If you saw the horrifying video of the recent home invasion in New Jersey that was caught on a nanny cam, like me you probably can't forget it.
Fortunately, the guy who did it has been caught. But let's get real -- home invasions happen every day, all over the country. Some are unavoidable. The New Jersey mom, for example, had locked her doors and had no reason to believe someone would burst into her home and beat her up in the middle of the day.
Still, there are some really simple things you can do to make your home the least likely on the street to be broken into. We went to a personal safety expert to get his best tips for protecting yourself from a home invasion -- here's what he told us.
In addition to the great tips offered in this video, several of you have offered advice of your own in the comments on YouTube.
Many of you recommend owning a dog or two, and I agree that this is a great deterrent. Even a little dog can be intimidating -- we have a poodle who acts very fierce when there's a stranger at the door, and I've been surprised by how many grown men are afraid of our dog when they come to our house. Some have even knocked and then retreated to the bottom of our front steps, ready to flee, I guess, if our "tiny terror" is let loose outside!
Another viewer recommends bars on the windows and an iron gate that would prevent anyone from coming onto your front porch. That's pretty extreme, but I'm guessing it would make your home FAR less likely than the others to be burgled!
And some of you, not surprisingly, recommend owning a gun. That's your right, of course, but our personal safety expert did say that the problem with that strategy is that many people simply buy a gun and put it away, thinking that they're protected. He said that there's far more to it than that. Extensive training is required, and the reality is that many of us, even if we're willing to have a gun in our home, aren't going to take the time to get that training.
As for sprays, our expert cautioned that some people are impervious to pepper spray -- it may or may not work on an attacker. Tasers only stun people for 2 to 5 seconds, and both prongs have to land in the right spot on the attacker or it won't work at all. Wasp spray may be effective, but it may also be illegal to use as a self-defense spray in some jurisdictions. Basically, there's no foolproof way to ward off an attacker -- you just have to do the best you can.
Do you have advice on protecting yourself that hasn't been covered here? Share it in the comments!