What are you going to do if you wake up to an intruder in your home? Where is your family rendezvous point if there is a fire? What do you do if your baby is choking? Creating a safe and secure environment in your home requires practice and a plan.
Safety and security are topics that generally surface in our minds after something tragic happens. Wisdom and experience will teach us that preparation will prevent worry. Taking action to protect your family, your possessions and your property and to keep your family safe from harm and accident will reward you when the unthinkable happens. Having a plan, thinking like a bad guy and knowing how to defend yourself are three ways that you can make your home safe and secure.
Have a plan, know your plan, practice your plan
What are you going to do if you wake up to an intruder in your home? Where is your family rendezvous point if there is a fire? What do you do if your baby is choking? In most circumstances, there is not time to wait for emergency responders. You are the first line of defense for a safe and secure home. Having a family plan for emergencies can save your live or the lives of your children.
A family plan template could include:
The purpose of the plan
Family Operating Procedures (FOPs) describing what each family member will do in the event one of your scenarios actually happens.
Ensure that you have all your local emergency service numbers listed in a predetermined spot. These numbers can be used by another family member as you initially take charge of the situation. Once you have a plan in place, ensure that it is regularly discussed and practiced in your family meetings.
Think like a bad guy, but don’t act like one
Some criminals will trade years of their lives for a couple hundred bucks. Becoming a victim of a crime of opportunity can be easily prevented with some basic steps.
Keep valuables out of site
Don’t pretend that the key you keep outside is actually hidden
Lock your doors
Maintain good lighting around your home
Consider becoming a dog owner
Install a security system (or put a sign in your yard that makes it look like you have one)
Criminals enjoy easy targets. If you look unprepared your chances of becoming a victim are much higher.
Learn to protect yourself and your family
You are responsible for the protection of your family. The sad reality exists that there are bullies, violent criminals and others that have no respect for you, your family or your property. Knowing local use of force laws and basic self-defense skills will give you a feeling of confidence. This knowledge will enable you to protect yourself and your family.
Consider joining a local martial arts studio. Many of them will provide you with a free day or week in order to see if it’s the right fit for you. For women, I highly recommend Jiu Jitsu. This method of ground fighting helps to level the playing field with larger attackers.
If you have a gun in your home, make sure that it is stored safely and securely. A firearm can be a lifesaving tool if the owner is properly educated and experienced in its use. Understand the basic firearm safety rules and teach them to your children. They include:
Treat all weapons as though they are loaded
Never point your weapon at something that you do not intend to destroy
Keep your finger off of the trigger until your target is in site
Be aware of your target and its surroundings
Without using an actual firearm, practice scenarios based off the use of deadly force laws in your area. Know when you should pull the trigger and when you should not.
Create a plan for your family. Think about any vulnerabilities that may diminish the safety and security of your home. Learn how to fight and pray you never have to. As you take these steps to improve the safety and security in your home, you will find that preparation prevails against fear.