Home Defense: The Essentials for Keeping Your Family Safe During a Break-in or Attack

Before delving into the details here, you need to know that home defense is a broad term that typically encompasses defense strategies for everything from an intruder to a wildfire. The goal here is to address strategies to protect against intruders. While all forms of defense are necessary and critical to survival, most people fear and want to prepare for a human attacker. Defending your home against such attackers comes down to preventative and defensive tactics.

Protect and Secure Your Property

The primary goal of a home defense strategy is limiting the likelihood of needing a defense. In other words, focus on tools and methods of prevention.

A burglar does not want confrontation. They will spend weeks casing a neighborhood to identify the most vulnerable targets: homes that sit empty often, have no security lights, no video cameras, and poor quality locks.

Installing motion-activated cameras and lights around your property and positioning doorbell cameras on all your exterior doors is an excellent first step to securing your property and reducing the risk of a break-in. You can take things a step further by installing deadbolts on all doors and window security bars or bar locks on all your windows, especially on the main floor. Finally, purchase a home security system.

Establish a Safe Room in Your Home

With the exterior of your home protected, it is time to think of the worst-case scenario: an intruder is in your home. While your instinct might be to attack, it is better to retreat to an established safe room and barricade the door. 

When most people think of a safe room, they think of a welded-steel room with a vault-like door; while these legitimate safe rooms are nice to have, not everyone can afford them. A safe room within the frame of this article is any room that provides a defensible position. 

For many people, the safest room in their home might be a bathroom or bedroom. When selecting the room, keep in mind that everyone in the house must get to the space quickly. Additionally, you do not want the room to have multiple doorways. Last, you want access to an exit is necessary — a window should work, especially on the ground level.

Keep Weapons and Phones Close

Your safe room needs to have access to your weapons and a phone. When an intruder breaks into your home in the middle of the night, you cannot expect to have the wherewithal to collect everything needed. If your bedroom is your designated safe room, store a gun safe in the closet and keep your phone charger on a nightstand.

Identify Escape Routes

Staying in your safe room and calling for the police is the best decision until it’s not. In most cases, barricading yourself in a room will give you enough time for a police response, but that depends on where you live and how motivated the intruder is. Therefore, no home defense plan is complete without planning for an escape. 

When planning escape routes, you should think of at least two exits from every room in your home. The exits do not have to be complex; for example, the exits might be the door and a window for the bedrooms. 

With a bit of preparation, you can significantly reduce the risks of your home ever being a target of an intruder. However, in the event of a break-in, knowing how and where you will defend yourself is key to your survival.

What are your favorite home defense strategies? Leave a comment.