Author Topic: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation  (Read 29305 times)

Offline Onug

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Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« on: April 19, 2010, 10:26:23 PM »
And for my first real post...I did some searching, but didn't see anything that satisfies my question.

I have a typical split level two story house and I'm working on an idea for securing it in a bug-in situation.  Skip the property (for now), for starters I'm just focusing on the house and how to keep it secure and my family safe.

There are no points-of-entry on the sides of the house, so I only need to worry about the front and the back.  At the front, I have the front door (ground level obviously), garage doors (2) and windows (1st and 2nd floors).  Out back, there are windows (1st and 2nd floors), one steel "person" door (1st floor, off garage) and a glass sliding door (2nd floor off deck, with stairs to ground level).

The question...what is the best way to secure the house?

I have one concept and two ideas.  My concept...and I'm new to all of this, so my concept is from an FNG...is to secure the points-of-entry on the first floor and leave only one entry/exit at the front and one at the back.  So that narrows things down to two areas to defend and (hopefully) always one way to escape. 
  • My first idea is to put plywood over everything on the first floor besides the front door and the rear slider.  So cover the windows, garage doors and back door.  Two completely separate, independent points-of-entry in two separate directions.
  • My second idea is to secure (again with plywood) all points of entry on the first floor (including the stairs to the deck) besides one garage door and the steel door off the garage.  So have two points-of-entry from two locations but feeding into one choke point.  As I see it, this is easier to defend, but also harder to escape from.

Other info that might be handy
  • I live in generic suburbia... so my back yard empties into my neighbor's back yard.  Easy to escape in any direction (or have bad-guys approach in any direction).
  • My backyard is fully fenced and my deck gives me easy access to my roof
Any pointers, ideas, suggestions, lessons-learned, don't-do's...are appreciated.

Offline AZCeltic formerly occeltic

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2010, 10:52:50 PM »
Wow Onug, you are way ahead of me for sure! I always told myself that I would choose one room in my house that would be made a safe room. Not only would I fortify the door by upgrading it from the current hollow core wood, I would also equip my room with food, a small frig, small coffee maker, etc., as well as items for defense.
I like your ideas, but to fortify the whole house would be quite the undertaking. Unless you install fortification on all the windows and doors ahead of time, how are going to find the time when you are facing possible threats?
It would be good to hear you elaborate on the possible threats you believe you may have to face in your situation, and what led you to come up with your ideas.

Good luck!

Occeltic

Offline gigaJack

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2010, 11:54:12 PM »
Here is an copy and past from our site "The Survival Summary" http://survivalsummary.wordpress.com. It outlines our setup for our house security.

      

HumeMan

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2010, 04:52:02 PM »
3/4" plywood covering all windows and secondary doors is perfect.  This is something you should already have precut and ready to hang at a moments notice.

For the front door I would add some kind of drop bar.  Either made of metal or 2x4s.


So far the weakest point on your house is that sliding glass door.  I would completely cover one side of the slider with plywood and 2x4s.  Possibly hanging another sheet of plywood on hinges, covering the other slider, acting as a door over your door.

Offline survivininct

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2010, 06:24:08 PM »
It is so easy to break into a home that is conventionally made if you want to.  In short, do the usual stuff with locks and what not, but to secure a home against a SHTF scenario, will be tough.  Ultimately, a shotgun or three pointed out the upstairs windows will be the best security system you could get. 

I have thought about this for my home, but came to the conclusion that it will be impossible.   If you piss off the crooks, they will just burn you out!  Best to just keep it looking like all the other houses, with normal precautions, and be waiting with a shotgun as mentioned above.   Better yet, have your whole neighborhood waiting and ready to pounce if any individual gets attacked! 

I almost think a tight neighborhood like you have is better than a remote location where you are all on your own from an attack standpoint (assuming the neighbors watch out for each other). 

In the country, they may not even know you exist - but if they know you do, you may be the only (or one of only a few) targets.    In a suburb, your one of 10 thousand other homes in which they have to choose.  Chances are, they won't bother you unless they have a reason to.  Like you live in a high-end home or somehow show you have something they want. 

If things get lawless, and thugs are running rampant, it is not going to be easy to protect from this scenario without guards.

