Personal protection does not end when you enter your home. While your home does feel like a safe space, you need to have a plan in place to defend your loved ones and your home against bad guys. Having a home defense plan allows you to prepare for when that safe space isn’t so safe anymore.
A home invasion situation without a plan is like yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded movie theatre. Your main goal is to protect your life and the lives of your loved ones, so your plan needs to include every member of your family, and each person should have a task to accomplish. A home defense plan needs to be simple, effective and practiced.
Make sure you have resources prepared ahead of time.
1. Have a good alarm system installed set to activate instantly when a door or window is breached and use it religiously so you’ll be acutely aware of the moment someone enters your perimeter.
2. The core of the home defense strategy is having a designated safe room and assigned tasks. This safe room can be a bedroom, bathroom, or any designated room, preferably with a locking door. When at all possible, an adult, or a teenager should be gathering anyone younger or infirmed and bringing them to the safe room. In an emergency situation, people tend to panic if they do not know what to do.
3. Make sure firearms, flashlights and telephones are readily available. Waking up to an alarm, still foggy from sleep, is not the time to be fumbling with combination locks on a gun safe or scratching through your drawer looking for a light. Install quick-access gun safes next to your bed and make sure a phone and flashlight are on the nightstand.
4. Make sure you are trained to fire your weapon. Don’t let the first time you shoot your gun be when a bad guy has just broken in. Numerous schools exist that provide valuable instruction and practice in shooting to hit your target.
Once your alarm system goes off, it’s time to execute your plan.
The elements of your plan should be simple: isolate, defend, and wait for the police.
First, you need to clear the home so that you can identify the intruders quickly. At the same time, that adult or teenager needs to be calling the police. Tell them precisely where the family is located in the house. Tell them that you are armed, have received firearms training and that all your family members are safe and secure with you. Ask them to carefully and loudly identify themselves when entering the home.
While the family is gathering into a safe space, you should be retrieving a weapon and also moving to the safe room. If you encounter the bad guys, you should only engage if necessary to defend yourself against harm. However, if the bad guys are downstairs and the family is upstairs, get to the safe room and call the police. I know, in the movies the family goes to the safe room and the adult with the gun goes from room to room with their gun drawn. This is not a good idea. In fact, it is a suicide mission, which could leave you dead and your family unprotected. There could be more than one intruder, and they could be well armed. Once the whole family (including you) is in the safe room, it should be locked, and if possible, have the door blocked. Remain silent and listen. Once you have received the all clear from police, you and your family can leave the safe room.
Practice your home invasion plan regularly so that no member of the family is caught unprepared in the event that an intruder breaks into your home. While you pray that your home is never broken into, being prepared gives you options and puts you in greater control of your situation.