When Abby Slutsky practiced law, she prosecuted petty theft. This is a true story that impacted the items she keeps in her bedroom.
Keep a Flashlight Handy
Protect Yourself by Staying Safe
There is a huge difference between keeping safe and protecting yourself. Chances are you do not have the training to protect yourself, and you might not have the weapons either. (If you do, you could wind up putting yourself in danger, so I don't recommend it.) However, you can take precautions to stay safe. Remember, a burglar does not want to see you; he would rather steal and leave.
I am going to start this by sharing a true story. It highlights the right and the wrong things we did when a light that we left on suddenly went off in the middle of the night. I went for safety, and my husband went into protection mode.
Use Your Plunger for its Intended Purpose
The Burglar Would Have Died Laughing
I still remember the third week I moved into my house. I was downstairs unpacking and doing laundry until late in the evening. Around midnight, I decided I had done enough, so I propped a mop up against the laundry room wall, threw the last load of laundry in and went upstairs. In the morning, I would toss the clothes in the dryer even though I usually did not like them to sit overnight. I flipped off the lights and went upstairs to join my husband.
We watched television a few minutes and turned off the light. It was about midnight, and the house was not dark more than 15 minutes when we suddenly heard a bang. Simultaneously, a light flashed on downstairs. I looked for my cell and realized it was in the kitchen with my keys. Fortunately, we still had a landline, so I dialed the police, Against my better judgment, my husband insisted on investigating.
However, before he went downstairs, he decided he needed a weapon. I was not happy he was leaving the bedroom, but I knew the police were on the way. Anyway, he rummaged around our bedroom. No bats, no sticks, and nothing substantial for his walk into the unknown. He walked into the bathroom and came out proudly producing our Simplehuman toilet plunger (which very effectively works to reduce the water level when the bowl is stuffed up). I still remember him leaving the bedroom gripping that toilet plunger like it was the most lethal of weapons.
Toilet plunger in hand, he yelled downstairs for the intruder to leave. There was no answer, and he made his way cautiously downstairs. When he got to the laundry room, he found the vibration of the washing machine had caused the mop to fall. It hit the light switch as it fell. Around that time, the police knocked on the door, and we explained what happened. The police searched our home to ensure we were safe and left.
Changes for Our Safety
Although there was no real break-in, we know that we were fortunate because, for the most part, we did not react the best way to ensure our safety. What became a humorous situation changed our habits and some of the items we keep in our bedroom. Although our situation happened at night, keep in mind that many burglaries occur during the day because thieves do not want to see their victioms. Here is our list:
- Cell phone
- Car keys
- Portable ladder
My cell phone is always charged and easily accessible when I am in the bedroom. We were lucky enough to have a landline when the mop fell but making the call to the police was probably the only thing we did right during our fake break-in.
A Little Key Fob Produces Loud Noise
Car Key Fob
My car key is more than just a way to start my vehicle. The key fob has a panic button that I can activate in seconds.The noise might attract someone, or it may give the burglar a reason to want to leave.
Well, the truth is, I am probably more likely to lock myself in the bathroom with my cell phone than to try to escape via my bedroom window on a portable ladder (especilly in the middle of the night). However, I do keep a portable ladder in my bedroom. Whether there is an intruder, a fire, or some other emergency, it is probably a good idea to be able to escape, if necessary.
If there is a break-in during the night, you probably do not want to groggily get out of your bed in the dark, stagger around, and trip over something. A flashlight can provide a small amount of light without illuminating your entire room. As an alternative, you could use a light from your cell phone.
My Husband Should Have Stayed Put
If a similar situation happened today, my husband would not announce himself. In fact, he should not have left the room. We were lucky that no one was there. We are certain that, if they had a weapon, it would have been a lot more substantial than a toilet plunger.
Is Your Bedroom Safe for Break-in?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Abby Slutsky
Abby Slutsky (author) from America on July 21, 2020:
Thanks for reading. Glad they decided not to come in.
Denise McGill from Fresno CA on July 21, 2020:
That's a great story and a scary one. It could have turned out much different. We have had several break-ins in the past but always when we were away. The thieves didn't want to see us and they made sure we were out. Only once did I discover a screen on the bedroom window had been sliced open and the window tampered with as if a burglar had tried to get in but then discovered we were home in bed and changed his mind.
JC Scull on July 20, 2020:
Very good article.
Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on July 20, 2020:
Thanks for your story on protecting yourself during a burglary. :) I keep my cell phone handy by my bed and hope for the best. I also have a flashlight close at hand. That's about it!
Danny from India on July 19, 2020:
Very nice article on internal safety.