Your house is your sanctuary, the place where you feel safe, where your family can develop in peace and harmony. Still, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be put in the situation to protect your happy place from various intruders who don’t like to respect the sanctity of your own house. This is where the idea of home defense shows its value. Are you prepared to defense the place you hold most dear from intruders and perpetrators?
You keep hearing on the evening news that someone broke into someone else’s home with the intention to steal. They used a door or a window that the house owners forgot unlocked and stole their valuables. These are actually some of the happiest intrusions, the bad ones ending up with someone getting hurt or worse, killed. Most people see the footage, feel sad about the owners for about 30 seconds, and move on to the next channel considering that such a horrible thing couldn’t happen to them.
Nobody wants to get up in the middle of the night with a stranger standing on the side of their bed, holding a gun and asking for money and other valuable stuff. This is a traumatic experience and if you are not prepared to face it may affect your life forever.
Doors and locks are our best idea of home defense and, in most cases, they do their job. Still, there are cases when thieves broke the door or a window and got in the house anyway, threatening the owners. So, having a door and locks on it doesn’t always help; you need to know a few home defense tactics so you can get yourself and your family out of this safely.
A wise man said that the best form of home defense is preparedness and caution. In order to do this you need to inspect your house from a burglar’s point of view and identify the weak points. There are measures you can take in order to make sure your house is among the last ones targeted by thieves. Believe it or not, these low-lives choose the easiest targets and usually keep away from well guarded properties.
Home defense preparedness could save you from going through a traumatic experience like having your home robbed. It’s traumatic because you don’t actually expect to see a stranger in the place where you feel most safe in the world; the place where you raise your children and teach them how to face life’s difficulties. So, when the time comes, you need to be prepared and kick those who have the stupid boldness of stepping inside your home uninvited.
Home defense preparedness: how to avoid a robbery
Well, as we already discussed, the best home defense is preparedness. In order to be prepared start today by making your home a more secure place. Try to get out of your comfort zone and make a good inspection of your house. Think about points of access and how to make a robber’s job as difficult as possible. Many home intruders look for easy targets and they give up if they don’t find an easy way in.
Follow the following steps to make your house a target almost impossible to hit:
- Install motion sensor lights to cover each door and window on the ground floor. This way, if someone tries to sneak in at night, these lights can produce a change of spirit in the mind of the perpetrator.
- Install a well made deadbolt lock on a solid door. These are pretty hard to break and a petty burglar won’t put his mind with it. They may be a bit expensive but they are worth every penny when it comes to your home safety.
- Reinforce your door frame with specially designed kick-resistant plates. Sometimes it’s not enough to have a solid door, you also need to reinforce the frame because this is the first door element that gives up under pressure.
- Don’t be stingy when you consider your home alarm system. Consider one with sensors and video monitoring. This way you’ll see who is at the door and you can install additional cameras to see in other parts of the house. We have a few great reviews for the best home alarm system so don’t forget to check them out!
- Consider getting a protection dog. A well trained dog can be the perfect protection preventing anyone from entering your yard and letting you know when you have visitors. There are places where you can get an already trained dog for protection. Before taking this decision, discuss it with your entire family to make sure everyone is on board. A dog means an extra responsibility around the house.
- Secure sliding doors. These are among the weakest points of your house as they can be forced open pretty easily. Ask a professional to help you prepare your home defense strategy by securing those doors.
- Leave a light on over the night – the oldest trick in the book. For someone looking at your house from the street it seems that someone is still awake and most burglars will avoid stepping in a house where someone is still up. Also, if someone does get in, you will have a light to see what’s happening.
- Trim the bushes and shrubberies in front of the house. We know that it’s amazing to have a shady garden in the summer but they offer burglars the perfect hiding place. It doesn’t matter that you have sensor lights and monitoring devices if perpetrators are hidden by bushes.
- Build a safe room. If you choose to go with this option, try to include the safe room when building the house so you won’t have to rebuild. Anyways, this room can protect you and your family from violent intruders who are thirsty for blood.
- Make a big fence – your house will be harder to observe from the street. There are smarter burglars who like to observer their targets first, in order to know where to hit so the job can be fast and easy.
As you can see, there are several methods to make our home safer and less appealing to intruders. Still, these are meant to scare any petty thieves that don’t bother with robbing prepared people. For more advanced perpetrators, you need more advanced home defense tactics and this is what we are going to talk about next.
What to do when you get an assailant in the house
The first item in your home defense tactics collection must be planning. When confronted with an assailant that wants to harm you or someone in your family there’s no time to react or get creative. Most people who don’t prepare for a situation where they need to confront an armed or violent stranger in their own house freeze. Before you get the chance to come around, the worst can happen and someone can get hurt. How will you be able to live with yourself knowing that you allowed a stranger to hurt your family?
So, make a home defense and a self defense plan. Discuss it with your family and put together a strategy. After the theoretical part is done, start the practice: test and retest the plan, develop it according to testing results, memorize it and rehearse it at least twice a year. When someone gets the bad idea to invade your home, you will all know what to do.
Your plan should include the following home defense tactics:
Escape routes from the attacker – if you can evade the attack and avoid confronting your attacker do it. After you are safe out, call the police and let them know your house has been invaded. This way you let the law enforcement organs do their job and catch the bad guys. In order for this to happen, always make sure that you have at least 3 escape routes and that everybody knows them.