Offline JGreene

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2010, 06:38:14 PM »
Something was mentioned in another thread about using the decking from your 'deck' to reinforce your windows. 

I suppose the easiest way is to make your home look like a harder target than your neighbor's.  On the downside, it would appear that you may have some good stuff if you're all secured up like that.  For me, boarding up the windows isn't practical, there are too many.  Fitting iron bars across the back of the doors looks like crap, ain't gonna happen.   Perhaps a more practical solution for many of us is to create a safe zone within the home.  I'd call it a retreat zone, if the lights, alarms, locks, shotguns don't deter the bad guy, you have a safe zone to retreat to if needed.

HumeMan

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2010, 06:53:13 PM »
If you piss off the crooks, they will just burn you out!

Kinda hard to beat that.  I suppose you can harden your home, if only for the purpose of slowing them down while you make your escape.

Offline Capt Cook

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2010, 08:02:10 PM »
Here's a few ideas for you to think about.
If you live near the coast or hurricane areas, then install steel shutters. They won't stand out too much & give excellent security.
Another house improvement is working wooden window shutters with latches. They will look great, improve the value of your house & give adequate protection while giving you the option to still look & or shoot out the windows.

For the doors you have several options. The New York style apartment lock, a metal bar that sets into a metal notch in the floor & swings up underneath the doorknob. Gives good protection & can be stowed out of the way to store & it doesn't look like crap.
Barrel bolts can be installed top & bottom of your door to give extra protection. The key here is to use the longest/strongest screws you can. They can look pretty good if you get the color to match your door hardware.

An old trick was to blast the hinges on doors with a shotgun when there were extra locks on the door. You can stop this by drilling holes in the jamb & gluing dowel rods in place. Then drill angled holes in the door edge for the dowels to slip into. Sort of like a bank vault door.
My father did this for some Mafia friends he had  ;D

The sliding glass door is the real problem. Best thing you can do there is full sheets of plywood on the outside & inside.
Also, an old broom handle cut to length to fit in the track. This will give an added bit of protection & the broom handle fits in the track nice & is hard to see. In my line of work I have popped sliding doors up & out of their tracks so make sure they fit good & tight to keep this from happening.

Now here's another thing for you to do for your garage door.
Burglars will just push it in at the top in the center & pull on the disconnect cord & lift the door right up.
Drill a hole through the rail on each side & stick a screwdriver into the hole. Then when they lift up the door the guides will hit the screwdriver & keep it from going up. This came in handy for me when I had to leave my garage door open a few inches for the cats to get in.

That's all I can give you right now. I got to walk the dogs & water the garden now.

Offline Darkwinter

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2010, 08:47:54 PM »
These are all really hard core ideas.  I would think that if the situation was so dire that you needed to harden you home with plywood and steel reinforcement, you might want to consider bugging out.

There is a book called Patriots, and in it there is a section about hardening a home.  It was done in a way that would not give the appearance of a hardened home.  He talked about using steel shutters and thick steel doors.  It was an interesting read and something you might want to pick up to get some more ideas.


Offline Onug

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2010, 08:49:41 PM »
Great feedback...thanks everyone.  I should have mentioned I'm more interested in doing a "mild" securing of the house than a full fortify.  That would just be too hard given the layout and entry points.  I live in a very low crime area, so my concerns are more around "opportunistic" criminals than a larger, more organized gang.  Unfortunately, my neighbor seems to attract crime, so I've got to be careful.  Hopefully we'll have bugged out before anything too bad gets to where I live.  Either way, I'll likely be camping out on the roof with my gear.

I already have a security bar on the slider, but that is probably still the hardest point to secure.  So I think I'm leaning towards option 1 (in my original post) and then work on securing the stairs to the deck instead.  Heck, it would be easy to keep a ladder on the deck and just cut away the stairs in an emergency.  I didn't think about the garage door, I'll have to stare at that one and see what I can do.

keep the ideas coming...

Son_of_the_Republic

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2010, 06:32:05 AM »
If you have exterior sliding doors like me a good ol piece of timber,cut to lenght, wedged between door and frame on the inside works a dream.Bar smashing through the glass , this is one lock that can't be picked.

