Did you know that there are safer alternatives for protection than a gun in the home? Many of us want to feel sheltered and secure in our houses, but do not believe in owning firearms. I am not commenting in any way on our Second Amendment rights. I am suggesting that we have viable and feasible alternatives to gun ownership (if we so choose).
Here are a few ideas to help you think outside the box:
- Bear Spray: You never know when a wayward “bear” might come sniffing around your home. Bear spray can be purchased at places like R.E.I. or on-line. It shoots from 18 to 40 feet. The red mist surrounds and causes temporary blindness. The eyes, nose and lungs feel as if they are on fire. The mucous membrane tissues begin to swell and breathing becomes difficult. After a time, the effects begin to subside. It gives the victim time to escape and seek help from the authorities.
- Dogs: Dogs don’t have to be big and ferocious to be effective guard dogs. In addition, you should never get a dog for the sole purpose of home protection. They are much more than that! A good dog will often become a member of the family. Dobermans and German Shepherds are smart and trainable. However, they require more work and money to maintain than a smaller breed. Little “yappy” dogs are just as effective at warning of a possible intruder. They will alert their owners with loud barking and, this alone, will drive away a prowler.
- Security Companies: Depending on where you live, there are many good home security and surveillance companies out there. They can install detectors on your windows and doors that trigger a call to the police. They can also install flood lights and cameras around the perimeter of your house. If you have the service and your neighbor doesn’t, who do you think would be the more likely target?
- Lock up: Many people take the mindset that a home burglary could never happen to them. Simply locking your doors and windows is a good start. If you move to a new home, be sure to have all the locks changed out. Don’t leave notes on your front door for visitors (especially if it can be seen from the street). It signals others that you are away. 1-inch deadbolts are extremely effective at resisting tampering. Also, try sliding a wooden dowel into the track of your sliding glass door.
- Garages: If your garage is connected to your house, it can be an easy entry point for intruders. Try frosting the windows on your garage doors. Someone looking in will not be able to assess whether your car is parked in the garage or not. If you are going to be out of town, it is well worth the minor inconvenience to padlock the throw latch on the door. Instead of keeping your remote opener in your car, try investing in a keychain remote opener. Lastly, padlock the door that links your home and garage. Intruders consider the garage a weak point in home security. If they are successful, the deadbolt to the house should stop them in their tracks.
- Shrubbery: The plantings around your house can work for you and your family. Keep overgrown bushes and trees trimmed to give would-be intruders less places to hide. Plant cactus in front of windows to create a natural barrier.
We all want to assure that our families are protected where we live. Bringing home a new baby can feel like a vulnerable time and your little one’s safety is foremost in your mind. These alternatives to gun ownership can work in tandem to create effective barriers against would-be thieves.