What to do During a Break In

In Home Defense Tips by homedefense

Having your home broken into is terrible at any time, but it is even worse if you are actually home when it occurs. You and your family’s safety is the top priority during any home invasion. You need to know what to do to keep you and your family safe.  Here are the most important things you can do to keep your family safe during a home invasion:

1. Have a Home Invasion Safety Plan

You should have a family plan to escape the house if a fire happened in your home. A robbery is no different so make sure you put together a plan for your family if a robber enters your home.

  • Walk through what each family member should do if someone breaks into their home.
  • Choose a safe room in your house that everyone goes to, if a home invasion occurs.
  • Kids should know if a stranger comes into their bedroom, they should scream to alert their parents. It’s important to practice this, much like a fire drill.
  • Have a plan of escape.
  • Discuss defense strategies your family will use, in case there is an encounter with the criminal.

2. How To Create a Safe Room

Make sure you have what you need in that safe room to either escape outside or hide from danger.

This is not like Jodi Foster movie safe room where they spent $100,000 to deck out this high caliber room for protection. Most of us do not have that kind of money to create an actual fortified safe room. You can create one room upstairs near all the bedrooms or it can be one bedroom that will hold all the items necessary for safety.

What you need for your safe room.

  • First, you need to add a deadbolt lock on your safety room door, instead of a standard indoor lock.
  • Have a rope or ladder in your room to use to escape out the window.(Create a detailed safe exit strategy).
  • Have a backup phone located in the safe room or make sure you grab your cell phone before entering the safe room.
  • Keep a knife, gun, or other weapon stashed in room in case an intruder kicks in the door.

You need to get everyone in the safe room quietly and as quickly as possible. Secure the door with your deadbolt lock and then call 911. Grab the weapon you have stored in the room to defend yourself, in case it may be needed.

Getting to the safe room may be tricky but at least you have a plan.

3. When and How to Escape the House

If your safe room is no longer a viable option, it’s important that each person knows how and where to exit the house immediately.  Go over all the exit options in your house (workable windows and doors) with your family so they are trained in escaping their home.

Identify a place for all family members to meet outside of the house, then head to your nearest neighbor for safety.

Call 911 as soon as possible. The sooner you can call the police the better but the exact timing depends on the situation.

The type of home invasion may dictate as a parent what you have to do. If they are intent on robbing you, then hide or escape out the window since they are not interested in you. If the intruders are there to commit a violent assault on the home owners, then aggressive actions will have to be taken on your part to protect the family.

4. What to do if you Encounter an Intruder

If you encounter an intruder in your home,  you are going to have seconds to determine their intent. I cannot tell you what to do in that situation, because there are so many different scenarios that can play out during a home invasion, but what I want you to do is brainstorm several strategies to intervene if confronted with an intruder. Here are three options to consider:

  • Fight back: If you are able to get a hold of a weapon, you can attack the criminal in self-defense, allowing you time to escape or call 911. If you don’t have access to a weapon, you can strike, kick, or tackle the intruder, if you feel you are capable to do so.
  • Escape from the intruder if you can: If you have a window of time to have all family members escape from the intruder, run to your safe room, lock the door, and call 911.
  • Submit to the intruder’s demands: If you have no means to fight the intruder and you can’t escape to your safe room, you can submit to the criminal’s demands, hoping they are not there to seriously hurt or kill anyone.

I personally would fight back to hopefully knock the intruder down. I am trained in hand to hand combat so my reaction would be different than yours.

5. How to defend yourself against an attack

If you know that the intruder is going to severely hurt you or your family and you cannot get away, then you need to fight back. In order to fight back, you must have some basic idea of what works and what will not work. I have told my wife and daughter that a punch to the throat is the best line of defense. The throat is the weakest area and it’s easy to collapse their wind pipe so you can escape. Training to do this is best but if you are in this situation just focus on their throat and hit there as hard as you can. This is the most effective physical intervention you can use.

If you have access to any weapon in your house, grab it and use it to defend yourself against the intruder. You can either throw certain items at the attacker, or use them as an extension of your arm to strike the intruder in the neck or head. Using any type of weapon can be more effective than simply using your body to defend yourself.

Many household items can be used as weapons. Here is a short list to give you some ideas:

Kitchen gadgets: Spatulas, cutlery, mixers, serving spoons, glasses, pitchers, cutting boards.

Home items: Lamps, chairs, vases, picture frames, baseball bats, brooms, books.

Other important weapons to consider purchasing:
Security Pen
Your hands and feet

What to do during a break in is an important question. No one wants to think about such a horrible experience, having an intruder break into their home, but it’s important to consider all these safety measures and interventions should one take place.  It will bring you and your family peace of mind to know you are prepared, if anything should ever happen. Make sure you go over your strategies on a regular basis, so you and your family remember exactly what to do, if there is a home invasion.