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What to Do If Someone Breaks Into Your House

Home invasions are something that most people don’t like to think about, but unfortunately, they can happen to anybody. Although there is no guarantee of how you can avoid this and what the outcome of it will be, since burglars can often be unpredictable, law enforcement and defense experts have some tips that could help you prevent or lessen the effects of property loss, emotional trauma, and physical injury.

That is why we decided to make this list of precautions you can take to ensure your home and family are safe.

1. Make your home less appealing to potential burglars.

Make sure that your home doesn’t look like an easy target. You can do this by investing in a home security system (camera, alarm, exterior doors, extra locks, etc.). This could demotivate a burglar from breaking into your house. Installing exterior lighting can also be helpful if you are unwilling to invest in a home security system.

2. Verify their presence and stay calm.

In a stressful situation, it can be important to stay cool-headed so you can decide what to do next. It is quite normal to get an adrenaline rush but try to breathe and remain calm. Since burglars can move quickly, it is crucial to act fast. Try to listen closely for any disturbances and determine if you are hearing some usual sounds (like pet movements) or some sounds that indicate glass breaking or the opening of doors.

3. Set a code word to alert your family.

Some defense experts suggest developing a code word that will prompt the family to move quickly. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, just a simple “escape” can do the work. The phrase however should never be used jokingly, only in an actual state of emergency.

4. Determine if it is possible to escape from the house.

The first thing you should try to do is to escape through the back door of the house, a fire escape ladder, or through a window if it is safe and possible. Avoid confrontation with the intruder at all costs.

5. Designate a safe room in your house.

The next part of the plan should include choosing a room for you and your family to hide in if you are not able to escape. You can determine which room in the house should be a safe room and it’s ideally one with a strong door and lock with heavy furniture that can be used to block the entrance. It also needs to have a working telephone or a cell phone with a charger that is always there, since you can’t count on having your cell phone with you.

6. Call the police.

Whether you managed to escape or you are still in your home, call the police immediately. Try to remain calm, dial your country’s emergency number, and speak slowly so that the dispatcher can understand you.

Be ready to give the police the following information:

  • What the emergency is
  • The address
  • Your name and phone number
  • Who else is in the home with you and your location in the house
  • A description of the intruder

7. Remain in the safe place until the police arrive.

It’s better not to risk being found, so remain on the line with the dispatcher and follow the instructions you are given. Try to remain calm and quiet, and even if you don’t hear any noise, do not go out to check. Once the dispatcher confirms that the scene is clear and you see a police officer, you can safely exit the room.

8. Avoid confrontation with the intruder.

Unfortunately, not all scenarios are ideal like in the previous step, and it may happen that you are face to face with the intruder. In this case, it’s best to allow the burglar to take the items they came for and let them leave instead of confronting them. It doesn’t matter how much the items are worth, they are not worth risking your well-being for since confrontation can be unpredictable. Once the intruder leaves, call the police and report everything missing.

Has an intruder ever broken into your house? How do you protect your home from intrusion?

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