I moved recently and though my new place is in a safer neighborhood than my old one, I feel like it is the perfect time to take inventory of my home defense items and take stock of what I am going to need in my new place.
According to one statistic, a home break-in occurs every 13 seconds. In 2011, the FBI reports that in 2011 in Fort Worth, Texas—where I live—16,987 burglaries occurred. Most home break-ins occur during the day, when most people are not at home. Criminals choose homes that are easy targets, have easy access in and out, have the best escape route, and have enough places to hide outside. Bad people do not like home security systems, dogs, secured doors and windows, or well-lit areas.
There are a few basic commandments to home defense:
- Have good, sturdy locks on doors and windows. When you leave your house and when you turn-in for the night, make sure you lock all doors and windows.
- Have opaque blinds or curtains and keep them closed. Keep electronics, jewelry, and other expensive items out of view from windows and doors.
- Keep your outside well lit. Install motion detector lights on the front, back, and side of your house.
- Reach out to your neighbors. Look out for each other and report suspicious activity right away.
When I went to look at the new place, I checked out the three doors leading to the outside. All of them have chain locks. I also asked about the windows. They all have locks and some have even been painted shut. All the windows have blinds, which I always keep closed. There are four outside floodlights, which all work. In fact, the front light is the brightest in the neighborhood! I leave both my front porch and back patio lights on overnight. Burglars do not like to be in the spotlight when they attempt to break into a house.
Further, I keep different lights on inside the house at all times. Overnight it might be a single lamp, the kitchen light, or a light in the bathroom. If I know I will not make it home before dark, I always make sure I leave a completely different light on in the morning than the one I left on overnight. Sometimes I switch on the TV. My goal is never indicating that I have a routine. Therefore, if someone is casing my house, they can never be truly sure if I am home or not.
Knowing that the structure is secure, I can focus on what I need inside to help keep me safe. Since my new digs are located in a duplex, specific home defense ammunition is important. I like Speer Gold Dot Hollow Points for my .38 Special revolver. Hollow Point bullets have a better tendency to mushroom and then stay in inside the body, so there is less risk of penetrating through walls. Speaking of guns, do you have a sturdy safe in which you keep your guns? Gun safes prevent accidents from happening if you have children in your home, and prevent your guns from being stolen in a home invasion.
I already have a big Maglite®, but it is best to have a backup flashlight, just in case you have an unexpected bulb out or dead batteries. I am partial to Streamlight® and SureFire® lights, because they are super bright and super dependable.
Weapon-mounted lights are also an excellent choice if you have a gun with a rail. My home defense gun does not have a rail, but it does have a built-in laser, so I will just invest in a better hand-held than my Maglite. If your home defense weapon does not have a laser, I highly recommend investing in one. There are plenty of universal lasers that fit rifles and handguns with rails. Crimson Trace® makes a reliable and trustworthy rail-mounted laser that fits rifles and handguns. Insight Technology makes top-quality rifle and handgun rail-mounted light and laser combos at an affordable price.
My old house has an alarm system in it, but the new one does not. The Sabre Red GateKeeper door simulates a home security system by sounding off a very loud, 120-decibel siren when a door is breeched. Surprisingly, it is not necessarily the high-tech home security system that is a deterrent. A home security sign, and something that makes a very loud sound can do the job, and it is cheaper.
I am pretty sure I am missing something. What is your home defense plan?