Summer means pools, cold drinks, and quality time with family and friends. It also means vacations, but with this comes an unfortunate side effect: increased chances of home break-ins and attempted robberies.

As more people leave town during the warmer season, homes become more vulnerable to robberies. Bold offenders may even break into your house in the middle of the day when you and your family are outside enjoying the sunshine. But don’t worry; there are plenty of preventive methods you can take. To keep your home as secure as possible, here are 5 tips that will help ensure your loved ones stay protected.

1) Invest in high-security screens and doors

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At first glance, it may seem shocking to you that so many people don’t do something as simple as lock their doors. However, this is for a completely understandable reason: locking doors makes them feel like a prisoner in their own home. It also cuts them off from the natural breezes and smells of the outside world. People don’t want to feel trapped when they’re having an evening in. The home should be a comfortable, safe, relaxing environment.

Well, here’s the good news: there are plenty of screens out there that provide high levels of security without making you feel “closed off.” Companies manufacture many burglar-resistant mesh screen windows and doors that offer unobstructed views of outside. If you add a good door or window system over them, you double your home security by providing an extra layer of defense. In the end, it is better to invest in a high-quality mesh and a decent door than to pour money into really strong doors and windows that you will occasionally leave unlocked or open.

2) Own a weapon (guns are the great equalizer)

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You can (and should) add additional layers of security to this kind of system, so remember that the most important security layers are the ones tripped before you actually have to use your gun. Most people don’t even like to entertain the idea of having to use a weapon to defend their family, but if it comes to do that, you’ll want to be prepared. The odds of you being near your gun during a crisis are low, so it’s best to carry.

When you’re not carrying, use a gun safe with reliable locks to keep the weapon secure in the meantime. Whether in your car or near you while you sleep. This can reduce the risk of it being handled by a younger family member or the aggressors themselves. A solid gun safe whether large or small can keep your firearms protected from theft or children.

3) Add a personal layer of security

Adding a personal layer of security is one of the most critical components of home safety. Teach your loved ones to pay attention to their surroundings so that they can be aware of any suspicious activity occurring around the home perimeters. Other personal security tips can include never opening the door to strangers or teaching children to call “safe” adults, such as neighbors, for help if the parents or usual adults aren’t home. Show them how to use the alarm or panic button. It may even be useful to show them how to use a weapon against intruders (as a last resort).

Talk to neighbors about arranging a neighborhood watch program. The bottom line is to teach yourself and your loved ones to simply be more aware. A lot of people are taken by surprise, which gives the intruder a distinct advantage. If you’re as prepared as possible, you can gain a foothold in your home security and reduce the likelihood of being caught unawares.

4) Create a family evacuation plan

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It’s not only important to be prepared in the ways of defense; it’s also crucial to plan possible escape routes in the event of a crisis so that you will not have to necessarily use force. Discuss with your family how they might exit the house and where they will meet up once they do so. Establish a “safe” place and go over what each family member will do to help with the evacuation plan.

5) Research deadly self-defense laws

No one wants to entertain the idea that they may have to mortally wound another human being in the event of a confrontation. However, should the occasion arise, it’s important for you to understand your options. Self-defense laws range from “stand your ground,” “castle doctrine,” and “duty or retreat.”

With stand your ground, homeowners virtually have no duty to retreat either in their home or anywhere else; deadly force can be used in self-defense both within and outside of the home. Castle doctrine is similar, but it places limits on your ability to protect your property (i.e., using deadly force within your home or office rather than just anywhere). Duty to retreat self-defense laws require you to retreat rather than fight right back. Deadly force is a last resort and you can’t use it if you’re safe in your home. In the event of a break-in, you are expected not to confront.

Since these laws vary from state to state, it’s crucial to carefully research so that you can see what legal options are available to you. This will enable you to better plan your home security strategy and will help your family be as prepared as possible in the event of an emergency.

Keeping Your Family Safe This Season

It’s important to make sure that while you’re spending quality time with the people you care about this season, you’re prepared in the meantime for the worst case scenario. Home intrusion can occur with increasing frequency during the months when people are more likely to be absent from their homes. While you shouldn’t let fear keep you from doing the activities you love, it is best to be well-prepared so if the worst does happen, you and your loved ones are not caught off guard.

Leave a Comment:

Maria says August 9, 2016

Great article on home security and defense both for home and personal. I had no idea there were security screen doors as you described. I live in a rural area with little crime so we get lax, although we lock doors at night and when we are gone. The old days of not doing that even where we live is gone. Best to take your advice and be pro-active!

Brooke McAvoy says September 2, 2016

I like your tip about investing in strong doors. This is definitely an important part of home security, and I thought I had done well until my screen door broke. Maybe the manufacturers were not anticipating the destructive power of my children. Do you have any tips for getting something like this repaired or replaced?

    Lauren says September 4, 2016

    I know what you mean! My dog ripped through our screen door when she was a puppy. We had to buy a new screen door because the damage wasn’t fixable. I’d probably look into replacing it since that is probably the easiest!

April Cook says September 22, 2016

We have created an evacuation plan and are always talking about personal safety, but I think it would be good to add a few more of these precautions. I like the idea of adding security screens to our doors and windows. It would be nice to have that feeling of safety while not feeling trapped in our own home. Can I have them installed with the doors and windows I already have?

emily bennette says October 11, 2016

I like that the first thing you talked about was improving your home’s door. Getting a security door does seem like a good and simple way to improve your home’s defenses. I would feel safer if my home had a strong front and back door.

siaosi says November 8, 2016

I think that this is my first time hearing that a door can be one of the first lines of defense for a home. I think that it is about time I get a new door for my home if that is the case.. I would like to keep my home safe as possible, if they means getting a new door, it sounds good to me.

Sarah Smith says November 15, 2016

I’m moving into a new neighborhood and want to make sure my house is secure. Investing in high-security screens and doors is great advice and can add an extra layer of defense. I would also suggest getting a home security system installed to help provide protection.

Johnny McCarron says December 20, 2016

I really like your advice to have high security screens and doors. I think that people underestimate the difference it makes to have a good, sturdy door. However, if you want your home to be safe, that is probably the best option. Do you have any other tips, particularly about where to buy your high security screen door?

Amit Patel says May 9, 2017

Thanks for the article. I found it very informative about home security.

Taylor Hicken says June 12, 2017

There have been a few robberies in our neighborhood, so it’s made my husband pretty nervous. We’re hoping that next we when we leave on vacation, no one will break in. Because of this, he suggested that we install a security door. I’m not sure how well it’d work, but if it keeps the intruders out then I’m okay with it.

Amanda Drew says June 27, 2017

I like how you suggest to use burglar-resistant screen and doors that let you see outside while still being protected. This would really help you feel free while keeping you safe. One thing that I’ve heard to do that wasn’t mentioned was to put a sign advertising that you have a security system whether or not you really do have one.

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