You may also need to escape the house in the event of fire etc so I would have one door/window readily accesible but easily defendable.A rope ladder might be a useful item to have.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 06:36:12 AM by Son_of_the_Republic »

HumeMan

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2010, 03:36:50 PM »
If you have exterior sliding doors like me a good ol piece of timber,cut to lenght, wedged between door and frame on the inside works a dream.Bar smashing through the glass , this is one lock that can't be picked.

Well actually..... ::)
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=13360.msg152218#msg152218

endurance

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2010, 04:13:52 PM »
I'm with the levels of security that GigaJack suggests.  Impact resistant films on the glass, upgraded locks, a good security system, and a dog are realistic things you can do today that prevent random acts of burglary but you can live with day to day.

I'm just not a big SHTF guy after being a prepper since 1985 and watching nothing go wrong other than an occasional snowstorm that made me glad I didn't have to run to the grocery for milk.  I see the most likely scenarios being a depression-like economic downturn, in which burglary, home invasion, and robberies will be the most likely impact other than the risk of unemployment.  For that, Giga's sitting a lot more pretty than 99 out of 100 Americans right now, and he can go about his normal way of life without stopping to cut plywood.  Bonus, if a severe hail storm or tornado comes through, he's a lot safer than most folks, too.

Boarding up windows when a roving band of rioting jerks flipping cars and lighting fires isn't going to happen fast enough, nor offer adequate protection.  Beyond that, it's time to bug out anyway.

Son_of_the_Republic

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2010, 04:39:28 PM »

Offline Beetle

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2010, 06:45:07 PM »
I'm with Darkwinter. You don't want it to backfire and attract attention. Check out these guys. http://www.mascottesecurity.com/index.html

Offline LdMorgan

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2010, 10:00:23 AM »
Wooden shutters can be unobtrusively duplicated in welded steel. Add heavy-duty hinges to support them. Unfortunately, unless you can weld them up yourself, they would probably be prohibitively expensive.

Fortifying a home isn't about making it entry-proof--that's an absolute impossibility.
 
It's really about deterring the undetermined and slowing the determined down just long enough for you to stick a 12 ga shotgun into a well-concealed gunport and relieve them of their intestines.

A safe room is a really baaaaaaad idea unless it has an emergency exit. If not, it's like a Roach Motel--you may check in, but you won't be checking out.

Once the building has been overrun, you'll have the choice of surrendering or fighting to the death. Or more likely just dying.

As soon as the house was well looted, somebody would come knocking on the "safe" room door with a very short message: Surrender or burn.

Really smart animals always have extra exits from their burrows.

The only exception to a safe room might be one that is so well hidden that intruders never suspect it's there. But even then, it should be 100% fireproof, and have a secret exit, as well.

Everybody needs to dig a quarter-mile of tunnel in their spare time, just in case.

The thing about slowing intruders down is that you have to sleep sometime. You'll want a few moments to kick off the bunny slippers and grab a cup of coffee before you start tossing hand grenades off the roof and/or blasting MZBs thru the gunports.

If I had a garage (which I don't) I'd make it my "sorta-safe" room.

I'd park my BOV (if I had one) in the garage, secure the roll-up door behind it, add a stack of sandbags, and steel-plate the doorway from the house into the garage.

If and when the homefront battle became a losing proposition, I'd load the family up in the BOV and drive it straight out the end wall of the garage--which would have a BOV-sized portion lacking studs and interior sheathing.

A few sheets of T-111 would be no impediment, especially if they were held in place by the least practical number of nails and a little silicone sealer.

If I ever win the lottery, I am gonna be one well-prepared prepper, yah fer shure you bet!








Offline RacinRob

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2010, 12:02:45 PM »
Black pipe, Tee's, fender washers, lag bolts.  It is on the someday list.  Put a tee on each end of the pipe, then lag bolt it to the 2x4s on either side.  You could also put it behind ply wood to reinforce it.  I have smallish windows so 4 would do it per window.  I have a cordless impact so they would be quick to put up.  If I took the trim off I could do it without destroying the house too.  It is a slow down idea, yes they could be defeated quickly with a truck and tow strap, but that would probably get my attention.

