In my brief time writing about home security and related subjects, I’ve discovered it’s a broad and diverse field that covers everything from sociology and government policy to technology and business.
When talking about the immediate implications for average people, home security does have one uncomfortable area that every person, whether they own a home or not, needs to address: home defense.
Believe it or not, there’s a difference between home defense and home security.
To put it simply, home security is what we do to keep criminals out. This would include home security systems, dead bolt locks, and motion detectors. Even concerned neighbors should fall into a comprehensive home security strategy.
Home defense is what we do when a criminal is already inside our home. It can be uncomfortable to consider a scenario when someone has gained access to your personal space. However, it is important to consider what to do, just in case the worst happens.
Hide Your Valuables and Do It Well
There’s usually only one reason a criminal is in your home: your valuables. This could be jewelry, guns, electronics, or even power tools. Whatever a criminal is looking for, homeowners need to make it as difficult as possible to find.
Perhaps the best place to hide any valuables is your children’s room. (Obviously, this advice should best be limited to valuables that are not dangerous to kids. Power tools, as listed above, probably wouldn’t fall into this category.) Most home security experts will tell you that burglars almost never go into kids rooms as there is usually little of value in those rooms. The downside is that you usually have to trust your kids not to play or break the valuables you hide in their room.
Your Home Security System Can Be a Great Tool
In emergencies, home security systems can save lives and are fantastic tools for home defense. Pretty much every modern home security system includes a secret panic code that can alert a monitoring station that you’re in distress. This code typically activates a silent alarm and is typically treated with increased urgency by most monitoring stations.
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Adding panic buttons to your home security system can be incredibly easy, especially if you have a wireless home security system. A panic button will immediately activate the system’s siren and a signal will be sent to a monitoring station.
Know The Lay Out of Your Home and Be Prepared
Never underestimate home field advantage. A burglar or criminal entering your home has one serious disadvantage… he’s entering YOUR home. You know the layout, which doors stick, how the stairs creek. These things work to your advantage if an intruder has entered your home.
If someone is in your home with the intent of robbing or harming you or your family, it’s best to get out and find help as fast as possible. Having a plan (similar to a fire evacuation plan) and knowing the layout of your home, even in the dark, can help keep you and your loved ones safe.
I’m not talking about some tricked out concrete fortress, like in the Jodie Foster movie. You can create a more than sufficient panic room on a budget.
Start by selecting an easily accessible room that is still out of the way. In a multi-story home, an upstairs room would be ideal as bed rooms are typically located upstairs. Basements and attics can also be great choices for a panic room but only if they can be conveniently reached.
Outfit your panic room with home security accessories, like the EZ Armor Door Jamb. This device reinforces doors to strengthen them and is even battering ram resistant. Include a few things like a pre-loaded cell phone, bottle water, and whatever else you deem necessary for defense. You can also coat any windows in your panic room with security film that make them shatter resistant. Of course, good old fashioned iron or steel bars can work just as well but might easily identify which room of the house is a panic room.