Issue 14

Defense Of Your Home

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You're On Your Own

On our website, we have a page titled, "Why You Should Get Training."  In it, we talk about how long it takes for the police to respond to a 911 call.  While they're incredibly quick in their response time, you've got anywhere between 4 and 7 minutes - at least - to fend for yourself.

A lot of bad things can happen in that short period of time.

Think about that poor woman at Yale University that's now in the news.  She was in a high security building - it had 75 cameras and swipe-card access to every door - and she was still strangled in her own lab.

There's not a residence in America with that kind of high-level security, yet for some reason, we feel we're magically protected from the outside world once we enter our homes.

A call to the police for help is not going to keep you safe.  You cannot delegate responsibility for your personal safety.

When considering how to protect yourself in your home, there are a number of factors to include -

1.  Do I have tools available to me - regardless of my location in my residence during a break in - to help increase my odds of success?  Telephone (cell phones are best), a defensive weapon (firearm, pepper spray, stun gun), flashlight, etc.

2.  Am I alone in the home, or are other family members present?  Strategies for survival are significantly different for each of these situations.

3.  Cover, Concealment and Barracades - What are they and do I know how to use each of these to my advantage?

Being in California, we have (at least) three other things to consider -

1.  Non-felon adults are allowed to own and possess a firearm in their home.  Do you know how to select and operate the best option for your lifestyle and skill level?

2.  Unlike many states, California is NOT a "Castle Doctrine" state.  You are only able defend yourself against intruders that pose a threat of significant bodily harm or death to you or others.  Do you know how to identify these situations - knowing when you can legally fire a weapon and when you cannot?

3.  Any type of self-defense weapon - be it a firearm, pepper spray or a stun gun - must be securely stored to protect against unauthorized access.  If children, in particular, gain access to your self-defense weapons, you may be held criminally liable for anything that happens if it is misused.  Do you know how to safely store your self-defense tools, while still ensuring you have quick access to them if needed?

Safety Tip:  If at all possible, install some sort of alarm system at your residence.  If you own the home, you can get a monitored service which may alert the police to your situation if you are unable to call 911.  Renters can use mobile alarms that are available for people that travel and who wish to alarm their rooms.  At a very minimum, an alarm will buy you valuable time to prepare yourself against an attacker.

Next Issue:  Selecting The Best Self-Defense Tool.


Bison Risk Management Associates is a Northern California-based company providing Personal Safety and Emergency Preparedness training, workshops and consulting for individuals, businesses and organizations.

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