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Lifestyle: Protecting your Family in the 21st Century

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In today’s world, home defense is on everybody’s minds. With so many options available, it can be hard to find those that work. Here are some tried-and-tested means to defend you and yours.

Outside Lighting

For some reason, criminals tend not to want to be seen clearly. Nice, bright exterior lighting is a great first step to keeping break-ins down as crooks worry about visibility to the neighborhood. Better yet, install motion lights. When a light flips on during their approach, a potential robber doesn’t know if it’s automatic or if you are standing at a window, silently watching them while loading a .45. Not all burglars will be fended off this way, but a sizable portion will.

Alarm Systems

Similarly, burglars don’t like a bunch of noise to draw attention. Alarm systems are an effective second line of defense against B & Es. The big question with an alarm is whether or not to put a sign out. While a sign may deter burglars from considering your property, to some people, namely those skillful enough to turn off alarms, it might just serve as a helpful tip-off.



Image via Flickr by John Garghan

For those who can’t afford pricey alarm systems, nature’s klaxons can work just as well. When acquiring a dog for home defense purposes, avoid the tendency to think of it as an attack animal. A dog trained to go for the throat can pose a danger to invited guests as well as intruders. Besides, gun beats dog almost every time. Rather, what you want is a pooch with a bark bigger than its bite. Remember, intruders loath discovery, and hearing a dog waking up half the neighborhood can be enough to dissuade them. Sometimes, this may mean that a small, yappy dog is preferable to a pit bull.

Secured Access

Burglars are looking for easy scores, and the easiest are those with the least amount of security on the access points. Make sure the locks on your doors and windows are solid and visible. Also, consider bars or reinforced glass for windows; a picturesque view is nice, but may leave you vulnerable to entry. And for goodness sake, don’t leave your spare key under the welcome mat. Give it to a trusted family member or friend instead.



Image via Flickr by Keary O.

Honestly, a weapon should be the last line of defense against home intrusion for homeowners; if you’re at the point where you’re aiming at someone, your family is already at risk. That said, keeping a gun or other weapon near where you sleep isn’t the worst idea. Consider picking up some discounted firearms for around the house. Put some thought into your ammunition, however. Armor piercing rounds might sound cool, but walls are a kind of armor, too, and your neighbors are unlikely to sleep in tactical vests.

Technology may allow for new gizmos like better guns and automatic lights, but the fundamentals of defense remain the same. In safety terms, the best home invasion incident is the one that you stop from beginning in the first place, and you can achieve that goal through careful and rational planning.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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