How to Protect Your Home and Family Against a Home Invasion
Home Invasion: The very words can send a chill down the spine. It seems almost every day we read about or see footage of some innocent citizen being terrorised in their own home by aggressive house-breakers.
The official advice from authorities is always the same; ‘Don’t resist, don’t antagonise them. Hand over your valuables and rely on your insurance cover. Hide if you can.’
The trouble is, when you’re face to face with a volatile, aggressive home invader it’s hard to think rationally. Add in the fact that there’s a good chance the perpetrator is off his/her face on some sort of chemical concoction anyway – and not likely to appreciate your attempts at appeasement – and we have the makings for a minor disaster.
So What Can We Do to Protect Ourselves From Home Invaders?
Our best chance of surviving a home invasion without suffering assault or injury lies in preventative measures. Preparedness is our best weapon against home invaders. The harder we make it for thieves to gain access to our homes, the more likely it is they’ll simply look elsewhere. (In most cases, at least.)
It’s important to note here, that even the best home invasion/burglary prevention measures aren’t infallible. If someone really wants to get in, there’s precious little we can do to stop them. What we can do is buy time.
Time is the most precious thing in these situations. Time to gather your loved ones together and time to either hide or prepare your defence.
In this article, we’ll be presenting tips and advice on how you can swing the odds in your favor. How you can best fortify your home to better your chances of protecting your family and avoiding becoming victims.
Home Invasion or Burglary – What’s the Difference?
If you’re at home, and someone enters your home illegally, that’s Home Invasion.
If you’re away from home, then it’s Burglary. It’s as simple as that.
Either way, our objective is the same; make their task as difficult as possible and hopefully they’ll just go somewhere else. I’d love to say ‘make their task so difficult they’ll give it away in favor of a real job’ but let’s face it, that’s not likely to happen.
A daytime intruder is most likely going to look for a house that appears unoccupied. If they’re disturbed they usually head for the hills.
An intruder who breaks in at night is a different proposition. They know it’s likely that you’re at home, so they’ll be prepared for a confrontation. Depending on where in the world you live, this confrontation could end up with you shooting them dead. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating that as a solution)
What can we do? Well, it comes back to the above; making it as difficult as possible for them. Making their lives difficult works in two possible ways:
Maybe they’ll decide your place isn’t worth the effort, or
They’ll make a lot of noise and take precious minutes getting in, giving you time to retreat to a safe place.
Criminals, in general, are usually pretty lazy. That’s why they choose to be criminals in the first place. There are some, of course, who actually get off on the whole ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ thing and still others who just love violence and aggression. Still, even these will usually prefer to avoid confrontation if the odds aren’t stacked in their favor. Pain and violence are great so long as it isn’t them on the receiving end.
An interesting aside is that many home invasions are the result of mistaken identity. Criminals like drug dealers, professional thieves, etc tend to have a lot of cash or valuables laying around. It makes sense then, that they will themselves be likely targets. Yeah, I know, ‘Who cares,’ right? Well, we do if they mistake our home for some Drug Lord’s pad. These attacks are usually the most violent, as well, as the invaders assume they’re dealing with fellow low-lifes with no more scruples than they have.
How Can We Deter or Ward Off Potential Home Invaders?
The first line of defence for most of us is adopting a defensive mindset. Never open the door to a stranger, don’t go wandering around outside in your underwear with a golf club because your significant other ‘heard a noise’, stuff like that. You might think we run the risk of ruining our lives with suspicion, but the hard truth is that we do live in dangerous times.
The next step is installing the best home defence technology we can afford.
Your First Line of Defence Will Probably Involve a Good Security Door.
You’ll notice I said Security Door, not Barrier Door. There’s a big difference. Many companies market what they call Barrier Doors, designed to look like Security Screen Doors, that in fact are no more than slightly up-market insect-proof doors.
A decent security door is essential for your home’s defence. You need a door that isn’t just secure, but LOOKS secure! A door that says ‘Move along burglars, you won’t get in here without a fight’. And don’t forget the windows either. Along with a front or back door, your windows are probably your home’s weakest point.
I’ll be adding an article specifically discussing security doors shortly. Please revisit this site soon for this and more updated content.
What About Security Cameras or Alarms?
A criminal is unlikely to target your home if, in addition to a secure front door, you have a highly visible camera or alarm system. Everybody these days seems to want their 15 minutes of fame, but I doubt that extends to house breakers.
Nowadays, the standard of surveillance systems and the value for money has never been better. Systems that just a few years ago would have cost thousands can now be bought for just a few hundred dollars. In addition, many modern systems have features that would have made an early James Bond jealous.
Cameras that can stream live images to your phone or tablet; alarms that notify any number of predetermined people; tiny video cams that would fit into a matchbox, yet will record/steam HD images; the list goes on.
You can spend as little or as much as your budget allows. Just remember the old adage: You get what you pay for. Shop around by all means, but don’t just buy the cheapest available until you’re sure it will do what you want or need.
There’s another way to look at this: if you pay too much, what have you lost? Answer: some of your money. If you pay too little though, you stand to lose ALL your money because the item might not do what you bought it for in the first place.
Does Your Home Need a Monitored Security Service?
If you’re serious about protecting your home and loved ones, investing in a reliable monitored security service could be a good investment. Unfortunately for many of us, these services tend to come with a hefty price tag. If you can afford it, fine. If you can’t though, what are the alternatives?
Well, aside from making your home as burglar-proof as possible, and investing in one or more decent deterrent devices, (cameras, alarms, etc) the real key to home security comes from being prepared; having the right defensive mindset. The best security service or system will be useless if you neglect to lock your doors, for example.
Do you have a designated ‘safe room’ in your house? A place where your family could retreat to in the event of the worst-case scenario?
Bathrooms or basements tend to be the most suitable places to set up as safe rooms. You’ll need to make sure there are good, strong locks in place though, and check to see if you have good phone reception. Once safely inside, you’ll need to call for help.
Don’t forget that potential house breakers very often pose as all sorts of tradesmen, delivery persons etc. Stay behind your security screen when answering the door. If someone asks to use your phone, offer to make the call for them. You may feel silly for being suspicious, but that’s way better than becoming the next victim.
Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share on the subject?
Have you, or anyone you know, been the victim of a home invasion?
Feel free to join the conversation via the Comments Section below.