1. MAKING A PLAN for what you and your family should do is the best strategy for preventing a tragedy! Make a plan with your family now. GO THROUGH EACH STEP THEY ARE TO TAKE if someone breaks in. This can be very similar to a fire drill and actually is. "If this happens, then do this or don't do that." Check each room out individually and decide what the safest, smartest steps are to take.
2. GET A DOG! It doesn't matter what size, big or small. The sound of a barking dog will often deter a burglar. Also, you very rarely will hear about a home that was broken into that had a dog. DOGS ARE A GREAT ALARM SYSTEM. BARKING ALONE has been known to deter potential break-in's.
3. CHARGE YOUR CELL PHONE IN YOUR BEDROOM EVERY NIGHT! Make sure you and your kids make this a habit. If someone breaks in, they may cut the phone wires, or can somehow be notified that someone is in the home on the phone. Your cell is your lifeline to the outside world. Your cell phone can not only call for help, but you can text, which is important when it comes to remaining silent if you are hiding.
4. Program 911 # into yours and your kids phones. Wireless operators CANNOT ALWAYS LOCATE YOU OR YOUR NUMBER. We recommend that you program the number of your LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT under your ICE or 911 contact.
5. BE QUIET and LISTEN! Don't tell an intruder where you are by calling out to them, telling them you are armed or are calling the police! LISTEN AND LEARN:
- How many intruders are there?
- Are they ransacking the house?
- Are they making their way toward you?
- How many feet do you hear?
- Where are they in your house?
- Do you have time to escape or just enough time to barricade yourself in your room to keep an intruder out?
6. IF YOU HAVE TO STAY WHERE YOU ARE, GET UP AND LOCK YOUR DOOR. CALL THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY.
- We recommend that you install deadbolts or locks on the inside of bedroom doors or on a closet door in the bedroom. If you don't have locks, barricade yourself in the room if you can. Push a bureau or even the bed in front of the door.
- Tell the police dispatcher your address and situation in a few sentences.
7. SLEEP WITH CAR KEYS NEXT TO BED.
- IF SOMEONE BREAKS IN AND IS TRYING TO GAIN ACCESS TO YOUR ROOM, PRESS THE ALARM BUTTON ON YOUR CAR KEYS. A car alarm going off is certainly going to alert someone that something is wrong!
- If you've read my previous posts, remember that one of the best weapons you have are a full set of keys. If an attacker is coming at you, strike his nose or cheek bones as fast and hard as you can. Don’t worry about inflicting injury. Run as soon as he’s stunned, and yell to get someone’s attention.
As always, being safe, locking doors and windows, paying for alarm service and monitoring are the best ways to prevent an intruder from gaining entrance.