Practical Home Security: A Guide to Safer Urban Living

Alex Haddox is recognized internationally as a personal security expert and weekly host of the top-rated Internet podcast Practical Defense. He currently writes a column for Tae Kwon Do Times Magazine. Mr. Haddox shares his knowledge, experience, and skills in presenting practical home security without spending thousands of dollars. Using simple protocols, modest tools, and a sense of environmental and situational awareness this handbook offers the reader significant methods for family and home security. Research based scenarios and personal experiences offer an insight into recommendations for the reader to implement measures to enhance personal security in and around the home.Community Review  

  • I wanted to like this book more than I did. While it gives many useful tips, it is both outdated and superficial. Outdated, because it never even mentions the Internet and the information many people reveal about themselves. Not only for chat reasons (“I”ll be away on vacation next week, so excited!”) but out of necessity. If you run a home-based business, you absolutely need to explain who you are, where you are, and what you do, which can give a burglar information about your habits and what valuable work-related equipment you probably own. And unfortunately, every time someone thinks up a great tip, like hiding cash in the freezer, burglars are online to read that too.
    This book is superficial, because it fails to address the details of things like how to choose and install a home security system. Which many people will want to do themselves to save money. It doesn’t even address safes. It doesn’t address identity theft, which is common after burglaries and robberies. Once they steal your credit cards, ID documents, and financial statements, guess what they’ll do next?
    Some of the advice doesn’t make sense. For example, oleander bushes are poisonous, but will not deter criminals because they’re not going to eat the shrubbery. Varying the times you leave for and return from work by a few minutes will not change the fact that you are away from home from about 9 to 5 every day. This book also does not address the security issues of different types of properties. How close you are to your neighbors and whether you have a gated property present different advantages, but different problems as well. Speaking of which, this book never mentions enlisting your neighbors for mutual security aid.
    Practical Home Security is a quick read, almost a magazine article. It needs to go far further than it does.
  • About a year ago I found Alex’s podcast and listened to every one of them. The early part of the series focused on how to protect your home. The others are a combination of how to protect yourself and a lot of common sense topics.
    This book is a good summary of the information in the how to protect your home series.
    If you are like I was when I first discovered Alex’s podcasts you will benefit greatly from this book. It covers a lot of topics that will really help you get your act together in making your home less of a target for criminals.
    As I found out, just because you live in a nice sleepy neighborhood that does not mean someone will not kick in your back door and come into your house. If I had known then what I know now they might not have chosen my house.
    The book is pretty concise. I think that the kindle edition at $4.99 is a good value.
  • The book is short, to the point, and is all about practical actions you can take to improve your home security. Essentially the same information is given in the Practical Defense podcast. I like it better in written form so I can consult it whenever I need, and check things off as I go.
    You should know however that if you follow all of the advice and do much of the work yourself, it will take a few months and a few thousand dollars to accomplish it all. It will also require changes in many things you do on a daily basis. There is more to it than just getting a monitored system from a company like ADT. Of course you can pick and choose what suggestions to implement.
    Side note: If you decide to purchase an electronic security system, I recommend Frontpoint. It is the cheapest over the term of the agreement and has very high customer satisfaction. I would avoid Vivint – they are very nice on the phone but terribly disorganized if not outright deceptive when you need to change something or cancel service.
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