When you think about disaster or some event that leaves the world a more dangerous place than it already is, you probably think about hunkering down in your home. Your home is where your food storage is as well as all of the creature comforts you have come to love and appreciate. There are some folks who assume that when the going gets tough, they are going to bug out. Heading for the hills with nowhere to really go and no shelter, food or water to speak of is not always the best option.
Sometimes, sheltering in place is the way to go. It is better to stay somewhere that keeps a roof over your head, some safety and security and basic supplies. However, staying in your home carries a certain risk. Folks who didn’t plan ahead and have no supplies to sustain them are going to be desperate. They are going to see you looking all nice and comfortable with a full belly and they will want to take what you have. That is likely going to be by force since asking politely is probably not going to do them much good.
You may have a stash of guns and ammo, but the sound will draw attention. There is always going to be somebody who has more guns and is more ruthless than you. Ideally, you just want to hang out in your home without drawing a great deal of attention. If you don’t have to fight for your life and supplies, don’t.
These are a few ways you can stay in your home without attracting the attention of those who are desperate and looking to prey on those who planned ahead.
Board the Windows
Keep plywood on hand to quickly board up your windows. You want your home to look abandoned. Covering the windows serves many purposes. It adds a layer of protection for you as you hide out inside as well as reduces visibility for those who might try to peer in. Don’t do a neat job boarding up the windows. You want it to be secure, but to appear as if the home was boarded up because it was run down and of no value. You can board the front door, but make sure you leave yourself an escape route. You also need to be able to see what is happening around your home. Small holes in inconspicuous places will allow you to peer out.
Yep, you read that right. You need to trash the outside of the house. Don’t worry about the neighborhood association putting up a fuss. This is about survival. Spread some trash on the front lawn, throw out some old clothes, shred a blanket and break a few dishes. You want the house to appear as if it has been ransacked. Nothing of value is left and marauders should move along. They are not going to waste their time digging through leftovers. They are going to hit the house that looks neat and tidy and the front door is locked. That is a sure sign there is something good inside to steal.
No, you are not going to burn your house, but you are going to give it the appearance of being burnt. Burn a few holes in the front yard, burn under the windows a bit and burn piles of stuff in the front yard. Rub some of the charcoal around the door edges and window frames. You want to give the appearance the home has been burned from the inside out. It is a good idea to do this at night or in the early hours of the morning when people are not likely to see what you are doing.
It doesn’t have to be real blood, but you want to give the appearance of blood. Red paint, ketchup or red nail polish will all suffice. Smear it around the windows and doors. Pour some in the driveway. Create drag marks with the fake blood going out to the street. It doesn’t matter if people get the impression somebody was hurt trying to break in or the residents of the home were attacked and the home was subsequently ransacked. Both are strong deterrents.
Get a Dog
A mean dog barking or seen about the area may be enough to scare off the unarmed intruder. Somebody with a weapon is likely to take the dog down if they are desperate. However, there are plenty of people who want nothing to do with a big dog that is growling, barking and looking menacing in general. Even if you don’t have a dog, you will want to have a few signs posted that warn of a dog in the home. It’s all about creating an uninviting atmosphere. If there are easier targets, those will be attacked first, giving you time to bug out if need be.
Barricade the Yard
This is something you will want to do today. Using large boulders in the landscaping is one way to protect your home from somebody trying to ram it with a car. The boulders should be strategically placed to protect the home. They are such a common addition to landscaping, it will look great while providing a nice barrier. Adding some nice barberry bushes or thorny roses around the doors and under the windows will also deter folks from trying to sneak in those ways. Putting a few of those bushes between the boulders will also deter folks without cars to find an easier target.
Hiding out in your home may be your only option in the hours and days following an invasion or major storm. You will want to protect yourself and your supplies. Do what you can to avoid confrontation. Hiding in plain sight is often the best way to do that. Do what is necessary today so you can quickly disguise your home should you ever need to.
- Surviving a home invasion robbery—here are some methods to try!
- What if you have to defend yourself during a home invasion?
- Seven methods to reduce the risk of home invasion
Surviving a home invasion robbery—here are some methods to try!
Unfortunately, home invasions and robberies often occur in the suburbs and rural areas. When facing a natural disaster, an attack, or similar, people can get hectic and the risk of violent acts is significantly high.
Having said that, here are some tips to keep you and your family safe during a home invasion:
Make your home look less appealing or a hard target
Some people avoid home invasions and make sure to turn their homes into the most challenging targets. Others will opt for making it less appealing. Do whichever works better for you.
