Thursday, June 20, 2024

10 Tips for Preventing and Surviving a Home Invasion

Home invasions can be extremely scary and dangerous.

In a moment, you can go from feeling safe in your home to incredibly vulnerable. Intruders could assault you and your family and cause serious injury or even death (not to mention damage or steal your property).

Nobody should have to feel like this. That’s why in this article, we’ll go over what a home invasion is and the steps you can take to prevent and survive one. Let’s get started!

What is a home invasion?

A home invasion is a type of burglary, which refers to the act of breaking into a property with the intent to commit a crime. What sets a home invasion apart is that it involves an armed criminal who breaks into an occupied home.

In most cases, home invasions involve violent crimes such as assault, while burglaries involve non-violent crimes like theft.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there are 2.5 million burglaries in the U.S. every year, of which 66% are home invasions.

How to prevent a home invasion

To avoid becoming part of another crime statistic, here are some ways to prevent a home invasion from happening to you:

  1. Limit access to your home

Most home invaders aren’t professional criminals. They’re opportunists. So if you make it hard to break into your house, they’re less likely to break in and more likely to move on to another house. 

Some easy ways to secure your home include keeping all your doors and windows locked and adding a deadbolt to the front door. Don’t forget about the backdoors and the garage door, either. 

  1. Set up security measures

These days, there are many security technologies that can add an extra layer of protection to your home. For example, you can invest in security cameras, an alarm system, glass break detectors, motion sensors, doorbell cameras, and more. 

Such security features not only help you detect potential break-ins, but they act as a deterrent to help prevent them in the first place.

  1. Get a watchdog

Not ready to invest in security tech? Then consider getting a watchdog. They are excellent at detecting and barking at unrecognized movement as well as attacking unwelcome intruders. 

In fact, some intruders will avoid houses altogether if they see they have watchdogs. Dogs add an element of surprise and unpredictability that many intruders simply aren’t willing to confront.

  1. Keep valuables away from windows

Valuable items like expensive electronics, cash, and jewelry should be kept away from windows and out of sight. Why? If potential intruders see them, they are likelier to break in because they know what value lies inside. 

  1. Make your home look busy

Another way to deter home invasions is to make your home look busy. The busier a home looks, the riskier it is to break in because more could go wrong. 

Even if your home isn’t very busy, you can make it look busy by installing automated lights that turn on and off randomly to mimic human behavior. 

How to survive a home invasion

Despite your best efforts, there may be times when preventing a home invasion is impossible. In such cases, your next priority is to survive. Here are some tips for doing this:

  1. Remain calm

Realizing that your home has been broken into can be terrifying. You may not know what the intruders are after, where they are, whether they’re armed, or how many there are. 

As scary as this can be, it’s important to remain calm. Panicking will likely only make things worse. For example, you may alert intruders to your location in the house or you might not be able to think clearly. However, home intrusions are often high-stakes situations where you must react quickly.

  1. Have an emergency plan

Because you don’t have much time to react to a home invasion, it’s important to have an emergency plan in place. This is something you should design and go over with your family regularly. 

An emergency plan may include a code word for alerting other family members of a home intrusion. Try to keep it simple. For example, a code word like “escape” works perfectly. 

You may also want to designate a place in the home to gather, which brings us to our next point …

  1. Gather in a safe room

A safe room (aka panic room) is a fortified room in your house that serves as a safe space in the event of a home invasion (or other emergencies). If you don’t have one already, you should create one. 

A safe room should be somewhere easily accessible. Stock it with emergency food and water, a flashlight, and a phone. 

Once gathered in the safe room, you and your family should stay there until the police arrive. It’s also a good idea to position yourself as far away from the door as possible just in case the intruders manage to break through (so you have more time to react).

  1. Call 911

Call 911 to get the police on the scene as soon as possible. The sooner they arrive, the better. Let them know where you are located and that someone has broken into your house. Give as much detail as possible. You may also want to leave your phone on and put it in speaker mode so the operator can hear what’s going on.

  1. Have a self-defense weapon

Lastly, have a self-defense weapon like a handgun or rifle. This can help level the playing field when confronted by an intruder. They are much less likely to advance if they know you are armed. 

That said, it’s not enough just to own a self-defense weapon. You must also know how to handle it properly. For example, you must know how to aim a handgun by lining up its iron sights. Or, to make aiming easier, you may want to invest in a red dot sight, which places a red laser dot on your target. The point is you need to be prepared with the right skills (or equipment) to handle a self-defense weapon.

If all else fails …

If the home intruder has you pinned, the best thing to do is cooperate with them. Give them what they want, whether that’s money or other valuables.

In the end, no amount of money is worth your or your family’s safety (and lives). So don’t try to be a hero. Do what’s best for you and your family in the long run.

Lindsey Ertz
Lindsey Ertz
Lindsey, a curious soul from NY, is a technical, business writer, and journalist. Her passion lies in crafting well-researched, data-driven content that delivers authentic information to global audiences, fostering curiosity and inspiration.

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