Tips That’ll Help You in The Even of A Burglary
It can happen suddenly and when you’re off your guard. One minute you’re taking part in your daily home routine, and the next, you hear a window or door break. How would you react in such a situation? Knowing what to do if someone breaks into your home can help you get out of a scary situation unscathed. But what are the chances of this happening to you?
According to the FBI, burglary is the most common form of property crime, with well over two-million burglaries happening every year, on average. Sometimes referred to as breaking and entering and home invasion, having a quick plan in place for you and members of your home during a burglary is important. Furthermore, there are things that you can do to lower the chances of a burglary occurring. The information below lays out pertinent tips to keep your home safe, and yourself calm during a break-in. Go over it with your family, and make your home safer!
What You Should Do During a Break-In
Due to the unpredictable nature of burglaries when they happen, it’s impossible for one to know how they’ll react when it occurs. Not knowing who is breaking inside of where they are is extremely unsettling, making it all the more important for you to keep yourself and other household members as calm as possible.
Know the surroundings of your home, and the sounds of objects nearby and far away. How big is your place of residence? If large, you may need more time to gather up other family members. If small, you may not have time to move away from the threat. Because of this, be sure that these items are always secured, but readily accessible when needed:
- Weapons – Weapons such as handguns, rifles, and tactical knives should always be locked up. Failure to do so could make it easier for a burglar to carry out a home invasion that places you and others’ life at an increased risk. Don’t make it easier for the bad guys by failing to secure your weapons. However, memorize your passcodes or have keys at the ready, just in case you must defend yourself from the threat.
- Kitchen Utensils – You might not have time to grab all of your kitchen utensils if an intruder is in the house, but try to keep these items put away when they’re not used. A burglar without a weapon could easily create with something as simple as a meat cleaver or scissors from your kitchen. However, this isn’t the first thing that most criminals would look for in a home (most want valuables such as jewelry, computers, cast, etc.).
- Car Keys – Don’t give a burglar the ability to get away from the scene in your own vehicle. Grab your car keys if you can, or keep them close to your person when in your home during the daytime.
Take these actions when you know a break-in is occurring (or about to occur):
1. Quickly Verify Their Presence
Most victims of a break-in will hear the intruder trying to get through the front door, back door, or window. If your home is big, it might be difficult for you to know exactly where this is happening. So if you’re in an upstairs bedroom and glass shatters in an area that no one’s around, see if you can find them attempting to come in by peeking out the window.
A security camera system is a great way to know what’s happening in your home’s vicinity. Video doorbells are also recommended. There are models that can sync to your home’s Wi-Fi or even your smartphone via Bluetooth. You’ll not only be able to find out where the break-in is happening but get a good look and recording of the perpetrator to provide law enforcement with.
2. Stay Calm. Don’t Panic.
This is the hard part. It can’t be stressed enough that you should remain as calm as you can in a burglary situation. Yes, it’s not easy to do this, and there’s no way for anyone to know how they’ll react to an attempted burglary/home invasion. Alert others in your home to what’s happening, saying in one location for safety. Don’t split up. There’s no way for you to know if the perpetrator is alone or has an accomplice(s). Their part of a burglary could take place in a matter of seconds, including the other sections
3. Determine if You Can Escape
You don’t want to stay in a home that’s being broken into if you can. Assume that you won’t be able to defend yourself. In other words, don’t be a hero. Even if you own weapons, you don’t want to open fire unless you have no choice. So during this time, go to any safe exit points in the home. Avoid going upstairs, and move away from the area where the break-in is happening. If you have no escape routes, then look for a safe place for you to lay low for the remainder of the break-in.
4. Stay Put if You Can’t Escape
Stay in one spot if there’s no way to leave the home. If you know that only one person is involved, and they’re coming through the door, you might have time to secure the door with a large piece of furniture. You could also try a door jammer of some sort.
In case you didn’t know, door jammers are sold online, with some of them built to secure a door by jamming it in front of the posts or the threshold. But any strong obstruction can buy you some time, and may even scare off the burglar into running away.
5. Call the Police
This should be done at any time between the first time and now. You’re probably already aware of how easy it is to notify a dispatcher on your smartphone. Many phones contain software where you can have them on the phone, regardless of whether it’s unlocked or not. For people with voice assistants, it’s possible to go about this with voice commands.
Depending on where you stay, the police might arrive at your location in seconds or require that you wait a moment. Listen to what the dispatcher tells you to do, and give them as much information as you can, as fast as possible. They will relay this to the officer allowing them to assess the threat and successfully apprehend the perpetrator.
6. Keep Quiet and Follow Instructions
Based on the situation you’re in, you may have to keep your voice down. When more than one intruder has broken in, try to create as much distance between you and the criminals. Lock yourself in a room, preferably one that’s on the ground floor. If you have a weapon, ensure that it comes with you to your hiding place.
If the intruders suspect that no one is in the home, they may ransack the place and take their time. People with surveillance cameras or an alarm system setup might dissuade burglars from saying more than a couple of seconds, or shoo them off before they get in.
7. Repair Damage Caused by The Break-In
Once the criminal act has passed, it’s time for you to assess the damage done. The most damaged areas will probably be your windows, doors, and anywhere they suspected that valuables were kept. If you have renters or home insurance, your policy would likely cover the expenses of any destroyed or stolen items. When making repairs, consider getting a keyless entry system in place or your previous lock. Keyless entry relies on either a cipher, digital pin code, or key card to open the door. And since most brands enable users to lock the door from their electronic devices, your home doors will always be secure.
8. Everyday Home Safety Advice from An Expert
Most burglaries occur during the daytime between noon and afternoon hours. This makes sense since the majority of people are at work or lunch around this time. If no one is around your residence during this time of the day, consider getting a guard dog and a 4K camera system.
You might already have a dog, but it is not, they’re great deterrents to burglaries. Most dogs have a habit of barking loudly whenever anyone comes near to their territory. Train or adopt a dogs that are already trained, and they may be able to know when a break-in is happening and react accordingly by fighting off the threat.
A 4K camera system includes surveillance cameras around the home that form a perimeter. Anyone that tries to illegally enter the home will be recorded and monitored by the cameras, most of which contain motion detectors capable of alerting you via a notification to your smartphone.
Summary – Are you Prepared?
If you get anything from the advice provided, it’s that you should never let your guard down, no matter how well-prepared you think you are. Some criminals do not care about surveillance cameras, guard dogs, or getting hurt themselves.
Still, studies have shown that people with home security, such as alarms and surveillance cameras, lower their risk of burglary by a large percentage. But even if you don’t have the means to beef up your security, having an emergency plan in place is detrimental to how the burglary ends.