While it’s important to keep your belongings safe from potential thieves, your safety should be your priority. A burglary happens every 13 seconds, and you never know when you might be the target. Yet few people have a clear home invasion defense plan. You should always prepare for the worst, that way you’re ready. Here are a few tips to help protect you and your family during an active robbery.
The best way to deal with any confrontation is to avoid it altogether. Although this isn’t always a possibility, several deterrents can potentially keep your house from being targeted by robbers.
Burglars try to avoid being seen. Installing motion sensor lights in your yard is a great way to deter potential thieves. Floodlights and other bright lights will light up your yard like it’s day time. Therefore discouraging anyone from trying to sneak around your house looking for an entrance.
Most burglars are looking for an easy score, and have no interest in fighting (although you should always assume that they are violent) After all, they may just be looking for hidden cash or other valuables. Dogs are a great way to scare off an intruder. Whether you keep your dog inside or outside, their hearing and smell will be a benefit.
Even if you have a tiny dog, their senses will alert them to anyone trying to sneak around your house. Dogs are a great option for home defense.
Invest in an alarm system. Several options vary in price, but you should at least have something. Some systems will simply set off a loud alarm when a door or window is opened. Other systems will send a report that automatically contacts 911. It’s up to you to decide what you need, but shop the market and consider purchasing an alarm system for your home.
Camera systems are another great deterrent for those who may wish to invade your home. Many criminals will “case” your property before actually breaking in. In other words, they will check your property out and then come back a different day to rob it.
Camera systems record suspicious activity or even alert you via mobile phone when motion detectors go off. Like alarm systems, there are many different cameras on the market, so you’re guaranteed to find something in your price range.
Responding To A Threat
Even with preventative measures, you may still find yourself the victim of a home robbery. If this is the case, there are a few practical ways you should respond to the threat.
It’s easy to panic when there is an unknown individual in your house, but stay calm. Panicking can keep you from thinking clearly, cause you to hyperventilate, or even pass out. Stay calm and remember your plan. That’s why you have it in the first place.
Assess The Situation
After reminding yourself to stay calm, assess the situation. Not all robberies happen in the middle of the night while you’re in bed. You may be in the kitchen, shower, watching T.V., etc. Here are several things to consider when you realize someone is breaking into your home.
- Are you alone or do you have family members in the house such as children?
- Where are you? Is there an exit nearby? Remember that if you can escape, your safety is more important than your possessions.
- Is there anything nearby that can be used as a weapon? A kitchen knife, fire poker, gun, hammer, bat, etc.
- Where is your phone? Contact 911 as quickly as you can. The sooner help arrives the better.
- Does the intruder know where you are? Did they see you through the window? Keep your location secret as long as possible.
- How many intruders are there? If you’re uncertain, always assume there are multiple.
Once you’ve assessed the situation, focus solely on you and your family’s safety.
Focus On Safety
Remember that escaping should be your first option. If possible, leave your house and wait for the police to show up. If that’s not possible because, for instance, you’re upstairs and the intruder is downstairs, then lock as many doors between you and the intruder as possible and hide. Grab a weapon, call 911, and wait.
Although it can be terrifying to wait and hide, confrontation should only be a last resort. After all, you don’t know how many intruders there are, if they’re armed, what their intentions are, etc.
As a last resort, be prepared to fight. This should only be done if the intruder has set their sights on you or a loved one. How you fight will depend entirely upon what weapon you have.
It’s difficult to cover this topic in an article as gun laws vary from state to state. Many states allow you to stand your ground and use deadly force if someone enters your home under Castle Doctrine. Other states require you to retreat where possible. Research your state to determine when the use of a firearm is allowed.
Most people are not trained to fight with a knife. However, even the sight of you holding one may be enough to discourage an intruder from attacking you. After all, no one wants to get stabbed. If you do have to fight, focus on quantity. Rather than aiming for any specific location, try to stab them as many times as possible. Generally, if someone sees their blood, they tend to panic.
A bludgeon can be a great tool and is someone you swing with force such as a hammer or baseball bat. When using a bludgeon as a weapon, swing hard.
If you don’t have a weapon in your home, (even if you do) take some self-defense courses. This qualifies as preparation and should be taken seriously. Knowing what to do in an altercation can very well mean the difference between life and death. That being said, here are a few tips on how to defend yourself when you don’t have a weapon.
- Aim for vulnerable spots like the eyes, throat, or groin.
- This isn’t a scene from your favorite martial arts movie, end the fight and quickly as you can. Don’t hold back.
- As SOON as you have a chance, run. It is always better to escape than to fight.
It’s impossible to be completely prepared for a home invasion, but having a plan is crucial. Once you’ve established a home invasion defense plan, practice practice practice. The more you practice, the more you’ll stay calm during an actual robbery.
If you have kids, make sure they know what to do and where to go. If you have a weapon such as a gun, go to the range and practice. Work on quickly and quietly moving through your house. Whatever your plan of escape or defense is, practice it.
Think about it, people have tornado drills, fire drills, etc. Why not have home defense drills? Making a home invasion defense plan is something you won’t regret. And it may just be necessary one day.
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