Here are some actions you can take to make your home safer. Again, many of these are "common sense" actions. If you have thought of these before, GREAT! You are way ahead in the game (but have you acted on them?)! If you have not thought of these before, then hopefully I just gave you some things to do that will enhance the level of personal safety at your home.
Set up a "safe" room that you and your family members or visitors could go to in case of a break-in when you are home. A "safe" room should:
- Lock from the inside only.
- Have a usable cell phone in it with a fully charged battery and/or a way to re-charge the battery.
- Have emergency numbers and contact information programmed into your phones or written down on paper and located in the room. Under times of stress and duress, our ability to think clearly and remember things might be compromised. Having these numbers already programmed into your phones or written down eliminates the need to remember the numbers!
- If numbers are programmed into your phones, you could take it a step further and set them up in a speed dial configuration (select a number that would be easy for you to remember - keep in mind the stress of the situation could clutter your memory!) to reduce your response time.
- Have a working flashlight, in case the power gets turned off. A good sized flashlight can also be used as a striking weapon.
- If there are windows in the "safe" room, make sure they are closed, locked and covered so no one can see into the room.
- If possible, have large furniture items located close to the entry door so that it can be easily moved into a position in front of the door to form a barricade that would make entry from the outside even more difficult.
Make sure your whole family knows all about the "safe" room. Obviously, you do not want to scare children - so make sure you educate your kids on the "safe" room in such a way that they do not become afraid to be in their home all the time.
Perform practice drills for getting to the "safe" room. Make it "fun" for children. Practice how to get to the room from every possible location in your home. Have each family member practice how to secure the room once everyone is inside. And, remember, practice makes perfect - so don't just do it once!
More "At Home" personal safety tips coming soon! In the meantime - One Body, One Life, One Choice...Be Smart & Be Safe!