According to statistics, there’s a home invasion every 13 seconds in the U.S. I’m not going to lie — this fact has made me lose a lot of sleep. Naturally, like the majority of people, I want to keep myself and my loved ones safe, which can sometimes prove to be quite difficult. However, rather than worry, I decided to find the best six things to do to survive a home invasion.
I want to start this off by saying that thinking ahead is key in keeping your home safe. Moreover, even law enforcement experts claim that up to 87% of home invasions are preventable. On that note, keep reading if you want to know the best ways to survive a home invasion, and even stop one from happening in the first place.
Prevention Is Key
Just imagine — you’re fast asleep, and suddenly, you hear a loud noise and realize there’s an intruder in your home. When this happens, you won’t have a lot of time to think about your options, so you should have a contingency plan set in place. To survive a home invasion, you’ll need to follow these six simple steps.
1. Install a Home Security System
The best thing you can do to survive a home invasion and prevent it from occurring is to install a home security system. These typically come with outdoor and indoor security cameras, an alarm, as well as a security software to control all of the components.
In my home, I use a wireless security camera for my front porch because I don’t have a power source nearby. However, you could get a wired security camera if you want to make sure your system is always up and running. Additionally, you could get a battery-powered one, but I wouldn’t recommend it, as these can be a bit unreliable.
If you’re on a budget, you could get a few decoy security cameras. However, keep in mind that even though these will act as a deterrent, they won’t be of help if your home gets broken into.
To set up your home security system, you can purchase an NVR or DVR system and install it accordingly. You could also DIY your own setup by purchasing a few cameras and connecting them to your computer.
2. Don’t Leave Your House Key in an Obvious Place
Never leave your key under your floor mat, a fake rock, or inside your mailbox. I know, it might seem like the easiest thing to do, just in case you lose your key. But you have to find a better spot for it. In the grand scheme of things, it’s only a minor inconvenience, but hiding your key can make all the difference for a would-be intruder.
To err on the side of caution, give your closest friend or family member a spare key to hold on to. They can hide it in a safe place inside of their home and give it to you in case you lose your key.
3. Make Your Home Look Occupied
Home invasions are typically crimes of opportunity, and intruders often wait for you to leave to come inside. They want to avoid bumping into someone mid-break-in, so they don’t get arrested or risk injuring themselves or someone else. By making it look as if there’s someone in your house at all times, you can prevent a home invasion from happening.
You can do so by keeping your lights and/or TV on at all times, especially when you go out. Additionally, you can ask your neighbors to collect your newspapers or mail. That way, it won’t be too obvious that you’ve gone somewhere else.
4. Get a Dog
In addition to being the man’s best friend, dogs can also be an excellent deterrent for potential thieves and intruders. Also, if you get a larger dog, such as a German Shepherd, Doberman, or Cane Corso, etc., their bark can also be quite intimidating. So you won’t even have to train these dogs a lot, and they will still scare off criminals. These are just a few of the most protective dog breeds that can help you keep your home safe.
I felt a million times safer when I got a dog, and I also got a best friend out of it. However, it goes without saying that there are other factors you should consider before making a decision. Unlike a battery-powered security camera, a dog is a huge commitment, and it will require a lot of time and energy. So be sure you can give it all of the attention it needs before taking a dog home.
5. Designate a Safe Room
Decide on a safe room for your household. It should be easily accessible by everyone who lives there and have a few key items inside. In my safe room, I keep a landline, a first aid kit, and some emergency medication. Also, if you plan on using firearms to defend yourself, make sure they’re in that room as well.
If everyone’s in the safe room, don’t even think about going outside before the police give you the all-clear. Don’t try to fight off the intruders or go outside to get something, as it likely won’t go over well. Keep in mind that these people are often quite desperate or intoxicated, and if you startle them, things could take a violent turn.
Moreover, even if you think that the home invasion has finished and that the intruders have left, stay put. Somebody might be lying in wait to take you hostage or cause you and the other occupants harm. Wait for the police to clear the home and tell you that it’s safe for you to come out.
6. Create a Code Word
If you live with someone, choose a code word that you will use when it’s time to spring into action. Don’t try to make the language overly complicated because you could end up forgetting the word in your time of need.
For example, you know how we teach children to yell “DANGER” when someone they don’t know approaches them? You can do the same if you’re an adult. Think of a word that makes sense for your plan, such as “ESCAPE” or “RUN” that will alert everyone in the household and let them know what they need to do.
How to Survive If You Fail to Prevent a Home Invasion
More often than not, the reason behind a home invasion is monetary gain, and intruders don’t want to hurt anyone. However, if they start to feel unsafe, they could lash out and attack you. So here’s what you’ll need to do to ensure you walk away scot-free.
If you can’t make it to your safe room on time or aren’t aware that anyone came in, you could end up running into the burglar. Don’t try to be the hero or think that you can talk your way out of the situation. Be completely cooperative, maintain a calm attitude, and don’t try to threaten them with a gun or the police. As I said, these people aren’t typically coming in with the intent to harm you, but they will do so if they feel cornered.
If the assailant does strike, keep your arms at shoulder height so that you can protect yourself. That way, you could defend yourself against a knife attack, and get a chance to flee.
8. Remain Calm and Keep a Clear Head
It goes without saying that home invasions are extremely traumatic, but that doesn’t mean you can lose your cool. You can’t let the adrenaline get the better of you; instead, start taking steps that you’ve already planned,
If there’s someone else in the house, you can alert them or start quietly taking them to your safe room. Once everyone’s secure, call the police and wait for them to arrive — no matter how long that takes. Don’t try to scare the thieves off by telling them you’ve called the cops; it could only further anger them.
If you’re tempted to leave and try to salvage your material positions, don’t do it. While you might be sad that your new laptop is missing, you need to focus on getting out alive. Think about what’s more important to you — your money or your life?
Security is something most of us take quite seriously, as we should. After all, if you can’t feel safe in your own home, where can you? I, for one, don’t want to sit around and hope for the best. That’s why I decided to take my home security into my own hands. By always having these methods in mind, I feel much more confident about my odds of surviving a home invasion.
One last piece of advice to keep in mind is that you have to make peace with the fact that thieves will take your belongings. I can’t stress this enough — don’t try to be a hero and do keep a level head at all times. That being said, I hope this article makes you feel more confident about staying safe in your own home.
You can let me know what you think about these methods to survive a home invasion in the comments. Also, feel free to share the article with your loved ones so that they too can keep themselves safe.