Home invasion is something that we all worry about at one point or another. It’s normal. The world can be a worrying place. We share it with individuals who have no problem taking what does not belong to them. This in itself is not as scary as it is annoying, but what happens when you and your loved ones are caught in the middle of a home invasion? It’s an unpleasant thought but one which we will all have to be prepared for if we hope to keep our families safe.
You only have to see the statistics to start losing hope. 188,756 instances of unlawful entry were recorded in Australia back in 2016. At the time this marked a 3% increase in burglaries. Since then things have unfortunately only gotten worse. So to what length can we go to protect ourselves in Australia? This is where it gets a little fiddly. Home invasion as a term became popular in the 90s. It is defined as the instance when armed offenders unlawfully enter another’s home, with the intent to injure or rob the home owner. Unfortunately, this term is more popular, than it is legal. You see, Australia does not in fact classify “home invasion” as a specific offence. As such we would advise everyone to read this to stick to non-lethal methods of self-defence. We know we’ve unloaded some heavy statistics on you all but don’t give up! All is not lost. The fact that you’re reading this means that you’re ready to get stuck in! And we admire that. You’re the kind of person we like. You’re a planner. And that, dear friend, is half the battle. Let’s look at five tips which we hope will inspire you to ramp up your security against a potential home invasion.
1. SAFETY FIRST
Be wary of service providers and strangers. Never ever open your door for someone you don’t know. No matter who they are. Criminals are experts at disguising themselves in order to gain entry into your home. See that friendly police officer at your door? Ask them for identification. They’ll respect you for doing so. The biggest mistake people make, is believing that home invasions only happen to other people. We understand that it’s difficult to accept but being caught with your pants down is about as fun as trying to eat a brick.
2. DON’T PANIC
The most effective way to protect your family is to create a safety room or zone inside your house. Once inside this safe space you will be able to think more clearly while having valuable extra moments with which to dial the authorities. This may seem like a no brainer but there are a few things to consider. Safety rooms should be fitted with doors which are easy to lock from the inside. It’s all about being efficient and about being prepared beforehand. Come up with a plan and be sure to share it with your family. This way everyone in the home knows what to do in a moment of urgency – where to go, what to do and who to call.
3. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Let’s continue with the idea of a safety room for a moment longer. Having a safe place in your home means nothing if you don’t have a plan on how you’re going to get everyone there. Experts recommend having a code word which can be said or yelled at a moment’s notice. This will signal to everyone in your house that they should hurry to safety as quickly as possible. Now let’s talk about something a lot of people don’t factor in. Having a plan and a route to safety simply isn’t enough. You have to drill it! Practice invasion scenarios with your family until they are comfortable with the process. Then practice it again. And again. Not being prepared for the eventuality of an actual break-in can prove disastrous if your family members are not 100% sure of what to do in the moment.
4. LEAVE NOTHING TO CHANCE
Take the time to rig your home for worst case scenarios. Hide pepper sprays in strategic locations. Make sure that your safety room is well stocked with water, snacks, flashlights and other essentials (medication) just in case you have to remain hidden for an extended period of time. Remember that you should always dial the police as quickly as possible. Install wireless phones in your safety zones and set up any emergency speed dials you may need. What if one of your family members is too far away from the safety room when an invasion takes place? Make sure that you have exit routes in place that will get them out of the house and to your neighbours quickly. Be prepared for anything. It will serve you well in the end.
5. DON’T SMASH YOUR PIGGY BANK JUST YET
Ok. We know that home security sounds incredibly expensive. The truth is, it really doesn’t have to be. There’s a lot you can do without breaking the bank. Low-cost solutions can be just as effective as their more expensive counterparts. Fencing and lockable gates help control access to a property. Interior and exterior mirrors placed strategically around your home will eliminate blindspots and ensure that unwelcome visitors have nowhere to hide. Use these strategies together with high decibel, battery powered alarms, and you’ll be amazed at how effective a cheaper setup can be.
If there’s one thing you take away from this, it’s that preparation is key. We hope that this article has given you a few ideas on how to strengthen your home’s defences. It might seem like an impossible undertaking at first but don’t be disheartened. Keep chipping away at improving your home. Every little bit you do counts towards the continued safety of your family. No matter how small. Have any ideas you would like to share with us? Get involved in the comments below. Mix it up. Share your thoughts! You are not alone.
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