Home intruders are a rare event, but working out your possible responses ahead of time is a smart way to reduce panic. One of the things that you should keep in mind is to never engage an intruder, at least if you can help it. Though there are a few self-defence moves and tactics you can use against an attacker, it is best to avoid any confrontations as you can end up incurring serious and costly injuries, or even lose your life in the struggle.
So, how can you prepare yourself in case of home intrusions?
- Make a Plan and Rehearse It
- Choose a Safe Room and Alternative or Backup
- Know How to Raise Alarm
- Take Precautions to Prevent Intruders
A plan is just a set of precautions and actions to take in the event of an intrusion. It could include the best course of action for every member of the family once an intruder has been detected. If there are many people in your house, you may need to come up with a ‘code word’ to alert everyone of the intrusion, and activate the plan. Write down the plan and practice it with your household members.
As mentioned before, you should never seek out an intruder. Instead, law enforcers recommend that you stay hidden in a safe room, and only face the intruder if they find you. Otherwise, you should contact the authorities immediately and wait it out. The safe room should have an escape outlet, like a window, and possibly a weapon to fight the intruder, like a baseball bat.
Experts suggest that you keep your auto keys by your bed, so in the event of an intrusion, you simply push the panic button – works from anywhere in the house. You should also keep a cordless or mobile phone to dial the emergency number – 911 – in case the landline is disconnected. Keep the line open (with the phone hidden) so any events happening in your home can be recorded in case you end up engaging with the intruder.
An alarm system is a great way to put off intruders, but you should not make the alarm keypad easily visible from outside as an intruder may be able to tell when it is not activated. In some cases, intruders may be familiar with your house plan, like if they were informed by a plumber, painter, electrician, or other technician who was recently in your home. So, always double check your doors and windows to ensure they have not been interfered with after any home service by a stranger.
Finally, learn how to engage with an intruder to stay safe. Instead, hide yourself, and when detected, inform them that you have called the police, so it’s best they leave. Don’t maintain eye contact or act aggressively, but stay on the lookout for escape routes.