I can see there's alot to discuss, and alot for me to think about; Yes Sir.. there certainly is. Yet you are taking the first, and most important step by realizing that the world is not guaranteed to be a safe place... not even inside your own home.
I don't want to reveal too much about our home, for obvious reasons. But I can say it's your typical subdivision home, built to look good, not so secure. I could upgrade security, but many flaws in the house design would still be present. You need to take a hard look at your home's weak points.. because the criminal certainly will look for them... and figure out a way to make those weak points less appealing to a criminal.
We don't have any dogs- cat house, so to speak, so that line of defense doesn't exist here. A dog gives advance warning yet some people don't like dogs or can't afford to feed a decent sized dog.. or just don't want the hassle of a dog. Not knocking dogs... I like them myself but have no interest in owning one. Cats are almost useless for attacking an intruder but still, if the cat is watched, give prior warning by their actions.
Outside lighting is poor. That can be helped with cheap solar powered yard lights. It won't light up the yard but it will show someone is out there as they pass by a light.
My biggest problem is the family; Nothing to fear but fear itself mentality. The it will never happen here, to me idea. And that is going to be the biggest problem of all for you. Those who want to "feel" safe have difficulty facing the truth that nowhere is perfectly safe.... because if they do that safe "feeling" goes away. Very uncomfortable for folks to face that one.
I don't share that. If I get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I always sweep the house, and always find a "security violation" somewhere. Before I leave in the AM, I sweep the house, and often find "security violations". Either I, or Yooperlady, clear the house every time we come home. When something goes "bump" in the night it is investigated gun in hand. This is not paranoia... it is common sense.
The kids are kept distant from my weapons, that's why no magazine in my gun. They would want to handle it, cause it's "cool", or their friends, and I can't allow that. Keep the keys away from the car so to speak. While it would be very labor intensive and take a lot of time... perhaps this is a great opportunity to teach your kids about guns... and gun safety... and mature gun handling by allowing them to handle it (unloaded of course... I didn't have to tell you that but other people read these things too) under your supervison... instead of furthering the mystical "cool" of the gun by trying to keep it away from them. As a father and grandfather I can say with certainty... if you have a gun in the house all the kids (and their friends) know exactly where that gun is kept.
I keep the weapon in a central location, on the floor I'm on at that time. Others have said it before me... the best "central location" is on your person. It is safe from kids there and it is immediately accessable there. If necessary... change your mode of dress because you must decide if comfy pants are more important than you.. and your family's.. safety.
I don't want to appear a zealot. The anti gun propaganda of the past many decades has you thinking that anyone who keeps a gun "at hand" must be some kind of whacko.
But still I think my concerns are valid. Like I said, it's gotten bad enough to me, that I have taken the first step, out of the vault, and available. Reality has shown you that the anti gun "whacko" thing is BS... and, to your credit (pat yourself on the back because you deserve it) you have stepped up to the plate and taken responsibility for protecting everything that is dear to you.
It looks like it's going to be at least that for me at home from now on. I ended up, and am a security force of one, for my home. My wife is anti-gun, but slowly coming around. Her handling a gun would never happen. Please don't give up on your wife. Many a woman has changed her mind when presented with the question... "Would you shoot someone molesting/raping/killing your daughter/son/grandchild?"
My oldest is due to turn 21 soon, and I will arm him, so at least while he still lives at home, he might hear a "commotion", and arm up, and come to aid, investigate. And now, when you arm your son, you have much more to think about... such as team tactics so you don't end up shooting him by mistake... or him shooting you by mistake..
Thank God he shares my views on firearms, and security.