Between Your Car and the Front Door: 3 Ways to Stay Safe at Home

Our homes are more than just our castle; they are our safe haven, protection from the evils that lurk just outside. But what about “just outside,” that area surrounding your home but not yet within its circle of protection… are you prepared to defend yourself at your castle’s gate?

Regardless of the type of day you have had or the obstacles you have faced, arriving home causes you to sigh in relief. You are in a familiar place, within sight of your loved ones and a few short steps from being able to turn off the outside world. But, those few short steps are often through a fatal funnel of vulnerability between the protection of your car and the inside of your home, full of dark corners and other natural hiding places and the last opportunity for those who wish to do you harm to strike.

SafetyAs with most dangers you face, those which lurk outside the gates must be recognized, mitigated and planned for.

  • Recognize the Potential – the first step to avoiding danger is recognizing that it exists in the first place. Although we like to feel a sense of relief as we approach our home, “close” does not count. Whether simply pulling into a driveway, parking in a garage or climbing the stairs to your apartment, you have also left the main thoroughfares and entered a secluded area. Furthermore, this secluded area probably includes dark corners, trash cans or bushes to hide among, none of which raise your warning level because they are familiar to you. But they are threats nonetheless.
  • Mitigate the Threat – although we think of our home as a castle, no one wants to actually turn it into one. Even with moats, draw bridges and pots of boiling oil, the true castles were still subject to attack, but that does not mean you cannot find a happy medium which allows you to live in peace without feeling you are in a prison. By lighting the outside approaches, keeping hedges trimmed and removing clutter from around entrances you can lessen your vulnerability. And while it may seem silly, you should also avoid patterns, even as you arrive home. Do you always park the car, check the mail and go to the back door? Do you think that makes you more predictable?
  • Plan for Attack – all the preparation in the world is for naught if you do not have a plan for when the worst case scenario becomes reality. What are you going to do if you pull into the carport after a late shift to find the motion sensor light is out? Are you going to simply add it to you “to do list” and get out in the dark, or will you take a minute to survey the area with your headlights or maybe retrieve a flashlight first? If you are steps from the door and confronted by your last felony collar, do you have a secondary route or means of escape?

As much as we hate to admit it, every officer is a target from the minute you put the uniform on. And that includes on your very doorstep.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell
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