We fill our homes with valuables, heirlooms, and possessions that often cannot be replaced. But the greatest and most valuable contents of our homes are, of course, our spouse and children. Being the victim of a home invasion does not only leave us with a sense of material and financial loss, but they also make us feel victimized, violated, and vulnerable.
We may not realize it, but there are things we can do that can cause potential predators and intruders to give our homes a second thought – and possibly pass them by entirely. Our homes should always be a refuge that give us a sense of safety and security.
Here are some tips to help make your home as safe as possible and deter potential unwanted intrusions:
1. If you own a firearm, make sure you know how to use it and feel comfortable when wielding it. Guns are not necessarily for everyone, and people with small children may be especially wary of having a firearm in the house. If you do have firearms, teach your children the proper respect for their potentially devastating power and keep the guns securely out of reach when not in use.
2. Keep your windows and doors locked. According to FBI statistics, over 25% of the total burglaries committed in the U.S. were “no force” entries, meaning the intruders simply walked right in through an unlocked door or window.
3. Install deadbolts on your doors and make sure there is a peephole accessible to all members of your family. Never open your door to someone you do not know.
4. Secure all sliding glass windows and doors with a wooden or metal bar, to prevent them from being opened if the latch or lock is disengaged or disabled.
5. Get a home security system and use the signs they provide to advertise that your home is electronically monitored against intrusions and break-ins. Do not give your security code to anyone other than members of your family that live with you, or a highly trusted friend, neighbor, or family member who may need it in the event of an emergency.
6. Have motion detection lights installed on your home’s exterior. Put these in locations that will provide the most coverage and illumination when they are activated (i.e., driveway/garage, corners of your house, etc.).
7. Plant bushes that are very thorny around your windows. The pain and inconvenience will likely cause an intruder to try to find another route in or discard the idea of burglary at your home altogether.
8. Designate an area of your home as a “safe room” and make it entry-proof once it is secured. Also known as a panic room, this will give your family members a safe place to go if the house is breached, where they can await law enforcement assistance.
While it is almost impossible to guarantee that you will never have to endure the experience of a home invasion, implementing some of these tips – or all of them – will get you going in the right direction toward making sure your home is more impervious to potential intruders, keeping it a safe haven for you and your family.