How to Protect Yourself from Home Invasion

For the past week, I have been recuperating from a bad cold. So, I had a lot of time on my hands. What I did was something I rarely do; read the newspaper. I still subscribe to a daily newspaper. Usually I glance over the headlines and read the sports section completely. But, while sick in bed, I read all the local news. What I read alarmed me. There has been a 150% increase in home invasions, in my area, in 2011 compared to 2010. There have been four fatalities, including one homeowner. I have not really considered much about it until reading that. I decided to do some reading about protecting yourself from home invasions. I discovered the predominate reason for home invasions is money for drugs, particularly methamphetamines or just meth. One hit and you are hooked. You will do anything to get high again off this drug. Now most people, like me, think having gun is enough. Most people think that home invasions occur mostly when people are not home. That no longer is the case. There are other things you can do to protect yourself from a home invasion.

1. Vacation plans. Most people will let neighbors know when they are going on vacation. That is a good idea. Just make sure you completely trust your neighbor before doing so. Make sure your neighbor gets your newspapers or collects your mail. Better yet, go to your local post office and tell them to put a hold on your mail delivery for however long you will be gone. Of course, it is also a good idea not to share your plans on social media like Facebook also. Thank about that.
2. Good lighting and locks. This should go without saying. But, you would be amazed how many people have the most flimsy locks on their doors these days. You need, at a minimum, a deadbolt on each door leading in and out of your home. Lighting is equally important throughout the house. Some people will leave home with lights off, thinking they will save money on the power bill. They may come home and find out they will have an even more expensive bill to pay.
3. DIY security cameras. Yeah, having a couple of dummy security cameras is a deterrence. But, a professional burglar will know the difference right away. A desperate drug addict won't care either way. You can get some cheap motion detection cameras that will make a snapshot of any motion in your house. These cameras will easily fit in the palm of your hand. I have one that is wireless and snaps pictures of any movement in my home. The pictures are transmitted to my home computer (with a mini-dvr in a usb port) where they are saved. This one is an inside camera. You can buy outside wireless security cameras as well.
4. Dogs. This is probably the easiest and most cost effective deterrent around. I have a three-year old beagle that barks if the wind blows too hard outside. His bark puts the fear of God in any would-be burglar or, hopefully, drug addict. If you do have a dog, bring him inside at night if possible, for protection and alarm. He won't do you much good outside if the burglar is armed.
5. Gun(s). I know there is great debate about this around the nation. But, as long as criminals are able to get their hands on lethal weapons, I will always keep one in my home. This is mentioned last because this should always be considered your last step in home defense in case of home invasion while you are home. Your gun should be within easy reach...locked and loaded. Many people keep an empty chamber. That is a decision only each specific individual can make. But, you may not have time to cycle a bullet or shell into the chamber before the door or window caves in. Consider that possibility.

These are just some things to think about in protecting yourself from home invasion. Hopefully, this will never happen to you or me. But, there are 8,000 home invasions in North America every day. One in five homes has an invasion or break-in. Consider these possibilities as well.

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