Offline archer

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2010, 02:58:30 PM »
My brother built a concrete dome in a dessert area. He has windows but is having steel plates made that fit over the windows and protect them in case of theft/fire. I figure that setup would almost be a castle.

Offline Capt Cook

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2010, 05:55:12 PM »

It's really about deterring the undetermined and slowing the determined down just long enough for you to stick a 12 ga shotgun into a well-concealed gunport and relieve them of their intestines.

A safe room is a really baaaaaaad idea unless it has an emergency exit. If not, it's like a Roach Motel--you may check in, but you won't be checking out.
You got this one right! If I want to get into a place I'm going to find a way.
The whole idea is to "deter" the intruders & make them want to find an easier mark.
A good defense is only as good as your offensive capabilities.
Think about your defenses. Which way will they most likely come in. Then have a plan on how to attack.
You can always make one area look like the easy way in. That's the trap & when they take the bait you hit em in the head with the cheese :excited:

Offline OKGranny

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2010, 07:16:22 PM »
Dogs work well. I have a friend that lives on a large lake in NW Arkansas and the other night she had her bedroom window open. She heard voices and looked out, there were 3 men in a boat and evidently they forgot how well sound carries over water. She saw them start to swing in towards her dock then clearly heard one of them say "Not there! That's the house with the dogs". She has 2 beautiful German Shepherd's. They hit 3 places down from her, stole everything that was remotely portable.

Offline phargolf

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2010, 08:54:01 PM »
I like that! woof and your butt is mine! ;D

Offline radtke

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2010, 11:52:58 PM »
vice grip c clamps next to the rollers on the track of the garage door .quick and easy to get off when you need to

Offline Asclepius

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2010, 11:57:13 PM »
Don Paul says to bend metal conduit to shoot people outside with birdshot by proxy. Take it for what it's worth.

Offline MCopes

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2010, 02:14:48 PM »
Don Paul says to bend metal conduit to shoot people outside with birdshot by proxy. Take it for what it's worth.

Got any links to this?


devildoc

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2010, 09:24:49 PM »
I still want a hand pumped pressurized gasoline sprinkler system far enough from the house of course. But tanerite waterproof bags mixed with nails in the bottom of larger flower pots would make good claymores.

Offline Asclepius

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2010, 02:24:55 PM »
Got any links to this?



No links. Don Paul writes odd little books that sell at army surplus stores. They're not bad.

Offline PAGUY

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2010, 05:49:23 AM »
You have many great ideas listed.  The key is to use those ideas if the SHTF.  Many people have issues with their homes on a normal day to day basis because they do not lock their doors, close their garage doors, or leave a hidden key under the flower pot.  These are the things that make it easy for someone to break in.  Your plan will work well you just have to put it into effect to make it work. 

Offline kr66p6r13

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2010, 02:01:03 AM »
 these are some of the steps I've taken

 planted rose bushes under windows
 precut & drilled plywood to put up on inside over windows. gathered deck screws needed 
 2 rolls of black plastic sheeting for between windows & plywood
 reinforced all doors
 set up basement to use as living quarters (in case theres bullets flying around outside)
 devised method of redirecting gutters to all flow into designated collection areas inside 2ND floor
 windows (already measured, cut & practice ran) application of this takes very Little time
 built a few covert stash areas
 trimmed trees near specific widows to maximize view of perimeter
 focused on making outside look less like a target than all my neighbors houses do
 brain stormed a few medieval/modern methods of home defense
 planned 3 different ways to evac if needed
 keep a few extra fire ex tingushers & wasp sprays on hand
 most important of all, I kept all my plans & prepping to myself, no neighbors or acquaintances     
 know my business

Offline soupbone

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2010, 04:31:08 PM »
Onug,

Back in Reply #9, you said," I should have mentioned I'm more interested in doing a "mild" securing of the house than a full fortify.  .......I live in a very low crime area, so my concerns are more around "opportunistic" criminals than a larger, more organized gang." Many of the suggestions here are for really hardening the structure. They are good, but overkill for the circumstances that you have described.

You also said that your neighbor seems to "attract crime". What do you mean by this - are they engaged in criminal activity? Do they throw wild parties? Are you living next door to a crack house? Or have they set themselves up as victims (flash their stuff, forget to close windows, leave doors unlocked, etc.)?

