A few weeks ago I participated in a Home Invasion Seminar hosted by my Krav Maga class. For those of you unfamiliar with Krav Maga, it is a non-competitive self-defense system developed in Israel and used by Israeli Defense Forces, with several closely related variations also being developed and adopted by law enforcement and intelligence organizations.
Krav Maga encourages students to avoid confrontation. If this is impossible or unsafe, it promotes finishing a fight as quickly as possible. Students of Krav Maga are also reminded to follow four principals: address the immediate danger, attack simultaneously, eliminate the threat and lastly, disengage.
Part of the beauty of Krav Maga is that it focuses on real-world scenarios and emergencies. As such, the Home Invasion Seminar provided some great tips on how to prevent this from happening to you. Since Brownstone loves to share tips that can help keep homeowners and property owners safe, I thought I'd share some of these suggestions with you.
- Have a solid-core door for all entrance points.
- Use a quality, heavy-duty deadbolt lock with a one-inch throw bolt.
- Use a quality, heavy-duty knob-in-lock set with a dead-latch mechanism.
- Use a heavy-duty, four-screw strike plate with 3-inch screws for a wooden door frame.
- Use a secondary blocking device on all sliding glass doors.
- Use anti-lift devices such as through-the-door pins or upper track screws.
- Use highly visible alarm decals, "Beware of Dog" decals or neighborhood watch decals.
- Make sure someone cannot reach through an open window to unlock a door or remove a blocking device.
- Set your phone to speed-dial 911.
- Get to know your adjacent neighbors and agree to watch out for each other's homes.
- Use motion-activated lights around pathways and to and from main entry points.
- Make sure any exterior lighting allows for 100-foot visibility.
- Make sure your alarm system has an audible horn or bell to effectively scare away intruders.
- Talk to your neighbors and let them know what to do if they hear your alarm horn.
- Be sure to activate your alarm before leaving your home or retiring for the evening.
- Identify your valuables by engraving objects with a set of numbers only you would know. Make a list of those items and their associated numbers and keep that list in a safe deposit box.
- Photograph items of value.
- Remove all shrubs and large plants that could provide hiding places next to your home or entry points.
- Practice an escape plan with your family. Designate exits and meeting areas and know where to go for help.
- Do not ever agree to be taken to an ATM or anywhere else by an attacker.
- Practice trash discipline. If you do buy a big ticket item like a computer or TV, cut up the packing into small pieces so that it will fit inside your garbage can. If items were shipped to you, make sure to remove any address labels from the packaging before placing it on the street for pickup.
- Close your blinds at night. A burglar or attacker will take the opportunity to look inside to see what you have for the taking. The less information you provide about what's inside your home, the better.
For those of you interested in learning more about Krav Maga, check out Krav Maga New Bedford.