Safety is of the utmost importance. We often talk about being prepared for when things are happening outside of your home and you need to stay safe inside. What we don’t talk about nearly enough is what to do if the inside of your home is ever in danger. Do you know what to do, and what not to do, during a home invasion?
We’re talking about more than having a security system here. Those are great, but if someone does, on the off chance, get into your home you will need to know the top five things you really should never be doing…if you want to survive the experience.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), one burglary happens every 22.6 seconds. In addition, 88% of burglaries are in residential homes. These are startling statistics. This is definitely a scenario that should be planned out and thought about. It may not be as rare as you think.
5 Things You Should Never Do
1. Don’t Be Cocky
I know that if your home is broken into you may have the thought that you need to protect your family at all costs. That’s valid and true, however, there are limitations. Don’t think that just because you WANT to take out the intruder that you can. Stay level-headed. Are there ten guys? Are the people bigger than you? Do you have any knowledge of self-defense tactics? Depending on the answers to these questions you may want to reconsider your choices.
You may be angry, scared, and fighting for your belongings and loved ones, but don’t forget to see clearly as well. I’m not saying you shouldn’t give it everything you’ve got. But what you shouldn’t do, is see an unrealistic situation and jump into it anyways. Consider the other options. Can you hide instead of approaching the intruder? Can you call for help before trying to handle it on your own? These are all things that will quickly need to be taken into consideration at a moment’s notice.
2. Don’t Be Passive
This might just be one of the more important things to remember. Do not be passive. We’ve all heard that in times of intense conflict we go into fight or flight mode. Did you know there’s actually a third? Freeze. Fight, flight, or freeze. This behavior is probably a lot more common than you think. It’s a totally natural reaction to freeze up and seemingly lose common sense in times of an emergency. I’m sure you can imagine how unhelpful this is.
Although you may not be able to control what your body does immediately after experiencing a threat, you will want to do your damndest to be sure you are not freezing up. React. Always react. Attackers will know within the first few seconds of an invasion if their victims are a force to be reckoned with. If you come in swinging to defend your property and family you may have this intruder thinking twice. It’s not impossible for someone to change their mind and leave after experiencing a victim who fights back, and fights back quickly.
One of the most common examples I can think of is having a shotgun, baseball bat, or another type of weapon by your door. Alerting the attempting intruder that you will act if they proceed can sometimes be enough to have them turn away instead. Hiding in fear and allowing an intruder break in is obviously a less effective strategy.
3. Don’t Be Naive
There’s a pretty big difference between being naive and thinking you’re untouchable and being prepared for the worst and constantly thinking you’re in danger. It’s not good to be either of those things, really. We’ve talked about having situational awareness and how helpful of a skill that can be. The opposite of that can also be a dangerous thing, however. Being naive, thinking you’re untouchable, and that nothing bad can ever happen to you is going to get you into hot water.
Find a safe middle ground where you are aware and mindful of the fact that bad things may happen to you, including a home invasion, but also don’t spend every waking moment stressing out about it or you’ll quickly become known as the paranoid one of the group. Acknowledge that these things might happen, plan accordingly, and then continue with your life.
4. Don’t Make Assumptions
Criminals don’t follow a code of conduct. There’s no cheat sheet on how to conduct a breaking and entering. There’s just not. All criminals follow different lines of thinking and we probably aren’t able to understand that logic since we have a conscience and see right from wrong. However, people that don’t, tend to see and do things differently than the rest of society.
This is why it would be a mistake to make an assumption during a home invasion. Do not assume that the intruder will act or do a certain thing. We all know what happens when you make assumptions.
5. Don’t Underestimate
Similarly, as above, you also shouldn’t underestimate anyone. Just because we might not do something, doesn’t mean someone else (especially someone who is already committing a crime) wouldn’t do it. Criminals aren’t necessarily dumb. Again, just because the majority of society may not think the way they think or abide by the same moral compass does not mean that the person choosing to invade your home is unintelligent. They may have a very clear plan that they intend to carry out. Do not underestimate your attacker.
With all this being said, we want to reiterate that it is pretty unlikely that you will ever be a victim of a home invasion. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan ahead and have a general understanding of what you should and shouldn’t do in a situation like that. If you know anything from browsing our site, you know we’re all about being prepared.