Unless you have a private security team guarding you 24/7, your personal security is your responsibility. The police, as much as we admire them, don’t have as their primary duty to protect you from harm; they’re there to clean up afterwards. Investigating after the fact doesn’t help you now, when the enraged drunk who’s kicking the hell out of your front door is about to break in.
But, in case your front door can withstand a couple minutes’ worth of kicking, you want to make sure that emergency services get to your house sooner rather than later. We’ll leave the choice to arm yourself or not for another discussion: this one’s about calling for help.
There are two types of people who will break into your house: burglars and home invaders.
- A burglar doesn’t want you there when he robs your home. His intent is to get in and out as quickly as possible. He doesn’t steal from houses to meet people: he steals to get easily-fenced loot that he can sell to buy drugs. You’ll probably never see him steal your stuff, which is a good thing.
- A home invader wants to interact with you. Unlike the burglar, he picks a time when he’s sure you’re home to break in. Usually, this is because he thinks you’ve got valuables that he wouldn’t otherwise acquire from a simple smash-and-grab. He’s going to do this by doing horrible violence to you, including but not limited to rape. This is the monster we’re most worried about.
- Aren’t you putting the EMTs in danger? And the fire department? No. They’ll be told there’s a dangerous felon at the address, so they’ll wait in their respective vehicles until the police arrive.
- Aren’t you taking them away from someone who really does need them? Like someone whose house really is on fire? Yes. But think of it this way: it’s no more moral or ethical for you to be killed by a home invader than it is to die in a fire. You need those emergency personnel, too. Just in a different way this time.
- Isn’t that illegal? Yes. And you’ll probably pay a fine. But the alternative is much, much worse.