As a homeowner and a family man, you may not want to think about what might happen in the event of a home invasion. Of course, the only thing worse than thinking about an invasion is thinking about what could happen to your family and how you could have prevented it. That’s why no matter how good your neighborhood is you should always be prepared.
I have come up with a few tips you can use to help prepare your family.
1. Designate a safe area. Remember that movie “Panic Room” starring Jodie Foster? No? Oh…well, check out IMDB to get a feel for what I’m talking about. Basically, a panic room is described as a hidden room with reinforced walls, supplies and surveillance. It’s a refuge one can escape to in the event of an emergency. You don’t actually need a specific panic room; you just need an area you can lock from the rest of the home to guard against intruders. A bathroom works just as fine. Once you have a safe area picked out, make sure your family knows where it is. It should be in a central location.
2. Pick a safe house. If you have good neighbors, consider coordinating with them and designate their home a safe house, if you have their permission. Basically, their home can serve as a safe place for your family to escape to and call the police from if your home is compromised.
3. Practice, practice, practice. “Drill” might be a better word. Pick a weekend and have your family rush to the designated safe area or safe house. Be sure and time how long it takes, and develop ways you can make the escape routes more efficient if need be. Having a plan means being prepared.
4. Look into some home security. There are plenty of systems on the market and many of them are easy enough for children to use. Ones monitored by ADT, for example, come with keychain remotes that can manually activate and deactivate the system at the press of a button. If your children are in danger, they can even trigger the alarm instantly.
5. Consult with local law enforcement. If anyone is going to have the information you need regarding home invasions, it’s your local police. Take a trip down to the station and ask a few questions. Bring the kids, too, that way you can broach the topic of home invasion without scaring them. The police might even be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to home security systems or even what to buy to help protect your home.
6. Go to the hardware store. Some hardware stores offer different implements you can use to secure doors and windows. Of course, you should consult with the CPSC before you install anything in your home.
Be aware. Be informed. Be prepared.