Home invasions are terrifying crimes that can devastate a family.
That’s why is important to be prepared if that nightmare scenario happens.
Here are four steps that could save your life against home intruders.
According to the Department of Justice, there are around 3.7 million home invasions each year, and approximately 30% occur when someone is at home.
That means roughly 1.1 million people will face a home intruder in a given year.
During these encounters are when 38% of assaults and 60% of rapes are perpetrated.
So the home can be just as dangerous as a dark alley.
Here are four steps to best ensure the safety of your family during a home invasion.
First, have a designated safe room.
During emergencies, it’s easy to panic and makes bad decisions.
Planning for these situations is the best way to curb the panic response.
If it’s within your budget, an actual panic room is a great investment.
If a proper panic room with impenetrable walls and a secure phone line isn’t feasible, or the invaders are in between you and your panic room, have a backup plan.
According to crime statistics, the top targets for home intruders are the master bedroom, home office, living room, and dining room.
Guest bedrooms and basements with firearms and supplies make for good safe rooms.
Second, call the cops.
Once you’ve reached your safe room, call the police and leave the line open.
A lot can go wrong before the cops show up—less than 33% of emergency calls receive a police response within five minutes—but if you’re properly armed in your safe room, you have a better chance of giving the police enough time to arrive at the location.
Third, issue a warning.
If intruders try to invade your safe room, let them know that you’re armed, and you’ve called the police.
Sometimes a stern verbal warning and the sound of racking a shotgun is enough to ward off an invader.
Many will make the calculation that it’s not worth the trouble.
Some intruders might incorrectly assume nobody is home, so a warning will likely weed out the ones who aren’t prepared for a confrontation.
Finally, be prepared to defend yourself.
Sometimes the use of force—or at least the direct threat of force—is inevitable.
That’s why weapons exist.
It’s not the ideal outcome because of the danger involved.
Also, homeowners lawfully exercising self-defense must still go through a stressful legal process, and in some absurd cases, they can be sued by the home invaders.
However, when it becomes necessary to use force, make sure all of your licenses are in order, and make sure you know your local firearm laws well.
Be sure to have easy access to safely secured weapons in multiple locations within the house.
If all your weapons are in one gun safe and you’re on the opposite end of the house, that won’t do any good.
If you follow these simple steps, you’ll give yourself a great chance of surviving a home invasion, and dealing with the stressful aftermath.