It’s estimated that nearly 3.7 million burglaries occur every year. With someone being home at the time in nearly a third of the break-ins.
With stats like that, it’s important to know how to protect your family in the event of a home invasion. But what steps should you take? And is there anything you can do to prevent one in the first place?
Let’s look at several ways you can keep your family safe against home invasions.
Install a Security Alarm
One of your biggest allies in a home invasion is having a security alarm. Not only does it alert you when someone has broken in, it immediately alerts the authorities as well. Saving precious time when every second counts.
Make sure there are sensors on all entry points into your home. And keep your system on while you’re there. Criminals are counting on you to let your guard down and turn your system off.
Also, install a system that remains active even in the event of a power outage, internet failure, or the wires get cut.
Thieves are looking for an easy target. So, with that in mind, make your home as unattractive to intruders as possible by using several deterrents.
Install lights with motion detectors. Plant thorny bushes underneath windows and get a dog who can draw unwanted attention through barking. Stick alarm system stickers in windows, even if you don’t have an alarm.
And don’t leave evidence of new purchases in your outdoor trash. Empty boxes of new TVs or computers lets criminals know what goodies you have stashed in your house.
Don’t Open Your Door
One of the easiest ways a thief can gain access to your home is if you open the door for them. They know that’s when you’ll have any alarms turned off. Plus, it’s as simple as pushing their way in.
When you get a knock at the door, make sure you know who it is. Having a peephole or a glance out the window makes it easy.
And don’t think opening a door with a security chain on is going to keep them out. Chains can break using a minimal amount of force.
Strengthen Entry Points
If someone is bound determined to force their way into your home, make it as difficult on them as possible.
All exterior doors should be solid core, have deadbolts, and attached with at least three-inch screws. Added features such as anti-kick solutions and bump-proof locks defend against brute force entry.
Keep all windows locked, even second-floor windows. Using locks that prevent windows from being opened past a certain point is another great feature to have.
Place anti-break film on windows and sliding glass doors. But it’s also a good idea to keep all heavy objects out of your yard that someone can use to smash through the glass.
And to secure your sliding glass door even more, place a rod or wooden block cut to fit in the door track. This prevents anyone from forcing the door open.
Make a Safe Room
Having a safe room in your home will provide your family protection in the event of a home invasion. Usually, this is a closet or interior room with no windows.
Safe rooms should be behind a solid core door that opens inward, preventing the intruder from gaining access to the hinges. And these hinges, preferably four of them, should be high-quality material attached with three-inch or longer screws.
Install two deadbolts, one above the doorknob and one below. And for added protection, use something to brace the door shut. Www.fightingchancesolutions.com, for example, offers a bar that secures the door shut and can be easily removed when needed.
Other safe rooms musts are a peephole, to be able to see who is in the hallway. An extra cell phone. And, if you’re comfortable with it, a weapon.
Have a Family Plan
Every member of your family should know what to do during a home invasion. Having a family plan in place will prevent any confusion and help give peace of mind.
The plan should include what to do during the day, or in the event of a night invasion. Where to go, whether that be a safe room or routes of escape with an outdoor meeting point. And ways to contact the authorities.
It’s always a good idea to conduct home invasion drills. It puts your ideas into action and lets you see what works and what doesn’t. Giving you a chance to change something before it’s too late.
Be Careful Who You Share Plans with
While it may be tempting to talk about details of an upcoming trip. Give out the alarm code to friends and family who agree to help out. Or tell them where you hide your house key outside, this could come back to bite you.
That’s because you never know who is listening or which wrong hands that info might fall into.
Be very selective and careful when giving out information. Even if criminals don’t use it to their advantage now, you never know when in the future they’ll decide to cash in on it. And you very well could be home at the time.
Many people feel safer with weapons. And if you choose to arm yourself, make sure you get the training and permits required.
When you buy a gun, get training to learn how to use it and know what its limitations are. If your state requires a concealed to carry permit, always carry it with you! You will find yourself in trouble with the law if you don’t.
And keep your gun safely stored away from children, even older kids. It only takes a split second for a curious mind to get into something they’re not supposed to, with dire consequences.
But if you’re not comfortable with owning a gun, yet want something to help protect yourself, there are alternatives. Pepper spray, a stun gun, baseball bat, or even a knife are all weapons that can help save your life.
With a Bit of Planning, You Can Protect Your Family Against Home Invasions
The thought of an intruder getting into your home with your family there is terrifying. But with some planning and know how, you can protect your family and give yourself some peace of mind.
Need more ideas on how to keep your home and family safe? Check out these 10 tips for simple ways to improve your home security.