It’s everyone’s worst nightmare: you’re home, whether by yourself or with your family, and all of a sudden a person with a gun bursts through your door. There are a number of factors at play in such a scenario, from how the intruder got in to your instincts to your actual response options based on your physical ability and the layout of your home. This post will discuss ways to prevent such a scenario from happening in the first place, and the next post will discuss ways to respond, should the worst actually happen.
Prepare your home
Having a home security systems Dallas is one of the very best ways to protect your family, home, and belongings. Simply having signs for an alarm company visible from the outside of your home will serve as a deterrent for criminals who are not very committed to their cause. An audible alarm that sounds when a door is opened or a window is broken may cause intruders to run away rather than actually entering, since the neighbors and law enforcement personnel who may be in the area will hear the alarm. It’s important to have alarms on second-floor windows as well as those for the first floor, because ambitious thieves may go right for a window in the master bedroom in search of jewelry. (Also, if a neighbor happens to hear a loud noise such as a breaking window but then does not hear anything after it, it’s likely they will assume they either heard wrong or you have the situation under control, and they will just go about their business. It’s unfortunate, but it’s human nature.) It’s important, though, to be sure any panels for the alarm system are not visible through windows or glass doors, so that potential intruders can’t see whether or not they are set. Many people only turn their alarm system on when they’re leaving the house, but there’s no reason it can’t be set while you’re inside as well. If you are interested in installing or updating an alarm system, or if you have any related questions, ProtectUS Security, your company for home and business security systems in Dallas, would love to hear from you.
Some Dallas alarm systems contact 911 as soon as they are triggered, and some have a panic button that can be pressed to connect you with emergency assistance. Some home or cell phones have a button that will dial 911 when pressed. Be sure everyone in your house knows how to use this feature and how to turn on the speakerphone function, so emergency personnel can hear what is happening in your house or apartment. Even if the call gets disconnected, the police are required to investigate the situation.
Having a household escape plan in case of an invasion is just as important as having an escape plan in case of a fire. In fact, the physical escape routes may end up being pretty similar. Include where to go for help and what to say when going over the plan with your family. Consider multiple ways to exit the residence, including windows, in case the ideal route is blocked. Also, develop a code word that can be shouted out to alert family members, especially children, that they should hide in case the situation is too dangerous to attempt escape.
Stay safe when strangers come to your house
Many intruders gain access to homes by knocking at the door and seeing if someone will let them in. If there’s an unexpected knock at your door, scope out the visitor by looking through a one-way peephole in the door. (Chain latches on doors are generally not effective barriers when a door is partially opened, so it’s much safer to have a peephole.) If you’re home alone, you may want to yell “I’ll get it!” before opening the door, to give the impression that someone else is there with you.
Often, criminals will try to get you to open the door by pretending to be someone they’re not. They may pose as delivery people, salespeople, political canvassers, or someone conducting a survey. Don’t be shy about asking them to identify themselves before you open the door and wait while you contact the company, especially if they claim to be a delivery person and you haven’t been expecting a package. If the person on your doorstep is really who they say they are, they will wait patiently while you check the situation out. Never let an unexpected guest inside your home unless you are absolutely sure who they are. If you have people working on or in your house, doing tasks such as roof repair or kitchen remodeling, be sure to watch them very closely, and check to make sure your doors and windows are still locked and undamaged after they leave. It’s all too easy for a worker using your bathroom to unlock the bathroom window so he or she can break in at a later time.
Stay tuned for the next post on how to react if an invader does manage to get into your home…