This week, we take a question from SOS Subscriber D.E. Fisher (Ada, Oklahoma), who asked the following question on how to prevent home invasion:
*Q: “My sister lives very close and I feel she could be targeted for home invasion, as she lives in a very prominent house and her husband and sons are often gone. We are in a semi-rural area and police response times for our area are about 10 minutes at best. Should her house be broken into while at home, what is her best option other than the obvious (calling 911)? She has large dogs, a security system, firearms in the house, etc., but minimal training and I’m worried that’s not enough…”
We contacted experts in the field and included their responses to D.E.’s question below:
Name: Frank Sawicki
Bio: Frank is president of Primal Self Defense Inc. in the Greater New York area. He was worked as a personal protection specialist and security driver since 2005, as well as self defense instructor and tactical consultant since 2000. He retired as a detective from NYPD in 2005, serving since 1985.
Response: Possessing the tools and utilizing them for maximum efficiency are quite different. I gather she lives in Oklahoma? In any case, at the most basic level, it’s important to understand that most ‘bad guys’ will seek the path of least resistance to get what they want. Maintain vigilance! The proper personnel can survey the property and generate a concise self defense plan for the home.
Many of the expert in this question way in on many topics like this during our FREE course on armed home defense and family protection. Discover insights that make your home impenetrable to looters and thieves!
Name: Robert Siciliano
Bio: Robert is an identity theft expert and CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com in the Greater Boston area. He is a #1 best-selling author, a certified speaking professional, and a United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla Staff Officer of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security whose motto is Semper Paratus (Always Ready). He is also a 4 time Boston marathoner, a private investigator, and fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering people so that they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.
Response: Crime is certainly an issue that we are all concerned about. Most people don’t put systems in place to protect themselves and their families. This leaves them vulnerable to various kinds of attacks and fraud.
However, those that do put those systems in place such as home security systems, signage and even things like antivirus and identity theft protection make those citizens tougher targets. Information definitely is power, so it is important that we read books, watch videos, take classes and determine how to protect ourselves and our families with trainings and self-defense.
It’s also important to maintain a degree of perspective. Yes, there are millions of crimes that occur every year. Statistically speaking, your chances of being burglarized and specifically having your home invaded is very small. So while we need to be proactive and incorporate safety and security measures, it is equally important that we don’t worry about any of it and that we maintain a happy, balanced, fear-free, lifestyle.
Name: Alan Schwartz
Bio: Alan is owner and operator of Alan’s Firearms and a certified NRA Instructor. He got involved with law enforcement back in the 1980’s, while managing a national sales company that sold computer systems, high-end video, and computers. The F.B.I. asked Alan to keep an eye open for technology being exported to China, and he helped out the U.S. Secret Service in a few major cases on interstate credit card fraud and was responsible for helping them bust four major rings. While working as a district manager for a local real estate company until 2007, Alan started Alan’s Firearms and began doing gun shows on weekends. He built up a business that allowed him to open his brick-and-mortar store in 2008.
Response: With large dogs and a good security system, I do not think she is at much risk, but if she has a firearm in the house (and she should), then she needs training, She should find a instructor that offers “NRA Basics of personal protection inside the home.” That course would make a great start. Here are my suggestions:
You should have a plan of escape, know how to exit from anywhere in the house, and have multiple ways to get out. Have a plan to get to your self defense weapons from anywhere in the house if escape is not possible. Practice doing the escape and getting your weapon. Know how to take cover with your firearm and how to use a flashlight in a self defense situation. And, this is important, KNOW and understand your laws in your state before you use deadly force; educate yourself so that you stay on the right side of the law, but remember that your life must come first.
Analyzing the Experts:
- Takeaway 1: Having a comprehensive security system in place is a smart move and one that all three experts agree should be in place. If you’re not an expert in this area and aren’t sure what tools and systems are best for your home and family, consult an expert as suggested by Frank Sawicki (getting advice and a plan of action from more than one consultant is best practice).
- Takeaway 2: Security systems and tools are a great place to start, but if you’re uneducated and untrained in how to use them, then you’re not much better off than if you didn’t have them in the first place. Robert Siciliano and Alan Schwartz both emphasize knowing how to use all parts of your security system – from your alarm systems to your firearms. Creating and keeping all family members updated on a safety plan in case of an emergency is also a necessity.
- Takeaway 3: While it’s smart to be prepared, there’s no sense in worrying about factors that are outside of your control and situations that have not yet occurred. As Siciliano points out, stay proactive but don’t stress; maintain awareness, but focus on living a happy and balanced life.
*The above question was edited slightly by the SOS team for the purpose of clarity.
Image credit: Atkins Systems Security Blog