Let's get back to basics today. I'd like to talk about three tips that apply to practically everyone who's ever thought of what they might do if somebody invaded their home. When you read these you may just protest: "Well, that's just common sense!" Unfortunately, the news is full of people who didn't think of a particular bit of common sense at a critical moment. They panicked.
Think about that for a second. Your ability to make rational decisions is one of the first things that stops working properly in a crisis. This is why police and other emergency workers don't just improvise logical plans on the spot. Even experienced members of these professions need to account for the way the human mind reacts to extreme stress, so they train to do certain things instinctively after they and their trainers consider the kinds of problems they might encounter. You may not be training for law enforcement, but you can still use that principle by thinking, preparing and practicing. Apply that to the following:
1) Start With a Safe Home
If you run down the stairs, fall when a handrail collapses and break your neck, no training or tool will help you. If your own home is a danger fending off an attacker becomes much harder. Think about how your home would stand up to running and falling. Prepare by fixing that wobbly step or replacing the broken light fixture. On a related note, never unsafely store a firearm or other self defense tool in your home. You might think getting to it faster will give you an advantage, but in fact, you should be practicing to get to a safely stored weapon. The last thing you want is for a family member to injure themselves with your weapon - or for a criminal to injure you with it.
2) Make Your Home a Burglar's Last Choice
Think: The average crook is closer to what you see on COPS than CSI: not too bright, impulsive (many steal with little planning beforehand - they just run into an open door) and often motivated by drug addiction. They need to find a simple, fast entrance into a home where they won't be seen. Prepare: Make sure your home is well-lit and obviously has multiple locks, including a high-quality deadbolt. These guys are more likely to be using a boot than a lock pick to get in. B&E criminals also hate dogs, so if you love them, it might be in your best interest to get a big, lovable, crime-preventing mutt. Alarms and cameras can also serve as deterrents. These precautions aren't just safe for you, either. They prevent accidental entrance by someone who thinks your home is someplace else, such as a neighbor's home or party. In several cases, people have been shot when they walked into the wrong house and the owners assumed they were thieves.
3) Learn How to Break In and Out
Think: Do you know how to break in to your house? Many people do. The time and noise it takes to do this can be a useful indication of how secure your home is, assuming you pick the most vulnerable point to enter. Aside from the fact that it can be handy when you lose your keys, breaking in can help you understand how a criminal might look at your home. That's not all, though: Can you get out safely without using the main doors? You should already have some idea of this when planning what to do in case of a fire, but this can also help you and your family avoid contact with home invaders. Prepare and Practice: Walk through the route and think about situations where you'd get out that way.
Once you've gone over these three tips you'll have a much better idea of the self defense products you need. We offer an array of personal and home alarms in addition to safety flashlights and self-defense weapons. Remember: Self protection is more than you and an attacker. It's about the whole environment around you. The better you know it, the better prepared you'll be.