Have a safe room
You should have a safe room in your home for you and your family to flee to whenever you notice a sign of forced entry. Use a deadbolt lock for the door and lock it. If your house is big, you should have a secondary plan for the family members who don’t have time to get to the room. Arrange a plan for them to escape outback windows and doors and have pre-planned routes for them to get to the neighbor’s houses.
Have a cumbersome piece of furniture in the safe room and slide it in front of the door. Make sure that all entries in the safe room are reinforced as the front door is. The entrance to the safe room should be challenging to kick if it’s locked. Buying time to get help is essential in a home invasion.
Use a firearm
Make sure that your children don’t have access to the gun safes/lockboxes with firearms in them. If you have firearms in your home and don’t securely store them, you increase the risk of accidental injuries and even deaths.
There are various gun storage systems at affordable prices. Educate your family about guns and be responsible about having and using a firearm.
Have a code word with your family
In case of a home invasion, you don’t want to shout, “go to the safe room!” And risk being heard by the invader. Security experts recommend having a code word for when to go to the safe room. Don’t make a complex phrase or word a joke. You shouldn’t take the severity of having to use the safe room lightly. Never use it as a prank and don’t make a joke about it.
Hunker down in the safe room with your family and lock the door. If you also want to take defensive action to protect your family, seek that they have a safe way to get help.
Have a telephone in the room
Make sure you have a telephone in the safe room or in the room you’re at to call the police. Since many home phones have wires outside, intruders can cut the wires —you won’t be able to use it anymore. Remember to have a secondary cell phone plugged in and charged in the safe room. It doesn’t have to be a smartphone—an old cellphone will also work. Make your children memorize your home address since they might have to inform the police when calling them.
Install a dummy phone box outside the house
You can trick possible invaders and protect your home land-line by installing a dummy phone box outside your house with dummy wires. You can use a shrub or an external vent to hide its existence from the actual phone box. Needless to say, you have to inform the phone company technician about where the actual phone box is located.
Place a lockbox/small hidden safe inside the safe room and store a handgun for fast access. As weird as it sounds, you should practice running to the room, unlock the safe, and get the gun. Practice being ready to fire through the door if the home invaders get in the safe room. Use a combination lock that you and the other adults in your home know it. If you use a safe with a key, a child’s risk of getting the key and opening the safe is quite significant.
Stay in the safe room until the police arrive
Don’t leave the safe room until the police get to your home. Invaders may not be aware that you’re in the safe room while they collect your valuable things. Focus on protecting yourself and your family until the police come. It’s never safe to interact with the invaders/burglars.
Have a “pump” shotgun as well
Have a backup gun and buy a “pump” shotgun; you can also use it as a primary firearm. Store it in the gun safe or lockbox. It seems that the mere sound of loading a pump shotgun can scare off intruders. Shotguns represent dependable home defense weapons because they also intimidate people.
What if you have to defend yourself during a home invasion?
It’s only a matter of time until the home invaders will find the safe room door. Even if you have the legal right to protect yourself and your family, there are other ways to scare them away. You don’t want to shoot anyone, and sometimes the invaders are teenagers who flee when seeing your gun.
Keep a bullhorn in the safe room, as it can magnify your voice and scare people off. Even the police force uses bullhorns when controlling crowds. Bullhorns are also used at sporting events to announce race results and scores. You can speak through the door and shout through the bullhorn that you have a gun and you will use it. Let the invaders know that you’ve called the police and neighbors and you’re not afraid to use the weapon. Don’t forget that shooting another person is traumatic and you should only do it as a last resort.
Once the invaders know you’ve called the police neighbors and you are armed, they will most likely leave your house and escape. The chances for them to try to break into the safe room are rather slim.
If you get to the last resort…
Home invaders will flee when they hear your bull horn because they fear your neighbors coming in. Some will leave the moment you announce them you have a gun. Sadly, if the invaders are determined to hurt you or are on drugs and out of control, you may eventually have to use the weapon.
Should you have to defend yourself against a violent home invader, be 100% sure you know how to do it—shooting a moving target when stressed is different from shooting at the range. It’s why special forces professionals have specialized combat shooting training before going in the field.
If you have to shoot, do it efficiently and quickly. Always make sure that the person on the other side of the door is determined to harm you. If you’re 100% sure that the other person isn’t a police officer but a home invader, you might try shooting through the door. Do it only after your family members are well away from the door and off to the side of it. If there’s enough space, they should lie down. We imagine you’ve shot a gun before, so you know about the ricochet. Also, the home invaders might try to shoot back through the door. Make sure your family stays in the area with a negligible risk of the bullets striking.
