A baker’s dozen tips to preventing Home-Invasions by Nathan Barton © 2004
- Got Arms? : Burglars fear an armed and trained householder more than anything else, as a review of the web can tell you. Get and know how to use a pistol for self-defense, and make sure you keep it where you can find it in emergency. Practice regularly.
- Goodies: One simple reason your house is chosen is someone tipped off the home-invader that you have valuables. Your friends or children or baby sitter might have unintentionally bragged. Close your curtains and drapes regularly, and don’t show things off where they are easily visible from the outside or callers at the front door.
- Strangers: You tell your children not to talk to strangers, so why do you open the door to a total stranger?
- Peephole and Security Cameras: Install peepholes, talk through the door. In many places, there is a need for additional security, and inexpensive, dependable security camera systems, many web-ready, are available for low prices at Wal-Mart and other stores. But don’t depend on either cameras or peepholes – you can’t see everything.
- Posers: Home-invaders pose as delivery people, public workers, or people in distress. In some cases, these people moonlight as invaders – even police officers. Listen and learn what is going on in your area, and share with neighbors.
- Make a call: If in doubt about someone, under no circumstances do you open the door unless you get phone numbers to call their superiors. Verify the number by using the phonebook or directory assistance – don’t trust the number that the guy at the door gives you. If someone claims to be in distress tell him or her you will call the police for them.
- Do not call the police: If you live in a high crime area or where law enforcement takes a while to respond (much of the country), and if someone is trying to break into your house while you are in it, don’t expect the police to respond in time. Be prepared to defend yourself. Sometimes, calling the fire department will get help to the scene quicker. (Do this only if you are desperate. Firefighters are not equipped to handle violence. However squealing sirens can deter a criminal.) Better yet, call 911 and tell them you are being invaded, that you are armed, and will shoot to kill if necessary (whether you will or not) – this often gets police to respond faster.
- Get connected – stay connected: Consider a second line or a cell phone in your bedroom. If you use something other than dial-up, consider internet phone service. Burglars often cut phone lines outside or remove a telephone handset from the receiver when they enter a home, to prevent outgoing calls from extensions.
- Get alarmed: An alarm system activated while you are sleeping will prevent a burglar from getting to far. Newer alarms have cellular options, a safeguard even if the phone lines are cut.
- Got more arms? : In addition to lethal weapons, having a non-lethal weapon (such as a Taser or a Pepper spray) in close proximity to various places in your house, such as the front door, can debilitate your attacker before they gain control and let you get to your primary weapon.
- Locks and security: Call a qualified person, such as a locksmith, to take a physical security survey to help you determine the most efficient way to lock up and otherwise secure your home. There are many products on the market that only provide a false sense of security. Who is qualified? A locksmith should be a professional associated with well-known manufacturers. Security services should also have credentials, including training or military (Security Police or Military Police) experience, and should provide references.
- Get even more armed. Everyone in the family, from about age 6 or 7 on up, should be familiar with the weapons, security, and procedures in case of an invasion. While the safe age for a child to have their own weapons (including .22 rifles, bb guns, and knives, as well as sidearms) varies from child to child, as soon as you as their parent determine that they are responsible, have them take that responsibility. Even the youngest child should be given basic firearms training to know WHY they are not toys and WHY you do not share them with friends.
- Friends and neighbors. Get to know your next-door neighbors, on both sides, in back AND across the street. Keep an eye on their place, let them know if something odd is going on, and they’ll do the same for you. Wave and smile at each other, even if you aren’t the best of friends – a close-knit community can scare off would-be invaders. At the same time, don’t divulge too much information to each other about travel plans or possessions – it is easier to spill the beans about someone else than yourself.
I've gotten tired of the so-called "security experts" who never mention the true facts, and believe that the only time there should be guns in a house is when a cop shows up. So I took a checklist and severely modified it, to produce this (I also fixed a lot of grammar in rewriting it - no surprise with hoplophobes, I guess.)
Please post your comments here or send to me! Thanks.