A lot of families have plans in place for how to deal with emergencies. We have plans for fires, plans for tornados, and in some parts of the country, plans for earthquakes. But many families haven’t put together a comprehensive home security plan. That’s unfortunate. Having a comprehensive home security plan is the best way to ensure that your family never experiences a robbery when you’re gone, or the worst-case scenario of a home invasion when you’re home. Putting a plan in place isn’t tough. It just requires some thought, practice and time investment.

The First Line of Defense

It’s helpful to think of your home security strategy in terms of a military analogy. When soldiers set up camp, the first order of business is setting up a security perimeter. For your home, the best way to begin a security strategy is by starting to think about home security systems. Preventing intruders from entering your home in the first place is far better than having to deal with them once they’re inside your home.

The Best Offense

Many homeowners have resolved their home security concerns by purchasing a handgun. That’s fine. But if you just go out and buy a handgun and that’s where your preparation stops, that’s asking for trouble. The first problem is that merely owning a handgun does nothing for you except provide a false sense of security. Having a gun for the purposes of home security requires commitment. You need to spend enough time at the range to get comfortable and firearm training is definitely advisable.

The Importance of Training

Being able to shoot accurately on a range is a far different skill set than being able to wake from a sound sleep in the dead of night and successfully engage an armed intruder. And if you have children, bringing a gun into your home without educating your kids about gun safety is a bad idea. If you have a handgun for home security, you have a responsibility to learn how to use it competently. Homes that contain a handgun, an incompetent gun owner and children, constitute a greater risk to the family than any threat posed by potential intruders. If a firearm is part of your overall home security strategy, you and your family need to have a plan in place for exactly what each family member needs to do in the event of a home security breach.

Situational Awareness

The plan you put in place needs to emphasize situational awareness. You can never predict how things turn out in a burglary situation. But the one thing you can control is how alert your family is to potential security threats. If your family is awakened by the sound of breaking glass in the middle of the night, each person should know exactly how to respond and where they need to go. If you have a safe zone as part of an overall strategy, you need to have certainty that every family member will act immediately and appropriately to the situation. It’s a good idea to have occasional drills late at night or early in the morning. Planning for the worst is a good way to ensure that it never happens. And if you have good primary defensive tactics with secondary offensive tactics built into your plan, you’re well on your way to an effective and comprehensive home security strategy.

Photo: Jimi Glide

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