Residential homes are often protected from burglary by locked doors and locked windows (Figure 1), and occasionally by more substantial measures such as barred windows (Figure 2).
However, none of that helps once an intruder breaches the perimeter of the home: once they’re inside, they are free to loot at their leisure—an unoccupied home has no further internal defenses.
In order to make the inside of a home burglary-resistant without resorting to illegal booby traps, we can just create a security system that makes the interior of the home extremely unappealing to traverse.
One approach might be to have sliding metal dividers that can be raised out of the floor when all residents leave (Figure 3). This would make it nearly impossible to navigate the home while the system was armed, yet would not pose any threat to the residents in case of accidental deployment.
The metal-slat security system described in Figure 3 would be expensive to install, since it would require an elaborate floor mechanism. For home remodeling on a budget, see the simplified (but equally effective) proposal in Figure 4.
Next time you consult your architect for constructing a new mansion, make sure to keep these home-defense tips in mind.
PROS: Prevents thieves from stealing hundreds of dollars worth of televisions and cell phone chargers from your residence!
CONS: Might be over-complicated compared to the lower-tech version of just putting medieval portcullises between each room.