Safe and sound, what do you do if an intruder breaks in. It’s the middle of the night. You are sound asleep, and you hear the noise of someone kicking in your front door. In this moment, seconds count and you are scared out of your mind. You are trying to process exactly what is happening and how to respond. Do you think this is the time to come up with a plan of action for this scenario that you never thought would happen? Or would it have been better to have a plan in place prior to the intruder breaking into your home?
Just like a fire drill or tornado drill, it is critically important to have a plan for your safety if an intruder breaks in and practicing that plan often with those in your household.
Have you ever watched a TV show or movie where there is a bump in the night and the person immediately turns on all the lights and flings the front door open to investigate? Let’s put together a better plan. A more effective way is to keep the lights off. You can maneuver in your home with the lights off much better than an intruder would be able to, so that’s an advantage. Use it! We need every advantage we can get. Another one is to remain in our home instead of going outside to see what’s going on. Going from the known (our home) to the unknown (outside) will almost always put us at a disadvantage. What is going on out there? Is someone trying to do me harm? Are there multiple people and where are they? There are so many unknowns. A better plan is to stay inside your home and move to your safe room.
Your safe room is just any room you pick and should be set up for the best possible way to defend yourself. It should have your self-defense weapon of choice. That weapon needs to be accessible and ready to use at a moment’s notice. It should also have a cell phone. It can be an old cell phone without service because those should still dial 911. Make sure it stays charged. Be aware of your entryways to your safe room. If someone breeches that entryway, what would your line of fire look like to defend yourself? What is on the other side of that wall? Is it a neighbor? Is it your grandparent’s or kid’s room? If you need to reinforce that wall, consider maybe a bookcase full of books to help absorb the projectiles that may blast through.
You want to retreat to your safe room to give you more time and space to prepare to defend yourself against the intruder at your front door. This will give you more of a chance to make decisions about what needs to be done next. We need to first determine if it is actually an intruder meaning to do us harm. Or is it your child’s friend sneaking in? Or a drunk neighbor at the wrong house? So, if you don’t give yourself space and precious seconds to determine if it’s truly a threat and you go straight with your weapon and toward the noise, you may inadvertently make the wrong decision from fear or panic. Sticking to your plan and making space between you and the intruder will be infinitely more helpful to your defense.
Going to your safe room also gives you more time. Use that time to barricade in that room and call the police. Tell the dispatcher what is happening, where you are located in the house along with your physical description with what you are wearing, and what your intruder looks like, if you can. Also, give the dispatcher a code word to relay to the police officers on the scene to use to identify themselves to you.
Safe words need to be obvious (like pineapple or baseball, for example) and everyone in your house knows what that word is, so everyone knows it’s the good guys.
Lastly, get training and practice frequently with your defense weapon. Don’t let the worst, most chaotic day of your life be the first time you are figuring out your handgun, rifle, pepper spray, etc. This is not the time to see how far your pepper spray can spray or if your handgun has a manual safety that may or may not be engaged or if your rifle is loaded.
So now is the time for youto make your “Safe and Sound” plan for self-defense at home and in the car, out in public, or any other scenario you may encounter. You will react that much quicker to a threatening situation you have already practiced for physically and mentally when seconds count instead of being caught completely flat-footed with no plan.