My wife is a lawyer, but she no longer practices law. Instead, she’s chosen to stay at home with our two kids. That’s why the question below is near and dear to me, and why I want to write about it today.
My greatest fear, and one I think about often, is a home invasion. I’m a stay at home mom of two and constantly wonder what I would do IF. And it seems no one I know can give me an answer. No one has a plan for this. We don’t own a gun; I am not opposed but my husband is. Do you offer a training for self-defense or home invasion preparedness or anything that will give me peace of mind? Or even training on using some type of gun that I could maybe get?” ~Michelle B.
Most people don’t realize how many home invasions occur during the day. After all, burglars think people are at work during the day so they break into the house hoping to have plenty of time to steal electronics, cash, and jewelry.
But, if someone is home during the day and an intruder breaks in it can quickly turn into a violent confrontation. For instance, in Alabama, an elderly man was at home when someone kicked in his front door. Thankfully, the elderly man had enough time to grab his gun and shoot the intruder before he could attack him.
The thing is, none of us ever wants to have to shoot someone if we can avoid it. That’s why the first thing anyone should do when it comes to preventing a home invasion is to make your home less attractive to criminals so that they’ll target any home on your street except yours.
How do you do this?
- Put alarm sign stickers around your front door and also around your back door. If you already have an alarm, use the ones the company gives you. But you can also buy these stickers online. Also, get one of the alarm signs that comes on a stake and put it in your front yard.
- Buy a large dog bowl and put it outside at your back door. I know this sounds corny, but consider this: If a burglar is casing the neighborhood and he sees your large dog bowl and other neighbors show no signs of a dog, do you think he’s really going to take the chance on your home instead of the no-dog home next door?
- Do the obvious things such as keeping the grass cut, the bushes around home entrances trimmed, and the newspapers from piling up on the driveway. An unkempt yard is an invitation to burglars.
- Get exterior cameras for your front and back entrance. If for some reason you don’t want to get real cameras, at least buy the fake ones.
After you’ve “hardened” the exterior of your house, the next important thing you want to do is get an alarm system. Basic monitoring for alarm systems isn’t expensive these days and will only cost you $15-$20 a month.
Here’s how the alarm system comes into play for stay at home moms: When nobody is at home you set the alarm system in “away” mode so if anyone breaks into the house or trips the motion sensors the alarm goes off.
However, when you are at home, you will set the alarm in “home” mode so that the motion sensor is turned off but if anyone tries to break in through a door or window the alarm gets tripped and the loud siren goes off.
In other words, you can be at home with the kids all day, with the alarm on, and if someone tries to enter the house the noise of the alarm will hopefully scare them off.
However, since there are no guarantees, I do recommend having a gun for home defense as the last line of defense if nothing else scares the burglar off. I can tell you that I use either a Glock 19 or Smith & Wesson M&P for home defense and that my wife uses a Glock 19.
But there is no perfect gun for everyone, which is why I recommend going to your local shooting range and renting several guns to try out until you find one you’re comfortable with. (Don’t let your husband or the gun store guy talk you into a gun you don’t like because you’ll be the one using it, not them.)
If you get a gun you need take a training course (find firearm instructors in your area here) and also have a simple plan for what you’re going to do with the gun. For instance, if someone’s breaking into your home you will grab your gun and you and your kids will lock yourselves in the master bedroom while you call police. And, if the intruder tries to enter the master bedroom before police arrive you will have to shoot and stop them.
If your husband refuses to have a gun in the house, even if it’s locked in a rapid access safe, then I would go with a knife. It’s certainly not ideal but can still do a lot of damage to a criminal. The bottom line is, try and make your house as “uninviting” as possible so you’re hopefully never forced to use a gun or knife in the first place.