Home-Security Inspection Checklist
- Identify all windows that are on the ground level that could potentially allow a home invader to fit through. Never mind determining if it would be easy for home invaders to do so; they’ve been known to do some unorthodox things to gain entry to a home.
- Do they lock properly? Are they locked?
- Does anything block the view of the window from the outside, such as a tree or shrubs?
- Is there anything outside the house that could potentially be used as a stepstool to climb through the window? While home invaders aren’t likely to carry their own ladders or stepstools, they will take advantage of anything you’ve left outside that will make their job easier.
- Do you have alarm company stickers on your windows? New, fresh-looking stickers (not stickers that look like they were put on by the previous occupant).
- Do your windows have plastic or metal locks?
- If you have standard-hung windows, do you have a secondary security device, such as a bar stop?
- If you have casement windows, do you have standard or reinforced hinges?
- Do the windows have a protective laminate applied or baked to the inside of the window? In other words, will your windows be shattered with a single blow or are they designed to withstand repeated blows?
- On the first floor, what’s in front of the windows? For example, are they blocked by a table or other barrier that a home invader would need to climb over, or is the area wide open?
- What is the quality and strength of the front, back, side and interior garage doors? It’s natural to focus on the strength of your front door, but criminals will focus on whichever door is the weakest.
- What’s the general appearance of the door? Does it look new, or is it old, faded and looking primed for a good kick?
- Are the hinges on the outside or inside?
- Do you have an ability to see who is at the door without them seeing you?
- Do you use a deadbolt, chain lock or throw-over lock?
- How long are the screws that are used to mount the strike plate? You’ll actually need to unscrew the screws to answer this question.
- Is your house well-lit or poorly lit on all sides? How about the adjoining neighbors’ houses? Criminals will look for not only dark homes but also dark homes surrounded by dark homes.
- How close are trees or shrubs to your home? Is there anything that a criminal can hide behind while trying to enter a window or door?
- Do you have burglar alarm signs (in new condition) at all entry points?
Do you have a security alarm, and do you set it? (Homes that have alarms are three times less likely to be burglarized.)
- Is it connected to an alarm service?
- Do you have motion detectors, glass-break sensors and sensors on the windows?
- Are the front and back lights on?
- Is the alarm on?
- Are all doors locked (including deadbolt and/or throw-over lock)?
- Is the home-defense firearm in its proper location, and is it loaded? (Keep in mind that you’ll need to follow federal and state safe-storage laws.)
- Where is the phone, and how do I dial 911 (in the dark, with a head full of cobwebs)?
- If the home is invaded, what room do we move to?
- If we need to exit the home, which neighbor’s house do we go to?
- What commands do we give?
- How do I identify a friend from a foe?
- What’s a family code word to identify who and where you are?
- How do we inform our family that we’ll be coming home late or that a guest will be in the home?
- Does each family member know how to dial 911?
- Does each age-appropriate family member know how to use the home-defense firearm?
- What do we do when the police arrive?
Mental Exercise Checklist and Scenarios
- At Home:
- What if I hear the front door being kicked down or a window shattered?
- What if my burglar alarm goes off in the middle of the night?
- What if a stranger at the door suddenly produces a weapon?
- What if I find the door to my house open upon arriving home? (This is an easy one: Stay outside, call 911 and let the police do their job.)
- What if I hear someone in the house at night? How do I distinguish a family member from an intruder?
- What should I do if I hear someone outside of the house? What if I believe he or she is stealing my property? (Also an easy one: Stay inside, call 911 and be a good witness.)
- In Public:
- What if I’m approached by one or more individuals who cause me concern?
- What if I “step off the line” and they follow me?
- What do I do if they produce a weapon? What if it’s a knife? What if it’s a gun?
- What if a threat materializes between a loved one and me?
- What if I see an attack in progress on someone else?
- If I see someone who I believe has committed or is about to commit a crime, what should I do? Should I follow the individual or stay in a safe location and call 911?
Mental Exercises Checklist:
- What are my options? Can I avoid the situation entirely? Can I escape? Am I forced to defend myself?
- What cover or barriers are available?
- How do I move “off the line?”
- How do I draw from the holster?
- What commands do I give?
- What are the requirements for speed versus accuracy?
- How do I work the physiological reactions into my response?
- How do I disengage/re-engage any safety devices, including holster retention, manual safeties or decockers?
- How do I clear a malfunction?
- How do I perform a reload?
- What do I do in the aftermath?
- Who do I call and what do I say?
- What do I say to the police when they arrive?
- What will I do when I’m arrested?
- Where is my lawyer’s contact information?
For other classes or questions: Starla Batzko 920-747-0288 www.equalizer-defense.com