5 Things to Consider When Defending Your Home
A common theme in our posts is that you should have a layered approach to your home defense plan. This is especially true with regard to the interior of your home. Simply purchasing a gun isn't a complete home defense plan: It's only the beginning.
Many other considerations go into a home defense strategy. The goal is to make your home a less appealing target while providing you with every advantage possible in the event that you are targeted.
However, there are an almost infinite number of possible situations and scenarios. It isn't likely that you can prepare for every one — even if you could imagine them all. So, the best approach is to try and tailor your plan to shift the odds in your favor.
To use a sports analogy: Your home defense plan should give you home field advantage. While you might not choose when an incident occurs, with a little prior planning, you'll at least be able to control the playing field.
Here are five things to consider when developing your home defense plan.
How you store your primary home defense weapon(s) is a crucial component of your overall strategy. It needs to be safe and secure yet easily accessible under duress. There are a variety of options for storing a home defense gun, with the most obvious being some kind of safe.
There are two main things to keep in mind regarding storage. The first is that the firearm needs to be stored in a way that prevents potential criminals entering your home and gaining access to it. You don't want a criminal stealing your gun — or worse, using it against you. No matter how you store your defense firearm, ensure it's hidden from sight so no one but you knows it's there or that it's locked away in a place where only you can get to it.
The second consideration is accessibility even under duress. Biometric safes, safes with large keypads, or anything that does not rely on fine motor control to open is an absolute must.
In the event you're forced to defend your home, your body will naturally respond with an adrenaline dump. When this happens, one of the negative side effects is loss of fine motor control. Performing tasks that depend on any sort of dexterity become extremely difficult, if not impossible. This is something you need to be mindful of so you can take the steps necessary to mitigate adrenaline effects within your home defense plan. If you plan for it ahead of time, you're setting yourself up for success.
Your home is your castle, and how you set up and decorate that castle can go a long way toward helping you defend it. Whether you just purchased the house and are in your initial setup or you decide to redecorate, there are things you can do to aid in defense should the need arise.
Just so we're clear: No one is suggesting you need to have your entire house set up like a gun store or filled with every tacticool item and gadget on the market. As fun as that might be in theory, you still have to live there. What we're discussing is the need to prep your home in ways to help you if the proverbial excrement hits the fan.
For example, buying high-quality, thick wood furniture gives you long lasting and beautiful decor while providing something to hide behind. Oak tables or desks, bookcases filled with books, and even metal filing cabinets in your office area can all be used as fortifications, barriers, and even potentially provide cover from which to shoot.
Precautions such as buying sturdier doors, using exterior doors as interiors, and reinforcing locks and windows can also help. When designing your home interior, take the opportunity to make sure you have things that look good and can protect you.
3. Location, Location, Location
Piggybacking off of — and working in conjunction with — the first two items is location. How and where you place your firearm storage methods and furniture can help in your overall defensive scheme. You have to put in the effort to plan out where these items go in order to set yourself up for success.
Where you place a gun storage method is just as important a decision as choosing the storage itself. Being able to get to your stored gun as quickly and effortlessly as possible is obviously crucial in being able to use it to defend yourself. Having a safe is great, but if it's blocked by other furniture, or located far away from your bedroom or living area, it's not really helping.
The same goes for your decor. In addition to purchasing things you can use for cover, you also want to be sure and position them in such a way that you can easily get behind them in a hurry. Decide on what location would be best for the room aesthetic. as well as defensive positions.
Decide on where you'll put things, learn the layout so that it's second nature (it's your home — that part should happen anyway), and practice getting to important locations in a hurry. You can even set aside time to run drills similar to dry firing. Just as you take the effort to practice shooting, make sure you've trained on how to get to your gun and the safest places in your home ahead of time.
4. Safe Rooms
Speaking of locations, you may also want to consider setting up a safe room — whether it's a specific hardened place within the home that can keep out attackers or a designated space with certain protection, guns, ammo, and provisions to use in an emergency.
Think of a safe room as your last line of defense. This is your fallback point when all else has failed. It should be the most hardened and defensible place within the house and as close to impossible for any unwanted person to access as is possible.
It can also be the designated space that any children, elderly, or other loved ones can retreat to when the first sign of trouble occurs. It might be wise to provide specific instructions for those family members on what to do during a home invasion or other threat. Consider practicing it like a fire drill so it becomes second nature for anyone else in the house to immediately move to the safe room when they hear trouble. We're not trying to cause paranoia or fear, but we want the kids to know if they hear gunshots to carefully and quickly make their way to the safest place.
5. Early Warning
Speaking of the first sign of trouble: any home defense plan would be incomplete without some way of early warning system. An early warning system should be as close to the first layer of your strategy as possible, because giving yourself as much prior notification of an impending criminal attack as you can could be the difference between life and death.
Think of it as being able to dictate the fight on your own terms. It's the distinction between being sucker punched and being able to square off so you see the punch coming.
Early warning systems can vary. You can invest in a whole home security system or implement bits and pieces. While this is often dependent on your budget and financial situation, you don't have to sacrifice foreknowledge because you don't have a lot of money. You can get motion activated lights and sensors, cameras, or any combination thereof. There are also ways of using any of those things through an app on your phone. Or, if need be, set up trip hazards and obstacles that would be easily knocked over by an intruder coming in through a window.
Anything you can do to cause sudden lights, noises, or any other method of warning is worth it (and will likely be enough to ward off many would-be intruders). You can get creative and use household items or junk around the garage if you want. The important thing is to ensure you have something in place to give you a heads up. Any warning is better than no warning.
A home defense plan has a lot of moving parts and considerations. It's important to think about as many potential needs and issues beforehand as you can. Any plan is better than no plan, so consider these options and adjust them to suit your needs. Remember, a failure to plan is a plan to fail.