The Importance of a Home Defense Plan

By Karen Hunter
Posted in #Skills
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The Importance of a Home Defense Plan

April 16th, 2019

5 minute read

Our home should be our haven. It is supposed to be the one place where we feel most comfortable, and above all, safe. Harsh reality informs us that evil exists in the world. Bad people with ill intent exist and can pose a threat to our domestic tranquility.

When the threat targets our home, we need to be equipped to defend it.

Having a good home defense plan for you and your family is crucial. Every person who lives under the same roof needs to be on the same page for any possible crisis situation. This is a broad spectrum to cover.

Woman with SAINT pistol during home defense drill

A crisis could consist of a situation such as a fire or a tornado all the way to a home invasion. Being on the same page means each individual understands the plan of action. In this article, I want to focus on intruders and what often-overlooked measures can be used to prevent a home invasion.

Plan to Plan

For most people, having a firearm is their only action plan. They feel safe and prepared because they have a gun in the house to defend themselves. However, owning a tool isn’t a plan for dealing with a potentially sudden and violent encounter that could begin while you are still sleeping in bed.

You need to develop a plan on dealing with the threat of burglaries and home invasions. The start of any plan should be prevention. Sadly, this fundamental aspect of home defense is often overlooked.

There are many ways that we can prevent or thwart a home invasion. Focusing on prevention is crucial. We need to be able to do everything possible and within our power to avoid the encounter. Making your home difficult to invade is the first step. Here is a list of things to consider for preventative tactics.


A home that is well lit is less likely to be targeted. Criminals are like cockroaches: they hate being seen and the light will often drive them away.

Lights for all entryways, landscaping lights and floodlights with motion detection are a wonderful prevention measure. The more light surrounding your home, the less cover an intruder will have.

Security Alarm

This one is a little more obvious yet not incorporated into the home defense strategies of many homeowners. A security alarm that immediately notifies authorities and you upon sounding gives you a greater advantage and a higher level of preparedness.

The type to choose is totally budget dependent but there is usually something available in most price ranges. From high tech with mounted security cameras to even just a basic system, there are many to choose from.

If you cannot afford a system, obtaining a sign showing “this home is protected by…” and putting it on display is better than nothing. A threat may be scared off just by the notion that there is a security system in place. Keep in mind that an experienced criminal may be able to quickly identify if your house truly has a security system.


This is probably one of the biggest preventative measures that is overlooked. Entryways and windows need to not be easily accessible. By planting bushes, hedges and foliage, especially anything large, you’re setting up a parameter that makes accessing your home a little more difficult. A well thought-out landscape can be a great addition to your home defense plan.


Having a dog is another great deterrent. A large dog with a deep bark not only is a great warning signal for you but also tells a possible intruder they will encounter danger if they enter. If possible a trained protection dog is a wonderful addition, but even a smaller dog is a great thing to have for a warning indicator.

Spending the time to educate yourself on a home defense plan is vital. Utilizing the opportunities to train and plan, then implementing this plan is one of the most important things you could ever do for yourself and your family. Every home and family are different, each with their own unique circumstances. Any type of dwelling from an apartment to a free-standing home is capable of having a home defense plan. The ultimate goal is to avoid an encounter and utilize every technique you can making pulling your firearm the last resort.

Calling 911

Something that few people ever discuss with their families is when and how to call for help. Even adults hesitate to pick up the phone and dial 911 because of various mental blocks.

Long before an incident happens, rationally consider what things could happen that would warrant a 911 call. That way when they do happen, no one hesitates to reach out for emergency assistance.

If you’ve ever wondered what happens when you call 911, check out the article titled “What Happens When I Call 911?”


In a worst-case situation, all of your prevention techniques have prevented an intrusion into your home. In these cases, self-defense training and tools – including firearms – are likely going to be your best tools to stay alive.

Joseph Campbell wrote a great article about developing your home defense plan. I recommend you read it.

I also have a few ideas you may wish to consider.

First off: training is important. In fact, it may be the most important thing you can do should bad people make entry into your home.

Good training will prepare you to respond to violence in an effective way using whatever tools you have on hand.

Second, having a quality self-defense firearm is a tool I believe is critical for my defensive needs. I suspect you may feel the same. There is a lot of debate about what kind of gun and in what caliber it should be for home defense. For example, many people are fans of the 9mm and .45 ACP. However, there are also plenty of knowledgeable people that push for the 10mm as a home defense round.

I recommend an AR-15 chambered in 5.56 NATO. A rifle like the Springfield SAINT M-Lok offers a lot of advantages in a home defense situation including greater accuracy, more power and ease of use. Also, contrary to what a lot of people might think, the 5.56 round is less likely to penetrate multiple layers of drywall as compared to common handgun rounds.

Finally, a firearm is not the only bit of gear you may need. Things like a phone, body armor and a first aid kit may also be needed. Check out Richard Johnson’s article on home defense gear for a better understanding of the things that may come into play.

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles and videos are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

Product prices mentioned in articles and videos are current as of the date of publication.

Karen Hunter

Karen Hunter

Karen Hunter is a regular contributor and columnist to several national print publications as well as various digital platforms. She holds a passion to reach and educate people in the gun community and beyond. In addition to being a published author, Karen is a certified firearms instructor. She holds certifications in defensive handgun and carbine through Forceoptions USA, where she is also the Senior Range Officer for all training classes. Karen teaches full classes as well as private instruction. A regular guest on a variety of podcasts, she is a vocal advocate for the 2nd amendment and personal protection. She is a knife lover and lifelong student currently pursuing the study of Japanese Swordsmanship. If she’s not on the range, writing about guns or playing with blades you can most definitely find her in a drive-thru somewhere enabling her addiction to iced coffee.

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