By: Anthony McGrath Survival Central Contributor
You hear the gate swing open and the footsteps slowly but steadily approaching your home. The door starts to rattle and the only thing going on in your head is ‘where do I hide?’, ‘where do I run to?’. Home invasions aren’t a very uncommon occurrence in the United States, with one out of every five homes in the country falling victim to home invasions or burglaries. The violent nature of a home invasion is what sets it apart from a burglary. These criminals are bold, they’re fearless and they come equipped with rage and weapons that they are, by no means, afraid to use.
We all know that protection is essential especially when living in a high crime area. However, it’s often
difficult to imagine that inhumane acts can happen within the comfort of your own home. After all, your home is your safe place; it’s the place where you let your guard down. Unfortunately, we’re all at risk. There’s no telling when a perpetrator may spot your home and determine that it’s a suitable target. In such cases, you’ll want to be able to offer yourself as well as your family the protection that’s needed to have a fighting chance. You need body armor.
Analyzing the area in which you live is the first step to selecting the correct body armor. Is there a high level of crime on the streets? Is there an abundance of guns? Are knife attacks the most common threat? All these questions and more need to be answered. The reason you’ll want to take a look at the frequency of street crimes, is due to the fact that body armor is an investment, Even if your priority is to purchase protection against home intruders, having armor that’s suitable to be worn every day, especially when venturing out into the crime ridden streets, is the safe and cost efficient route to take.
When guns are the most likely threat:
In the case that home intruders are known to walk with a gun in their waist or one in their hand when carrying out an attack, you’ll want to be sufficiently prepared to face such an intruder, provided he/she enters your home. A vest that is easy to slip on as well as easy to slip off will be your best bet. Also, because you’re looking at being able to use your vest when leaving your home, a covert vest is the best option. These vests come in a variety of levels ranging from NIJ Level I to NIJ Level III a, with the higher levels being more weight bearing than vests of a lower level. We asked safeguardclothing.com what the best armor in this situation was:
“In regards to home invasions, the most suitable Level for ballistic protection is a NIJ Level II vest. This vest will offer great protection against the handguns typically used by home invaders.”
-Anthony McGrath from SafeGuardClothing.com
Why not a higher or lower level?
Suitable for scenarios where .22 caliber pistol rounds (velocity- 1450ft/s) and .38 caliber rounds (900ft/s) are involved , lower level vests offer minimal protection and thus, are not as effective when it comes to protecting you in the case of a home invasion. As mentioned, higher vests are heavier and if you need to run and hide, flexibility and movement will be more restricted.
When knives are the most likely threat:
In the event that your city is one where knives are the most chosen weapon, a stab resistant vest should be considered. The levels offered range from 1 to 3. Ensuring that you have the right level is imperative as this heightens the protection you are able to achieve through wearing body armor. In the case of a home invasion, the ideal stab resistant vest will be a Level 2. These vests offer protection against 50 Joules with a penetration limit of .79”/20 mm as well as 36.9 foot pounds with a penetration limit of .79/20 mm (over-test pressure).
Why concealablility is important in body armor:
An attack is more likely to be carried out with more force if a perpetrator picks up on the fact that his victim is equipped with body armor. This poses as a threat to the aggressor and therefore, can be aggravating and encourage him/her to attack not only more forcefully, but sooner rather than later. This doesn’t mean that there is no need for body armor. You do want to ensure that you’re protected so that if the perpetrator attacks, the chances of the attack being deadly are reduced. Also, wearing body armor will make you more confident and therefore, more likely to take on the attacker when a window of opportunity arises.