A home invasion is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. For many people, their home represents safety, security and sanctuary. The idea that burglars could violate this sanctuary has been a topic explored in many articles, security videos and even in popular cinema. It’s true – no one wants to even think about the possibility of a home invasion. However, like with any break-in, it pays to be prepared. Here are a few useful tips to help you protect your home and family in the event of a home invasion.
1. Make a Family Plan
It’s essential that you discuss the possibility of a home invasion with your family, especially with your children. Present the topic in a gentle but informative manner, telling your children that it’s extremely unlikely that a home invasion will ever occur. Make a family escape plan, and an assigned meeting place for any members of the family who are able to get out of the house. If possible, have “safety drills” on a monthly basis with your children, where you all exit the house and meet at the assigned meeting place.
2. Assign a “Danger” Phrase
A “danger” phrase is an easy-to-remember phrase that your family can use in the event that they’re in trouble. For example, if a family member calls during a home invasion, and the burglars instruct you (or any other family member) on what to say, you can use this phrase to indicate that you’re in trouble. Make it something easy to remember, and not too suspicious.
3. Use Your Monitored Security Features
If you have a monitored security system, there may be features included with your system that can be used in the event of a home invasion. For example, some security systems have a “panic” button, which can be pressed to automatically dial the monitoring station in speakerphone mode. This will allow the monitoring operator to listen in, assess the situation and contact the local authorities. Many monitoring stations will also have you set up a “danger” phrase, which can be used in the event that you’re forced to pretend that it was a false alarm. Familiarize yourself with the features of your home security system, and be prepared to use them in the event of a home invasion (or other emergency).
4. Invest in Protective Measures
If you’re concerned about the possibility of a home invasion, you can invest in certain security features to improve the safety of your home. For example, installing a safe room inside your home can provide a refuge for family members in the event of a home invasion. Having telephones easily available in most large rooms is another good investment. Reinforce your doors with security-grade deadbolt locks, and purchase a monitored security system for your home. All of these things can help ensure that your home – and family – will stay safe in the event of a home invasion.