Below is an article by Mark LeClair of Smart Tactics, a security consultation and instruction company. Mark was kind enough to provide this article Home Invasion Safety Part I, which was published earlier this month:
Know your home
Although it may sound silly to say, knowing your home means more than to just acknowledge its existence. In other words, if there were to be an emergency in your home, could you safely and effectively get your family to safety? Could you egress safely? Do you have a secondary meeting place? Do you have a “neighbor safe-haven”(1)?
Knowing your home also means from different areas of your home:
-What if you were in the living room and someone were to break your kitchen window trying to enter into your home? What is your next move from there?
Since each home is different, there is no “one” answer to any of those questions, hence “knowing your home”! If you know you home you would have an idea about where you would want to egress towards, how to gather the family, how to safeguard the family and the next avenue of action.
Since most people will freeze during a traumatic occurrence, it is wise to practice certain scenarios in your own home to see how long it takes you to: get the family together, get into the safe-room safely, egress from the home or separate actions of escape. If you practice certain scenarios you will create a “memory” of the action which, in turn, may give you the upper hand and allow you and your family a safe escape.
*Whenever you practice any scenarios, safety should always be first! Remember: scenarios being practiced is not reality, take your time and ensure no one gets hurt while practicing the scenarios. Speed will come with repetition and repetition will finite your actions! Be safe!
It is recommended to know the layout of the home and what to do if your original destination point is obstructed by a threat or fire or any other emergency situation. Where do you go from there? What are your options? What should the family do?
These are all important questions to answer in order to keep everyone safe inside the home.
Part of scenario practicing is “thinking outside of the box”. This means to incorporate the “what if’s” into the scenario practice.
I am in the living room, my wife is in the dining room and someone tries to kick in the front door:
-I immediately direct my wife to call 911
-My wife is already heading into the spare bedroom (our primary safe-room)
-I run directly towards the primary safe-room
-If my wife accidentally locks the door out of fear:
I run into the secondary safe-room while I inform my wife that I am safe and inside the safe-room.
At this point, my wife is on the phone with 911 and informing them of the situation and all of the pertinent details of the emergency. She will also inform the operator that I am in the secondary safe-room and where that is located. She would keep the operator on the phone while the emergency is taking place and will not open the door until I give her the “safety word/phrase”.
By knowing my home and ensuring my wife is familiar with the layout and emergency routine, we can safely get to the safe-room to avoid the threat(s) or emergency situation. By practicing for this situation prior to it occurring, we know the path that needs to be taken, we know the secondary route to take in case there is an obstruction and we know what the next step would be from that point.
**Always be careful while practicing scenarios, especially if egress is incorporated into the scenario. Always maintain control of the scenario and bring honesty to the critiques. Practice may not make perfect but it will give you better odds against a threat or home invasion.
(1)Safe-haven is a location where someone will be safe/feel safe and free from harm. Is can be a store, neighbor’s house, shed, another family member’s home, etc.