I divide home defense into the categories of deterrent, safeguarding, and response.
To begin, start by understanding the average house is pretty vulnerable. Doors can be bypassed and windows broken or just opened. So home defense is about deterring someone from entering and having a planned response for if they do.
I think mostly people make too big of a deal about home invasions to be honest. In the state of Ohio for 2022, there were 28,513 burglaries. This seems like a really big number until you realize that’s 319 for every 100,000 people, or roughly ..00319 or 0.3%. Most home invasions occur during the day when no one is home and only 27% of home invasions happen when someone is home. That is 0.081% chance you will be home. For the cases where someone is home, rape occurs in less than 3% of cases and half of those cases were a break in from a former intimate partner. In 92% of cases, victims of invasions when the are home, are completely unharmed. There are 100 burglary homicides per year in the United States.
67% of the time it’s someone you personally know and 88% of the time it’s an impulsive decision. 83% of Burglars check for an alarm system before breaking in. Higher income households hold the lowest rates of burglary. Rental properties and mobile homes experience the highest rates. 40% of entries were through an unlocked door or window. 61% of offenders are unarmed.
I believe this is the most effective strategy. If you are planning to break into a home, you are probably going to at least do a cursory inspection to pick an easy target. Honestly, based on statistics, if you live in a moderately safe middle class neighborhood, lock your doors and windows, and have a security alarm sticker on your window, your chance of getting a break in is almost nonexistent.
Ideally you want a street that is well lit, with a bit of traffic on it. There are a fair amount of homes near where I live that are these big rich mansions that are off by themselves in secluded private roads. You want people, particularly cops driving by periodically. Keep your house well lit, with noticeable exterior cameras. I also like to have some subtle deterrents, like a Marine Corps flag out front, my martial arts magnets on my car, and an alarm system sticker on the window. You don’t want to put any gun lover shit out there though since they might break in when you are gone just to steal your gun.
The number one best deterrent though, is a good sized dog. Not only do they wake up the whole house, but they are ruthless protectors.
If you want to, and particularly if you live in a bad neighborhood, you can also add door bars, deadbolts, window security bars, and such. If you are really nervous, you can build a safe room.
I don’t own a gun, because statistically an accidental shooting with kids is far more likely, so it’s safer to not have one. I’m not opposed to gun ownership, but I don’t feel the need to spend money on it. Guns are expensive, and I have better things to spend my money on. But if you are going to have one, it needs to be secure enough so no one has easy access but accessible so that you can access it under duress.
You also are just as likely to be able to stop an armed assailant with a knife, and if you know anything about how to use that knife, you are probably going to be more dangerous than with the gun. It’s close quarters with lots of concealment. If you have a knife, and conceal your position in an upstairs bedroom, then just wait for them to come up the stairs, you will probably be able to easily dispatch your would be attacker.
Tactical Weapons of Opportunity
An improvised weapon (or “weapon of opportunity”) can be defined as any readily accessible, hand-held object made of metal, wood, plastic, glass, ceramic or any other material(s) capable of stopping an active threat. They can include edged, impact, flexible, or contaminant weapons.
Edged weapons can be broken bottles and glass, but they can also include puncture weapons such as metal coat hangers, screwdrivers, and pens.
Impact are probably the most common, and can include chairs, rocks, toys, walking canes, or frying pans.
Flexible weapons can include scarves, belts, or power cords and are excellent for strangulation, or containing your opponent’s hands, such as when disarming knives. When it comes to knives, I also include tactical defensive applications of these, such as using an extra shirt to wrap your forearm against a knife.
Contaminants are anything you can easily throw into their mouth or face to hurt them. This can be scalding hot coffee or tea, insect repellant, hair spray, bleach, or other toxic chemicals. Let someone try to mug me while I’m filling my car with gas and see if I don’t spray them with the hose in the face.