For many Americans, home invasions are what happen to “other” people. Most people do not plan for this, as they do not believe they will ever be the victim of this type of crime, or any type of crime for that matter. Initially the best defense is awareness. Being alert can save your life and that of your family. As in any emergency situation, Do Not rely on the police or other people to come to your rescue in your time of need.
You will need to rely upon yourself and/ or your family members as law enforcement can only respond to what crimes they are aware of. If by chance they are made aware of a crime in progress, there is still the issue of how much time will pass before they actually arrive on scene. At that point we must also consider this home invasion could turn into a hostage situation. If that happens then your chances of escape as well as your choices shrink considerably.
9 CRITICAL TIPS THAT MAY HELP YOU PREVENT A POTENTIAL HOME INVASION
- NEVER open the door for a simple knock or for anyone selling or asking questions unless you know them. If you open it, you have just allowed the criminals entry to your home and have jeopardized the safety of your entire family.
- Develop a crisis or emergency plan with your family. Rehearse it so that everyone is sure of his or her roles. Try to work in as many variables as you can think of. If you do not know how to develop this type of crisis plan, please call defense coach university at: 1-800-820-0882 for further assistance.
- Keep a cellular phone accessible inside your home and close to you at all times. Make sure it is always charged and in good working order. Your cell phone is no good if it is off; leave it on through the night.
- While in your home, keep all the doors locked. Do not leave your garage door open at any time, unless you are doing something directly in front of it. If you are outside mowing the lawn, keep the garage door closed and locked. If you take the bikes out for a quick ride around the block or neighborhood, lock all doors and windows before leaving that space.
- Vary the routes you travel daily to work and or recreational activities. Criminals watch for patterns and can monitor people’s habits as they observe you. This makes you both vulnerable and accessible, which is very dangerous. Don’t be predictable! Vary the routes you take and the times with which you do things in your daily life. Make it difficult for any criminal or opportunist to pin point where or when you will be somewhere.
- When approaching your home after being out, scan the area for anything out of place or unusual prior to entering your property especially before opening any door. If you have a “feeling” someone is watching or following you, do not go home. Instead call the police immediately and give them your description and tell them where you are. If you know where the police station is or even a fire station, drive there without hesitation. If that is not possible, drive to the most public place you know of, where there are lots of people. In this case, you may want to attract attention to yourself, as a protective measure so honking the horn is not only acceptable but also advisable.
- Set up key words or phrases with your family members so that you can all communicate an emergency covertly, in the event you or a family member is in trouble. An example of this is as follows; you are out shopping, your youngest daughter who is 16 years old is home, but a hostile intruder is with her. You call her from your cellular phone on the way back from your work or shopping and she answers with a “hello”. As a concerned but unaware parent at that moment, you will likely respond with, “hi, what are you up to?” or something like this.
In order to signal you that she is in immediate danger, she replies as follows, “I’m feeling kind of “blue” so I’m just taking it easy. The key word is “blue”, in this case, which alerts the family member that person is in immediate danger, and they can then respond by calling the police. Some people also add a second security measure by telling the family member or friend to push any key on the key pad a couple of times before speaking or before hanging up. If you are the person in trouble and do this, you may need to explain this off as being “nervous” so the intruder does not get suspicious.
- When possible, designate or construct one room or place in your home to be the “safe room”. This room must maintain a very solid door (fire proof when possible), heavily constructed walls and ceiling and you will need to fortify the door hinges as well. Always keep a form of communication, preferably a cellular phone in that space that is active and fully charged and test the reception to make sure you will actually be able to use the phone in case of emergency. You may also want to consider potable water, non-perishable food items, weapons, separate ventilation system and electrical supply when feasible.
- Setup your entire living space as a “defense zone” and divide it as such into individual defense zones so that if a home invader breaches your home, you can then use whatever is available within each defense zone to assist you in fending off any intruder. An example of a defense zone is your kitchen. What is in your kitchen that could help you fight off an intruder if that became a reality? You likely have knives, forks, spoons (yes, I said spoons. With some training, anything can become a weapon or used to disrupt an attacker), and pots and pans, which can be employed as a physical barrier to someone trying to attack you with say a knife, or as an impact weapon with which to strike. In the bathroom, you may have hair spray. That and a lighter could help you potentially change the level of commitment of an attacker. There are also combs and other household products that may be employed to deter an attacker enough so that you can escape.
In the end it will boil down to your own awareness, training and quick wit which will help you thwart this potentially deadly crime. For more information on how Defense Coach University’s training, education and services can help with your security and safety goals visit us online at: www.defensecoachu.com or call us at: 1-800-820-0882.