Home invasions in my local town have had quite a spike in the last few months. In most cases, the homeowners managed to escape with little to no injuries.
While this is usually the case, it is important to think ahead as to how you would handle a situation in which you ended up face-to-face with a home intruder.
The 6 tips below could make the difference between an already violent encounter turning really nasty, resulting in injury or tragedy, and your family managing to escape unscathed.
Take Basic Precautions
The “security conscious” lifestyle is often one of the best defences against crime. During many home invasions the robbers simply walked through an unlocked door or climbed through an open window. Take basic precautions such as keeping all doors locked during the day and at night.
Prevention and Detection
Nobody should be able to get onto your property or into your home without you knowing about it. You should have some form of early warning system in place such as external security lighting but don’t ignore those lights thinking that it is just a false alarm.
Have a Safe Room
The layers of security on and around your home will not stop a criminal if he wants to get into your property but they do give you valuable time to get your family into the safe room. Get everyone in there and lock the door. This room should be equipped with a spare, fully charged cellphone for contacting the police.
If you come face-to-face with an armed intruder in your home, try to stay calm. Speak slowly and avoid any swift movement. Always keep your hands in sight so that the intruders do not become nervous or think you are attempting to reach for a weapon.
Avoid Eye Contact
Avoid eye contact with the intruders and if asked to hand over your valuables, do so. Your life is worth more than material possessions. Don’t try to be a hero, if you try to fight back you have a real risk of injury or worse. Co-operate and they are more likely to leave you and your family unharmed.
Don’t Try to Slow Them Down
Criminals generally want to be in, out and away as quickly as possible, especially if you have an alarm system installed that they know alerts the security company. Any attempts to slow them down or to fight back could make them nervous or frustrate them and lead to violence. The longer that an intruder is in your home, the more likely that it will get violent.
Criminals are always using new methods to bypass security measures but luckily with the Internet, it usually doesn’t take very long for these new methods to become known giving us chance to heighten our home security.
Get to know your neighbors, share intelligence about suspicious people or vehicles and make them known before they ever have a chance to strike.