From Pepper Spray to Panic Rooms: A Guide to Home Defense

A home break-in is a terrifying thing. Not only has your sanctuary been breached, but your possessions are put at risk, and your family’s safety is in the crosshairs of random chance and the will of a stranger. There are various things you can have in your home that can serve you in self-defense, but the best approach is to have a comprehensive safety and security plan that covers all the bases. Here is a guide to home defense, from pepper spray to panic rooms. 

Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is one of the best legally-acceptable forms of self defense. It’s effective, safe, affordable, and can give you ample time to get away from an assailant or halt them in their tracks so you can get away and call emergency services. The best and most effective pepper sprays are made of pure oleoresin capsicum without any chemical fillers. According to the safety website, “nly buy peppers sprays with a publicly listed major capsaicinoid content (MCC) and a published safety data sheet (SDS) or material safety data sheet (MSDS). Choose a canister with a flip-top safety, like the standard MK-6 canister, which is well-sized and has a reliable safety that won’t accidentally discharge or stump you in an emergency. You can also buy an accompanying inert canister to practice with.”

Code Words and a Plan of Action

If someone has broken into your home, the best thing to have is a plan of action in place well-ahead of time, so that you know exactly what to do, where you are going, and the most likely result. A big part of this is developing a code word for you and your family members so that you can safely and specifically initiate the plan of action. This can include relocating to a safe part of the house, like a panic or safe room, where you can be isolated and concealed from an intruder until emergency services are contacted. 

The Panic (or Safe) Room

A panic room is a secure room with a telephone line or devices capable of contacting emergency services in the event of a home invasion. While such a room is a costly investment, there are a range of options for implementing similar concepts, like utilizing a hidden room in your house for that purpose, or having a closet with multiple deadbolts and reinforcement against potential firearm use.

Home Security System

The absolute best thing you can do for the safety of yourself, your family, your property, and possessions is to invest in a reliable home security system. These come with a range of devices and services that can accommodate the specific needs of your property. Statistics for break-ins show that those with visible home security devices on the exterior of the house, such as cameras and motion-activated lights (such as floodlights with intense beams) deter would-be burglars and thieves. It signals to them that there is a system in place that puts them at high risk of arrest. 

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