Written by Jessica Thiefels
One of the most frightening experiences that someone can go through is to be in your home during a break-in, which is why preparedness is key. It’s important to plan out how you could protect yourself if this should ever happen to you.
The following non-lethal self-defense products should be included in any plan for protection during a break-in. One thing to be aware of, with each of these items, is that you should always practice using them ahead of time so that you know exactly how they work and are not scrambling to remember how to use it when you most need it.
This may sound like a strange product to keep at home, but batons are one of the most versatile personal defense products available. There are many types of batons, all of which offer different features.
The quickest to deploy is an automatic baton, according to experts at The Home Security Super Store. It turns into a full-length baton with the press of a button to create an element of surprise. Keeping it at the shorter length will make it easy to store in your bedside table.
Other styles include keychain batons, expandable batons, straight fixed batons, and stun batons, which have a stun feature to incapacitate the assailant.
Stun Gun or Taser
Stun guns and tasers provide a high-voltage shock that can leave people unable to move or speak for several minutes. In many cases, this is just enough time for you to make an escape. (Editor’s note: stun guns and tasers are often used as interchangeable terms-for differences see this article.) Security experts say it does not cause permanent damage and only renders the person immobile for a brief period of time.
Rich, from Off the Grid News, shares that the biggest downside to using a taser is “that most tasers are contact weapons, which means you have to be close to contact range and manage to hit your adversary with the contacts of the taser.”
To avoid this issue, purchase a Taser gun instead; this shoots the taser probes out of the gun, up to 15 feet. The “taser bullet” is attached to the taser gun directly and is reusable.
Pepper spray is another tried and true self-defense product, made from an ingredient called oleoresin capsicum. It produces an immediate inflammatory reaction on the skin and in the eyes and most people will feel an excruciating burning pain from the spray, allowing you to get away.
The effects of pepper spray can last from 20 minutes to an hour, and the residue is hard to remove or wash off. Most pepper sprays reach up to 10 feet but this depends on size:
“Expect that most of the smaller key chain canisters will disperse a pepper spray range of about 6 feet or 2 meters. Expect to get 1 to 3 sprays from key chain size canisters. The larger hand size canisters will average about 12 feet or 4 meters with 5 bursts of 2-3 second sprays,” according to the Pepper Spray Guide from Model Mugging.
A Tactical Flashlight
There are a variety of tactical flashlights to choose from, and most come with a high-powered light beam that can temporarily blind an assailant. Some also come equipped with other self-defense features, like a jagged edge that can be used as a strike style weapon.
Kyle Lemmon, security expert with A Secure Life highly recommends this product. He believes so strongly in the effectiveness of a tactical flashlight that he purchased one for his wife to use.
Man’s Best Friend
Invest in a “cute dog and an ugly stick,” suggests Andrew Tarantola, of Gizmodo. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and can hear four times better than humans. Don’t underestimate the power of a small dog versus a large dog, either. The barking of a small dog can still wake you up and frighten off a would-be attacker.
Give yourself greater peace of mind, and be prepared for a potential break-in, with these non-lethal self-defense products. Each one has its own benefits, so consider which is best for your apartment and skills, and keep it in a place that’s easily accessible.
Jessica Thiefels has been writing and editing for more than 10 years and is now a professional freelancer and consultant. She’s been featured on Forbes and Market Watch and is also an author for AARP, House Hunt Network, Reader’s Digest and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07 and connect on LinkedIn.