Most people don’t even know their home has been invaded until well after the fact, even in cases where the residents were home! These are instances where the burglar was after valuables, or something other than the intent to do harm to the occupants of the house. I have talked to people who literally saw the intruder in their bedroom and in their state of sleepiness did not realize who it was. Others never woke up while the thief was in their home.
5 Ways to Protect Your Home Against Invasion
Alert & Alarm Systems
Obviously you need to know if something is going down if you’re going to address it at the time. You don’t want to depend on your own ability to hear or sense danger. You can install a home alert or security system that covers all points of entry. The main point here is to make you aware of what’s going on so you are not caught completely off guard. You can call the cops later.
One alert system that works well is a dog or two. It doesn’t have to be a canine that would try to aggress an intruder. If it has keen hearing and likes to alert you to any unusual noise, you’re on the right track.
Secure Access Points
Houses have many potential entries, namely doors and windows. By nature doors are a weak spot, and windows even more so. All exterior doors should be of sturdy build, without windows that can be broken out to access the locks by reaching through. You want a deadbolt on the door as well as a regular knob.
Windows should have secure locking mechanisms that cannot be defeated from the outside without breaking the window. Old wooden windows are by nature insecure since portions of the frame can be removed or cut away to take out the glass. All windows should be equipped so you are alerted if they are broken, whether that is an electronic alarm device, or your canine friend.
Consider installing solid doors and keyed locks on bedroom entrances. Should someone defeat the exterior of your house, having another level of protection could be valuable. If you have a “safe room” in your house, make sure it has at least the same level of security as an exterior entrance.
Valuables should at least be well concealed and difficult to access. A safe or hidden and anchored lock box is a good idea for anyone who has cash, jewelry, or other valuable items in their home. This is especially important when you are away from your house.
Light The Way
Many if not most home breaks occur in the dark. Criminals prefer the cover of darkness. You can use this to your advantage as well. However, you need the ability to see in the dark if necessary. You may need to identify a subject in the dark as you challenge them with your gun in hand, or see so you can navigate your house without running into furniture. A flashlight on the nightstand is a common choice, but how about installing a wall switch in your bedroom that lights up the hallway and out into the living area, for example?
Know The Plan
If you live alone, your plan for a home intrusion will probably be quite simple. But if you have one or more family members, or children in the household, you should come up with a basic, easy to remember plan. Are you going to go investigate the sound of breaking glass, while your spouse gathers the children from their rooms and moves to the master bedroom? Will you and your spouse move to the baby’s room and hole up there with your shotgun while dialing 911?
You know your situation better than anyone. Make preparations to minimize the threat of break in, and have a plan to respond if it occurs. The extra peace of mind will be worth it alone.
The editor of Resounding Earth, and pursuer of relatively interesting information, Simon has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales, and is a photo-journalist and writer whose written and photographic work has been represented by the AFP news agency and appeared in newspapers across Europe and Asia.