While there are several movies like Hostage, Trespass and Panic Room where a house gets invaded by intruders and the family is stuck with dealing with them for hours, in reality, home invasions are quite rare.
There are 3 reasons for this. Firstly, most burglars prefer an easy crime. They wish to strike when the house is empty and there’s no one around to subdue. Secondly, there’s always an element of danger for the intruders too if the occupants are armed. Thirdly, home invasions require 2 to 3 intruders working together. It has to be fast and systematic.
Most home invasions are over and done in a short time. The intruders will quickly try to subdue you while they rob the home. In some cases, however, things can take an uglier turn. We’ll cover a few tips below on how you can survive a home invasion.
Are you armed?
Nothing deters intruders like a firearm. That’s why every prepper would do well to have a shotgun at home. Just the sound of the shotgun being racked is enough to strike fear into the heart of most criminals.
How many intruders are there?
Usually, when there’s a home invasion, the intruders will try to be fast, loud and get the occupants to quickly come under their control. The first thing you should do is see how many of them there are while you rush off to get your firearm. This will give you an idea if you have a fighting chance.
If you’re all alone at home, lock yourself in the room, call the police for help and be ready to fire upon any intruder who tries breaking into your room. Always shout and tell them that you’ve called the police.
Should you pretend to be asleep?
If you’re sleeping and you hear intruders skulking around your house, NEVER pretend to carry on sleeping hoping that they don’t disturb you. Don’t expect criminals to have mercy. They could easily kill you while you’re playing possum. Then you’ll really be dead.
Instead, you should quietly get up, and try to ascertain where the intruders are. If they’re downstairs, grab your mobile phone, try to quietly wake up your kids and all of you should huddle in one room with the door locked. Place furniture against the door to reinforce it and call the police for help.
Do you have a safe room?
If you have a safe room and you can quickly get your family and yourself into it, that would be great. Get in there and call for help.
Who is in the house with you?
If there are 4 to 5 adult males in the house, and there are just 2 intruders, very often, it’s possible to overcome the intruders. You should only follow this option after shouting at them and telling them to leave. Always give the intruders a way out. Never corner them or make them feel trapped.
If they have knives or firearms, do not attempt any heroics. Just do as you’re told. If they try to attack you with a knife, always put distance or objects between them and yourself. Even holding up a chair with it’s legs pointed at your attacker and jabbing forward can be a very effective form of defense.
Are you tied up?
It’s best never to get tied up by the invaders. That will put you completely at their mercy. If they do not have weapons, use improvised weapons and fight back. Never allow yourself to be tied up if you can avoid it.
If you do get tied up, you can break duct tape by rubbing it against a sharp surface. If your hands are zip tied, take out one shoelace, drape it over the zip tie and tie one end to each shoe. Now do a pedaling motion so that the shoelace acts as a saw against the zip tie. The heat and friction will break the tie.
As mentioned earlier, always remember this – you are NEVER unarmed. Objects all around your house can be used as weapons. If you can use it to stab, slash or smash, it’s a weapon.
A frying pan is a weapon. So is a rolled-up magazine. The pretty flower vase that’s used to smash on an intruder’s head is a weapon. Your kitchen knives, pens, chairs, etc. can all be used as weapons.
Never fear making a mess or damaging your items. Home invasions can lead to rape or even murder if allowed to escalate. So, if you notice that the intruders have other intentions other than robbery, you really need to fight back and injure them.
Here’s a point to note – if they attack you, always aim to injure one of them as badly as you can. Stab their throat with a pen or if you have a knife, use that instead. This can be extremely demoralizing to the rest of the intruders because now it means that their partner may need medical attention and law enforcement will be able to track them. So, their priority will be to get their friend and escape as fast as they can.
Coping with the aftermath
Once the home invasion is over, do not clean up the house. You’ll be contaminating the crime scene. Call the police and wait for them to arrive and do the needful.
Follow the tips above and your chances of surviving a home invasion will be much higher. Always try to retreat to a locked room and call for help instead of taking them on. Only retaliate if you feel like your life is in danger and they’ll hurt you. Trust your gut instincts.