It may seem like a ridiculous concept, but you may in fact need time to prepare for a home invasion. Even if you’re well armed, you don’t want to be rubbing the sleep out of your eyes while you try to track down a potential attacker. Trying to chase the criminal in a towel may not be a pleasant experience either.
So while having a firearm may be the best solution for home defense, having layers of security is really the best answer. Do anything possible to give yourself the most advanced warning of potential threats, and you’ll have the best chances of coming out on top.
Start at the Edge of Your Property
If feasible, add a fence with a gate you can lock. Even a short fence is one more obstacle that an intruder needs to be overcome and one more chance for that intruder to be seen or heard. Standard chain-link fences tend to make a lot of noise when being climbed, so keep that in mind when you’re looking at the silent plastic versions.
You can also catch the intruder before he makes it to your door with motion-detector lights. Some have argued that you’re just lighting the way for an intruder, but most thieves are going out of their way not to be seen. More important, if they’re set up not to trigger with every rabbit that crosses the driveway, the light may catch your attention.
Set Early Warning Systems Around the House
Your house should be a natural barrier as long as you lock all windows and doors. However, they cannot stop a motivated intruder. So add systems to warn you in case someone is attempting to get in.
Try adding ornamental bells to your door. It might remind some of Christmas decorations left out too long, but they can be a good indicator that someone is messing with your door. A good set of locks can take time to open, even for an experienced lock picker. The wiggling and twisting that goes into picking and raking a lock can get those bells jingling.
Windows are another obvious point of entry. Add passive obstacles and sound-producing trim around the house. Rock beds around the house are ornamental and easy to care for, yet they also produce a lot of noise when someone is trying to walk through them.
Rose bushes are another great deterrent. With thick, thorny stems, well-established rose bushes can act as a natural barbed wire without irritating the neighbors. You’re in no way limited to roses, though. Find a prickly, bushy plant that grows well in your area that you can place at the base of your windows to make window entrance a more daunting task.
This is also were you can get the biggest bang for your buck on cameras. Even if they do nothing to “stop” an intruder, the intruder(s) is likely to spend more time ensuring that they stay hidden or covered. If real cameras are out of the budget, fake ones can be purchased. Include signs that say you have video cameras, even if you don’t. This will usually buy you some time as the home invader will spend time trying to determine where the cameras are.
Inside the House
Pets, especially dogs, are a great option for inside the home. They will alert you long before an intruder gets in. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but even a tiny, yappy dog is a good watchdog.
Needless to say, an alarm system will work here as well. As a final notification system, home systems that make a lot of noise will get the attention of both you and an intruder fast.
The Ultimate Goal
Remember that buying time to prepare yourself is based on two factors. The first is how early you can be alerted to the intruder. The second is how much you can slow the intruder down.
With an average police response time somewhere around 10 minutes, it’s always best to be prepared to handle the situation yourself. Just a 30-second warning may be enough to make a significant change in the outcome of a home invasion. It’s just enough time to reach your firearm and get ahold of your situational awareness. Without your gun and situational awareness, even an amateur home invader has the upper hand.
Of course, if your plan is to wait on the police, you might want to make sure you’ve got enough obstacles in place to hold that intruder off for several minutes to an hour, depending on your local police response times. — by Jason Hanson
Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson is the Founder and CEO of Spy Escape & Evasion. Jason’s Mission: To teach men and women how to be safe using, “Spy Secrets” that 99% of Americans will never know. Jason won a deal on ABC’s Shark Tank, is a New York Times Bestselling Author of “Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life,” has appeared on The NBC Today Show, Dateline, Rachel Ray, Fox & Friends and more. Jason has been interviewed by Forbes, NPR, The Huffington Post, and others. Jason is also a highly sought-after Keynote Speaker for conventions and corporate events. To learn more, read Jason’s website.