The home is where the heart is, and for most of us that heart is our loved ones, our wives, husbands, kids, and even parents. These folks are our most treasured items, and protecting them is the most important thing in the world to most of us. In fact your home is more likely to be violently attacked than you are on the street. There are many reasons behind this, but the most important one to remember is the mind-set of a home invader. This thug knows you are home, and is still willing to break down your door, he knows he will probably meet resistance and he can and will use violence to overcome it. You need to be equally ready to use violence. This list is not all encompassing, but is a solid and reliable start to defending your home.
1) Have a gun
First and foremost you should be armed, and you should be armed to the legal extent of which you’re allowed.
There is no rule saying if a thug breaks your door down with a bat that you have to use a bat to defend yourself. In a home defense situation you have a major advantage over concealed carriers, you can go big.
By big I mean a long gun, a shotgun or rifle. A pistol is a poor fighting implement when compared to a long gun. A rifle for example offers increased capacity, a more powerful round, is easier to shoot, and is much more lethal than any pistol. A shotgun is a devastating close range weapon that may feature sharp recoil, and low capacity, but a good pump shotgun is easy to use and as reliable as a hammer.
That being said I still suggest carrying a holstered handgun with you around the home. This can be as simple as carrying your normal everyday concealed piece with you. A pistol on the hip is worth ten in the safe.
2) Have a plan
The best weapon you can have is your mind, and you should always engage it before you engage your weapon. Having a plan that is not only known but rehearsed with your family can help in numerous ways. This plan should be simple, and understood by all, and be realistic.
Your plan needs to detail what you and your family are to do in the event of a home invasion. The plan can and will vary depending on your home and family. A good plan will address the responsibilities of the home’s adults and what the children should do in such an event. For example:
Let’s use a family of five with two adults, and two children aged 7 and 10 and one toddler aged 2. One adult should be assigned to fight, and age, race and sex do not matter, when it comes to brass tacks it’s whoever is best on the gun. The other adult needs to be responsible for gathering the children and isolating them from the fight, as well as calling the police and being armed to defend the children. The 7 and 10 year old should be conditioned to stay put until an adult can gather them.
This is a very basic plan with little consideration for individuals homes, things like one or two story home, apartment building, or duplex are all special considerations. Again the plan needs to be crafted for you and your family.
3) Re-evaluate your windows and doors
The entrance to your home can play large role in your safety. Perhaps you have one of those doors with a beautiful window that lets in light and really make the foyer glow! Great, might as well say kick me. Windows on doors in general are a bad idea simply because of how easy it is to break the window and unlock the door.
A heavy and thick wooden door can actually be quite the deterrent for thieves. The door is still attractive but is now functional. While a door can only stall the determined intruder, it can give you more time, a lot more time. With more time you can prepare to meet the attacker, have 911 on the phone, and be ready.
When it comes to windows, for years the only option was throwing on a set of unsightly steel bars. These bars are probably excellent at keeping people out, but they make your home look like a prison. These days we have security film, essentially a layer of material that goes over your window and prevents it from shattering.
Security film prevents a window from being kicked, or smashed in. Again the film will not last forever, but it can absorb some blows. 3M manufacture a type of security film and they have a very interesting video of an attempted break in, which left the robbers high and dry. It’s a simple, cheap way to improve your home defenses.
4) Make use of deception
Deception is something you should practice to protect your home when you are there and when you are absent. It’s just the little things one can do to protect their homes and themselves. When it comes to long journeys away from home you need to make it appear that you are in fact home. A few things you can do is:
- Have a neighbor collect your newspapers while you are away.
- Leave a vehicle parked in plain view.
- Connect a lamp to a timer for it to come on and off during the night.
- Security systems can work wonders, but so can the threat of one. Simply owning a security sign can be enough to dissuade thieves.
- Do not post on social media you are away, those selfies can wait until you get home.
- Forward your landline to your cell.
Those are what to do when you’re away, but what are some common tactics to keeps thieves away when you are home?
- Security sign is still a good idea
- Do not leave the newly emptied boxes for expensive things outside. That box for your new 4K TV might as well be a billboard advertisement for expensive stuff inside.
- Keep your doors locked (Duh.)
- Install motion sensing lights. These can be quite the surprise for any trespassers sneaking up at night and can act as a de facto alarm.
So these are my top four tips for a safer home. While some may incur a financial burden, many do not, and let’s face it, can you put a price on your family’s safety?
As you put some of these into practice, you may find yourself developing your own tips and tricks, so please feel free to share in the comments below!