5 Must-Have Security Items to Keep your Family Safe
It’s a scenario most of us have experienced: you’re away from home, so you set a time to phone your family every day to check in and see how things are going. It’s a cherished ritual you look forward to, as not only it is always great to speak to your loved ones, but most importantly it lets you know your family is safe. Then, one day, they don’t pick up the phone or text back. You know it’s irrational, but almost immediately your head is filled with every awful scenario imaginable. What if there was a break-in or an attack? It’s everyone’s worst nightmare: Something might have happened to my family and I’m not there to protect them.
While you’re debating whether or not to call 911, you finally get a call back – they had just forgotten their phone at home. Thankfully, nothing happened this time, but the panic you felt is very real. Your reaction to that unanswered phone call is natural. You know your family is probably safe, but with so much to lose who wouldn’t be worried?
Crime is a sad reality in modern society. It is a constant presence in our daily lives and although we are not ruled by our fears, we must recognise the real need for vigilance. We install security systems in our homes and offices, lock our doors at night, and stay away from dangerous neighborhoods. Safety is the number one priority for our families, our property, and ourselves. To help meet you and your family’s security needs, we have therefore put together a list of essential safety items and procedures.
Home Defense: Defensive Weapons
Each state and city have their own laws regulating what you can own and use for home defense and security. These rules can cover weapons ranging from baseball bats, to tasers, and of course firearms. Before you even consider buying your own home defense items, make sure you know the laws surrounding their purchase, storage, and use or you could end up in real trouble. Additionally, if you lack the training these probably won’t be very effective in a critical situation. Weapons can also easily be used against you, or even worse get into the hands of your kids. You wouldn’t trust a first-time driver on the freeway, so apply the same common sense to home protection.
Deterrence as Defence
By far the most effective way to prevent harm is to deter criminals by hardening your home or business, and make sure you have the right supplies to survive in an emergency. As law enforcement and security professionals, we recommend that you invest in the following items:
This has two elements: lighting refers to flashlights (which can be used as a defensive weapon by blinding an assailant, as well as a source of light should the power go out in an emergency), and flood and motion lights.
Most people, even adults, have an innate fear of the dark - they imagine someone or something lurking, watching. The fear of what could be hiding in the shadows is hard-wired into us for good reason, and it is therefore strongly recommended to install flood and motion lights into your property. Being able to see what is out there and knowing there will be no dark corners for criminals to hide in is imperative to your safety. It gives you time to initiate your defense strategy (covered in another blog post) and alert the security professionals.
Unless you live or work in a rural area, dogs are your best bet to help keep your household safe. Every dog is different, but they are in general extremely loyal, with an innate drive to protect their family, have much faster reactions than humans, they have heightened senses of hearing and smell, and they can detect danger and raise the alarm before it’s too late. Even a small dog with a big bark can be enough to make intruders think twice.
By far the best investment you can make in your security is in a high-quality alarm system that initiates an immediate armed security response. It should include motion detectors and be linked to a panic button. Make sure to have a distress code enabled that allows you to trigger the alarm even when you are away, and the system is not armed. The system should be linked to a security company which in turn deploys trained and armed, off-duty police officers and security guards to your home within a couple of minutes. Once at your house or business, their primary mission goal is always to keep you safe, and the secondary goal is to apprehend the perpetrators.
Emergency situations can have various outcomes, one of which is the possibility that someone becomes seriously hurt. It is therefore prudent to always have an emergency trauma kit (containing at the very least a tourniquet and pressure bandages) on hand. Ensuring that at least one of your family members or employees has basic first-aid training is a huge added benefit. This is another area where armed security response can be indispensable. The respondents for every quality provider will be trained in first aid, with potentially lifesaving consequences.
Water and Food Provisions
Nobody wants to constantly worry about dire emergency situations, but bad things really do happen to good people. The best way to deal with any adverse scenario is to be prepared. Whether there is a natural disaster or a security-triggered lockdown, investing in a small stockpile of canned food and containers of water is a prudent thing and economical step to take. A small gas stove and gas lanterns are also good emergency back-up items to have on hand in case of prolonged power outages.
The Need for Armed Security
There is nothing more dangerous than an untrained person wielding a firearm. Whether you feel comfortable owning guns, and whether you have the training to use a firearm safely and effectively in a high-pressure situation should be the only factors in your decision to buy a gun for defensive purposes. In our experience, however, it is wisest to entrust your family’s safety to trained professionals, whose job it is to remain calm and collected in dangerous situations.
As mentioned above, fitting an alarm system linked to an armed response unit, with the sole job of keeping you safe, will help you sleep at night, secure in the knowledge that should the worst happen, professional help is always just at hand.
Tips for Hiring a Security Guard Company
- Find out which companies are well represented in your neighborhood, as they should have frequent patrols and be close by in case of emergency
- Consider the pros and cons of a local company vs a national chain. For example. a larger firm may have name recognition, but local companies are often strongly linked to law enforcement in your area and have a deeper connection with the neighborhoods they keep safe
- Research response times and success rates (arrests etc)
- Find out whether security is the company’s main focus
- Consider the services on offer
- Make certain that the company is licensed and insured
- Cheapest is not always best – your safety is more important than saving a quick buck
For more information on finding the right security company for you, contact us!