These escape routes must be instinctual, so in case of an attack everyone has to know where to go as fast as possible. When you hear a strange noise downstairs, that doesn’t fit your usual house noises, go! Why 3 escape routes? The math is simple: if you have only one exit the attacker will be blocking it and you and your family will be trapped inside.
If you have two exits, there’s only one to use because the attacker will be blocking the other one. If there are three exits then you can choose which one to use. Also you have more chances to escape if there are two attackers.
- Meeting places and actions after you escape – your escape plan may work completely or only partially meaning that sometimes only one member of your family can escape. If this happens everyone has to know where to go to ask for help. If everything works out and you all manage to escape, but using different exits, agree over a meeting place.
- Create hiding places – plan B when the escape is not possible. Teach your family how and where to hide so assailants can’t find them. Also teach them to remain calm and use any opportunity they have to escape and call the police. Teach yourself and your family how to make barricades: for example, how to barricade a door in order to prevent someone from coming in. This could give you enough time to get out the window and let other people know you are in trouble.
Firearms – it’s not recommended to use them willy-nilly but, in some cases, they are extremely efficient. Get a protection gun and keep it in a safe place where children can’t reach it.
Also you must be able to reach it easily and load it fast. Take shooting lessons if necessary and learn how to fire a gun when under attack. Make sure that there are at least two weapons in the house and that the other adult in the house knows how to use it. This way, when you live to check weird noises, your family won’t be left defenseless and at the mercy of whoever is in the house. Also, check out our article on the best handgun for home defense so you’d know the type of gun you can use.
- Clean your guns – having a defense gun doesn’t mean to buy one and lock it in the safe so children won’t reach it. You need to exercise it, clean it and make sure it works regularly. A firearm that doesn’t work properly poses a bigger threat to your safety than the assailant itself.
- Improvise self defense weapons – teach everyone how to use a shovel or a foot stool as a self defense weapon. Sometimes you can’t reach your gun (or you don’t have one) but this doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with what you have around you. We have a great piece on homemade self defense weapons where you can learn about using various objects in the house in case of an attack.
- Call authorities – as soon as you identify and assailant in your house call the national emergency number (911 in USA) and let authorities know. Keep the conversation line open and listen to the operator. They can advice you until the police arrives and the 911 recording consists strong evidence in court (if it gets there).
- The confrontation – if there’s no way to avoid the confrontation with the attacker before the authorities arrive at the scene make sure that you fight back with all you’ve got. Try to avoid getting hurt by protecting sensible areas of your body and try to hit the attacker as well as you can. It would also help if you know a few self defense techniques, and we have a great article on this topic — you can check it out here.
If the attacker starts to back-up after a few hits it’s best to let him go. You will have the possibility to give his or her description to the police and they will catch the guy. Still if he doesn’t back-up and his rage increases this is your queue to hit him hard and good.
Don’t use the firearm unless you have to but don’t wait too long to decide. If you really feel your life and the well being of your family is in danger don’t think twice.
Home defense preparedness – the safe room
Sometimes, when you can’t escape and you can’t fight your attacker without getting hurt badly, a safe room is the perfect solution (and the last). There are two types of safe rooms:
- A special room with thick, concrete walls and a bolted door that can’t be broken.
- A normal room in your house, where you can barricade the door in order to keep the attackers out. It’s better if this room is upstairs (if you have an upper floor) so you can get to it as you retreat from the attackers.
Regardless the type of your safe room, it’s best to have one, just in case. Include this discussion in the home defense plan and make sure everyone understands its use. Also, here you should have at least one weapon, some supplies and a phone so you can contact the authorities. If you’re using a regular room, make sure that you have a possibility to escape the window by using a latter. An inside door won’t last too long even if you build a very effective barricade.
A specially designed safe room must have supplies of food and fresh water and you must be able to communicate with the authorities in case you are trapped inside. The safe room is very similar, in use, with the firearm. If you keep it maintained and you make sure to have everything you need inside at any given time, it will be extremely useful. Otherwise, it could be your tomb because no one knows to rescue you and the attackers can wait in the house until you come out.
There are many people out there that should have their human license revoked. These specimens not only break the sanctity of your home by barging in and disrupting your entire life, they also feed off your grieve and pain.
Many home invasions end extremely badly because the scams who had the nerve to break inside were also drugged or drunk and decided to have a little more “fun” with the entire family. This sort of people exists and if you don’t open your eyes today, you might regret it tomorrow. They may be your neighbors (you never know) or they may be total strangers that follow you home from the supermarket. Regardless of the situation, you have to be prepared and know how to react and defend what you hold the dearest.
As a father and a husband, you have the main responsibility in protecting the entire family but everyone should also be capable to protect themselves. That’s why it is important to teach your life partner how to fire a gun effectively and send your children to self-defense training. Each member of your family needs to know that people can be extremely dangerous (especially when they force their way in your house).
You don’t have to be a wealthy family in order to find yourself in a bad situation, so don’t count on the fact that robbers only hit those houses. It may be true that robbers, interested in valuable things only target the rich ones, but there are other types of human rejects that don’t care about money and only want to inflict pain. After reading all this, it’s time to take action and start your home defense preparation today!