The Defensible Home: Three Security-Enhancing Habits to Adopt During Lockdown

   04.20.20

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who’s been forced to stay away from work and public places due to the Coronavirus shutdown, you’re probably wondering how long it’ll last, and whether what we once knew as normal will return.

Even in the best of times, it’s smart to expect that some days may present home security challenges or troubles, and to be prepared for them. During this global crisis, some jurisdictions are seeing strained or reduced police availability due to viral exposure. In other places, violent and non-violent prisoners are being released. The potential need to defend your own home or place of “essential” work grows as these conditions continue.

It’s helpful to think of home and personal defense as part of a way of life. Why not cultivate new skills and habits during this time that can help now or when “normal” is restored? Here are five activities that can be pursued right away that will help you and yours be prepared for challenges large and small. And if you need a remedy for boredom, they’ll do that too.

Identify assets in the home for cover, defense, and retreat

If you don’t already know what objects in your home will stop a handgun bullet, do some research online and figure it out. Reconsider every large object in living areas and bedrooms and designate them as preferred cover or last-resort concealment. Are your home defense guns within arm’s reach of the places you spend the most time? If not, can they be made to be without sacrificing security from small children or guests who belong in your home but should not handle your guns?

Defensible Home
Most furniture items offer concealment but not cover

In the event of a home invasion, or even a catastrophic weather event such as a tornado, where are the best spaces for retreat? What alternate but odd escape routes, like windows, might become useful in case of violence or fire?

Security Enhancing Habits
Door jambs provide some degree of cover

If you wanted to assail your home as an armed robber, what entrances might you choose? If you’ll take the time to plan how to use its contents and features in imagined invasions and gunfights, you will be at a double advantage over an invader who doesn’t know the layout of your abode.

Improve your physical fitness

The major factor not under your control in an encounter with a criminal actor is their determination. If you’re caught unarmed or are disarmed during an attack, physical fitness is a great friend to have! The current crisis offers a window of opportunity to develop a new physical routine or begin one. Even if you have nagging injuries or are long in the tooth, there are always ways to improve physicality. Find a fighting technique-specific program to order or stream, or visit YouTube and find one of the hundreds of physical trainers there whose program you can follow.

Fitness improves readiness. We can all do something to be more fit

Even if you’re already in good shape, consider aspects of improvement to make. If you’re strong but not flexible, check out a yoga program—if it works for former pro wrestler “Diamond” Dallas Page, now with his mail order DDP Yoga program, it can work for anyone! There are scores of free workout programs on YouTube. I’m partial to the no-wasted-time approach of Heather Robertson, who also has a Patreon channel. Fitness can reap real benefits if violence is visited upon your household.

Keep those blades sharp

Defensible Home
Work Sharp power sharpeners bring new life to large and small blades

Sharp blades are safer and more efficient for cooking, chores, cutting grass, and in worse-case events like cutting bindings or launching a counterattack. While the types of blade for each of these activities vary widely, they can all benefit from a good sharpening. For a quick fix on your pocket knife and kitchen paring tool, Work Sharp Tools’ manually-powered tools are great. Or check out their electric sharpeners for bigger jobs. Although the current crisis hasn’t been marked by power outages, knowing that you can efficiently split and chop wood for cooking or warmth lends peace of mind.

Defensible Home
Old axe ready to chop cooking wood after a sharpening session.
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