We see a lot of articles concerning how to best deal with home invasions. Essentially, they boil down to keeping your doors locked with good locks, staying alert, and having a defensive firearm close at hand. However, I would suggest that the most dangerous are the ones that occur after the occupants have gone to bed and are fast asleep.
Jeff Cooper’s color code lists Condition White as being oblivious. And the only time that we are in that state and can’t help it is when we are fast asleep. When an invasion comes under those conditions we actually have to go from white to red (ready to fight) as quickly as possible. Some of us can react under those circumstances faster than others, but the truth is that all of us have to deal with a down time where we are trying to wake up and figure out what exactly is going on and what we need to do about it. We need to think about establishing an early warning system.
If you can afford it, loud audible alarms on all the doors and windows would be one place to start. This would certainly help you get awake while the criminals are still on the outside trying to get in. Such a system, especially the kind that turns inside and outside lights on, can be a great help. Of course, this assumes that you have remembered to actually turn the system on before retiring and that the crooks haven’t circumvented your electrical system.
In Colonel Cooper’s own home, there was a long hallway that led to the bedroom. At the end of the hallway opposite the bedroom Cooper has installed a steel, barred door, similar to the bars in a jail, that locked securely. Another very time-consuming challenge to the crook but, again, another expensive addition.
An early warning system that is not so expensive is a good and faithful dog, the kind that raises hell when alarmed or annoyed. Some dog lovers will have a big dog that roams the house and a smaller dog that goes into the bedroom with them. Faithful dogs will alert us to a lot of problems, not just home invasions, and crooks will generally avoid dogs when they can.
Finally, concerning getting awake enough to deal with the problem, is the fact that most of us will have a gun nearby. The question becomes, how do you make sure that you are sufficiently awake to understand the problem and have any business touching a loaded gun? Being armed, but not fully awake, is often how tragedies occur.
Obviously, coming out of a deep sleep and being able to successfully deal with a home invasion is a serious issue. Our homes are different and our sleep habits are different. It should be an important family project to evaluate our residential needs and to honestly evaluate our ability to get awake and get ready to deal with the attack.
How do you make your home and your family a harder target for home invasions? Only you can answer that and it is far more involved than you might think.