Home Security for
You can help prevent crime by making it a practice to lock your truck doors. Lock them when you get in your truck. Lock them when you leave. Carry your keys with you at all times. Don't make it easy for someone you don't know to gain entry.
Don't advertise that you're worth robbing. Some folks want to be seen as successful -- whether consciously or unconsciously -- and therefore flash jewelry, leather jackets, big wads of cash, fancy electronic devices, etc. Perhaps you use your cell phone or laptop computer when you go into a truck stop. Just be aware that people are watching -- and that not all of them have good intentions.
Avoid stopping or parking in remote, isolated or abandoned areas. Sometimes, depending on which one you choose, it isn't even a good idea to park far back in a truck stop parking lot. Numerous truck stops that used to crawl with lot lizards or opportunists looking for trouble have cleaned up their facilities. Some facilities even have security cameras or on duty safety patrols. Learn which places -- even though they may be safe and legal -- to avoid parking overnight.
One aspect of home security for a truck driver might be preventing fuel theft, a topic which we plan to address separately.
Active or Passive Home Security Measures
Perhaps this is an over-simplification of the situation, but once past prevention, we categorize other home security measures in either active or passive forms. Let's start with the latter....
An example, in our opinion, of a passive form of security is a simple truck alarm.
It doesn't actively do anything after being installed except monitor the truck for breaking and entering situations.
The alarm goes off when it is triggered but it doesn't actively block the intruder. (There may be alarms that do more than this.)
We've never heard of a company truck being equipped with a truck alarm, although custom rigs driven by owner operators (like the one pictured here) may have them.
An example of a hybrid home security device -- that is, one classified as passive turned active -- might be a pet who merely barks at an intruder when the truck is being tampered with, but bites the intruder once inside the truck.
We would not want to be around a dog who snarled at us and appeared aggressive, as the one shown here.
Where Is A Home Security Product Used?
There is also a categorization of a home security product being used depending on whether you are in or out of your truck. And if a product can be used only when you're in the truck, can it be used whether the truck is idling or not?
For example, depending on the setting assigned, the truck alarm mentioned above can be used when someone is outside the truck, but what about when someone is inside?
Now let's describe other options...
A device that can only be used inside a truck is one pictured here.
The driver literally has a heavy security chain looped through the handles of his truck's doors and (we assume) locked together on the inside.
Not dependant upon electricity, a security chain can be used whether the engine is running or not.
It does not prevent someone from picking the lock or breaking a window, but it sure makes it harder for someone to get in the truck.
An example of a hybrid home security device that prevents a truck from being started is a "kill switch," the location of which may be known only to the driver and his/her trucking company.
This device can be set while the driver is in the truck, but left in its "disabled" setting when a driver leaves.
It is not the same thing as a battery disconnect, but it is designed to keep the truck from being started.
It does not protect you personally, but when activated keeps your rig from being stolen (unless, of course, the intruder knows how to reset it).
Mike drove a company truck for awhile that was equipped with a Magtec unit. The keypad and warning label of this unit is pictured here.
Although probably oversimplifying its function, we know of two uses for this device, which can be used whether the driver is in or out of his/her truck:
The use of the home security products, systems or measures described on this page may be your first line of defense. Being prepared is critical. You may wish to avail yourself of multiple strategies to avoid being targeted, but then if you are targeted how you will defend yourself.
We will be frank that there is not much that a driver can do when someone shoots at you through one of your truck's windows, as Jason Rivenburg was in 2009 (link)(link). We have outlined a number of safety precautions you can utilize to minimize your risk. Work out the plan that is right for you in your situation.
Money saving tip: Think proactively rather than reactively regarding your own protection. Work to prevent problems rather than try to solve them once they arise. Think of layers of home security in terms of concentric circles, like many layers of guards in place around a great treasure (you being the treasure). For ourselves, we would want to dissuade or fend off an attacker as far away from us as possible.
Some home security ideas may require a one-time purchase (such as a length of chain and a lock) whereas others may require ongoing expenses (such as a pet). While weighing your options, consider all of the costs that will be involved in the short term and long term.
An old adage says, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." In matters of self defense and preparedness, this is certainly true.
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