When you think of booby traps, you may envision Kevin McCallister of Home Alone rigging an electric BBQ starter near a doorknob or installing a tripwire in the hall. While some household traps are used solely for gags, others can actually protect your home.
Home safety is a major concern for families in small towns and big cities across the globe. While security systems are designed to deter unwelcomed intruders from entering your home, only 17 percent of homes in the U.S. have a system in place according to the National Council for Home Safety and Security.
Taking active measures to keep your home safe from trespassers does not need to cost a lot, but does require you to be a little creative.
Tripwires are one of the most familiar household traps intended to slow down intruders by tripping them, causing them to fall.
This old school trapping technique is fairly simple to implement. Ideally, you want to create a tripwire that triggers an alarm when someone trips over it. Tripwires can be inside the home or around the perimeter of your property.
There are three main types of trip alarms, including:
- Direct Tripwire Alarm. This type of tripwire consists of a wire, string, or cord installed across a path.
- Radio-Frequency Tripwire Alarm. This tripwire system connects with the alarm system using a radio transmitter.
- Laser Tripwire Alarm. With this type of household trap, an invisible infra-red laser is used instead of a string, cord, or wire.
Setting up a tripwire requires just a few simple steps. Start by purchasing a wireless transmitter and receiver which will work to activate the alarm. You will then need to connect the wires to the switch on the transmitter and create a switch that will activate the alarm when the wire is tripped.
Finally, you need to install the wire in the chosen pathway, unless you use a laser tripwire which does not require any cords or strings.
2. Explosion Simulator
There is nothing like the sound of an explosion to scare away intruders.
You can create one of these simulators by modifying a sprinkle valve. When correctly installed, the booby trap causes a reliable explosion of fire from the device which is bound to drive away even the bravest of trespassers.
It is important to understand that while this type of household trap is designed to simply scare away intruders, it can cause serious injury if the person is standing too close when it goes off.
Another type of explosive that can be used as a household trap involves the use of corn flour.
While this booby trap may seem like more of a science experiment, it can be highly effective in an emergency situation. The DIY trap works by spraying a mist of corn flour on the flame of a candle set inside a tin can.
Instant combustion results in an explosion due to a rapid change of chemical energy.
3.Thorny Window Guard
If you don’t feel comfortable creating explosives to deter prowlers, consider a less intense approach to home safety. Natural booby traps are designed to appear non-threatening but can be quite effective in the right situations.
For example, planting a thorny plant in your windowsills can help prevent people from breaking into your home through the windows. They also double as outdoor décor and can enhance the look of your home’s curb appeal.
There are a number of plant species that can cause injury if their thorny branches come in contact with human skin. Bougainvillea is known for its colorful flowers and thorny stems. The dense foliage can help create a barrier between the intruder and your window.
You may also choose to plant thorny trees or shrubs in front of your windows, such as acacia trees, blackberry plants, crown of thorn shrubs, firethorn plants, and honey locust trees.
4. Sound Grenade
Getting notified that someone is on your property is one of the most important aspects of protecting your home. You can accomplish this easily by making a sound grenade. This household trap involves tying each end of a natural colored tripwire to trees near your home.
The tripwire is attached to a Sound Grenade that emits an ear-piercing 120 decibel (ambulance-level) alarm when activated. Not only will the sound make you aware that there is an intruder near, it is also likely to scare away the person instantly.
If you want a low-cost alternative for the inside of your home, try magnetic door alarms. These inexpensive security options are loud and will quickly scare away intruders who try to enter through the door. They can be used on all types of doors, including sliding glass doors, as well as windows.
You can also prevent entry into a sliding glass door by placing a wooden dowel or sliding glass door security bar in the sliding mechanism on the bottom of your sliding glass door.
5. Slow Burning Fuse
If there comes a time when you want to scare off an intruder but want to stay a safe distance away, a slow burning fuse is an excellent tool. Fire crackers and other less destructive explosives use a slow burning fuse that gives you time to hide before the explosive detonates.
Of course, you should only set off explosives outside of your home as they can pose a fire hazard. A basic slow burning fuse can be made with cotton yarn, table sugar, and spectricide stump remover.
To make a slow burning fuse, combine 36 grams of spectricide stump remover with 24 grams of white table sugar. Shake the mixture vigorously. Heat a frying pan up to medium heat and pour 1/3 cup of water into the pan, followed by the sugar mixture.
Stir well until completely dissolved. Next, cut 12-feet of cotton yarn and add it to the mixture, letting it sit to soak up the chemicals. Transfer it onto a cookie sheet in rows and bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. Let the yarn cool, cut it into smaller sections, and your slow burning fuses are ready for use.
6. Paint Can Bucket Drop
You may have seen or heard about this household trap that involves filling a bucket, installing it above a door, and watching it drop a liquid on an unsuspecting person. While this trap is often used as a prank, it works equally well as a deterrent for intruders.
First, you’ll want to find a bucket or an old paint can and fill it with a liquid that will want to make the intruder urgently leave your home. Some survivalists recommend filling a paint can with various chemicals.
To set up this simple booby trap, you will need to install a floating shelf directly above the door. Next, you will need to tie a thin transparent string or wire, such as fishing line, from the door knob to the paint can.
The wire should be taut enough so that when the door is opened by the intruder, the paint can will tip pouring the liquid onto the head of the trespasser. Once the intruder is covered in an unknown liquid, they will like leave out the door they came in.
7. Guard Dog
While a pet doesn’t necessarily count as a household trap, it can be a great way to deter intruders. Having a loyal guard dog by your side can help ensure that your family remains safe at all times. Dogs have keener senses, meaning they can detect danger better than most humans.
In addition, most people will turn back if they see a snarling canine coming their way, making a guard dog an excellent addition to any household that wants to boost their home safety efforts.
Most dogs have a natural instinct to protect their human owners. However, some dogs are better equipped for the job than others. The American Kennel Club recommends breeds like Akitas, Rottweilers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Boxers, Bullmastiffs, and Doberman Pinschers as guard dogs.
However, it is important to remember that having a guard dog is not a substitute for having appropriate home security options. Guard dogs can; however, become a protective member of any household.
Fortifying Your Home
Whether you’re trying to impede zombies or just want to keep out your run-of-the-mill burglar, household traps can be the hindrance you need to take action.
As a skilled survivalist, it is important to know a wide variety of ways to protect your home without having to rely on home security companies or expensive gizmos and gadgets. Because in reality, a good old-fashioned tripwire can be just as effective.