For a "mild securing", I would suggest concentrating on reinforcing doors and windows - installing deadbolt high security locks and security hinges. I would install steel or solid wood doors, with small or no windows (use peepholes). If your windows are double hung, you can secure them by drilling into the frame in the track and installing a piece of dowel so the window can only be opened a couple of inches. Do not glue or jam the dowels in, as you may need to open the windows fully in event of an emergency.

Security film is a good idea, but it is expensive, and to work right, must be attached to the frame. I have seen 4 mil  thickness mentioned in various threads, but 7 - 10 mil thickness is what my manuals say.

Eliminate hiding places - vegetation - by windows and doors, but plant roses, blackberries, etc., as a discrete way of saying "keep away" along your property line. Keep your security very low key as you do not want to set yourself up as a challenge to your neighbors or their friends. And get a dog.

Good luck. 

soupbone

Offline LdMorgan

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Re: Ideas for securing the house in a bug-in situation
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2010, 11:19:49 PM »
In medieval times, castles were often under siege for months on end. In all of the history I've read, the defenders were always defensive, except for the occasional sally out to light up a few tents or slaughter a few workers that didn't have adequate protection.

Here's a gag that castle defenders never seem to have thought of.

As soon as the siege started, or news arrived that one would, they should have torn down a few stone buildings and used the stone to build two walls in the courtyard.

The walls would have been about 12 feet high, thirty feet long, and four feet thick, extending inward from the sides of the front gate in a VEE shape that closed to juuuuuust wide enough for one man to pass through. Sideways. Barely. If he was real skinny.

Then the next (or first) time the enemy charged, they should have opened up the front gate, raised the portcullis, dropped the drawbridge, and sent five guys out who were under orders to take one look at the attackers, throw down their swords, and run screaming back into the castle.

Leaving the gate open behind them.

(Oh Gosh, Martha! Deserters have breached the defenses!)

Those "terrified" guys would then run right up some handy ladders, exit the veetrap, and haul the ladders up behind them.

(Oh, shucks! No ladders for Bad Guys!)

Sensing a swift and decisive victory, the enemy troops would have swarmed in and gotten jammed up in the veetrap worse than a Bloomingdale's elevator on a Super Sale Saturday.

Hundreds would probably have suffocated within minutes. The defenders on the ramparts would have finished off the rest. And those who got stopped just outside the gate, right under the Boiling Oil Disposal Ports.

The first nine guys in would have seen the one-man exit, and raced each other to be the first man through--to survive!

They would have had to to settle for a six-way tie.

Everybody else would have played Follow the Leader until it was much too late to turn back. Until it was impossible to turn back.

When the veetrap was packed full, no amount of battering or burning would get past the 30-foot plug of dead bodies. Even if they'd brought up a battering ram it would have been useless.

And, anyway, the porticullus would have dropped as soon as the veetrap was full.  There would have been no escape for the few still alive.

After a while (and huge losses) the enemy would have had to pull back. And probably abandon the siege entirely.

The defenders would have then cleared out a few score bodies at their leisure, and closed the gates for the remainder of the evening.

Note that not only would they have decimated their attackers, they'd have acquired a lot of bodies to repatriate with their catapults.

That's always good for morale.

Now, fast-forward about a thousand years...give or take.

In a really hard-core SHTF situation, if an eventual mass assault was a given, basic veetraps could be constructed at the front and back doors of a residence or a refuge building. (And/or sliding glass doors, if any.)

Eventually, a group of attackers would make their move: they'd kick in a door, charge in, and be stopped dead a couple of 3/4" plywood wild-walls, braced by 2X4's, and decorated with waist-high ports cut in them for convenient lead injection. 

Six sheets per entry would probably be plenty. Painted black on the inside for night ops, of course.

In a pinch, you could cobble your veetraps together out of whatever was handy. Beds, furniture, refrigerators, bookcases. Even fence wire.

Afterwards the well-rested defenders would have lots of fresh ammo, many new items for the armory, a lot of good-for-barter garb to wash the blood out of, and maybe even a little fresh food, if times were REALLY tough!

Just a thought, y'all!