Home Defense: Hardening the Home and Lowering Risk
We’ve been getting a lot of questions about buying guns and how to protect one’s family in these more desperate times. Range U will be holding some classes on this subject later this year however there are a few things one can do in the meantime. Everyone’s financial situation is different and their personal belief’s as well, but we can all agree that our homes are our castles. All the troubles of the world should never cross the threshold and that we want ourselves and families to be as safe and comfortable as possible.
Becoming a hard target is a phrase that is oft-repeated and for good reason. Criminals by their very nature and common sense are looking for an easy score. The easier and quicker the score the higher probability of an event taking place. For our castle’s, this also applies. Some simple tips to remember:
• Perception is everything. Keep your doors locked, lawn cared for, and free of valuable items. Anything that can be used as an expedient means to break glass should be removed from access to would-be opportunists.
• Keep hedges trimmed around windows and consider planting thorny bushes in the proximity of them to discourage someone from getting a closer look.
• The majority of all homes have either a metal or solid core door at the main entranceways. If you find you have a hollow core door on an exterior entranceway, change it out immediately.
• Most door frames only have smaller screws holding the door on the hinges from the factory. Consider replacing these with larger 3” deck screws which will be much more resistant to brute force attack.
• Consider motion detection lights as part of your exterior perimeter security and if your wallet allows, a camera system for the front and back of the house. Arlo and Ring are just a couple of very popular brands available.
Having a firearm is the ultimate level of independence one can take to protect oneself and family. The responsibility of having a firearm in the home, the proper care and training required for such a responsibility, should be paramount. Each situation requires analysis and foresight before implementing any home defense plan.
Self-defense firearms fall into three categories and all have pros and cons: Pistols, Rifles/Carbines, & Shotguns. Some things to consider-
• Do you live in the country or an urban environment?
• What familiarity do you have with firearms? Are you aware of your state’s laws concerning home defense and specific scenario do’s and don’ts?
• What level of training have you had with your firearm or any continuing education since purchasing your firearm?
• Do you live alone or do you have a family? Where do they spend the most time and how are the bedrooms arranged to the likely avenues of ingress?
• How is your house/apartment designed? Shotgun style layout or more traditional square-shaped? Made out of what materials? This will factor in many other critical considerations.
• What kind of ammunition are you using and what caliber is your firearm?
Your home defense is going to have the tone set by your situational awareness. So many people fail to absorb their natural surroundings and succumb to the distractions we all are susceptible to.
Situational awareness starts with the mindset that one cannot allow the minutiae of the day to distract from what is relevant in the moment. We don’t (or shouldn’t) allow phone calls or texts to distract us while we are driving, why then do we allow ourselves to walk head down, eyeing the phone, or realize that the manhole cover has been removed on our daily commute? It takes intellectual fortitude to not only be cognizant of the world around us but to put aside those distractions.
• Take note of the norms around your home. Is there a strange car parked down the street at a different hour? Have new people been jogging in the area or a random person coming up to the doorbell to try to ask for directions or some other reason?
• When I pull into the garage do I watch for someone sneaking up as the door is closing down and what would I do if someone was?
• Do you know your neighbors and would they call for help in the event of an emergency without being explicitly asked?
There are many more considerations to be aware of when it comes to firearms and your responsibility to take home defense into your own hands. Never stop your education from reputable sources and continue to ask why in every aspect of your path towards resiliency and self-preparedness.