Home Protection: What We Can Learn from America's Gangster Granny

9:54 PM



Seventy-three-year-old Margaret Jackson of Houston, Texas, was relaxing in her favourite chair when her daughter’s dog barked at the back door. Acting quickly, Jackson armed herself with a BBQ fork and a pair of scissors and, to her chagrin, spotted a man trying to gain entry into her home. Not willing to be the victim, the Gangster Granny pushed the door open on the surprised criminal and stabbed him with her BBQ fork before he had the chance to get away.

Unfortunately, criminal acts like this one are not only happening in Texas. Although home insurance can replace the value of most stolen items, it cannot address the emotional distress that comes with a home invasion or the loss of personal property. There is no way to prevent burglary completely, but armed with a few tips homeowners can be certain that they will be as safe as possible in the event of a home invasion.

Awareness is Key
Being aware can be a lifesaver when it comes to home intrusions. If Granny had not paid attention to the dog’s barking at her backdoor, the intruder may have gotten in to her home and the results could have been disastrous. Most criminals prefer to commit robberies while no one is home or while everyone is sleeping. A burglar surprised by a suddenly appearing homeowner can have unfortunate results.

A homeowner in the Adelaide suburb of Reynella illustrated the importance of awareness when they successfully apprehended an intruder who was crossing their backyard at night. The homeowners heard the criminal jumping over fences and tackled the unwelcome visitor.

Have a Plan
All homeowners should have a plan about what to do in case of an intrusion. Ideally, your plan includes a fast get away from your house and a call to the police. To ensure that this plan is easy to enact save emergency phone numbers on your mobile phone so you can call the appropriate emergency personnel with the touch of a button. Dialing more than one button while you are nervous and your hands are shaking can be difficult. If you rely on mobiles, you should make sure that your mobile is close at hand and well charged.

React Intelligently
If an intruder has already gained entry into your home, it may be impossible to enact your plan. If you hear an intruder in your home, be as quiet as possible. This is not the time to have a row with your spouse about what to do. Escaping through a window or barricading the door are good options if you cannot get out. If you hear the intruder taking your stuff, you should not worry as long as you are safe. Your home insurance will help you to replace your belongings, but nothing can replace you or your loved ones.

Use Force Only If Necessary
Although arming yourself with a BBQ fork may not be necessary, it can be worthwhile to use force in certain situations. Australian law allows homeowners to use force to prevent burglary if they are in imminent danger.

Gangster Granny may be a local hero to some. Her story should be a reminder that home invasions can occur and considering what to do in such an invent may ensure your own safety in the future.

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