Home Invasion Caught On Camera, Part 2 - A Real-Life Example of the Home Security Mistakes that Can Leave You and Your Family Susceptible to Residential Crimes
In Part 1 of my column on the Los Angeles home invasion caught on camera, I discussed some of the common misconceptions people have about residential crimes and how those misconceptions can leave you and your family susceptible to burglaries and home invasions. In today's article, I will review the home security mistakes this same video footage reveals, and provide expert home security advice that is critical to your family's safety and security.
If you have not yet viewed the video of the home invasion caught on camera, I recommend doing so before or after reading this article. There are no violent or otherwise graphic scenes in the video. The video simply shows the crime as it happened and speaks to the home security mistakes discussed below.
Common Home Security Mistakes
According to the ABC7 news report, this was the second time this family had their home broken into. After the first break-in, they installed six surveillance cameras, which allowed them to catch the home invasion on camera, as well as the home security mistakes they made - the same mistakes homeowners across the nation make each and every day.
By no means am I suggesting the victims of this story are to blame for the awful crime that occurred in their home. I simply point out the vulnerabilities for the sole purpose of educating you, the reader.
Home Security Mistake #1 - Leaving a Door Unlocked When Home
The most crucial mistake the occupants in this home invasion story made was leaving their sliding door unlocked while they were home. As you can see from the video footage, this was how the intruders entered the residence.
One of the first things many burglars and other home intruders look for is an unlocked door or window. This is why it is so important to keep your windows and doors locked at all times - even when you are home. This is especially true for homeowners who have no other means of home security in place.
Keep in mind, however, that keeping your doors and windows locked is not enough to keep a determined intruder out of your home. Windows and doors are the only way an intruder can enter a residence, and the majority of them do so through a locked door or window.
Preventing an intruder from entering your home requires installing certain home security devices that are specifically designed to make entering through a door or window very difficult. Such devices include high quality deadbolts, reinforced door frames, security door braces, glass protection film, and devices that prevent windows and sliding glass doors from being opened or lifted out of their tracks.
As mentioned in Part I of this article series, one of the reasons so many residents lack vigilance when they are within the comfort of their home is the false sense of security they develop. This is likely why the home invasion victims in the news story left the sliding glass door unlocked. Having intruders invade their home in broad daylight was likely the last thing on their minds. But that's exactly what many home intruders look to take advantage of, the innocence of unsuspecting residents.
Home Security Mistake #2 - Inadequate Security
Another mistake the residents of this crime made has to do with the location of their home and their lack of home security. Per the ABC7 news report, the intruders jumped the fence in the backyard. Though it was not mentioned whether the backyard backed up to a park, greenway, or street, from my experience in the home security industry, my guess is that there were no houses behind the victims' home, and this may be one of the reasons this particular house was targeted.
Having a home alongside a vacant or public area such as a park, ravine, golf course, or street carries an increased risk for burglary and other home crimes. Decreasing this risk requires extra home security precautions, such as a motion-activated alarm system, outdoor security lighting, and other diligent home security precautions. Even a couple of large, barking dogs - particularly those with a protective nature - can serve a homeowner well when it comes to alerting owners when a stranger is lurking nearby.
Home Security Mistake #3 - No Second Line of Defense
Another point this home invasion video speaks to is the importance of having a second line of defense - such as a safe room - in the event an intruder makes his way into your home. As the video shows, the standard hollow-core doors of bedrooms, bathrooms, closets and other rooms are not effective barriers.
Creating a safe room does not have to be expensive. In many cases, it can be as easy as replacing the door of a bedroom, bathroom, or closet with a solid wood or metal door and equipping it with a security door brace. When used in conjunction with an OnGARD security door brace, the door will be virtually indestructible against brute force. This protective barrier will give you the time you need to call 911 and remain secure until help arrives.
Ensuring you have a way to call 911 or alert the company that monitors your home alarm is also an important second line of defense. One of the ways you can do this is to have wireless panic buttons installed throughout the house, including your designated safe room. The wireless feature will ensure the button works even if the power is cut off. When monitored by a home security company, pushing the panic button will alert them to contact the police for you.
Another thing that was immediately evident to me that you may or may not have noticed after watching the video is that the victims of this crime had no emergency plan in place. This is evident in the fact that the first call the victims made was to a family member. Their second call was to 911.
I cannot stress enough the importance of devising an emergency action plan and rehearsing that plan periodically with members of your household. Had the victims in this crime had one, they almost certainly would have done what every person should do when faced with a life-threatening situation, and that is to call 911.
The time that is wasted in calling someone other than 911 can cost a life. Unfortunately, these are the types of mistakes people make when they are panicked. When a person's fight or flight response kicks in, the adrenaline rush can interfere with their thinking. This is one of the reasons it's so important to have a written emergency plan in place and to rehearse the plan. Devising andrehearsing a plan over and over will help automate your responses when faced with a real emergency.
Take Your Home Security Seriously
Hopefully with today's article you've gained a better understanding of why it's important to eliminate these home security mistakes from your life. Home invasions, burglaries, and other crimes can happen to anyone, including you. So don't leave your safety and security up to chance. Protect your home and your family by following the expert home security advice shared with you today.
1. ABC7 Eyewitness News (2015). Home invasion suspects terrorize San Jose family with knives. ABC7.com. Retrieved from http://abc7.com/news/home-invasion-suspects-terrorize-san-jose-family-with-knives/719853/