One of the scariest situations to find yourself in is being a victim of a home invasion. A home invasion is defined as an illegal, often forceful entry into a private dwelling with the intent to harm the occupants. Home invasions include the threat of violent crimes against homeowners including burglary, assault, murder, rape, or kidnapping. According to the FBI, about 135 home invasions happen every day in America.
So what can you do to fight off a home invasion and protect yourself and your loved ones? The first thing to do is call the police and/or trigger your home’s security alarm system. If you don’t have a security system for your house, a good alternative is to use your vehicle’s alarm system. Keep your car keys in your bedroom and trigger the alarm. Purchase a bull horn or trigger the fire alarm in life-threatening cases.
Experts say that noise is the best deterrent in a home invasion. Try yelling through a window or getting a noise box that blasts loud sound effects — anything that gets a neighbor’s attention so they can call the police. If you hear someone trying to break in, it might be best to get yourself and your family members outside and to a neighbor’s house. Sleep with all your bedroom doors open so you can hear what’s going on.
Another option is to try disabling the attacker. The attacker might be disabled by using some sort of weapon. For example, you can try spraying him or her with a can of wasp spray. Wasp spray is more powerful than mace and can reach up to 25 feet. Any intruder hit with wasp spray will be temporarily blinded.
Of course, the best option is preventing an invasion in the first place. Here are some suggestions for deterring a criminal.
- Keep the doors and windows locked. About 30 percent of burglars enter through an unlocked door or window.
- Set up a wireless alarm system. The majority of convicted burglars report that they intentionally avoided homes with security systems, and if these alarms were triggered, they would flee immediately. Plus, a wireless system is less vulnerable because there are no wires to be cut by the perpetrators.
- Plant thorny bushes around windows.
Remember that no material possession is worth your life or the lives or your loved ones. In a life-threatening situation, it might be better to cooperate with the invaders rather than risk harm.
There is the option of using a handgun for self-defense in a home invasion:
Having a handgun for home security and defense is a solid idea that many consider a necessity. It takes more than just purchasing a gun and ammunition to keep your home safe however. Even if you’re a great shot and know how to handle a handgun safely and effectively, using one for home defense takes some additional skills and safety steps to make sure the only person that sees the business end deserves it.
Using a firearm in an environment where friendly people can be only a wall away from you means you need to focus on not only accuracy, but the very real possibility of impairment on your part in the shape of sleep and surprise. Handled correctly you should be able to safely use your firearm in a home environment while minimizing the danger of misusing the gun and injuring yourself or a family member.
1. Keep Your Gun Unloaded
This tip seems a little counterintuitive to what we’ve been taught, but it makes sense when you think about it. Most home defense guns are kept next to the bed in case an intruder is heard, which is why keeping it unladed makes sense.
By keeping the gun unloaded and the clip removed means you have to wake your brain up enough to successfully load and chamber the gun to use it. When awakened by a possible intruder few people are fully aware of their surroundings and able to mark a target effectively while avoiding doing so to a friend or family member by mistake.
In other words, you don’t want to accidently shoot a family member that’s sneaking in after coming in late because you didn’t wake up enough to see who they were. Keeping your gun unloaded makes you think for a second before acting, which is a very good thing.
2. Finger Off The Trigger
This is something you should have already been taught, but keeping your finger on the trigger can easily become a bad habit that can get someone accidentally shot very easily.
Just like the idea of keeping your gun unloaded, keeping your finger off the trigger makes you think about shooting instead of just pure reaction taking over. It’s far too easy to squeeze the trigger out of fear instead of necessity when you keep your finger on the trigger. Even if you are clearing a room or building, keeping your finger off the trigger makes sure you only use your weapon when absolutely necessary.
3. Get A Light
Most home defense handguns have some type of rail on them to accept accessories like lights. A light on your gun is useful for many reasons, including seeing where you’re going, temporarily blinding an intruder, and most importantly allowing you to effectively designate a target without any doubt of who you’re about to shoot.
By using a light attached to your handgun you can quickly turn it on and off with the flick of a switch while keeping both hands firmly on your weapon. This means you can quickly flash the light at an intruder to blind him and disable him.
4. Low Grain and Hollow-Point Rounds
One key point to remember about discharging a firearm in your house is that there is a very good chance your shot will miss its intended target, or barely hit the target and have the round deflect into a wall. This means that high-powered rounds and rounds that are full metal jacket could easily go through their target, through the wall behind the target, and possibly into another room or house and injure an innocent bystander.
To avoid this, use a lower grain round to slow the bullet down, and use a frangible or mushrooming hollow-point round so the bullet stops in the target or wall and doesn’t continue traveling where it shouldn’t go.
5. Know What’s Behind Your Target
Speaking of the idea of rounds going where they shouldn’t go, you need to make sure you’re aware of what is behind the target you’re shooting at. Remember that even with low grain and hollow-point rounds there is still the possibility of a shot going farther than intended. This means that you need to take a second to think before you shoot and understand what is behind and around your intended target.
If your child’s door is directly behind the intruder, it’s probably not a good idea to shoot because if you miss, you could make the situation far worse than it is by injuring a loved one. This idea is also known as situational awareness and just like with any other instance, having it makes you and everyone around you far safer.
These are just a few key tips for firearm safety for home defense. Handling a firearm in the home is very dangerous, but the benefits far outweigh these dangers. It’s up to you to learn what is appropriate for you to stay safe in your home, so please take firearm safety and self-defense courses in your area if they are available.