Updated: Dec 10, 2019
If you are reading this, then I can assume you either are interested, feel prepared, or are creating your home defense plan. So where do you begin? I'm going to break it down into several parts to make easier to digest the information. This will also to make it easier to tackle each part one at a time until you have a full plan in place.
Securing the Castle.
Your home is your haven, were you feel the most safe, so make sure you make it your castle. Castles were built to showcase power and wealth, but most importantly, they were designed to keep invading armies out. In this case, we don't actually want our castle to even be on the bad guys' radar, so you don't want to show off a lot of electronics, jewelry, or any other valuables that could bring the scum of the earth to your front door. A few simple things you can do: close your windows at night so no one can see into your home, and don't leave empty boxes from those new computers and TVs in your trash for everyone to see. Be sure all of your windows and doors have functional locks that cannot be defeated easily. Motion sensor lights or timed lights are also simple and effective. Some optional upgrades include installing better locks on all exterior doors and investing in a home security system or security cameras.
Once you have taken the steps to secure the outside of the home and make it less attractive to criminals, you next want o secure the inside of your home. Important documents and other valuables should be in a hidden safe or storage compartment. Do not leave your keys out on in a bowl or hanging from a hook by the door - keep your keys out of sight. Place security cameras at high risk points of entry. Some of the new camera systems link to your cell phone so you can monitor your home even if you're not home. One such system with remote access features is NEST.
When it comes to weapons for self defense in the home, the situation will be different for each person and their living situation. If you're single and live alone then put your weapons anywhere they can be reached quickly. Also make sure that they are hidden enough that any guests you may have won't accidentally find them. Some examples of hidden storage are at www.tacticalwalls.com. If you are living with roommates or a significant other, then you will have to agree together whether or not any weapons will be placed outside of your rooms in the home or apartment.
If you have children in the home, you must be doubly cautious about your weapon placement. There are numerous laws in place designed to protect minors, and you could be charged with criminal negligence if you have weapons in the home that can be accessed by a minor. Firearms need to be locked in a safe for both basic safety and compliance with the law. Bio-metric safes are a good option that will allow quick access while still adhering to the law and maintaining gun safety in the home. There are a plethora of gun safes out there: bio-metric, key pad, or standard lock and key - and they come in all sizes to fit all sorts of places.
When it comes to firearm choices for home defense, I would recommend the following in order of my personal preference: a shotgun, a pistol, and a rifle. A shotgun is the first choice for multiple reasons. For most people, a shotgun would be the easiest to shoulder and aim. It would also give the greatest chance of actually hitting what they are aiming at. Less training is needed, and most small shot sizes will not over-penetrate and end up going into your neighbor's house.
A pistol is my second choice. As for what kind, whatever you are comfortable with that is at least a 9 mm caliber. More training is required to be proficient with a pistol, and if you use frangible self-defense ammunition you should not have an over-penetration problem. If you have the right training and the right ammo, a pistol does have the advantage of smaller size, better control, and better maneuverability over a shotgun.
Last choice is a rifle. Depending on the type of rifle, they still require some training to be proficient with them, and the biggest danger is over-penetration. You don't want to turn the neighbor's house into Swiss cheese, just the bad guys. There are some frangible ammo choices, depending on the caliber, but they are generally not as widely available. All long guns will be more limited in easy-to-get-to storage when compared to a pistol. So unless you're a gun guy or gal, you will have think about what will work the best for you.
Next is tactics in the home.... I will be updating this soon, stay tuned!