Ultimate Guide to Burglar Protection
A burglary takes place every 8 seconds in the U.S., and over 65 percent occur in homes, according to the Washington Post. There is no perfect solution for people who find themselves in the house during a robbery. Material goods like the TV or stereo are replaceable – someone you love is not. Make a plan that will help keep everyone safe in case the unthinkable happens.
The first thing anyone facing an intruder needs to do is gather information. Stop whatever you are doing and listen. Get an idea of where they are in the house. Try to determine how many burglars there are, and what they are doing. Are they ransacking a room or moving around? Where are they in relation to the nearest exit?
Ideally, once you confirm an intruder is on the premises, you leave. Drill your family on ways to exit the home safely. This is vital not only for home invasions but during a natural disaster like a fire, as well. In key areas such as the living room or kitchen, ways out may be obvious. Focus on less clear paths like bedrooms. Most often, especially on the first floor, the window is the most likely means of escape. If everyone can get out the home safely that is the action to take during a robbery. Planning can make that happen.
In the event that escape is not possible for everyone, the next best thing is a safe room. A safe room does not have to a specially built area. Any interior space with a heavy door and bolt look will work. Pick a closet or bathroom and designate it as the safe area everyone goes to in case of emergency. Install a heavy door with a deadbolt lock on the inside. If your home has an alarm, put a panic button in the room. Place a spare cellphone charger in a drawer, as well. You might even consider keeping a spare, charged mobile phone in the room programmed with 911 just in case.
What to Do During the Burglary
The things you see on television or in movies is exactly what you should not do. You do not want to walk out of your room with a bat in hand ready to confront the intruders. Put distance between yourself and the danger by leaving the house if possible or going to the safe room.
The most critical weapon you have is your mobile phone. Charge a phone in the bedroom every night. Put it some place where it will catch your eye in an emergency.
What Happens if You Confront the Intruder?
If you walk in on the intruder or are discovered, immediately raise your hands. This keeps them free in case you need to defend yourself. Talk in a normal voice, and explain you will cooperate. Avoid eye contract or any behavior that puts him into a defensive posture.
You should never be the aggressor, only fight if you must defend yourself. Weapons like guns or knives are difficult to use in an emergency unless you have prior training. Grab something you can spray such as perfume or aerosol air freshener. Spray directly in the eyes. This may give you time to run. Use any broken glass item as a weapon or find something that you can wrap around your hand to make punches more effective.
Prevention is the most efficient way to avoid a home invasion. Get an alarm for your home and plan ahead so you are ready just in case.