What To Do if an Intruder Breaks in While You're Home

blog-default Burglaries occur every day around the country, and for many individuals, these crimes can take place while they're still at home. While this prospect can be very frightening, with a few essential tactics prepared in advance, individuals can better protect themselves and their loved ones during emergencies and reduce the occurrence of these and other situations.

Making a plan Waking up in the middle of the night to strange noises in your home can be terrifying, and for those who undergo this experience, the impact can be immense. However, by making an effort to plan ahead and create an escape plan from your home, you have a better possibility of protecting yourself from harm. Rather than drawing your escape plan from scratch, try this quick escape plan tool from the New Zealand Fire Service which lets you drag and drop the rooms and room elements and print when complete.

Keep the lights off If you hear someone rumbling downstairs or outside your door and you know you're supposed to be alone, your first inclination may be to wander toward the sound of the noise and investigate. However, this is not a good idea and you should definitely not turn on your lights - this can give whomever is in your home the realization that you are in fact home, and this could jeopardize your wellness and that of the people you know.

Lock your doors Bedrooms, study rooms and other settings where you may be during the experience of a break in most likely have one or more doors that you can close. To prevent an intruder from entering your room, try barricading or locking the doors if you can. While you have this period of time, you should also reach out to police by dialing 911. By doing so, you can feel confident that help will be on the way.

Stay calm If you come face to face with the intruder, you will likely feel an intense discomfort and the desire to flee or in other ways step away from the experience. However, it's important that you stay calm and try not to provoke or add tension to the experience. Avoid direct contact with the individual and whatever you do, don't leave with him or her. Being in your home after a break in has occurred can be upsetting and emotionally traumatic, but by trying to follow the plan you've already established, you can feel confident that you will be safe once the experience is through. The Office for Victims of Crime created a resource map of crime victim services for individuals who have been traumatized by a burglary or other property crime.  Don’t forget that security system can go a long way in helping you feel safe in your home.