Creating a Home Safety Plan
A couple days ago I received a call from my daughter. It started with, “Well, I had an interesting night,” which is never the first thing that you want to hear, am I right? She continued to tell me that she was sound asleep when she was awoken by a large crash in her house. Her and her dogs, which sleep in her room, were startled awake and they seemed very agitated and were growling at the door and pacing the room before going completely berserk barking. She immediately called 911 and the dispatch kept her on the line until police were at her front door. The police didn’t find anyone in or around her house, thankfully. The next morning she opened her closet door to find that the mirror that was hanging on the back of the door had crashed down and was lying broken against the closet racks. Yea, that’s right, just a mirror. Safe to say, she was laughing and definitely a little embarrassed when she told me the story the next morning.
While it’s comical to look back in hindsight, I still think that she made the right decision by calling the police. We tend to be on more of a heightened alert around the holidays when break-ins are more common and now that the holiday season is over it’s natural that we return to a state where we are a little more relaxed in our home safety. Some people aren’t fully functioning after they’ve woken up until they are two or three coffee cups deep, so how do you think you would react if you are suddenly woken up in the middle of the night? Do you have your phone close to your bed? A flashlight? A gun or other form of self protection? Do you have animals that alert you awake? An alarm that you always arm before going to bed? Are you checking to make sure that all outside-facing doors have been locked? It’s hard to create a drill that would prepare you for what you would do if an event like someone breaking in would happen to you and even harder to ensure that you would actually follow that drill in the heat of the moment. It is important to be prepared so you don’t find yourself a victim.
Last Fall a retired Highway Policeman gave shooting lessons to a friend and I. After we were done practicing, we went inside and he asked, “OK, where would you go if you are in your bedroom and hear an intruder?” He told us that you go to the corner farthest from your bedroom door where you can see anyone that enters and no one can sneak up behind you. You call 9-1-1 and have a flashlight ready to shine in their eyes the second the door opens to disorient them. If you feel like your life is in danger and you have a weapon then you use that to make an impact. Keep dispatch on the line the entire time so they can record the confrontation and be prepared to run at the first opportunity.
I know this all seems kind of ridiculous, but the reality is that no one expects to become a victim, but it could happen to anyone. Large city, small town, urban or rural doesn’t eliminate you from becoming a victim. Good people far outnumber bad people and you shouldn’t be living your life in fear, but give yourself and your family the peace of mind by putting a plan in place if something should happen. Pay attention to your surroundings and trust your instincts.