About Featured Expert: Robert Diegez retired from the Los Angeles county sheriff’s department as a deputy sheriff after 22 years of service due to a back injury. In February 2014, he suffered a major relapse and was in the hospital for two weeks. Recovering at home, he would often take his walker to the front door and then back to his bed in the family room. On my many trips to the front door and back, he became very conscious of security. As a lifelong do-it-yourselfer/ handyman (mechanically-inclined), a poet (dreamer), and a police officer, an entrepreneurial entrance into the security market seemed a perfect fit. Out of Robert’s humbling experience was born the idea for a simpler, stronger door chain and lock, and the establishment of Strike Plate Locks.
Key elements of this interview and more are shared in this FREE course on using firearms and ingenuity to defend your home and loved ones from looters.
The following is a condensed version of the full audio interview, which can be found in the above link at Science of Skill’s SoundCloud station.
Coach Dan: We’re speaking today with Robert Diegez, who runs Strike Plate Locks. Produces locks, is former law enforcement as well. He’s going to talk to us today about preventing home break ins and other sorts of defensive action you can take to make sure your home stays safe…What are the common misconceptions or mistakes that folks make when it comes to barricading their own home, protecting their own home?
Robert Diegez: I think the biggest thing to recognize is homes are accessible. They were made that way. We have doors, windows, people can climb through windows. It’s also locks are about criminals want quick entry. They want fast access…Front doors are generally wood or metal sheathed and generally when you buy a front door or have a front door, they put in very small screws in the plates. In the deadbolt plate and in the doorknob plate. The simplest thing is to go get some two or three inch screws and put them in the plates. That will pass through the door frame itself and into the two by fours that frame the door.
CD: Other equipment that you like. Whether it be floodlight stuff, whether it be brands of alarms, anybody that you think is better than others. What are your other recommendations on that side?
RD: Alarms are good but if you can’t afford a full system, it’s just nice to have the noise go off because again, people don’t want to be seen or heard, you know what I’m saying? Lights are excellent. Even when you are home. I’ve got motion lights all around my house. Because for me security isn’t about dealing with the threat right away. It’s about knowing that a threat’s coming…
For windows you can also go and talk to your window tinter… I did this on my back slider and I’ve done it to a couple other windows because I’m paranoid by nature. You get a heavy duty window tinting that they use in storm areas. If you go on YouTube, you can see videos where people basically take a baseball bat to the window and it takes them a couple of minutes to dig a hole through the glass to climb through.
CD: Maybe would you also advise the little ADT sticker?
RD: Oh absolutely. I have an alarm system, but before it even went up I made sure I had an alarm sign out front. If you’re a criminal and you know you’ve got two houses to pick from, three. One says Beware of Dog, one says AT&T Alarm System and one doesn’t say anything.
CD: You had mentioned something important, make sure that people could be seen from the street or what have you. I’ve heard advice around, “Hey, you want, you don’t want any tall shrubbery near the home and you don’t want any shrubbery at all next to windows or doors or anything like that”…
RD: Some are placed to hide. If I want to get in your house, I want to not be seen as I’m doing it or getting close to it. That’s along the same lines as lights. It’s always about, I want where I can hide. Where I won’t be seen. Where I can approach quietly…It’s also about having contact with your neighbors. Watching out for strange people in the neighborhood. I always say you can be the Bruce Lee/Chuck Norris mixed into one, but if you’ve got your eyes closed anybody can walk up and hit you over the head.
CD: Any kind of big picture lessons you’d have people take home to really make a tangible difference for safety?
RD: I’m a huge believer in pepper sprays. I carry, for me personally I’m still authorized to carry a weapon wherever I go, I live in California, because I’m a retired Police Officer. But I still keep a can of bear spray in my car.