Scare the invaders away with a siren
Get a bullhorn with a siren feature to turn it on. The bull horn will sound like a police siren, so you can trick the invaders into thinking they have activated the home security system. We recommend using the siren as a last resort or right at the beginning of the home invasion.
Flee through a back window—it’s an alternative!
Once it’s clear that someone tries to invade your home, shout your family the code word and go to the safe room. After securing the door, see if it’s safe to go out the back window. Do it only if you have a safe way to get to a safe place.
Pay attention to the criminals
Please don’t go out the back window unless you’re 100% sure that they’re no longer outside as they try getting into your house. Keep in mind that intruders will suspect that you’re inside the house and move as slowly as possible. Make sure not to run into them while escaping with your family.
Open the back window
Once you’re sure that the invaders aren’t outside anymore, open the back window and check out your property, looking for anyone hiding. If there’s nobody in sight, take the leap of faith and make your escape. You should know where you go once you escape through the window. Go to a safe place nearby.
Have a detailed plan
Make sure you have a detailed plan about your escape—practice it with your family from time to time. Your wife could be the first to get out the window and you will hand her the children one by one. You will be the last to get out of the window. Do it as it works best for you and your family. The path to escape should go to the rear of your property. Needless to say, don’t be noisy while getting out of the window.
Home invaders aren’t always after your belongings
Most of the time, the home invaders are there to rob you, but that’s not always the case. There’s always the possibility that the invaders are after you or a family member, with a purpose to harm/kidnap/hold hostage. If you’re wealthy or have a high-profile person, that might be the reason why the home invaders come for you. Someone holding a grudge for any reason could be invading your home as well. It’s not the most common scenario, but the chances for that to happen are never null. If so, never escape to a very close place to your home.
The farther you go from your home, the lower the chances for the invaders to find and get you before police forces arrive. Don’t go to your next-door neighbor. It makes sense to go to a public area ( a gas station or a crowded store) where people can help you right away. Such places also have cameras and security equipment that may keep burglars at a distance.
Seven methods to reduce the risk of home invasion
It’s only natural that we ask ourselves if we’d be able to defend ourselves in case of a home invasion. Will we have the courage to shout through the bullhorn or, even worse, pull the trigger on the firearm? Like many things in life, it’s easier to prevent a home invasion than defend yourself. If your plan to escape a home invasion begins with the criminal breaking into your home, it’s not the best plan to have. We’re not saying you shouldn’t prepare for the worst and hope for the best. However, you want to lower the chances of a home invasion to zero—if possible.
At the end of the day, any home invasion will be risky, stressful, chaotic, and leave emotional scars on you and your family members, especially your children. Here’s something to consider: a thoroughly trained navy seal in a house with no prevention measures is less safe than a woman with efficient prevention measures to deter invaders.
The following methods will deter criminals from even trying to invade or invade your home, to begin with:
1. Install a security system
The home security system industry is generous and you can install a home security system without breaking the bank. It doesn’t have to be the most complex and expensive system; even the basic and affordable models will keep any possible intruders less interested in breaking into your home. Even a system with a couple of cameras can intimidate the burglars enough. Criminals avoid houses with security systems and look for easy targets.
There are many things to consider when shopping for security systems and the first thing to decide it’s the complexity grade. Some systems are easy to install, whereas others require installation from professionals and even monthly subscription fees.
A wireless home security kit can include everything you need for security. Look for one that doesn’t require monthly monitoring fees. The market gives you plenty of systems that are easy to install and use. Seek to buy high-quality video cameras with night vision and functions to get clear pictures both day and night.
If you opt for a professionally installed system, be aware of the monthly contracts you will need to honor. Such systems provide you with a high level of protection, nevertheless. We recommend you choose this kind of security if you have valuables in your home, or you know you or your house are a target for intruders.
2. Reinforce doors and windows
Suppose your doors and windows look easy to break into; the risk of a break-in increases significantly. Experienced robbers know what the weaknesses and strengths of a house are. With solid access points to your, the intruders will change their minds about your property. They will look for another property to break into.
The lock that goes into the doorjamb is the weakest point of a door. 85% of break-ins and home invasions take place through the front door. Securing the door should be your no.1 priority when you want to protect your house from intruders.
Install a video doorbell
Video doorbells come in many models, from basic models that record what’s outside the front door to complex ones that send alerts on your phone every time someone approaches the door. Models where you can speak to the person at the door, are also available. The video doorbell doesn’t protect your door and house, but it reduces the risk of intruders approaching your house. Video doorbells are devices that secure the primary point of entry to your home.
