How To
How to Craft an Effective Home Defense Plan

How to Craft an Effective Home Defense Plan

How to Craft an Effective Home Defense Plan

Since your home is your castle, you are responsible for defending it against trespassers, burglars, and other unwanted guests. According to data gathered by Nation Safe, one property crime occurs every four seconds in the U.S., and 60% of rapes and 38% of assaults occur during home invasions.

If you don’t want to become a grim statistic, you must learn home defense tactics for protecting your property and loved ones. To help you, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide for developing a home defense plan.

Do I Need a Home Defense Plan?

Over a million home burglaries occur in the U.S. yearly, and forecasts indicate that 75% of American homes will experience a break-in within the next 20 years. These numbers and the ones we shared before should give you more than enough reason to start a home defense plan.

Without a home defense plan, you or your loved ones may be mentally and tactically unprepared to respond and protect yourselves if a break-in occurs. The lack of preparedness will expose you to dangers you could have avoided if you had the appropriate home defense equipment and knew how to use it to eliminate threats to your home.

Key Principles for an Effective Home Defense Strategy

If you have decided to implement a plan for home defense, here are the principles to follow to develop an effective home protection plan.

1. Prevention Beats Cure

One of the best home defense tips you can get is to make your house unattractive to burglars and trespassers. Burglars typically prefer easy targets, such as homes that look unsecured and unoccupied. If breaking into a home seems like it will be troublesome or dangerous, a crook would prefer to take their business elsewhere.

You can make your house unappealing to a home invader by installing a security system that consists of motion-activated lights, security cameras, solid exterior doors, window bars, and alarms. If you prefer low-tech, get a guard dog and surround your home with a fence.

Alternatively, discourage would-be intruders by putting up signs that say you have a guard dog, cameras, or other security systems in place. Even if you don’t have a security system, seeing a sign that says you do is enough to deter most burglars.

2. Communication Is Key

A home defense plan can only work if everyone within your home knows and understands it. For instance, if the plan is to move to a safe room and lock the door once the alarm goes off, your family may not think to do it if you haven’t previously discussed it with them. As such, communicate your home protection strategy with everyone in your home long before an actual break-in occurs.

Things to discuss with your family include each person’s role during a home invasion, such as who will be responsible for:

  • Calling the police
  • Alerting everyone and herding them towards the safe room
  • Grabbing the gun to protect everyone or scare off the invaders

Also, discuss strategies for different break-in scenarios. For example, if the burglars are still outside the house, everyone should head for the securest space in the house. If the burglars are already in the house, your spouse or partner could go to the children’s room with a gun to protect them while you attempt to take down or scare off the invaders with your weapon.

Lastly, consider coming up with an easy-to-remember code word or phrase for putting your family on high alert when your home is under threat. You can also have code words for letting your family know if the threat has passed or worsened. Simple code words can help you and your family communicate and move quickly during a scary, fast-paced break-in scenario.

3. Designate a Safe Room

During a home invasion, someone must defend your property and give the burglars a reason to leave as soon as possible. If you are the protector, the rest of your family should secure themselves in the most secure room in the house and call the police.

The most secure room in the house could be a specially built panic room or your most defendable room. Your most defendable room will have only one entrance that you can barricade and preferably thick walls that bullets can’t penetrate.

The room should also have a window or other escape routes that your family can use if things go south. Lastly, the room should have thick furniture or other items that provide cover and a clear line of sight that leaves intruders exposed to gunfire if they approach.

While your family is secure in the safe room, you have options for getting rid of your home invaders. We recommend taking a defensive position that forces intruders to expose themselves if they approach you. The defensive position could be inside the secure room if you live alone or outside the door if your family is inside.

After taking cover in your defensive position, loudly and confidently tell the intruders you have contacted the police and have a gun. If the intruder does not flee after hearing this news, hold your position and fire at the intruder if they come into your line of sight.

4. Dial 911

Immediately you notice a threat to your home, call the police or have someone else do it while moving your loved ones to the safe room. Neglecting to call the police may lead to a prolonged home invasion, especially if you have an armed burglar that fights back or refuses to leave even though you have a gun.

