We’ve all fantasized about it, well, at least I know I have. Watching Home Alone as Kevin McAllister defends what’s his with a variety of different booby traps against the two burglar’s intent on robbing the place. Ultimately, he prevails over the bad guys, and the police turn up to cart them away. Inspiring a whole generation of kids who would watch the movie every year at Christmas time. It’s like the PG version of Predator, where Arnold Schwarzenegger improvised a number of traps in the wild to take down his alien opponent.
But here’s the thing. In real life, setting traps on your own property will get you in big trouble. For one such case in Illinois, a homeowner rigged a shotgun to go off if someone broke into his shed, and while the trap was devastatingly effective, that particular homeowner was charged and convicted with aggravated battery and first-degree murder. He’s still in prison. And he’s not the only case like it, so please, consider this article to be purely informative. None of these traps should be installed on your property at the risk of doing serious harm and getting yourself into legal hot water.
The only situation they’d be viable to even consider (notice, I say consider), is if the world around you has descended into chaos, the rule of law no longer applies and you’re having to defend your home day after day against looters intent on taking your home. Use these at your own risk, they can inflict serious harm on an intruder, or even someone who unknowingly walks into them on your property. Use these at your own risk.
The spotlight and siren
The first trap I would recommend is one you can install without concern for the consequences, as it is simply a set of blinding lights and a siren. We’ve got large floodlights that are motion triggered, and activate as soon as anyone gets within a hundred yards of the house. I’ve also installed flashing strobe lights to disorient anyone trying to target us inside, and a siren that’s insanely loud. Both can be turned on and off with a flick of a switch, or left to trigger with the same motion sensors. You can’t even get close to our home without these going off, and everyone nearby will hear the alarm.
The tripwire maze
This one was the brainchild of my eldest, after getting a fish hook snagged in her jeans. She figured that trip wires with fish hooks tied into them would be a great trap, as you could prepare the lines in advance and then string them up at face level in whatever area you wanted to quickly secure. And anyone unfortunate enough to get caught in them would be stuck in a world of pain. You could even add tripwires rigged to pull sound wire grenades (small devices that sound a siren once tripped), to startle and frighten whoever is coming in and send them running back into the hanging fish hooks. I’d hate to be the one walking into that tripwire maze in the middle of the night.
The bear traps
Because of our dogs I would hesitate to set a series of bear traps on our property unless it was a real SHTF situation, but you can bet I’ve got a bunch just waiting in storage to setup and use if its ever called for. Pretty much every time I see old iron snap traps at a yard sale I pick them up, because you can set these along the entry points you don’t want people poking around. Iron traps last for years, so long as they’ve been cared for and you can always give it a test before you buy just in case. I see these as a set-and-forget kind of trap, but do make sure you’re checking the traps every morning or night just in case you accidentally catch an animal inside, so you can either take the easy score, or release them.
The spray away
After getting my hands on a couple of solar powered water blasters, I instantly had a great idea for their use. These particular products are designed to keep dogs and cats out of your garden, but here’s the thing. They also trigger on movement of people. In a SHTF scenario, all you need to do is fill your hose with pepper oil, or some other chemical irritant, and place them into position. As soon as an intruder crosses into the splash zone the water blaster activates and they’ll receive a face-full of pepper spray. I’ve tried this and it works far too well, perhaps not as potent as pepper spray but it’s a great set-and-forget type of trap you can leave in place until it’s needed to take out a hostile intruder.
The driveway pit trap
Finally, and this is one that was quite easy to setup. It’s the pit trap. I got the idea from the cattle grids in Australia, and it’s essentially a large ditch that surrounds our home. Right now, there’s a steel grate covering it so we can drive in and out, but when we need to hunker down it’s so easy to remove the cover and the 3-foot ditch renders your home inaccessible to cars or any other vehicles trying to drive up to our door. Anyone who tries without the grid in place will find their car stuck and stranded, and as they panic with what to do next, we’re in a perfect position to pick off the attackers off with our rifles.
Finally, and I think it’s important I reiterate this again. These traps are devastatingly effective, and should only ever be used as a last resort to protect your family after the SHTF, when the rule of law no longer applies. Used at any other time, and you’ll face serious consequences from the people you injure on your property. So be smart, file this information away until you actually need it, and until then – stay safe everybody.