In Las Vegas, ABC 13 News (KTNV) aired a segment on how to protect your home against burglary.
Now, the segment dealt mainly with making your home more resistant to burglaries of the unattended home daylight burglaries. Most of the tips provided courtesy of LVMPD’s expert were relatively simple and common sense, including: “Make noise when someone knocks...Plant hostile vegetation...Install a noisy alarm.” Probably just enough to get the average person thinking along the lines of making their home a hard target.
They interviewed a family whose home was burglarized in the middle of the night when their door was kicked in. No details were provided, but it was certainly not the daylight burglaries the report was focused on.
The one tip that truly would apply is asking who is at the door before opening. Challenging a potential intruder to identify himself before you open the door is essential to providing yourself vital seconds to react to an assault or keeping the intruder out in the first place. Every knock on the door should be answered. Most daylight burglars try the front door, usually with some pretext such as a lost dog, magazine sales, or asking trivial questions if the door is answered. Then they move on to their next target. Once they identify what they believe to be an empty home, they will usually make entry through a side or back door.
Since home invasion robberies (also known as burglaries) was not the focus of this report, I won’t be too critical on the lack of advice to have a gun handy and knowing how to use it. As it write this, my home defense pistol is out on my night stand, less than 5 seconds away from where I type out on the couch. Of course, when I leave, I secure the pistol in a quick-access safe and the rest of my guns in a cabinet bolted to the wall. Never leave a gun out when you are not home, especially as thieves or worse, children, may access it.
If a burglar is intent on victimizing you, your passive measures hardening your home will not stop a forced or violent entry. A weapon (most likely a gun) is your only defense at that point. You cannot count on the police to save you; most response times are about five minutes (if you’re lucky) or much longer if you are in rural Nevada. In a violent encounter, you can only depend on yourself and your skills. Have a gun, keep it where you can retrieve it quickly, and most importantly, have the will and the skills to use it.