The main goal of any home defense is to keep bad guys from entering our home. We do not want strangers in the house while we are away and definitely do not want anyone breaking in while the family is home. The key to a burglary or home invasion is preparation. You need to have your home ready to repel any would-be intruders.
Your home is your sanctuary it is a place where the family should feel safe and secure. To make your home a fortress you need to do some work. The number one thing you need to create is a plan to properly secure your home against an intruder.
There are two types of break-ins. We need to look at both in depth to understand what you need to do for each one.
Burglary, when you are away from the home, is one type of break-in. When a burglar enters the house they just want to steal things that are quick to carry and can bring in money. They do not want you to be home because it is easier to steal from an empty home. If you are both at work and the kids are at school this leaves the home wide open.
The second type of burglary is forced home invasion or burglary when you are home. Here you are actually home when someone comes into the house to steal. This is the most dangerous for the homeowner because you are not sure the intentions of the criminals. You will need to check out our article on What to do in Case of a Home Invasion.
Here is some really interesting information on a burglary in the home before we talk defense strategies.
The numbers and FAQ’s on burglary
This may be a surprise that 70% of home burglaries happen during the day with a big spike in the summer months.
What are the chances your home will be robbed?
The data from the FBI show that 1 in 36 homes will be robbed. How many burglaries involve using a forced entry like kicking in the door or breaking a window? Forcible entry is defined as someone using force like kicking in a door or breaking a window to gain entry into a home. The statistics have 58% of robberies targeting homes used force entry. The rest of them were no forced entry which means the homeowner left the door or a window unlocked.
What are the numbers on the homes where a break-in occurred but nothing was taken?
If the homeowner is home the burglar does not steal anything 55% of the time. If the homeowner is not home then there is a 75% chance the hose will have items stolen.
How many home invasions or burglaries were stopped by guns?
There are not tons of statistics out there on this because the government does not really track. The rough estimate is up to 3 million defensive gun uses occur every year in the US.
When a burglar enters a home where do they go first to look for valuables?
Most burglars will go to the master bedroom to look for valuables. They are looking for jewelry, cash, wallets, purses, and weapons such as guns.
How many burglaries happen in the US every year?
The Department of Justice has reported there are 1.03 Million each year.
What percentage of home robberies involves a weapon?
The DOJ shows 41% of robberies used a firearm when committing the crime. They report that 7.8% included knives or other weapons. Then the DOJ said verbal or physical threats with no weapon accounted for 42.5%.
Check out the statistics for property crime and burglary where both have had a decline.
Home defense strategies
There are four things we want you to remember when someone enters your home to burglarize it while you are home.
We need you to do these 4 things:
- Go to a safe room
- Fight back last resort
- Call 911 or hit panic button on your alarm system
We will review each to give you an idea of how to better prepare your home and family against a break-in.
If a criminal tries to forcibly enter the home while you are there what do you do? You need to get out of the house if you can escape out the back door or maybe through the garage. If the car is in the garage just jump in with the family open the garage door and drive to a friends or neighbors house.
If it is in the middle of the night when everyone is sleeping you should all get to a safe room. There you should have a rope ladder to escape out the window if you are on a second story home. If you are in a ranch home with just one floor than everyone can escape through the window.
Have your escape plan all worked out with the family on where to go and what to do? If you get separated then there should be a place where you meet up. Hopefully, someone in the family has their phone with them. While escaping you need to call 911 to get the police dispatched to catch the criminals.
If for whatever reason you cannot escape the home because of whatever reason then get to the safe room. If you cannot escape out the window from the safe room then you need to barricade your family in the safe room.
Creating a safe room
If you do not have a safe room you need to get one set up as soon as you can. The safe room can just be one of the bedrooms. I would pick the one that is easiest for all family members to get to or you can just pick the master bedroom. You also want to pick a room where you can use an escape ladder to get out the window. If you have a first-floor bedroom and the kids are on the second floor then you need to have a safe room upstairs.
What you need for a safe room
You need to create a room that is secure to keep your family safe. You will need a cell phone in the safe room or make sure you bring it in when you go in to hide.
The list of things to do:
Reinforce the safe room door
You will need to reinforce the door to the safe room with something like Door Armor which makes it so your door cannot be kicked in. This is very important because if a violent criminal can’t get in then they can’t hurt you or the family.
What to put in a safe room
There are several different tools you can put in a safe room. Here is a list and what you put in the room is up to what you are comfortable in using.
- Ladder rope – You need this if you have a two-story home and your safe room is on the second floor. You need to be able to escape out the window if the intruder tries to get into the safe room. This rope ladder is also handy if you have a fire in the home and your escape route is blocked by fire.
- Tactical flashlight – This would be good if lights go off in the house. You can also use this as a weapon to strike anyone that is able to get through the safe room door.
- Panic button for alarm – If you have an alarm many have remote devices that can turn your alarm system on and off. It should also have a panic button that will automatically call the police. Make sure you have that remote device in the safe room.
