Family Safety and Home Protection
What you Need to Know about Family Safety and Home Protection
Two most Common questions
The two most common questions I am asked by people are, what should they do when they discover that there home has been broken into? And, what they should do if intruders break into their home while they are there?
The good news is, people are asking questions about “what to do.” In contrast, every family should already have a plan of action for these types of scenarios. A vast majority of people don’t bother to think about this until they themselves become victims. So, let’s clear up some facts now.
My years in law enforcement, responding to and investigating burglaries, home invasions, or any crimes of confrontational violence demonstrated one thing. Few victims give much thought about the “what if’s.” What if, they find themselves falling prey to, or becoming a victim during a burglary, home invasion or confrontational violent crime.
Because they do not have any awareness of becoming a victim, they are not prepared for such events when they occur. Most people feel that it won’t happen to them. That’s what those who became victims thought too. The result is the same, you are left in panic and trauma and openly vulnerable to the attacker(s).
Be Cautious Develop an Awareness
Alone: Why not spend some time developing an awareness to circumstances that can escalate beyond your control. Why not peek around the corner before entering a dark parking lot, or pay attention while walking alone to your surroundings, and people unaware of who you may bump in to.
Home: It is in your best interests to use common sense and take precautions by cleaning up clutter in your yard and around windows eliminating hiding spots, have a dog to protect you, lock your doors even when home, and not answering the door for just anybody who knocks. Be aware of your surroundings and take precautions so that you do not become a victim.
Crime: Doesn’t occur unless the criminal has three elements in their favor: the desire, ability and opportunity to commit the crime. You can take the opportunity out of the equation by becoming aware that crime can happen to you and take a “prevention” attitude.
Do what you can do to prevent incidents from happening, which is usually just applying common sense. A criminal may have the desire and ability to commit a crime but without an opportunity, a crime will not occur. Prevention take the opportunity away.
Need to Know Facts
Once a crime is reported and the police are summoned, by phone or otherwise reported, the bad guys have most likely already left the scene. Meaning that when the police arrive their efforts are focused immediately on:
- Getting medical attention to those in need
- Process the scene and investigate to investigate the crime
- Look for the suspects through neighborhood statements and descriptions
It is unrealistic to count on the police to have a 6th sense and know what will take place, when and who did it. They can’t be everywhere at once. If victims and witnesses are able to note descriptions and identify the intruder that is a big help. Relaying that information to responding law enforcement will aid them in the apprehension on the way to the scene to help you.
Once the police are on the scene and they make sure the area is secure, they will focus on medical attention to those the injured, process the scene, interview witnesses and neighbors, and check to see if anyone may have a video camera that can assist in identifying and capturing the suspects.
Although the police want to make every effort to help those in need, at some point we as citizens have to take responsibility to prevent our families and property from falling victim to crimes, and help keep neighbors safe. Thus, eliminating the potential of becoming a target.
We can most support this effort at a basic level by maintaining an awareness of safety, look out for one another, talk about a plan with your family members and neighborhood watches. We discuss this further in my Two-Step Approach to Family Safety and Home Security (link at the end of this article).
When families, neighbors and neighborhood watches work together with police, crime decreases. Under these circumstances, usually these types of neighborhoods have video cameras with video streams to help identify anything that may lead police to solve a case.
Remember those Crazy “drills” back in School?
You practiced them all the time back in grade school. Natural disaster drills: ie, hurricane, earthquake, fire and tornado drills, the common denominator in each is the “plan and practice.” It’s the same as plan and practice methods used in preparing for:
- Home Invasion
- Sexual Assault
- Parking lot Attack
No one wants to be a victim, yet if you become one, you are forced to reaction. If you are forced to react, you want to reduce the odds of it happening to you through – “Prevention.” That way, when it does happen to you, the practice you have dedicated to your plan will pay off.
There are two good articles that discuss this in more detail below. Feel free to familiarize yourself with them:
- A Plan to Keep your family Safe
- Reinforce your Plan with a Security System
12 Tips to Prevent Intruders from getting into your home
Rather than being “blindsided” by criminals and while trying to react to a situation of which you now in the middle of, let’s go over an awareness of 12 preventive tips to help. Include these 12 steps in your plan. Keep in mind that even the best plans can fall apart at the worst times, so as you become more experienced with your plan, you may add more tips. This will serve as an excellent plan to get you going though. At least your plan will catapult you into action mode instead of a chaotic panic and potential for injury or even death.
