Home Invasions for the Holidays

Home invasions are up. They rise every year at this time. As more of a “tradition” of invasion-eering is established, the acceptance of it as a legitimate option for criminal endeavors spreads through the darker side of our communities.

It’s up to you to prevent it, or have a response ready. Things you can do right now are:

  • Lock your doors and windows when home. Night latches should be engaged during the day, too, especially if you are home alone.
  • At night, keep exterior lights on, front and rear. If you shut them down for night, be sure it is when you go to bed, and not earlier.
  • Don’t leave window blinds and curtains open when it is lighter inside than out. It is always easier to see into a lighted area than out of it. Invaders and burglars can use this to recon your home without you knowing it.
  • Keep valuables out of sight. This works for home and well as cars.
  • Ask you neighbors, if you have good ones, to watch your place. You watch theirs, too.
  • If you are comfortable and trained, you might opt to carry a firearm on you. Part of your training should have been to know your state’s laws on carry in the home, and what constitutes proper use of it. Be sure you know where that weapon is at all times, and never leave it where an invader can get to it before you can.
  • If you have a home alarm, remember to set it.
  • Keep a cell phone on you for 911 calls.
  • Designate a room in your house that can serve as a safe room, a retreat, or someplace you can run to to buy time, if all other options fail.
  • Discuss your plans with your children, in an age-appropriate manner. Look for vulnerabilities they are subject to, such as where their rooms are, how quickly you can get to them, and what they should do if they have to act on their own.
  • When leaving the house, use your windows to clear the path at your door, and to your vehicle. When coming home, use your mobility during approach to scout your yard and doors. Many invasions occur when transiting the doorway.
  • If you enter and leave through your garage, be aware that you are at your most vulnerable when you are inside your vehicle and in the garage. Anyone can run or roll in through a gap in the door. It’s hard to back into a garage, but it can be done, and makes it easier to see who might rush the door, and easier to run him over, or crash through the door.
  • Don’t answer a door if you can’t see the person on the other side. Chains on the door do not help. Use a peep hole. Make sure there is no light on the peep hole from within the house, as someone on the other side can tell when you are looking through it be the disappearing light.
  • Make sure visitors know to call first before coming over. If you are expecting someone, you can more easily identify intruders when they knock or ring unannounced.
  • If you receive a delivery, check to see if you can spot the vehicle. The delivery truck is a whole lot harder to fake and dress up than it is for an invader to find a uniform. The deliverer’s uniform and vehicle should match.
  • Lastly – If ANYTHING seems wrong, it just might be wrong. Don’t risk your life because you are afraid to “do what’s expected of you” by someone at the door. They need to do what YOU expect of THEM …. every time!

Marry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a safe and peaceful weekend for all of you.

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