Many articles have been written about self- and home defense, trying to answer questions like “what’s the best gun for self- and/or home defense” or “what’s the best tactic,” etc.
This article looks at this subject from a different angle, simply because there’s no best whatever. Every person, every situation and every environment is different. This article shall give you the basics regarding home defense and things that will play a lifesaving role.
I am aware of the fact that this is a subject where opinions differ. Plus, investment wise only the sky is the limit. There are many good products out there. But this is not a buying guide.
This article is somewhat interactive and I do need your feedback in form of thinking out loud. Plus, I would like for you to print out this article and walk through the stations while making notes, if you like. Ready?
First, I’m asking you to go outside. Start with the front yard and look around. Then walk around your house/apartment complex/mobile home/etc. What do you see? It does not matter if you live rural or (sub)urban, important is what do you see?! Ask yourself;
– Where could a burglar enter the premises?
– Where are hiding points for the burglar for the approach?
– Are there any cameras in the surrounding area?
– What would be the easiest getaway route?
– Where could someone enter the building and how?
– What do the windows look like? Do they need repair/replacement?
– What do the doors look like? How is the fit between door and frame? Do they need some adjustment?
– Same with the garage door if there is one.
– Same with the fence/gate if there is one.
– How does the outside lighting look like? Does it work?
These are just the first observations outside your home. The goal in home defense is to prepare your home so that no one even wants to break in because it looks so secured. I strongly recommend to keep doors and windows secure at all times plus taking care of repairs ASAP. Having a plastic foil as window cover is just an invitation for burglars.
Next I would like you to go inside the house. We now play the same game as we did on the outside, tell me what you see;
– What do the windows look like? Are they secure?
– Are there any blinds or curtains in front of the windows?
– What about the doors? Do they lock correctly?
– Find all the blind spots inside your house. Those are a huge advantage if someone really managed to break in.
– How is the lighting inside the house? Do they all work?
– What doors or windows would be the most possible one to enter and what room are they in?
– Where are the fire extinguishers?
– If you live in a 2-story home, where are the bedrooms located?
– Where are the valuables located and how are they secured?
– Where are the important keys, incl. the ones for the vehicle(s)?
As mentioned earlier, the goal is to prevent a break in and that’s where we start, outside the house.
Know your Yard
Know every inch of your yard. It’s important to look for signs (i.e. people staking out the property or stalkers with cameras/binoculars) and keep it maintained so that there are no hiding spots for criminals.
Know your Neighborhood
Get to know your neighborhood, your neighbors, their faces and vehicles. After a while strange vehicles and persons are easy to identify.
Get outdoor lighting
Having several outdoor lights on during the night is a good idea. Even better if they are motion controlled.
Get a video surveillance system
It’s not necessary to buy the most expensive video surveillance equipment. Lower priced system are good too and allow you to have a good overview while inside the house. Of course, the higher grade the camera the better the details, i.e. faces, license plates, etc.
Now we go inside the house:
Get an alarm system
It gives you at least a 2-10 second advantage in case someone broke in. Plus, the provider will contact local law enforcement authorities.
Upgrade your locks
If you can afford it upgrade all your door locks incl. dead bolt. If you are renting ask your landlord, perhaps you can split the cost. I do not believe in keyless locks, but perhaps that’s something you are interested in.
Upgrade your windows
Get double glazed windows if you can afford it. They are more secure plus save on heating cost.
Have an escape plan
Usually there’s no time to run away during a home invasion. But perhaps you have to deal with an arsonist. Have a plan to escape, with all your loved ones and the most important items you can grab. If the fire is not too wide spread perhaps you can contain it. Don’t risk your life. If you live in an urban area help is around the corner. If you don’t have an escape plan make one today.
Get some weapons
Every adult living in the house should have at least one firearm. Having only one firearm total is not enough. If the group gets split up for whatever reason then there’s one part of the group without protection. If you have mature children please familiarize them with firearms ASAP.
Here are my tactical thoughts:
If the camera is picking something up please call 911 first. Let the operator stay online until police arrives, it’s your timeline and proofs that you did nothing wrong. Get your weapons ready and your loved ones in a safe spot. Do not leave the house; you never know what’s waiting for you outside in the dark. Only make your move when someone breaks into your home. Use the blind spots inside your house to get cover. Do not open the door if a stranger is knocking. Take your firearm with you and talk through the door from a safe spot. Firing a firearm inside the house is very loud, so please only shoot if you have to, especially with little kids. Have a first-aid kit at the ready for yourself and your loved ones, just in case. If you live rural the response time is longer and you might have to manage it by yourself to stop a bleeding. In case the perpetrator runs away don’t follow to shoot (the threat is gone and you are not justified to use lethal force). Only follow them to memorize the license plate if you have to follow them at all. A decision I can’t make for you. But there is almost always a getaway car waiting somewhere, so there’s a good chance getting a license plate#. I encourage you to carry a firearm at all times, even at home. You simply never know what’s coming at you and when.
And please, if you work from home and have customers/clients coming to your place or you have put up something for sale and a potential buyer is stopping by, please be armed and have a second person with you if possible.
I do not recommend OC spray and other less lethal instruments incl. taser and bean bags for your shotgun. Reason; if someone breaks into your home it’s not because they want to ask for a cup of milk or sugar. Be prepared and take necessary actions to protect you and your loved ones. If you like dogs and can have them please get one if you don’t have one already.
You don’t have to invest a fortune to have a (more) secure house and you will feel much better after you did it.
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Thank you for reading our newest blog entry and stay safe everyone.