- Install solid core doors, heavy duty locks, and window security devices
- Use long heavy duty screws to secure lock strike plates to the door frame
- Look through the door peephole before opening the door
- Use your porch light to help you to see clearly outside
- Use a video doorbell camera system
- Lock all doors, windows, and garages at all times
- Never open the door to strangers or solicitor
- Call the police if the stranger at the door acts suspiciously
- Alert your neighbors to suspicious solicitors working the street
- Hold a family meeting to discuss home security plans
- Set the home perimeter alarm at night, if you have one.
- Maintain an armed alarm system “on” at all times home or not
For more in-depth information about how to prevent Intruders from breaking in to your home
Why Buy A Home Security System
6 Life Saving Reasons you to buy a Home Security System
A home security system, when set up properly will serve as an alert that notifies you when there is potential trouble. This alert allows you a head start on an early assessment of what is coming your way. When a prowler steps in to the path of your outdoor flood lights sensor and into the path of your video doorbell alarm you will know and they will be recorded.
Now that you know that an unknown or unwanted person is approaching your home or hiding in your bushes, you contact the police and begin your family plan of action.
Should they try to break in, the windows and door sensors will trigger causing the loud audible alarm to sound off. This will most likely scare the person away, notify the neighbors (calling 911), the triggered alarm notifies the police, and your family action plan is in full swing.
Bonus Benefits of a Home Security System
- Fire Protection Notification
- Manages Output of Electricity
- Lowers Home Owners Insurance Premiums
- Protects You from Odorless Gas
- Notifies Medical and Emergency Services
- Monitors and Manages your Home Security and Automation
Safe Rooms on a large scale, have been used throughout history as protection from acts of terrorism, bullets, missiles, bombs, chemical attacks, and nuclear bombs. People of wealth or certain high social positions have use them from perceived or real threats and enemies like kidnappers and home invasions. A well-built room can protect you and your family from extreme events or people. Safe rooms on a larger scale are heavily reinforced concrete and metal sealing off the family from everyone within a home. They have supplies, air and electronics to survive for days.
A safe room for our purposes will refer to a smaller scale reinforced room to flee to in the event is a home invasion or Burglary. It is a fortified room that is installed within your private residence to provide a hiding place in the event of a break in, home invasion, or violent intruders. You’ll want to have a charged cell phone to contact law enforcement in it also.
The most basic safe room is the small space within a closet. The hollow-core door is replaced with an exterior-grade solid-core door that has a deadbolt, long hinge screws and strike-plate screws to resist battering. Sometimes, the ceiling is reinforced, or gated, to prevent easy access from the attic or from an overhead crawl space.
There may also be a monitor for external security cameras and a peephole. Safe rooms are typically stocked with basic emergency and survival items like a flashlight, blankets, a first-aid kit, water, packaged food, self-defense tools, and a simple portable toilet.
Safe rooms can be hidden behind many household items, such as mirrors, bookcases, and fireplaces.
An Escape Plan
As part of your escape plan, to survive a home invasion may require a family member to take on the sole task of escaping or help and to call the police. It’s better to have help on the way, than to subject everyone the whole family to a hostage situation and witness their worst nightmare. Intruders will have lost the advantage of “time being on their side as well.
With a solid plan of escaping, include a destination and what to say when you get there. For example, a plan to run two-doors down to notify the neighbors and call 911. It’s important to talk to your family members about such things as even a trained child can press a panic button or dial 911, if circumstance presents itself.
Using a plan that you have practiced, it is easier to keep your cool under such heightened duress. Always be thinking of the next move as even your plan can be diverted. Once intruders let their guard down, it may be a prime moment to escape and call for help. Always be looking for an opportunity to hit the automatic dial for 911, a panic button on your alarm, or escaping.
The point of an escape plan is for each person in the household to have an assigned task. When an intruder does get in each person will automatically be triggered to act on their assigned task, rather than freak out in a chaotic panic.
Wrapping it Up
So there you have it. The answers to those two questions. Don’t just count on the police to rescue you or have the foresight of your situation. Use common sense. Have an awareness of safety at all times. Incorporate a family plan of action and a home security system.
Use the tools that you have such as arming your security system at all times, lock doors, windows and gates behind you. The less you stand out as a target, the less you will be thought of as a target. Therefore, you can maintain a safe and peaceful home.
Click below to find out why you need a Family Plan. You will learn the “why’s” behind, how essential preparation and a plan are to your family’s well being.
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