Calling 911 will also ensure that you or your loved ones can get quick medical care if someone gets hurt during the attack on your home. After calling the police, keep the dispatcher on the line to communicate your position in the house and allow the police to monitor the situation as it unfolds.

5. Stay Locked and Loaded

Since home invasions unfold quickly, you may not have time to assemble a dismantled gun or retrieve ammo from a different room. So, keep ammo beside your home defense gun and ensure that the firearm stays ready to use at a moment’s notice.

Don’t forget to keep the gun close by when going to bed, or place it somewhere on the path to your safe room so you can grab it on the way there. If you have children, ensure safety by keeping the gun in a quick-access safe. Besides a gun, a charged phone and flashlight should be by your bed. The phone is for 911, and the flashlight will help you see if the power is out.


6. Test the Plan and Practice

Congratulations! You have created a home defense plan, but have you tested it? If you haven’t tested the plan, you can’t know for sure if it’s a good one. Test the plan by simulating a break-in, using your code words, and having everyone perform their roles. After seeing your plan in action, you can identify the aspects to modify to make it better.

After perfecting your plan, practice it with your family until everyone masters the drill. You can also run monthly surprise drills to engrain the plan into everyone and ensure they remember what to do if a break-in really occurs.

If your home defense strategy involves using a gun, you and everyone who will have a gun should head to a gun range to practice with their firearms. Besides helping improve aiming and weapon handling, practicing at the gun range will help you and your family get comfortable with using guns. When you are comfortable using firearms, you are less likely to hesitate or fumble during a crisis.

Home Defense Equipment


The correct answer to what is needed for home defense will depend on your preferred home defense tactics. However, there are certain home defense items you will need regardless of the plan you have in place. These items include:


A suppressor or silencer is an accessory attached to the muzzle of a gun to reduce gunfire noise. You can get one for various firearms, including pistols, rifles, and even shotguns. If you add a suppressor to your home defense firearm, you can shoot at intruders inside your home without experiencing temporary deafness or disorientation.

Also, suppressors help reduce recoil when you fire a weapon. Reducing recoil can significantly improve your aim and give you a tactical advantage over intruders.


A Trusty Gun

Nothing beats a gun for home defense. You can opt for an easy-to-handle pistol, but a shotgun or AR-15 is better if you want something that can intimidate and scare off intruders. Even if facing an unarmed assailant, a gun is still worthwhile because intimidating or subduing an intruder is often easier if you have a bigger and deadlier weapon.

If owning a gun for home protection is impossible, other good weapons for home defense include a stun gun or pepper spray. However, we do not recommend challenging intruders with these weapons if they have a gun.


Flashlights can help light up the way if experiencing a home invasion during a blackout. You can also use a flashlight to gain the element of surprise by using it to blind an intruder.

Security System

Various types of security systems are available. An affordable and effective option is the Ring doorbell. It provides a camera for monitoring your front door and a speaker for scaring off intruders. It also has motion detection and night vision for spotting criminal elements in the dark.

You can get even better security by installing a comprehensive home security system that sounds alarms and contacts the police after detecting break-ins. Such systems usually have sensors attached to all possible points of ingress to prevent unauthorized entry from all angles.

If you want to keep things low-tech, install a strong door and deadbolts over all your entry points. You can also burglar-proof your windows by adding latches and installing safety films that make the glass unbreakable.


At the very least, you can call the police with your phone. However, your phone can do much more if you pair it with a top-notch security system. For example, you can buy a smart security system for monitoring and locking down your home via your mobile device from anywhere in the world.

Don’t Let Home Defense Be an Afterthought

Considering how rampant home invasions are, you should do everything you can to prepare and equip yourself to protect your home and loved ones. Create your home defense plan, teach it to your family, and practice it until everyone knows what to do if a break-in occurs. To learn more about how to be tactically ready to protect yourself and your property, visit the Shoot on Mute Blog.