James Rummel is a self-defense instructor who blogs over at Hell in a Handbasket. He's a reliable internet go-to guy for factoids on firearms--especially esoteric pistols, home defense, and self defense.
When asked about protecting the home without a firearm, he provides a slew of good advice. He recommends my personal favorite tip: get a dog. James suggests a basset hound for this mission. I'm thinking the Mongo Clan will stick with bark and bite: