3 Layers Of Home Defense

I have the amazing privilege of helping people become better shooters. One of the many things I enjoy is meeting the wide variety of people that I have the honor to train, from all walks of life, ages, races, occupations, and backgrounds. Some are primarily shooting for sport and fun, while others specifically want to grow in their self-defense skills. However, all of them have one thing in common: the desire to protect themselves and their loved ones in their own homes.

The good news is that self-defense continues to grow in popularity. And no matter how serious we may be about the topic, firearm owners usually spend a considerable amount of time choosing the right gun and a good amount of money on different accessories for that gun. There are lots of items to purchase, like self-defense ammo, a quality safe, magazines, and a flashlight. Unfortunately, what I’ve discovered is that outside of those firearm related purchases, home owners will not spend the time or money making their home as secure as possible. While firearm ownership is a primary step toward securing your home, it is far from completing a home defense strategy. A thorough home defense plan involves multiple layers which result in a secure, hard target.

We can all imagine our worst-case scenario of multiple armed invaders threatening you and your family. This video is a graphic example of what can happen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84jSh3ASV4k While evaluating the video is not in the scope of this series, it is easy to see the horror in this event as armed threats enter a home with children. When we question the need to spend time and money in hardening our homes, you only need to revisit this video to see why.

Let me reiterate that when faced with a threat inside your home, the best defense is to be armed with a firearm. Many gun owners concerned about home defense rightfully spend a good amount of time training with that gun. But, I find it incredibly ironic that we would spend most (if not all) of our time training for a threat inside our home, when we should also be spending time and money preparing the exterior and interior of our homes as well. The best home defense plan has three layers. 1) It begins with the exterior of your home, defending yourself before the threat even steps foot inside! 2) Next comes prepping the interior of your home. 3) Finally, the last layer is you. The training you go through and how you prepare your family.

We typically associate safety, rest, and security with the idea of our home. It’s where we sleep, rest, raise our kids, and find shelter from the outside elements. It’s where we have family dinners and celebrate holidays. But there is a flip side to that picture. Outside threats view your home completely different, as a potential target, quick score, and easy money. They are looking for quick and easy scores. The three layers exist to provide as many barriers as possible to a threat, making your home as hard a target as possible.

Whether you are just beginning to learn about self-defense, or have been serious about in-home defense for quite some time, I’m excited to bring this series to you, which will individually focus on each layer.

Here is an outline of upcoming articles:

Layer One: Hardening the exterior of your home

The exterior of your home is a key part of your home defense plan. It is the very first barrier between you and a potential threat, and has the ability to deter would be bad-guys from attempting to enter. Most bad guys are looking for targets of ease, and a little bit of resistance from the exterior of your home can be enough to deflect a threat elsewhere. If a threat is adamant about entering your home, a hard exterior increases the time you have to prepare by increasing the difficulty of entry. This article will cover topics such as landscaping, fencing, cameras, lighting, and doors.

Layer Two: Hardening the interior of your home

The interior of your home is the next layer in your home defense plan. Just because a threat has gained forced entry into your home doesn’t mean they have an advantage in a confrontation. A hard interior continues to give you the upper-hand through well-placed cover elements, strategic safe and firearm placement, and having a safe room. This topic looks at how you can design your home for cover and the thought process in creating a safe room.

Layer Three: Preparing yourself and your family

In the worst-case scenario where threats have entered your home, there are unlimited “what-ifs” that come to mind. Preparing yourself for what you can control with a self-defense plan for you and your family is the key to successfully defending your home. This third layer will be broken into two sub-articles: A) In-home training. This article will cover tips on moving your training from a static range to your specific house and how you can build the most robust plan. B) Family Drills. Having a family on the same page will make a huge difference in your ability to defend yourself and your family. This article will cover different scenarios to help your family be best prepared in a home invasion. It will briefly cover getting family members adequately trained in the event that you are not home.

The goal of this series is not to provide an exclusive list of “how to”, but to get you started on your own process of evaluating and improving each layer. No home, neighborhood, home interior and family are identical. It is up to you to take each layer and customize it to your unique situation.

Stay tuned, and God speed.