When it comes to home invasions, we could throw a bunch of statistics at you showing how often criminals break into houses, but fear, not stats, motivate most of us every night to make sure our doors and windows are secure before we head to bed.
Just ask the family of 28-year-old Amanda Blackburn, a pastor’s wife from Indianapolis who was shot and killed inside her home this week during an attempted robbery. Those grieving her death and that of her unborn child aren’t thinking about the statistics.
Weapons instructor and owner of Gulf Firearms, Scott Thompson showed me a few easy tips and tricks to deter criminals from choosing your house as a target.
He jokes that the goal is to make your home less appealing than your neighbors. One way is by putting up a security system sign in your front yard, even if you don’t actually have one. Another is by trimming the shrubbery around your house, so it’s difficult for anyone to hide behind them.
Thompson said you have to look at your house as a criminal find out where your weaknesses are. For many of us, it’s the front door.
Most door frames have a shallow dead lock and less than two inches of wood to keep intruders out.
“It takes nothing, very little bit of strength to kick in that door. Just, put your shoulder against that door, even with the standard deadbolt. That’s why you want to harden that…even if you don’t want to change the door, you’ll want to harden that door by putting that steal in there and putting those four-inch lag screws in there to make it harder. You’re trying to make your house harder than your neighbors,” Thompson said.
“You can throw a rock at it and it wouldn’t break,” Thompson said.
Thompson said he encourages people to draw a map of their house and draw a critical action plan and practice it with your family repeatedly, similar to a fire drill.
“Protect your family at all costs. Never ever give up. Never give up. Keep fighting as long as you can fight. People that get hurt are the people who submit. Fighting is the single most important thing you can do to stay safe and if you submit. You’re at their well at all times,” Thompson said.
The truth is, you need to have the mindset that the police aren’t coming to help you. Haven’t you heard the phrase, “when seconds count, police are just minutes away?”
A critical incident happens so quickly that you have to react instantly and without a plan in mind, the chances of that happening are slim.