There are many ways that you can prepare yourself and your family for a break-in. One of the best ways is to develop a plan. When a home invasion situation arises it is easy to panic and lose the ability to think clearly. Having a plan will help keep you calm and clear-headed.
Developing the Plan:
1. Install a home security system. One of the best ways to prepare your home for a possible burglary is to equip it with appropriate home security monitoring. Many criminals, especially rookies, are deterred by homes that have even basic home security systems installed. The catch is, make sure that you keep your home security system off.
2. Make a safe room. A safe room does not have to be a 4” thick steel room complete with high-tech gadgets and guns. You can create an effective safe room in your bedroom or even a closet!
Make sure that your safe room has heavy duty steel locks, such as deadbolts. Your door should preferably be made from a thick heavy wood or other force resistant material. Safe rooms should contain a cell phone on a charger, self defense equipment, a first aid kit, and water. It is best if your safe room has an escape route, such as a window.
3. Keep your cell phone on a charger in the safe room each night. Landlines can be cut or may allow the intruder to listen to your call while you contact 911. Keeping a charged cell phone in your safe room ensures you can call for help.
4. Keep weapons for defense in your safe room. If you know how to use a firearm, store this in your safe room in a gun safe. Be sure that you keep the ammunition close at hand and the gun loaded and on safety. Guns are typically better defense than items such as knives or clubs because they don’t require close contact with your intruder, so they are less likely to be wrested away from you.
Heavy duty pepper spray, if legal in your state, may also be used on an intruder. Be careful, though. Using pepper spray in a closely confined space such a safe room may expose you to the same harm you’ve just inflicted on your attacker (burning eyes, temporary blindness, and difficulty breathing).
5. Establish an escape plan. Once you are barricaded in your safe room, it may be necessary to escape your home. Many families own window ladders or other means of scaling down from their upper floor windows in case of fire or other emergencies. This is a wise escape plan and these window ladders allow for even small children to successfully climb down from heights that wouldn’t allow for jumping.
Ask yourself questions like, “Who will exit the window first? Where will we go once we’re safely down?” It’s can be hard to decide these things in a moment of panic.
6. Rehearse the steps for a home invasion. Have a home invasion drill. This is actually very good practice should an emergency arise. Firemen encourage families to have fire drills—we are encouraging you to have a home security drill! Soon we will release an article teaching you how to run an effective security drill. Be sure to check back!
While preparedness cannot ensure complete safety when an emergency arises, it can help you and your family have the correct response. Remaining calm, collected and ensuring that you know the proper procedures of your established effective safety measures will help increase your chances of escaping the situation without violence.
Be sure to check back with our blog regularly for home security tips!