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10 Tips for Preventing & Surviving a Home Invasion

March 4, 2019


All house breakings are divided into two categories;  burglaries, which take place when nobody is home, and home invasions, which are break ins where the homeowner is on the premises. While both burglaries and home invasions are serious crimes (over 2 million homes are broken into per year in the US) the latter, where the owner is in their home with the criminal can take a serious psychological toll on the victim. These encounters can lead to post traumatic stress disorders and the consequences can be felt years after the event. 

There is also greater physical risk during a home invasion, with 38% of assaults and a shocking 60% of rapes occurring during home invasions. 

You want a home invasion to end before it has begun and there are lots of great tips online for making your home more secure. We even have a few up on our blog already, Tips to Reduce The Risk of a Home Invasion, 10 Easy & Effective Home Security Tips and Home Security & Home Safety.

Staying proa and ensuring that your home security system is robust is the best way to stop burglaries and home invasions before they happen. However, if the worst occurs and you find yourself in a home invasion, below are some tips on what to do if someone breaks into your house:

  1. Imaginary Friends

If you are home alone and the doorbell rings say something like “I’ll get it.” To give the impression there are other people in the home. Always ensure latches are locked and if a stranger asks for access in an official capacity always ask for ID. You can never be too cautious.

  1. Write Down Emergency Numbers

Make sure all emergency numbers are written down and easily accessible to your family. While calling 911 is more than often the best move, it is also good to have your neighbors’ numbers at hand as well as the numbers of security companies in your area. Here is a great resource of emergency numbers that you can print out and keep on your refrigerator.

  1. Have a Plan

You must know what to do in this situation before it happens. Make sure your whole family knows what to do, where panic buttons are and what safe place they should go to in your home. Teach your family the plan and practice it – frequently enough to remember it in a time of panic.

  1. Have a Safe Room

Safe rooms aren’t just for eccentric millionaires, every home should have a room where you and your family can lock themselves away from danger. This can be a bathroom or any small room in the house. You can leave an old cellphone and water in the room in case of an emergency. The most important thing is that the room should be out of the way and not contain valuables, as criminals will attempt to gain access.

  1. Stay Calm

This is probably the most important tip we can give you. A calm head means a clear mind and allows you to make the best decisions in difficult situations. Always speak calmly, move slowly and keep your hands visible. A calm demeanor also means less chance of aggravating the intruders.

  1. Hand Over the Loot

No object or valuable is as important as you and your family’s safety. If a home invader is threatening you or demanding valuables rather give in than the of risk a struggle and physical harm. 

  1. Observe

While you shouldn’t stare or make your invaders feel uncomfortable, observing them can help lead to their capture by law enforcement. Take note of their clothes, their voices, hair styles any distinguishing features that may help police offers identify and apprehend them.

  1. Don’t Talk Too Much

Speak when you are spoken to. Keep your answers short and clear. Don’t ask too many questions and don’t argue with the intruders.

  1. Don’t be a Hero

Only fight with the intruders when you have to, and you need to decide before you ever have to, when will that time be that you fight for your life, or for your loved ones life. Don’t do anything to put yourself at risk. Also don’t attempt to prevent the intruders from leaving or otherwise slow them down. Your priority should be getting the criminals out of your house as quickly as possible. 

  1. Lock the Door Behind Them

Don’t attempt to follow the intruders once they have left. Lock the doors behind them, make sure your home is secure and stay inside your home. Wait for emergency response to arrive.

As a rule, home invaders are looking for easy targets. It is very important to always be conscious of your security. Little things like locking doors during both day and night and being aware of your surroundings can be the difference between being a victim or not. Are you short on time? Here’s an article on 7 DIY Home Security Tips You Can Do This Weekend! We hope you never need these tips, but it pays to be prepared. 


Read on for more home security tips:

7 DIY home security tips you can do this weekend

11 Home security tips for women who are home alone 

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