If you read enough gun articles involving personal protection, you’ll come across a small cadre of CCW holders who take their safety to the extreme. These groups advocate staying armed at home. Their thinking is that home invasion attacks involving one or more armed suspects with robbery or rape on their minds require that you stay strapped up with your pistol even behind the safety of your locked doors. That idea is a hard sell if you live with your romantic partner who is not into guns. It’s an even tougher sell if you have children of any age in your home. Besides, it’s just hard to be that vigilant, for that long, every day and all night.
What Should Your Home Invasion Defense Plan Look Like?
Wearing your gun every waking moment sounds uncomfortable. And leaving your gun in plain sight is just not a good idea, because it may be discovered by your buddy’s kid or the cleaning lady. Worse yet, it could be stolen by the daytime heroin-addicted burglar. Or it could be used on you by the nighttime meth-tweaking hot prowler. Regardless of who it is, you need a coordinated, connected home defense plan. Then you must discuss this home invasion defense plan with every person who lives in your home.
The biggest part of safety is situational awareness. The majority of home invasion robberies are not random, unplanned attacks. These suspects usually know something about the home and its occupants. Sometimes, it’s a guy doing maintenance work at the home, who tells some of his crooked pals about the valuables he saw when he was inside. It could be a group of attackers who followed the victim home from a casino after a big win. Or it could be a business owner home from the bank, or a woman home from the gym. Knowing you and your property are being watched or could be surveilled is an eerie feeling. However, it’s one you have to always watch out for.
So How Can You Secure Your Home?
So this brings us to the crossroad questions of home defense: How do I keep my gun as close to me as possible at home? How do I do that safely, with partners, roommates, and especially kids under that same roof? How do I teach my family what to do in a home invasion emergency, so I can focus on stopping the attacker(s)? Do I truly know the legal requirements and limitations for home self-defense with my firearm?
Have Two of Everything
Since I have good locks, a steep driveway, bright exterior lighting, five dogs (don’t ask why), and vigilant neighbors, I don’t feel the need to be armed on my body at home. My guns are hidden in two places in my two-story home. That means I can get to them quickly and no visitors (or their kids) would ever find them. Having a gun on each floor proves the value of the Navy SEAL Team motto: “Two is one and one is none.” If you live in a multi-level home or a mini-mansion, invest in two gun safes and put them in different parts of the house. Besides having guns in two locations, it makes tactical sense to keep two flashlights, two first-aid kits, and extra magazines for those particular guns with them.
Have a Safe Room
Every dwelling can benefit from making a safe room. Even if you live in a studio apartment, a mobile home, or a one-bedroom apartment, you can put a deadbolt on your bathroom or your closet door. Teach your family to go there, lock it down, and dial for help as you confront the threat. I’ve seen a safe room created behind three deadbolts: first at the master bedroom door, the second a few feet away at the master bathroom door, and the third at the interior master closet door inside that bathroom. It would take even Harry Houdini a bit of time to get past all of those.
Have a Landline
When it comes to getting ahold of the cops lickety-split, you may want to invest in one of those old relics of the ancient era known as a landline phone. Smartphones are great, except when they’re not. Spotty cell tower coverage means you can’t always get a signal. (I lived in a home with steel studs and had to go outside to make calls.)
In addition, in many states dialing 911 gets you the state highway patrol, not the local police or sheriffs. This could involve a lengthy transfer time. Ask your cable company to bundle a hard phone line into your monthly package. Then use your new house phone just for 911 calls. You’ll get a better, more accurate response from the dispatchers, because your line is trunked to your address. I know cell phones have GPS signals, but not every city or county can find you on a map if their cell technology is not as sophisticated as yours.
Have Motion Sensor Lights
I’m a sort-of fan of motion sensor lights for the exterior of your home. I like the idea that they’re automatic and can come on when one or more bad guys creeps close. But what lights up the bad guy can also light you up. Remember you don’t want to be seen until you’re in a safe, tactical position to point your gun at or shoot at what is preparing to harm you. Better to have motion-activated lights in areas you’re unlikely to be and switch lights in areas you can control.
Have a Plan for Late Night Invasions
A lot of crooks work at night and in the wee hours of the morning. In order to protect yourself and your family, you must make an accurate assessment of your depth of sleep. If you’re one of those light-sleeping people who can hear a moth whizzing on a cotton ball at two miles, then can spring out of bed on high alert, you can get into self and family protection mode quickly and safely. If you’re one of those groggy, disoriented, heavy-sleeper types, you’ll need to train yourself to come fully awake before you put your hands on your gun.
You never want a scenario where you’re staggering down a dark hallway in a half-asleep haze with a gun in your hand. Don’t put yourself in a position where you’re trying to figure out who is standing at the other end. Train your sleep depth, so you can protect your home – no matter the hour.
Is this what your home invasion defense plan looks like? Let us know in a comment below!