There aren’t many things more terrifying than feeling unsafe in your own home.
However, home invasion is a scary reality that you must be prepared for.
Here’s one thing you definitely need to do if you think your home has been breached.
The Department of Justice reports that there are roughly 3.7 million home invasions each year, and almost one-third occur when somebody’s home.
So over 1 million homeowners will encounter an intruder any given year.
Even worse, 38% of assaults and 60% of rapes take place during home invasions, so home security is paramount.
And if you suspect, an intruder is in your house, you’ll want to have a plan in place, which means you’ll be less likely to panic in the moment.
One thing you may need to plan for is how to clear the house.
The first move would be to call the cops, but that may not always be an option.
For whatever reason, you may not have phone access, or it could be unsafe to talk and give the 9-1-1 operator important information that would trumpet the urgency of the call.
Also, a bad guy could be between you and a loved one, so getting out of the house (or staying out of the house if you come home to a kicked-in door) may not be an option.
First, try to have a firearm and a light source on hand if you want to successfully clear the house.
Make sure your gun and your light source always stay in face with your line of sight.
That will give you the best chance to react quickly if you’re forced to use your weapon.
Next, try to start upstairs (if applicable) and work your way down.
It’s best to work this way because there are no natural exits upstairs, and there’s generally less ground to cover, so it will be quicker to start there and work toward the bigger task of clearing the main areas.
Also, if the intruder is downstairs, he might be inclined to leave if he hears that you’re upstairs.
If you can get through this scary ordeal without getting into a confrontation, that’s always the preferable outcome.
When you clear a room, move in and out of doorways quickly and check blind spots such as behind the door.
When you feel a room is cleared, keep the light on and lock the door, if possible.
This will make it harder for an intruder to slip back into a room you’ve already cleared.
Work your way through adjacent rooms and hallways instead of randomly selecting rooms to clear.
If you have help, it’s best to use the second person to make sure the rooms you’ve cleared stay cleared.
You might be tempted to have the second person clear other rooms, but it’s easier for an intruder to slip back into a room you’ve cleared in that scenario.
Professional law enforcement or military personnel may be able to work this way, but they’re specifically trained for the task, and they often have communication systems that allow them to remain tethered.
You probably won’t have this luxury if your home has been invaded.
Once you’ve gotten your family out of harm’s way, get out of the house and wait for the police.