabaloo when anyone or anything shows up. Snakes? Watch for em to circle up and get real noisy. Dogs? Up on a roost, but the same alarm calls. Somebody? Same thing.
      Only drawback is if they are happy where they are, they aren’t much for distance recon. They’ll tell you if something or somebody is in say, the yard, or close to it. But a hundred yards off? They’ll likely just keep an eye on em.
      Best thing about em is they’re pretty self sufficient, and worst case scenario, they’re pretty tasty if you like dark meat chicken. Eggs are nearly as good as chicken eggs. Overall, not many alarm systems feed themselves, and you, while still providing the alarm system.

    • William

      you forgot the good old magic cube camera flashbulbs. They’re mechanical so no battery involved.Added bonus they screw up anyone’s night vision

    • Fred

      night scope Rat traps, string and glow sticks.

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