What does the term “home defense” mean to you? Does it mean you are willing to defend your property even at the cost of your own life? If so, you might want to rethink your priorities. It is one thing to risk your own life to protect the lives of family members and others. It is a completely different matter to risk your life to protect inanimate objects. There are times when escaping is a better strategy than standing and fighting.
Statistics show that more than 8,000 home invasion crimes occur in North America every single day. Approximately 60% of all rapes and 38% of all assaults are committed during the course of a home invasion. It stands to reason that devising effective escape routes should be an essential part of your survival plan in light of the statistics.
You may not have the opportunity to escape should you find yourself in a home invasion scenario. And without that option, you may have to stand and fight. However, if escaping and retreating is a possibility, you need to make it as easy as possible by establishing escape routes ahead of time.
Practice Makes Perfect
Since when most of us were schoolchildren, we have been bombarded with messages detailing how important it is to plan and practice a home fire safety plan. Such plans include escape routes and points of assembly to determine whether everyone has gotten out of the home safely or not. The same principle applies to home invasion.
The time to think about escape routes is not that moment when a pair of hooded invaders stands in your living room with guns drawn. That time is now, while you have a clear mind and controlled emotions. It is a lot easier to think rationally when you are not under pressure.
It is also important to practice your escape plan at least a couple of times per year. It is not necessary to practice every single week – doing so can lead your family to living a life of paranoia – but it needs to be done often enough to make it routine.
Here are a couple of other things to consider about escape routes:
- More Than One – There needs to be more than one option regardless of where in the home you find yourself during an invasion. For example, the back door may not be available if invaders are occupying the hallway leading to it. You may need a second option of going out a window or moving to the attic where you can escape through a window and climb down a tree.
- Age of Family Members – All of your escape route options need to take into account the ages of each family member. Younger children and elderly parents may need assistance from other family members in order to escape. Keep this in mind when planning routes.
- Safe Room – In the event that preplanned escape routes are not accessible, it is a good idea to have a safe room designated in your house. A safe room is a place you and your family can go that offers some measure of protection against invaders. Your safe room should include a working cell phone, a first aid kit, flashlights, and any weapons you deem necessary.
Planning escape routes for home invasion scenarios is no guarantee that you and your family will not be victimized. Nevertheless, an escape route does greatly increase your chances of survival and is fitness is as important to your safety as a home security system. Always remember that invaders, by their nature, are aggressive and violent. There is no need to unnecessarily take chances if escape options are available.