- Cell phone – You need a cell phone in the room or take one with you when you lock yourself into the room.
The first thing you need to do when you are in the middle of a burglary or home invasion is dial 911. Get the police coming to the house as soon as you can. This will lessen the time they are in the house because once they hear sirens they are running away.
There are several things you want to tell the 911 operator when you call.
- Where is this happening? You need to tell them the address right after you say someone has broken into the house.
- What is going on? Tell them you have an intruder and any other information that might be helpful. Do they have a gun? Do you know where they are at in the house? Let them know where you are at in the house? How many people are in the house that is family and do you know how many intruders?
- Who is armed? Let them know if you know anything about the weapons the intruders have or do not have. You also want to let them know what type of weapon you have in the safe room.
- What does the family have on for clothing and provide a description if you have the time? Let them know what everyone is wearing and what each member of the family looks like with ages.
- Did you see the intruder so you can give the dispatcher a description? This would be very helpful to the police responding.
Intruder breaches the door to the safe room what do you do? You were not able to get the family out the window before the home intruders find the safe room. You may have to fight back to protect the family.
Once they enter you need to see what weapon they have if any. This will determine what you have to do.
If the intruder has the weapon listed below what are your options?
The intruder has a gun – If they have a gun then you may take down before they hurt you.
The intruder has a knife – Once you sprayed them with the pepper spray they can still swing wildly with the knife. Even if they cannot see you still are in danger. If they keep coming at you and the family use the stun gun or use the knife to fight them back. If you have a gun you would have to shoot them if they come at you with the knife. Knives are very dangerous especially in the hands of a skilled knife fighter.
The intruder does not have any weapon – They may not have a weapon which is the best scenario for you. The thing is if they breach the door you still may have to fight or use the weapons in the room. You do not know if the person kicking in the door is trained to fight so use every weapon at your disposal to increase your odds of winning a fight.
The one thing that would help in every situation is self-defense training in martial arts. Having the skill set to fight back using known defensive and offensive moves in invaluable.
The top systems we recommend include JiuJitsu, Krav Maga, MMA, self-defense classes, boxing, Muay Thai and Jeet Kune Do. You can train online at our self –defense training school, you can visit us at ProtectionSkills.com to start your training.
Fighting back is the last resort so do everything you can to secure the home. This way when they try to kick in the door it will not work. You reinforced the frame so they will be kicking several times to bust the frame if they can even bust it at all. This is the time you need to call the cops, hit the panic button on the alarm system and get to the safe room. If you did not secure your door frame then you will have no time to do anything. You will have to react instantly to the home invaders coming through your door.
The possibilities are endless with the different scenarios that could happen with a home invasion or burglary while you are home. The best thing you can do is to secure the doors and windows to make it difficult for the guys looking to target your home. The best way to stay safe is to stop the break-in before it happens. You want to make the outside of your home a difficult target to break into.
Home burglary deterrents
Outside lighting – You want to have motion sensor lights for the outside of the home. This makes the home harder for a burglar to sneak up and then break into the home. Get some really good motion sensor floodlights for the front and back of the house if you do not already have them.
Brush by the home – Keep the brush and large bushes to a minimum by the house. Having anything covering entrances to the home will make burglary easy since the thief has cover to break-in unnoticed. Tall fences will also block the view of your neighbors making it easier for a thief to go unnoticed when kicking in the back door.
Outdoor CCTV / camera system – Criminals do not want their faces on a video recorder. This is way too easy to see who broke in because the cameras record the break-in. Criminals try to avoid places that have cameras on them they can find easier homes. Make sure to put cameras at every entrance to the house. You may have one camera for the front door and one camera for the back door. The angle of the camera should cover the door plus windows for the front and back of the house.
Alarm system with a sign in the yard – Burglars will think twice about a home with an alarm system. The alarm goes off quickly so they have no time to grab anything to steal. They will go look for a home with no alarm system. If someone does break-in and you have the alarm set then the police should be there quick. The loud alarm sound should scare them off. If you have a home invasion and the alarm was not set to try to get to the safe room. Alarm systems pricing and ratings.
Guard dog – If you have a guard dog in the house during a burglary or home invasion the dog will hopefully attack. This should give you the time you need to get to the safe room or call the police. This is also a deterrent because burglars do not like guard dogs, way too risky.
Video Doorbell system – You can add a video doorbell to your porch to help monitor who is coming to the front door. This is a great deterrent because anyone who wants to rob a home does not want their face on a video. Check out ratings and cost for video doorbells.
The combination of all these things makes your home less appetizing to a burglar or home invasion. You need to set up your home defense strategies today to better secure your home and family. Just follow the recommendations we give you in this article. You do not have to do them all at once if the cost is too high. You can always just budget to do a few things when your budget allows it. The number one thing I would do today is secure the door with Door Armor. This will prevent the criminals from kicking in your door to gain entrance.