One thing to consider when buying a video doorbell is the privacy issues— someone could access the images can be accessed and disturb your intimacy. Look for a video doorbell that protects the main door and your privacy simultaneously. Even if it comes with fewer features than the most popular models out there, it will do its primary job: to show you who’s at the door and deter thieves.
Securing the main door becomes useless if you don’t protect the other doors in your house. Suppose you have a backdoor; set a deadbolt on it to keep it locked. Unlocked back doors are a dream come true for invaders. You should also install security chains on all doors and ensure they’re all locked at night. A door armor is an excellent solution to secure the backdoor against home invasions.
As for windows, you can invest in windows made of impact-resistant glass, which is difficult to break. Improve the safety of your windows with window locks or metal grilles. The metal grilles are efficient but can alter the looks of your house, so give it a good thought before taking this step.
If you don’t have a home security system, consider installing window sensors. They can present various features. Even a simple model can be effective if it generates a loud sound when the window is opened. Complex models are also available—they can arm and disarm according to your needs.
3. Make your home look occupied
Empty houses represent the perfect target for burglars since the risk of running into people is minimal. Therefore, you should make your house look like the people in it. As a matter of fact, you should always leave the impression that there are people inside the house.
Seek that the letters don’t pile up or have packages on your doorstep. You should keep your lawn in perfect conditions and your cars look like they’re in use. If you go on a vacation for a long time, ask a friend or a neighbor to check in on your house on a regular basis. While you’re away, they should collect all the packages, mail, etc., leaving the impression that you’re at home.
4. Keep the lights on
Even the most experienced burglars hope that there’s nobody at home when they make a break-in. If they realize that you’re at home, the situation gets dangerous for all parts, intruders included. They cannot risk either being seen or caught. You don’t need to be a police force to know that lights will help you see the criminals and identify them later. It’s why burglars stay away from houses well-lit. Every time you’re at home, keep lights on so one can see what’s inside.
It’s a good idea to install motion-activated lights around the access points of your house: front door, back door, driveway, etc. Solar-powered lights are ideal since they give light even in the darkest condition and charge during the day. You can find excellent, bright models at affordable prices. Many are waterproof and long-lasting without breaking the bank.
5. Don’ leave a spare key under the mat
Hiding the spare key under the mat seems like an excellent solution, but so does everyone else. It’s convenient to leave the spare key under the mat, but it’s the most straightforward way for burglars to get inside your house. You should never leave a spare key under the mat, fake rock, in the mailbox, or any other place that is obvious and easy to access. All the security measures you take become useless if you leave a spare key in an area that makes sense to use for hiding.
We recommend you leave a spare key to a friend or neighbor—they should store it in a safe place as well.
6. Don’t invite strangers into your home
The burglars who plan to the most minute detail a break-in are the most successful and dangerous. They will collect all the information about the house discover the vulnerabilities and weak points where they could break in. They will observe you and your schedule throughout the day and note when you’re not home.
Experienced burglars will have many tricks to get a closer look at your house. Many will pretend that they’re “home security salesmen” – it’s the easiest way for them to identify the weak areas of your house. But they will not do it for you, but for them to break in effortlessly the first time they have the chance.
Some burglars have the patience and skills to observe the inner workings before robbing them. They will look for security features, get a clear image of the layout of your house, and discover where you might keep your valuable items.
Long story short, you shouldn’t allow strangers to get into your house, no matter why they used for coming in. Should it be necessary, you can talk to them at the door, without inviting them inside. A “no solicitation, no trespassing” sign could also keep strangers less interested in your house.
7. Use decoys to scare off invaders
There are many tricks to use to scare burglars away. For instance, if you don’t want to care for a dog but still want to deter criminals, you can place a large dog bowl on the back porch. Since most dogs are excellent at keeping intruders away, burglars avoid houses with dogs on-premises. Even if you don’t have a dog, they will most likely prevent a break-in when they spot the large dog bowl.
The idea is to make burglars think that you have several security and protection systems to protect your house. Most burglars will abandon the plan and look for another easier target to break into than yours.
However, the best way to protect your house from intruders is to try one, if not all, the protective measures we’ve mentioned above. Law enforcement professionals always highlight that people can avoid most home invasions and burglaries. You shouldn’t wait until intruders get inside and fight for your life. Being ready to protect against a home invasion is the ultimate step in a home security plan. Never undermine the importance of protecting your house to prevent a home invasion so that you and your family are never in danger.