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How to create a safety zone in your home

Creating a safety zone in your home is a security priority if you want to keep the people you love safe. A safety zone is a secure area in your home where you and your loved ones can escape to or hide if you experience a home invasion of any kind. You are at your most vulnerable when asleep, so your sleeping and/or upstairs areas are usually the most practical safety zones. A safety area gives you time to respond to threats and provides a place to escape to in case of an emergency.

It is important to assess the weak points in your home and look at your home from a criminal’s point of view. This will help you determine where you may need extra security. Here are a few expert tips on how to successfully create this safe space in your home, as well as how to be prepared for any malicious invasions. 

Expert tips on creating a safety zone in your home

  • Install a solid security gate in any passages between your main living areas and your safety zone. It should ideally be fitted with a keyless locking system to ensure a rapid response.
  • Secure all windows with burglar bars.
  • Insert bars in any sliding door tracks, so that if intruders do crowbar the lock open they will not be able to gain access without creating a lot of noise.
  • Secure all sliding doors as they are the easiest to force open. Retractable security barriers work perfectly with sliding doors.
  • Ensure that all your internal doors are operating correctly and that all the locks are in excellent condition.
  • Secure all swing doors, even if they are solid wood as the lock is easily broken with the right tools. As much as 80% of forced entries are through doors, as it is easy to carry loot out of and is a quick, trouble-free escape route if disturbed.
  • If your door opens inside, a horizontal bar can be placed across it. Should the lock be broken then the door still won’t open, as it can only be operated from the inside.
  • Evaluate your garden. Look for hiding places and dark areas at night, and ensure they are adequately lit up.
  • Assess any trees in and around your property that could enable burglars to climb and gain access to unprotected windows or the roof.
  • Ensure you do not leave ladders standing outside the house, which burglars could use to scale any low walls.
  • Separate your garage from your home by placing a security gate on any door leading directly from your garage into your house.
  • Make sure alarms are armed when you are out or sleeping.
  • Security beams and cameras help detect an intruder before they get into your home, but physical barriers are still essential to ensure safety.
  • Ensure all your security barriers and electrical precautions are in excellent working order.
  • Burglar bars and security gates should be installed on the inside of the home where possible. This allows alarm sensors to be trained on the points of possible entry and will activate as soon as a window or door is forced open – before the burglar has had any time to tamper with the gate or burglar bars.
  • Security beams should be concealed so that the intruder will be unable to avoid triggering the alarm.
  • Don’t leave any large pieces of board that can be placed in an alarm sensor’s field of view, as this could enable a criminal to crawl past undetected.
  • Make sure there are no areas behind couches or other furniture that are out of an alarm sensor’s field of view.
  • Ensure panic buttons are in perfect working condition and strategically placed within your safety zone so that they can be activated without anyone being at risk. In addition, consider placing a panic button on a low level in your bathroom as criminals often tie up residents and leave them in the bathroom.
  • Outside lighting is a good deterrent, as it enables you to see out at night and makes it difficult for criminals to see inside your home.
  • Make sure that outside lights are well out of reach to prevent intruders from tampering with them.
  • Security lights are economical and alert you, your dogs and your neighbours and make intruders uncomfortable as well as exposing them when the police or armed response company arrive.
  • Dogs are a great first line of defence, but are only as effective as you train them. Consistently reward them for barking at strangers.
  • Consider keeping one dog outside and another indoors at night when you are asleep, as they are sure to wake you if someone is trying to gain access into your home. Dogs that are inside your safety zone can’t be beaten into submission, chased away, poisoned or sprayed with any chemical without first alerting you.
  • Consider planting thorny trees or shrubs and cacti in places that you want to discourage thoroughfare or access, such as around your perimeter walling.
  • Teach your loved ones to be security conscious with regards to locking gates and doors, arming alarms, putting lights on, always being aware of surroundings and being assertive with strangers.
  • Ensure loved ones know what to do and where the safety zone is that they need to go to when there is an emergency or security threat.
  • If there is a security threat, do not panic. 
  • Establish an action plan with your loved one so that everyone is prepared in the event of a home invasion. A previously established routine is vital as you could be confused or half asleep when the invasion occurs. 
  • Always set aside some dark clothing on a special hanger that can be used if you need to get up at night to investigate, as it will make it difficult to spot you. 
  • When going to sleep at night, leave a slight gap in your curtains so that intruders will not see the curtains move if you look outside. 
  • A good quality, fully-charged torch is invaluable and should be placed next to your bed every night. 
  • Make sure there is a first aid kit in your safety zone. 
  • Have your cell phone on hand at all times to call for help. It is also a good idea to put a cheap cell phone loaded with airtime in your safety zone.
  • Save all emergency numbers in your cell phone and continuously update them, so that there is no time wasted in calling for help.
  • Take note of vital information that you’ll need to communicate to emergency services in the instance of a security threat:
    • Your personal details
    • Your physical address
    • The number and location of everyone on your property, including domestic help.
    • The number of intruders.
    • The location of the intruders.
    • How and where the intruders gained access.
    • If and how the intruders are armed.
    • A physical description of the intruders, including clothing.
  • Don’t ignore any strange noises. Cautiously assess, but don’t go outside. Rather call the police or your armed response company to investigate.
  • Before using lethal force to protect yourself, ensure you know the law.
  • Make sure any self-defense weapons are easily accessible and can be located without turning on lights or making any noise that would alert intruders.
  • If you fire a warning shot then bear in mind that the intruders may be armed, so get out of the line of fire.
  • Good quality mace spray is a great weapon to subdue an attacker. If there is a case of mistaken identity it’s uncomfortable, not lethal. Keep mace spray in some convenient places like on the wall near the front door and next to the bed.

Taking note and practically applying some of these tips will help you create a safety zone in your home that will provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind. Always be careful and aware. Treat every situation seriously to avoid vulnerable situations. Get in touch with the King Brands team today to start putting some of these security measures in place. Don’t delay!

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