Home Alone Home Defense: What Kevin Does and What You Should Actually Do

Marbles on the floor.

Home Alone was a notable film from legendary filmmaker John Hughes, it's the breakthrough performance for a young Macaulay Culkin and it has become a holiday classic that's practically an annual must-see. This film is full of great comedy, but what's at the heart of Home Alone? The home, of course! The central plot of the film is that Kevin, all alone, must defend his home against burglars. His methods are unconventional, but there are ways to turn his booby traps into practical home defenses.

The Feathers Gag

Feathers floating in the air.

The feather booby trap that Kevin sets up in Home Alone definitely wasn't new and it's not unique to the movie, but it's truly an ingenious way to foil a would-be thief — if you don't mind a huge mess that is. A feather trap is really more of a minor annoyance, and it's not likely to deter a truly determined home invader. However, you can get something similar that will make a thief think twice. The beauty of the feathers gag is that it's set up in a doorway using a tripwire and, obviously, a mountain of feathers and a fan.

Instead, get a small doorway alarm with an infrared beam. This beam works like a tripwire, but with no tripping. When someone's legs break the beam, a chime alarm goes off instantly with a loud noise that will immediately make any thief want to get away. These small devices are very affordable and very easy to use. Best of all, no mess.

The Dangerous Doorknob

A smart lock and app.

To keep the would-be burglars from entering the house, Kevin hangs a fire-heated piece of metal on the doorknob. This keeps the burglar from getting into the home, but not without some serious skin damage. Clearly, this is not something you want in your own home. However, you can get a smart lock system for doors that lead to the outside world. These smart locks look like standard doorknobs, but they can be locked and unlocked through an app. You can set users and program the locks, among other features.

The Falling Hazard

Toys on the floor.

In the movie, the burglar named Marv attempts to climb through the window and winds up on his back after tripping on Christmas ornaments and small toys all over the floor. This is definitely a good way to make a thief think twice, but it can also harm pets and family members if you try to set up a similar trap in your own home. However, you can make your windows all but impossible for thieves to get through.

Start by replacing your windows with reinforced glass. This glass is very hard to break. To break it, any thief would have to make a great deal of noise — and thieves don't want to make noise. This is much more attractive than adding bars to the windows, and more affordable than getting a glass with wire mesh inside. While you're at it, place small window alarms on any window that's vulnerable. These small sensors can detect motion and they operate wirelessly, which makes them easy for anyone to install.

Better Than Fiction

The idea of not just deterring thieves but also teaching them a lesson is part of what makes Home Alone so irresistible. The two thieves, while funny, definitely get what’s coming to them and that’s just holiday goodness. But there are easier and safer ways to make your home resistant to burglars. Set up sensors, install secure locks, and make your home a much less easy target. This way, you won’t need the booby traps.